• December 22, 2009
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    Israeli archaeologists said Monday that they have uncovered remains of the first dwelling in the northern city of Nazareth that can be dated back to the time of Jesus.

    The find sheds a new light on what Nazareth might have been like in Jesus' time, said the archaeologists, indicating that it was probably a small hamlet with about 50 houses populated by poor Jews.

    The remains of a wall, a hideout and a cistern were found after builders dug up an old convent courtyard in the northern Israeli city, said archaeologist Yardenna Alexandre of the Israel Antiquities Authority.

    With Pictures, from Haaretz, 21, 2009

    Uncovering first Jesus-era house in Nazareth
  • July 01, 2009
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    Pope Benedict XVI said last night that bone fragments found inside the tomb of St Paul in Rome had been carbon dated for the first time, "confirming the unanimous and uncontested tradition that they are the mortal remains of the Apostle Paul".

    He said that archaeologists had inserted a probe into the white marble sarcophagus under the Basilica of St Paul's Outside the Walls which has been revered for centuries as the tomb of St Paul.

    Richard Owen in Rome, Times Online, June 29, 2009
    Basilica bones are St Paul's, Pope declares after carbon dating tests
  • April 22, 2009
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    The Palestinian Authority's Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities called on Canada to cancel an exhibition of Dead Sea Scrolls, which an official said were stolen by Israel from the West Bank, AFP reported on Sunday.

    "The exhibition would entail exhibiting or displaying artifacts removed from the Palestinian territories," said Hamdan Taha of the ministry's archaeological department, according to the Toronto Star Newspaper.

    Maan News, April 12, 2009
  • January 15, 2009
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    Braving the humid cold on January 1 in Nazareth, clergy and local Christians inaugurated the new route for visiting the sanctuary of the Annunciation in Nazareth.

    “People arriving at the sanctuary didn’t know where to go". There was no route and no indications. This year was a record year as to the number of tourists and pilgrims, while at the same time there was a certain confusion. The project was designed with Jaime Buhigas and Berta Grasset, both from Madrid. They were the architects for the project and are specialists in arranging sacred spaces.

    Custodia Web site, Jan 3, 2009
    Nazareth : a richer Experience of the Annunciation Sanctuary
  • October 31, 2008
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    Archaeologists in Israel said on Thursday they had unearthed the oldest Hebrew text ever found, while excavating a fortress city overlooking a valley where the Bible says David slew Goliath.

    The dig's uncovering of the past near the ancient battlefield in the Valley of Elah, now home to wineries and a satellite station, could have implications for the emotional debate over the future of Jerusalem, some 20 km (12 miles) away.

    By Ari Rabinovitch, Reuters, Oct 30, 2008
  • July 07, 2008
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    The premise that the Messiah died and was resurrected after three days is considered the foundation of the Christian faith, one which differentiates it from Judaism. Through the generations, this belief stood at the center of the debate between Christians and Jews. But now, a mysterious tablet from the time of the second temple has led researchers to believe that this premise of messianic resurrection is not unique to Christianity, but rather existed in Judaism years before Jesus was born.

    The tablet, which has been dubbed "Gabriel's vision" because much of its text deals with a vision of the apocalypse transmitted by the angel Gabriel, was discovered eight years ago, but a large part of it is illegible and researchers have had difficulty interpreting its meaning.

    By Ofri Ilani, Haaretz, July 7, 2008
    Dead Sea tablet suggests Jewish resurrection imagery pre-dates Jesus
  • May 08, 2007
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    Herod's tomb has been discovered near Jerusalem, Hebrew University's Ehud Netzer will announce today. The discovery of the grave at Herodium solves one of the great mysteries of archaeology in the Land of Israel.

    The Gospel of Matthew says Herod ordered the 'Massacre of the Innocents', the killing of all young male children in Jesus's birthplace of Bethlehem, out of fear he would lose his throne to a new "king of the Jews", whose birth had been related to him by the Magi.

    According to Matthew, Joseph and Mary fled with baby Jesus to Egypt to escape the slaughter.

    Amiram Barkat, Haaretz, May 8, 2007

    Researcher: We have found Herod's tomb
  • July 11, 2006
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    Prisoners are likely to be transferred from Megiddo Prison to make way for archaeologists and tourists, after the discovery of an ancient Christian prayer house - considered the oldest in the world - at the site last year.

    In the spring of next year, the first stage of a new plan will be implemented and the four-dunam area of the prayer house will be placed outside the prison boundaries and opened to the public.

    A plan to develop the site, which is in Wadi Ara, is shortly expected to be approved by the government.

    By Amiram Barkat, Haaretz, July 10, 2006

    Megiddo prisoners could be moved after Christian relics found on site