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Israel’s Top 5 Discoveries in 2017

Israel is known for it’s history and Biblical sites, but did you know that every day a new artifact or remnant of the past is revealed? This opens an opportunity to solve so many mysteries and affirm stories in the Bible. Here’s a list of Israel’s top 5 discoveries in 2017.

Lost Roman theater found near the Temple Mount’s Western WallCredit: Israel Antiquities Authority

Lost Roman theater found near the Temple Mount’s Western Wall

In 2017, one of the most important discoveries archaeologists unearthed in Israel was an ancient Roman theater that could shed light on the history of the city of Jerusalem. Located 20 feet underground, the 200 seat venue has been hiding for 1,700 years. Archaeologist believe that further excavations should find even older relics maybe even from the First Temple, destroyed in 587 BCE.

An artefact seen by Jesus Credit: Vladimir Naychin

An artefact seen by Jesus

Known as Solomon’s Porch, archaeologists found a section of one column that was part of the double colonnade that surrounded the Temple Mount plaza. This plaza is famously known as the place where Peter and John healed the blind man (Acts 3.11) and where Jesus would walk during Hanukkah (John 10.23).

12th Dead Sea Scrolls cave foundCredit: Casey L. Olson and Oren Gutfeld

12th Dead Sea Scrolls cave found

It’s been 60 years since the most recent Dead Sea Scrolls discovery. In 2017 archaeologists revealed a new Dead Sea Scrolls cave. The 12th cave contained storage jars, Neolithic flint tools, arrowheads and the big find was an unbroken jar with an empty scroll. The team that made the discovery believes the cave was looted and some of the scrolls found are making their way in the antiquity black market. Hundred of caves have not been revealed, so 2018 could bring many new surprises.

Pagan center discovered at Hippos/SussitaCredit: Dr. Michael Eisenberg

Pagan center discovered at Hippos/Sussita

The University of Haifa’s excavations at the Hippos (Sussita) site revealed a Roman theater and a public bathhouse thought to have been used to worship either the god Pan or Dionysus. Founded in 200 BCE, according to experts, this would be a great venue to worship and for believers to listen and watch priests commune with the gods.

Augustus temple altar at Caesarea

Augustus temple altar at Caesarea

One of the largest archaeological projects in Israel uncovered in 2017 was a base of an altar built in honor of Emperor Augustus and the goddess Roma. The structure was very similar to the architecture found in the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, which was built also by the Roman King Herod the Great approximately 2,000 years ago.

 

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