Detailed Ancient Drawings of Ships Discovered in the Heart of Israel’s Desert

Israeli archaeologists digging in the city of Beersheba—located in the Negev desert and many miles from any of the country’s coasts—found a water cistern that they date to the 1st century CE. Amanda Borschel-Dan writes:

A newly discovered water cistern . . . has turned out to be the 2,000-year-old canvas for a series of engravings depicting thirteen sea vessels and even a sailor to steer them. Technical details are included in some of the ship drawings etched into the cistern’s plaster walls, which suggests the graffiti artist had practical knowledge of ship construction, said Davida Eisenberg-Degen, a specialist in rock art and graffiti at the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA). . . .

The art-covered cistern was uncovered during IAA excavations ahead of the construction of a new Beersheba neighborhood [called] Rakefet. The roughly 39-foot-deep water-storage pit, with an area of roughly 16.5 by 18 feet, is thought to have been used by a nearby 1st-century Roman-era domicile up through recent times. In excavating the sediment fill, archaeologists uncovered World War I-era ceramic shards, ammunition shells, and other weapon parts.

Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Ancient Israel, Archaeology, History & Ideas, Negev, World War I

Hamas Wants a Renewed Ceasefire, but Doesn’t Understand Israel’s Changed Attitude

Yohanan Tzoreff, writing yesterday, believes that Hamas still wishes to return to the truce that it ended Friday morning with renewed rocket attacks on Israel, but hopes it can do so on better terms—raising the price, so to speak, of each hostage released. Examining recent statements from the terrorist group’s leaders, he tries to make sense of what it is thinking:

These [Hamas] senior officials do not reflect any awareness of the changed attitude in Israel toward Hamas following the October 7 massacre carried out by the organization in the western Negev communities. They continue to estimate that as before, Israel will be willing to pay high prices for its people and that time is working in their favor. In their opinion, Israel’s interest in the release of its people, the pressure of the hostages’ families, and the public’s broad support for these families will ultimately be decisive in favor of a deal that will meet the new conditions set by Hamas.

In other words, the culture of summud (steadfastness), still guides Hamas. Its [rhetoric] does not show at all that it has internalized or recognized the change in the attitude of the Israeli public toward it—which makes it clear that Israel still has a lot of work to do.

Read more at Institute for National Security Studies

More about: Gaza War 2023, Hamas, Israeli Security