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Archaeologists May Have Found Tomb of Prophet Zechariah

February 5, 2011 Comments off

Archaeologists in Israel believe they may have stumbled upon the tomb of the biblical Prophet Zechariah in a newly discovered church.

The church, which is more than 1,300 years old, contains massive marble columns as well as exquisite mosaics, the Israel Antiquities Authority said in a statement.

Archaeologists believe that the church, uncovered in Hirbet Madras in central Israel, is the location marked on the Madaba Map as the tomb of Zechariah, according to Haaertz.

Israeli Archaeologist with the Israeli Antiquity Authority Amir Ganor, shows a Byzantine period church decorated with an impressive mosaic floor after it was discovered following excavations. 

Menahem Kahana, AFP / Getty Images
Israeli archaeologist Amir Ganor shows the mosaic floor of a Byzantine-period church, which was discovered following excavations in Hirbet Madras, near the Israeli town of Beit Shemesh, on Wednesday. Some scholars believe it may be the residence and tomb of the Prophet Zechariah.

The Madaba map is an ancient mosaic map of the region that includes modern Israel. It was found in a sixth-century church in Jordan.

“The researchers believe that in light of an analysis of the Christian sources, including the Madaba Map, the church at Hirbet Madras is a memorial church designed to mark the tomb of the prophet Zechariah,” the IAA said.

The agency stressed that this is just a theory and requires more research for confirmation.

“This issue will be examined and studied in the near future,” the IAA said.

Zechariah is believed to have lived around 500 B.C., according to the website of the Vatican Museums. The book of Zechariah speaks of the return of the Jews from exile in Babylon as well as the coming of the Messiah.

The archaeologists began excavating the site following a robbery there, Haaertz said. It was the first dig at the site, even though a piece of a doorway had been spotted poking out of the ground there in the 1980s.

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Months of diggings led to the church, which is about the size of a basketball court.

To the archaeologists’ surprise, they found that the church sits on what looks like a structure from the Roman era, as well as a large complex of caves and tunnels used by Jewish rebels fighting the Romans during the Bar Kokhba revolt of A.D. 132.

Besides the ancient church, archaeologists found coins, stone vessels, lamps and ancient pottery.

“There is no doubt the discovery is extraordinary and of great importance in terms of research, religion and tourism,” the IAA said, according to Agence France-Presse.

It Really Is a Small World

January 17, 2011 3 comments

There is a flood in Australia of biblical proportions though it must be said there is little news of it in the U.S. media. Much of Queensland is under water which would be comparable to saying that much of Massachusetts, Connecticut, and a large portion of New York is under water. Australia is very big.

If that news was not disturbing enough, on Tuesday, Krakatau volcano in Indonesia erupted, forcing the evacuation of tens of thousands in its vicinity as ash rained down on two large provinces. Meanwhile, the Kizimen volcano on Kamchatka is erupting as well.

England is passing through the worst winter in the last hundred years of recorded history. Its heavy investment in clean energy, specifically wind turbines, has turned out to be a bad idea since they tend not to turn much when the weather turns cold. Having shut down most of its coal mines, England is experiencing a lack of electrical power that is killing some folks.

No, it is not the Apocalypse, but it might as well be for people fleeing or trapped by these huge events.

No doubt some people are trying to organize efforts to save the kangaroos and koala bears in Australia while others are worrying about indigenous animals in Indonesia. If this sounds like they have idiotic priorities, they do. The same indifference Nature shows to these critters applies to you as well.

The anniversary of the Haiti earthquake, January 13, will occasion a flurry of articles and analysis of what has happened since (not much) but will fade by the weekend. Haiti hasn’t had a good day for centuries.

Meanwhile, snow has fallen in 49 of the U.S. States including Hawaii! It covered 69% of the lower 48. The northeast just experienced its second blizzard since Christmas.

Time to panic? Hardly.

So when should we panic? I would suggest a good time would be when we in America wake up and discover that the current administration has forced enough coal-burning utilities to shut down and there’s no electricity or just not enough to go around. Coal provides fifty percent of all of the electricity we use in the U.S.

We might begin to panic when we realize that the government remains steadfastly in the way of building more nuclear plants to generate electricity, despite its rhetoric stating the opposite.

Most Americans will begin to get angry when a gallon of gasoline hits $4 or more and will wonder why without wondering what happens when the U.S. government shuts down much of the drilling in the Gulf of Mexico by simply not issuing permits and forbids exploration or drilling off the long East and West coasts where billions of barrels of oil are believed to exist. Brazil is doing it. Why not us?

Oil is a global commodity which means that its price is determined by supply and demand. Right now, as China’s economy continues to surge and ours continues to stagnate, China is buying up as much oil as it can get its hands on. It is drilling for it off the coast of Cuba, a mere 90 miles from the tip of Florida.

Due to the floods in Australia, a major producer of coal, China is looking to purchase coal dug out of the mines in Appalachia, precisely where the Obama administration has done its best to shut down mines.

So, you see, it really is a small world after all.

The last great eruption of Krakatau actually lowered the temperature worldwide by throwing so much “schmutz” into the atmosphere it interfered with the Sun’s warming rays.

No matter where you live, it helps if the government doesn’t behave in a totally irrational and stupid way in the name of some bogus notion like global warming.

By the way, where is Al Gore these days? I hear China is experiencing some monster snow storms and it wouldn’t surprise me to hear he’s over there.

© Alan Caruba,