Brit-Am Ephraimite Forum no.37
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Ephraimite Forum-37
Date: 20/January/08 13 Shebet 5768
1. Archaeological Finds in Israel
2. First Temple seal found in Jerusalem
3. Archaeology: Brit-Am Version of 
Explorator 10.39
4. Background: Arabs in Israel
5. 270,000 Israelis live in the West Bank

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1. Archaeological Finds in Israel
Latest Press Releases

2. First Temple seal found in Jerusalem

A stone seal bearing the name of one of the families who acted as servants in the First Temple and then returned to Jerusalem after being exiled to Babylonia has been uncovered in an archeological excavation in Jerusalem's City of David, a prominent Israeli archeologist said Wednesday.

The 2,500-year-old black stone seal, which has the name "Temech" engraved on it, was found earlier this week amid stratified debris in the excavation under way just outside the Old City walls near the Dung Gate, said archeologist Dr. Eilat Mazar, who is leading the dig.

According to the Book of Nehemiah, the Temech family were servants of the First Temple and were sent into exile to Babylon following its destruction by the Babylonians in 586 BCE.

The seal, which was bought in Babylon and dates to 538-445 BCE, portrays a common and popular cultic scene, Mazar said.

The 2.1 x 1.8-cm. elliptical seal is engraved with two bearded priests standing on either side of an incense altar with their hands raised forward in a position of worship.

A crescent moon, the symbol of the chief Babylonian god Sin, appears on the top of the altar.

Under this scene are three Hebrew letters spelling Temech, Mazar said.

The Bible refers to the Temech family: "These are the children of the province, that went up out of the captivity, of those that had been carried away, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away, and came again to Jerusalem and to Judah, every one unto his city." [Nehemiah 7:6]... "The Nethinim [7:46]"... The children of Temech." [7:55].

The fact that this cultic scene relates to the Babylonian chief god seemed not to have disturbed the Jews who used it on their own seal, she added.

The seal of one of the members of the Temech family was discovered just dozens of meters away from the Opel area, where the servants of the Temple, or "Nethinim," lived in the time of Nehemiah, Mazar said.

"The seal of the Temech family gives us a direct connection between archeology and the biblical sources and serves as actual evidence of a family mentioned in the Bible," she said. "One cannot help being astonished by the credibility of the biblical source as seen by the archaeological find."

The find will be announced by Mazar at the 8th annual Herzliya Conference on Sunday.

The archeologist, who rose to international prominence for her recent excavation that may have uncovered King David's palace, most recently uncovered the remnants of a wall from Nehemiah.

The dig is being sponsored by the Shalem Center, a Jerusalem research institute where Mazar serves as a senior fellow, and the City of David Foundation, which promotes Jewish settlement throughout east Jerusalem.

3. Archaeology: Brit-Am Version of  Explorator 10.39
From: david meadows <rogueclassicist@GMAIL.COM>

explorator 10.39                                January 20, 2008

A Hemiriate Dynasty 'queen's' tomb from Yemen:

Brief item on the discovery of a bronze coffin:

... and its destruction:

Some Achaemenid city remains from Iran:

Hyping the National Geographic's 'Black Pharoahs' issue: (NYDN)

A First Temple seal from Jerusalem: (JPost)

The Tomb of Cyrus is threatened:

... or maybe not:

Nice feature on the Nabateans:

David Plotz visited some Biblical sites (it's a series):

A somewhat late item from the IAA on that Queen Helena house find:

Latest on Temple Mount:


Nice feature on Vindolanda: (Daily Mail)

... and one on the Nabateans:

Latest finds found during construction of that highway near

Bronze Age finds at Cambridge: (EADT)

Brief item on the find of a 2000 b.p. ring from Norway:

A 16th century Welsh chronicle is now online:

Interesting items found in the apartment of a dead collector in

Plans are afoot to examine "Britain's Atlantis":

Archaeology in Europe Blog:


The early New World was a wetland: (New Scientist)

Review of a couple of books focussing on the carnage and the
results therefrom of the Civil War:

A Mexican time capsule:

More coverage of that 'lost city' found in Peru:

Nice editorial on what the 'archaeological top ten lists' left

Columbus is 'credited' with bringing syphilis to Europe: (AFP via Yahoo)

William Caraher has put together a nice online feature for
Archaeology Magazine on archaeological blogs:

A very strange DaVinci codish thing involving the Koran:

Nice overviewish thing on the popularity of dna/genealogy

Do fortune cookies really come from Japan?:

Review of Geraldine Brooks, *People of the Book*:


A major exhibition focussing on Hadrian is in the works: (Times)

A couple of antique shows in New York:

Not sure whether I've mentioned this military history forum

Museum of Underwater Archaeology:

The Dig:

4. Background: Arabs in Israel
Sources: Mainly Wikipedia unless otherwise noted.
Some 1.2 million people, comprising some 20 percent of Israel's population, are non-Jews. Although defined collectively as Arab citizens of Israel, they include a number of different, primarily Arabic-speaking, groups, each with distinct characteristics.

Muslim Arabs, almost one million people, most of whom are Sunni, reside mainly in small towns and villages, over half of them in the north of the country.

Bedouin Arabs, also Muslim (estimated at some 170,000), belong to some 30 tribes, a majority scattered over a wide area in the south.

Christian Arabs, some 117,000, live mainly in urban areas, including Nazareth, Shfar'am and Haifa. Although many denominations are nominally represented, the majority are affiliated with the Greek Catholic, Greek Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches.

The Druze, some 113,000 Arabic-speakers living in 22 villages in northern Israel, constitute a separate cultural, social and religious community.

1,413,500 people or 19.8% live in Israel as defined by the pre-1967 borders.

These figures include about 250,000 Arabs in East Jerusalem, and about 19,000 Druze in the Golan Heights.

The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics estimated that approximately 2.5 (or 1.4) see below) million Palestinians live in the West Bank (including Israeli-annexed East Jerusalem) at the end of 2006.[18], though a recent study by the American-Israel Demographic Research Group disputes these figures (see #Recent Developments).
The study placed the Arab population of the West Bank at only 1.41 Million, not including approximately 220,000 residents of East Jerusalem counted in Israel's census.[23]

There are over 275,000 Israeli settlers living in the West Bank, as well as around 200,000 Israeli Jews living in Israeli-annexed East Jerusalem. There are also small ethnic groups, such as the Samaritans living in and around Nablus, numbering in the hundreds .
Interactions between the two societies have generally declined following the Palestinian Intifadas, though an economic relationship often exists between adjacent Israeli and Palestinian Arab villages.[
In 1967, Bethlehem Mayor Elias Freij, a Christian Arab, responded to years of persecution, by requesting that Israel annex Bethlehem and the other Christian areas into Israel as autonomous Christian cantons. The US State Department objected, and Israel did not create Christian cantons. Christian Arabs who had the economic whereabouts fled Bethlehem. Even Mayor Freij's sons made backup plans to emigrate to the United States. By 1990, the Christian population of Bethlehem was reduced to 60%. After the Oslo Accords, the Palestinian Authority under Arafat was give jurisdiction over Bethlehem. Arafat flooded Bethlehem with Muslems from nearby villages and Hevron. As a result of rape, assault, and murder, Christian Arabs in larger numbers felt compelled to leave the city. As of 2003, Christian Arabs comprise a mere 20% of Bethlehem.

5. 270,000 Israelis live in the West Bank
Etgar Lefkovits , THE JERUSALEM POST Jan. 20, 2008

More than 280,000 Israelis live in the West Bank, Interior Ministry
statistics released Sunday showed.

The 2008 figures show that the number of residents has increased by about
10,000 from a year ago.

The Israelis live in 130 settlements in the West Bank, amid an estimated 2.5
million Palestinians.

The largest West Bank settlement is Modi'in Ilit, home to 37,895 residents,
surpassing Ma'ale Adumim with 34,495 people.

About 80 percent of Israeli settlers live in several major settlement blocs
in the West Bank.

Prime Minster Ehud Olmert has declared a building freeze throughout the West
IMRA - Independent Media Review and Analysis

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