"Brit-Am Now"-314


1. Cherokee Indians
2. Ancient City Excavated in Israel
3. Excavations at Tartessos

1. Cherokee Indians
From: Ireland South Farms
Dear Yair,
     Have you heard of the Cherokee Indians and their claim that they are
descended from survivors who escaped from Masada. This is kept alive by
their oral traditions and history that has been handed down through the
centuries. They claim that they were the Sicarii who escaped and managed to
cross the water to this land and later became known as Cherokees. When they
marry, both the man and woman are covered by a large blue blanket with 365
tassels on it and each brings a stick which are bound together when they
are married. They celebrate 7 festivals throughout the year and must
immerse in water before hand and not touch any unclean thing. Women also
seem to follow the rules of Niddah. If this is so, and I tend to think so,
is incredible. Americans who have been here for over a century, claim
somewhere in their family, they have Cherokee or other Indian blood. :of) Kim

2. Ancient City Excavated in Israel
Archaeology / Judging by these remains, the Tanakhic description is
anchored in reality []
By Ran Shapira
Unlike other cities from the biblical period, Bethsaida has been well
preserved. Buildings discovered there indicate an organized and stable
society from the 10th century B.C.E.

A road paved with basalt stones, four meters in
width, leads to the gate of the city of Bethsaida,
which overlooks Lake Kinneret from the northeast.
About 50 meters of the road were exposed during
the most recent digging seasons at the site. Dr.
Rami Arav says that an investigation with
ground-penetrating radar revealed that the paved
road does not end near the city gate, but

Dr. Arav, an archaeologist
from the University of
Nebraska in Omaha, who
oversees the digs at
Bethsaida, considers the
paved road - which was
constructed during the 10th
century B.C.E. - to be a
symbol of the stability and
the prosperity of the kingdom
of Geshur, of which Bethsaida was the capital.
"A wagon is a massive vehicle. For the farmers
of the time it was like a car for us today. A
farmer who knew that he could keep a wagon
outside his house without having to worry that
it would be stolen, and that anyone who tried
to steal it would be punished, relied on the
government," explains Arav. "That's why a paved
road is a sign of an orderly, stable and
law-abiding regime."

The gate to which the road led was the civic
heart of the kingdom. It was at the gate that
commercial life was carried out, legal
discussions were held, and news was received
about events that had occurred all over the

On the benches placed all along the gate sat the
elders of the city who ran its daily affairs.
Judging by the altar sites found on both sides
of the gate, religious ceremonies were held
there as well.

The gate itself was a monumental structure, the
largest of its kind found in the area between
Damascus and Egypt. It covered an area of about
half a dunam, and its walls were built of large
basalt tablets, which were covered with white
plaster. Some of the walls were well preserved,
and today they rise to a height of about three
meters. Inside the structure of the gate, on
both sides, were four large compartments, some
of which served for storage of ritual objects
and others for the storage of wheat.

According to Dr. Arav, Bethsaida is one of the
largest cities dating from the 10th century
B.C.E. found in Israel. Its total area was over
80 dunams, greater than the area of Jerusalem,
Hatzor and Megiddo during that period.

The city was surrounded by two walls - a thin
outer wall and a thick, strong inner wall,
which was constructed of huge basalt rocks, and
rose to a height of six to eight meters.

The size of the city, its construction methods,
the road that led to it, and the religious and
administrative services it provided for the
inhabitants of Geshur lead Dr. Arav to claim
that the dig he has been conducting for 13
seasons at Bethsaida is of a historical
importance that transcends the finds at the

The city was built during a period when,
according to the Bible, the kingdom of David
and Solomon flourished (the period of the
United Kingdom). But there are almost no
remains of the Jerusalem of David, and of other
capital cities in the region during that
period, such as Samaria and Rabbat Ammon.

"Of all the capital cities in the region, only
Bethsaida was well preserved. It can be seen as
a model of a capital city from the biblical
period," says Arav. "From the way it is
constructed we can draw conclusions about how
Jerusalem, Samaria or other similar cities may
have looked."

The construction of a big city like Bethsaida
was a complex operation, which required
engineering and construction skills, as well as
a knowledge of architectonics. According to
Arav, the impressive success of the operation
demonstrates that during that period, the
kingdoms in the region had the ability to carry
out large projects of this kind.

In that sense, Bethsaida provides support for
the claims of archaeologists and historians who
believe that the biblical descriptions of the
United Kingdom and its enterprises are grounded
in reality.

The finds weaken the claims of those scholars
known as minimalists, who believe that there is
a gap between the historical truth and the
Tanakhic stories, and that in the 10th century
B.C.E. there was a tribal society in Israel
rather than an organized and stable society.

The impressive buildings of Bethsaida, the wall
and a tower built next to the gate - the only
real military structure designed to protect the
city - didn't withstand the soldiers of
Assyrian king Tiglath-Pileser III, who captured
the city in 732 B.C.E., and destroyed the tower
to its foundations.

The city itself was not totally destroyed, and
remained sparsely occupied for many years to
come. It served as a home for inhabitants who
came from Tyre, afterward was captured by the
Hasmoneans, with Philip, son of Herod,
rebuilding the city and establishing a modest
Roman temple in it.

But the city never returned to its 10th century
B.C.E. dimensions. The settlement that remained
in it was in effect a small fishing village.

3. Excavations at Tartessos
Tartessos in southwest Spain was called  Tarshish in the Bible.
The site is near Gibraltar and encompassed Gibraltar.
Tarshish is very important for understanding the  Brit-Am  explanation of
ancient migratory paths.
A section of the exiled Israelites were taken to Spain in Phoenician and
Phillistine ships in the employ of the
Assyrians. They were part of a colonization policy connected with
foundations laid by the Kingdom of Tarshish.
In Spain the Israelites moved from the south and southeast to the northwest
and from there to Gaul and the British Isles
as explained at length in our works "Lost Israelite Identity" and "Origin".

The following article concerns excavations at a site linked with Tartessos.
We have provided a few extracts but the article is worth seeing on the site
it was taken from and read in full alongside the accompanying photographs,
Illustrations,  and map.

Sacred Precincts: A Tartessian Sanctuary in Ancient Spain

Sebastian Celestino and Carolina Lopez-Ruiz

When the Phoenicians arrived on the Iberian peninsula, probably at the end
of the ninth century B.C., they came into contact with an indigenous people
called the Tartessians. The two cultures soon fused. The hybrid culture
produced by this fusion of peoples is evident in a mysterious structure at
Cancho Roano, deep in the heart of south-central Spain. The structure at
Cancho Roano is sometimes called a palace-sanctuary because of its
monumentality. But it was not a palace at all; it was simply a Tartessian
sanctuary, which over time became influenced by Phoenician culture.*

Scholars have only recently begun to separate Tartessian history from myth.
When the Greeks reached the Iberian peninsula a few centuries after the
Phoenicians, they called the land Tartessos. (The word Tartessosis a Greek
version of the root trt/trd, which appears in a number of indigenous
namesfor example, Turduli, Turdetaniof the southwest Iberian peninsula.)
For the Greeks, Tartessos was the mysterious land on the other side of
Herculess columns (the Rock of Gibraltar); it was the gateway to the terra

According to the fifth-century B.C. historian Herodotus, Tartessian
civilization was discovered accidentally by a Greek named Kolaios, who
became extremely rich as a result of his trade with the Tartessians
(History 4.152 ff.). From Herodotus, we also learn of a legendary
Tartessian king named Arganthonius (meaning man [or flower] of silverin
Greek), who welcomed the Greek merchants with rich gifts.

A number of other ancient works also make reference to Tartessos. One of
them, Ora Maritima, a tantalizing Latin account of Phoenician travelers who
explored the Atlantic coast up to Ireland and Britain, was written in the
late fourth century A.D. by the Roman fabulist Avienus, who apparently
based his text on a sixth-century B.C. Punic periplus (travel narrative).

Recent archaeological work suggests that Tartessos included a number of
small proto-urban settlements largely dependent on agricultural and mineral
(particularly silver) exploitation. This is probably what attracted the
Phoenicians and formed the basis of Tartessian wealth.

Exactly when the Phoenicians arrived remains in question. According to
ancient sources, such as Strabo (c. 60 B.C.-21 A.D.) and Pliny (23-79
A.D.), they arrived in the late 12th century B.C. and laid the foundations
of sites such as Cadiz (Gadir) and Utica. But archaeological excavations at
these sites have not uncovered remains earlier than the eighth century B.C.
The first-century B.C. historian Diodorus Siculus (Diodorus of Sicily)
writes that the Phoenicians arrived on the peninsula while searching for
silver but only settled there much later (Library of History 5.35.1-5,

Some scholars identify biblical Tarshish with Iberian Tartessos. The
prophet Isaiah, who lived in the latter part of the eighth century B.C.,
may refer to the Phoenicians  sailing to the Iberian peninsula and reaching

The Lord poised his arm over the sea And made kingdoms quake; It was he
decreed destruction for Phoenicias strongholds ... Howl, O ships of
Tarshish, For your stronghold is destroyed. (Isaiah 23:11-15)

Although the location of biblical Tarshish is much debated, an inscription
of the Assyrian king Esarhaddon (680-669 B.C.) suggests that it was located
on the Mediterranean coast: All the kings from (the islands) amidst the sea
from the country Iadanana [Cyprus], as far as Tarsisi [Tarshish], bowed to
my feet and I received heavy tribute (from them). 1 Many scholars have
connected Tarshish to Iberian Tartessos; 2 it is possible that both names,
the Semitic Tarshish/Tarsisiand the Greek Tartessos, derive from the same
Iberian root, trt/trd.  Nonetheless, the connection between Iberian
Tartessos and biblical Tarshish can only remain a matter of speculation
until new evidence is found.

The core area of Tartessian civilization comprised the modern Spanish
provinces of Cadiz, Seville, Huelva and the Algarve in modern Portugal.
After the seventh century B.C., Tartessian influence expanded, reaching the
Guadiana Valley (where Cancho Roano is located) and a considerable portion
of the southeastern coast of the Iberian Peninsula. However, the
Tartessians never formed a united country, nor did they create independent
city-states. What bound the Tartessians together as a people over this
large territory were their ethnic and cultural traits and, especially,
their religious beliefs. One of the key institutions for understanding the
Tartessians is the sacred sanctuary, or shared religious precinct.

Most of these sanctuaries are in the core of the Tartessian world, but
there are also many in the periphery (as distant as modern Portugal). One
of these peripheral sanctuaries is the extraordinary site of Cancho Roano
(Reddish Rockin Spanish), which functioned from the end of the seventh
century B.C. to the end of the fifth century B.C.

The building and its altar were clearly influenced by elements from the
eastern Mediterranean. For example, the circle-and-triangle altar resembles
the Phoenician-Punic symbol for the goddess Tanit; but it also resembles
the Egyptian hieroglyph for eternity,as co-author Sebastián Celestino has
recently suggested. Although the altar appears to fuse Tartessian,
Phoenician and other elements, we do not yet know their meaning or exact

For some unknown reason, Sanctuary C was deliberately demolished toward the
end of the sixth century B.C. and its mudbricks were re-used to construct
the platform of a new building, Sanctuary B, which remains beautifully

Like its predecessor, the Sanctuary B altar was made of mudbrick covered
with white plaster. But it was constructed in the shape of a stretched-out
oxhidethe same shape as the so-called oxhide ingots of copper and tin that
were a major cargo on Phoenician vessels that plied the Mediterranean.

Like Sanctuary C, Sanctuary B was intentionally destroyed (at the beginning
of the fifth century), which explains why almost no small finds were
discovered in either of these strata: Everything was cleared out before the
sanctuaries were destroyed.

Click for caption.

Not long after the destruction of Sanctuary B, the inhabitants of Cancho
Roano built the impressive Sanctuary A, which turned out to be the last
sanctuary built on the site.

The entire complex was surrounded by a defensive moat.

The moat, which is over 15 feet deep in places, was dug out of bedrock. We
have found a great deal of local pottery in the moat. Surprisingly, we have
also found skeletons of what at first appeared to be horses or donkeys.
Later analysis showed that these were the bones of a now-extinct equid not
known anywhere else in the world  one smaller than a horse but taller than
a donkey or a pony. Study of the bones revealed that the animals had not
been used for hard labor or transportation. Stranger still, they were all
beheaded and buried in the western moat  the bones of their bodies at one
end of the moat and their skulls at the other. We have found nearly 30 of
these creatures. Were they sacred animals? Did worshipers mount them for
ritual processions? Did they have some other cultic function?

Visitors to Sanctuary A would have crossed the moat on a bridge, which
allowed them access to a monumental gateway. They would then step from the
bridge onto two steps, made of stone slabs. One of these stone slabs was a
stela showing a warrior and his armor; this stela was reused from Sanctuary
D, establishing a continuity between the oldest and newest structures on
the site.

We have found beautifully crafted rings, pendants and gold beads with
filigree decoration. We have also found bronze objects (including a
beautiful infundibulum, or strainer, in the shape of a ram) and Greek
ceramic vessels, which seem to have been related to the ritual consumption
of wine. Other finds include perfume flasks, Egyptian scarabs and ivory
furniture panels. A set of scales with metal pans indicates the economic
importance of the sanctuary and the commercial control it must have exercised.
One especially intriguing find from a perimeter room on the west side is an
8-inch-long bronze horse (opposite) of Tartessian type, showing a mixture
of indigenous and eastern Mediterranean elements (probably transported to
the western Mediterranean by the Phoenicians). Although the horse was very
likely manufactured locally, some of its features  such as the way in which
its parts were assembled and the decoration of the harness resemble Cypriot

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