Today only (and maybe also May 7 am?) at Eisenbrauns:

Excavations at Capernaum, Volume 1: 1978-1982, edited by V. Tzaferis, Eisenbrauns, 1989.

List Price: $99.50

Your Price: $39.80

You save: $59.70 (60%)

This is the first of the final reports on the excavations conducted by Israel’s Department of Antiquities and Museums, the Greek Orthodox Church, Notre Dame University, Averett College and Southwest Missouri State University at the site owned by the capernaum_book Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem. The first five seasons have yielded not only much ceramic and numismatic material, but also a rather satisfactory stratigraphic sequence, providing a continuity of some 400 years, from the early 7th century to the early 11th century A.D. The findings are illustrated by eight full-color plates and 14 foldout plans.

These findings are of special importance for their contributions to Late Byzantine and Early Arab pottery, and Umayyad gold coins and for the new light they shed on literary evidence pertaining to Capernaum.


A portion of an ancient papyrus scroll has been recovered from two Palestinian thieves in Jerusalem yesterday.  Haaretz reports:

The rare historical document, handwritten in Hebrew on papyrus paper and estimated to be more than 2,000 years old, is a bill surrendering property rights. The document was written by a widow named Miryam Ben Yaakov, and hails from a period in which the people of Israel were exiled from the area and very few Jews remained.
The scroll also, unusually, clearly indicates a precise date on the first line: “Year 4 to the destruction of Israel”. The intention is, presumably, either to the year 74 C.E. (the year when the Second Temple was destroyed during the Great Revolt) or to 138 A.D. (the annihilation of the Jewish settlement following the Bar Kokhva revolt).
The Israel Antiquities Authority said on Wednesday that the scroll was an “exceptional archeological document, of the like but a few exist,” adding that similar scrolls had been sold worldwide for sums as high as $5-$10 million.

The story is also covered by the Associated Press, the Jerusalem Post, and Arutz-7.  The Israel Antiquities Authority press release is here, and separately you may download a high-resolution image of the document.

HT: Joe Lauer


From FOXNews.com:

Weathering — wind and water, freezing and thawing — takes its toll, and longer-term changes caused by volcanic activity and sliding crustal plates, known as tectonic activity, fold today’s ground into tomorrow’s interior.
The constant makeover of the planet is typically fastest in the mountains, slower in the tectonically inactive deserts.
But a new study of ancient “desert pavement” in Israel’s Negev Desert finds a vast region that’s been sitting there exposed, pretty much as-is, for about 1.8 million years, according to Ari Matmon and colleagues at Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
It is the oldest known vast expanse of surface area. In fact it is more than four times older than the confirmed next oldest desert pavement, in Nevada, according to an article at the web site of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

The scientific report is in the current issue of GSA Bulletin.  The FoxNews article does not give any indication of where in the desert this “pavement” is located, but it does include a couple of photographs.