British Tin Made the Israelite Bronze Age Possible

Sept. 18 2019

To historians of the ancient Near East, the period from the late fourth millennium BCE until around 1200 BCE—that is, the biblical period through the time of Moses—is known as the Bronze Age because of the common use of bronze weapons, tools, and other items. It was followed by the Iron Age, which was in full swing by the time of King David in the 10th century BCE. But archaeologists have long been puzzled about how the ancient residents of the region produced bronze, which requires the smelting of copper—which is abundant in the Levant—with tin—which is not. A new study, based on a comparison of the age of various samples (which can be determined chemically) suggests it was imported from Britain, as Amanda Borschel-Dan writes:

According to the authors [of the study], the most likely suppliers of the 13th- and 12th-century BCE tin ingots from Israel were tin mines from Cornwall and Devon. . . . The scientists studied samples that were discovered . . . off the coasts of Mochlos, Crete and Uluburun, Turkey as well as in three locations near Haifa.

An earlier find of a 13th‐century BCE shipwreck at Hishuley Carmel in 2012 also was a source of the study’s tin ingots. That shipwreck, [one of the study’s authors wrote in an earlier article], “provides direct evidence for marine transport of copper and tin along the Israeli coast and may indicate inland and maritime trade‐routes of metals in the Mediterranean.”

Knowing the origin of the Israeli tin ingots points to a complicated and far-reaching ancient trade route.

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Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Ancient Israel, Ancient Near East, Archaeology

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