An Enormous Staircase from a Canaanite Palace Found in Northern Israel

July 29 2019

Not long after entering the land of Canaan, according to the book of Joshua, the Israelites sacked the city of Hazor, whose king exercised power over other local potentates. The celebrated general-cum-archaeologist Yigael Yadin first excavated the city’s ruins in the 1950s, but the site continues to be studied. A recent dig unearthed a gigantic basalt staircase from the Canaanite period, thought to be part of a palace complex. Amanda Borschel-Dan writes:

Located north of the Sea of Galilee on a trade route connecting Egypt and Babylon, Hazor was [among] the largest biblical-era sites in Israel. With an estimated population of 20,000, its size and strategic location made it an important city in antiquity. After its fiery destruction, it was rebuilt by the Israelites, perhaps by King Solomon. Several hundred years later, the Israelite settlement was destroyed by the Assyrians under Tiglath-Pileser III in 732 BCE.

[T]he remains of the last Israelite settlement of Hazor were also uncovered this year, including a considerable quantity of shattered pottery vessels — evidence of its destruction.

[The excavation’s co-director Shlomit] Bechar said that while the stairs, strangely modern in appearance, are grand in their own right, it is quite possible that they are not the staircase into the [main] palace but rather lead to another courtyard, which could then lead to another large staircase.

Alongside the finely worked black stone steps, there is also significant archaeological evidence of the large conflagration that destroyed the Canaanite settlement. Bechar said the building, constructed in the 13th century BCE, existed for 200 to 250 years.

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Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Ancient Israel, Archaeology, Canaanites, Joshua

The Evidence of BDS Anti-Semitism Speaks for Itself

Oct. 18 2019

Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs recently released a lengthy report titled Behind the Mask, documenting the varieties of naked anti-Semitic rhetoric and imagery employed by the movement to boycott, divest from, and sanction the Jewish state (BDS). Drawn largely but not exclusively from Internet sources, its examples range from a tweet by a member of Students for Justice in Palestine (the “world would be soooo much better without jews man”), to an enormous inflated pig bearing a star of David and floating behind the stage as the rock musician Roger Waters performs, to accusations by an influential anti-Israel blogger that Israel is poisoning Palestinian wells. Cary Nelson sums up the report’s conclusions and their implications, all of which give the lie to the disingenuous claim that critics of BDS are trying to brand “legitimate criticism of Israel” as anti-Semitic.

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Read more at Fathom

More about: Anti-Semitism, BDS, Roger Waters, Social media