Ancient Rock Carvings Shed Light on the Early Inhabitants of the Land of Israel

July 17 2020

New research has uncovered 4,200-year-old murals in the Golan Heights. According to the Bible’s chronology, these predate Abraham—who would have lived around the middle of the 2nd millennium BCE—by several hundred years. Yori Yalon writes:

The carvings were identified on ancient graves constructed from boulders, known as dolmens, that date back some 4,200 years, and appear to point to the existence of a mysterious civilization of builders that existed in northern Israel over four millennia ago. [Some] carvings depict horned animals such as ibexes, antelope, and wild cattle. At another dolmen, the top stone was designed to resemble a human face, and a third features carvings of geometric shapes.

Most researchers believe that the enormous stone structures were built in the Middle Bronze Age, 4,000-5,000 years ago. Hundreds have been studied throughout the Golan and Galilee areas.

[The archaeologist Uri Berger, coauthor of a recent study of the carvings, commented]: “Thus far, many dolmens have been found in Israel and neighboring countries, but we knew virtually nothing about this civilization of super-builders, other than the remains of the enormous structures they left behind as testimony of their existence. The cave carvings offer us the first glimpse of the culture behind the construction of the dolmens.”

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Read more at Israel Hayom

More about: Abraham, Ancient Near East, Archaeology, Golan Heights

Will Costco Go to Israel?

Social-media users have mocked this week new Israeli finance minister Bezalel Smotrich for a poorly translated letter. But far more interesting than the finance minister’s use of Google Translate (or some such technology) is what the letter reveals about the Jewish state. In it, Smotrich asks none other than Costco to consider opening stores in Israel.

Why?

Israel, reports Sharon Wrobel, has one of the highest costs of living of any country in the 38-member Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

This

has been generally attributed to a lack of competition among local importers and manufacturers. The top three local supermarket chains account for over half of the food retail market, limiting competition and putting upward pressure on prices. Meanwhile, import tariffs, value-added tax costs and kosher restrictions have been keeping out international retail chains.

Is the move likely to happen?

“We do see a recent trend of international retailers entering the Israeli market as some barriers to food imports from abroad have been eased,” Chen Herzog, chief economist at BDO Israel accounting firm, told The Times of Israel. “The purchasing power and technology used by big global retailers for logistics and in the area of online sales where Israel has been lagging behind could lead to a potential shift in the market and more competitive prices.”

Still, the same economist noted that in Israel “the cost of real estate and other costs such as the VAT on fruit and vegetables means that big retailers such as Costco may not be able to offer the same competitive prices than in other places.”

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Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Costco, Israel & Zionism