Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Exciting emergency excavation

Just in time for ABC Wednesday E-day, an emergency (i.e. salvage) excavation in Emek Yizrael (the Jezreel Valley) has unearthed an exciting find!

Photo: Israel Antiquities Authority

A marble statue of Hercules from the 2nd century C.E.!
He is leaning on a club to his left, on the upper part of which hangs the skin of the Nemean lion which according to Greek mythology Hercules slew as the first of his twelve labors.
As you can guess, it is from a Roman bathhouse.
Benches were found on two sides of the pool, which had a sophisticated pumping system to fill it with water.
More details and a link to high resolution photos at the IAA press release.
I hope they find his head.


Anonymous said...

Amazing how things this long abandoned can suddenly be found.

I am always wondering why or how things sink into the ground when they are left laying on the ground.

The bottom of the new chain link fence was on top of the ground or about 2 inches from it and the last time I looked the bottom 2 or 3 inches in buried in the ground making the fence about the ground 2 or 3 inches shorter.

Either they sink or new ground falls on them from the Heavens and buries them.

Do you know which it is?

Dina said...

Abraham shalom. Well, I guess in America both ways you mention would be happening. But here in the Middle East a house or a whole town could be destroyed in war and ploughed under.
Or a house or town could be demolished and filled in, in order to build something new on top.
If this happened many times over the centuries, you'd get strata of civilizations one on top of the other.

It doesn't say how far down they found Hercules. But the press release of the Antiquities Authority says,
"After the pool was no longer being used it was filled in with a layer of earth that contained numerous potsherds, an abundance of broken glass vessels and the marble fragment of the statue of Hercules. The complex that was discovered apparently underwent a number of changes and it is dated to the Roman and Byzantine periods, until the beginning of the Early Islamic period."

Roger Owen Green said...

History is mostly what we can still find. Interesting stuff.
ROG, ABC Wednesday team

Gigi Ann said...

How interesting, I enjoyed the comments between you and Abe, as much as your post. Great entry for E Day.

crystal said...

I think often stuff was filled in and new stuff built over the old, as Dina says. I was just reading about the Domus Aurea in Rome, which is now mostly underground.

I like Hercules - hope they find his head :)

Anonymous said...

Wow always is an interesting experience to unearth histories and make histories !!

Pheno, ABCW Team

chubskulit said...

Wow, very exquisite.

Epcot's Spaceship Earth, please come and see.

Kay said...

How exciting! I can just imagine how ecstatic the discoverers were. Wow!

Shooting Parrots said...

An exciting find. It always amazes me that someone decided that it was easier to bury such a beautiful object than rescue it!

Greensboro Daily Photo said...

Well, you've answered all of my questions in your response to Abe! Just can't fathom layers upon layers upon layers of civilization all hiding from view!

Dina said...

Shooting Parrots, shalom. You have to remember that the monotheists (of any of the 3 Abrahamic faiths)who came to build at that (or any other) site after the Romans finally left Israel--they would be anxious to get rid of the statues of pagan gods.
Many of the literally de-faced statues or faces of people in frescoes are results of the same such reactions.

Reader Wil said...

Such a find is always exciting and very interesting. The soil in the Netherlands is very soft and wet, but still every now and then they'll find some reminders of the Romans like coins and potsherds, especially when tunnels are being bored.

VP said...

My archangel is younger but in better shape! A very exciting find, and it was near two benches!

Francisca said...

Yes, an exciting find, for sure! I've not yet read the article, but I wonder how they know the statue is Hercules. I'd sure like to know what they use to put the broken pieces of Hercules back together. In our move, a very fine marble sculpture we have cracked in two and we are not sure how to fix it at least for our own enjoyment - as a piece of art it's probably worthless now... :-(

Dina said...

VP, whaddaya mean your St. Michael is in better shape than my Hercules?! Look at Hercules' bulging muscles.
Oh sorry, you must mean your statue has a head and limbs. Well, yeah, OK.

I almost wrote in my text "Sorry VP, no photos of the benches available."

Francisca, the skin of the Nemean lion he is holding identifies him as Hercules (IF you can indentify that as a lion skin).
Sorry, I have no idea how to "glue" marble.

Cassy said...

I know nothing about this thing however upon reading on previous first comments, i then realized that it's about history....

God bless

Cassy from Beginner Free Guitar Lessons

Petrea Burchard said...

This is very exciting, Dina!

spacedlaw said...

Lovely! (although I'd much rather see its backside)

JM said...

What a pity I can't see the photo...