Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Archaeologist, beware!

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Now that you are fortified with yesterday's post's pomegranate juice, let us get back to a weightier subject for today's Taphophile Tragics.

"The Kidron Valley is the boundary between the living . . . and the dead . . ."
So begins the City of David's sign perched on the side of the valley.
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Kindly click on the photo to read about Jerusalem's cemetery from 2,000 years ago.

The photo above can be enlarged too, so you can see the ancient inscription found in the burial cave.
The inscription, discovered in 1874, may relate to the Prophet Isaiah's words (22:16).

It says
This is [the grave of ] [... iahu] who is over the house. There is no silver or gold here, but [his bones (i.e. the deceased's)] and the bones of his maid servant with him.
Cursed be the man who will open this.
The City of David interpretation suggests this may refer to the royal overseer at the court of King Hezekiah, Shebna, whom Isaiah castigated for carving himself an opulent tomb in Jerusalem.

In this zoom shot you can make out at least five of these tomb entrances in between the houses in the Arab village of Silwan.
With a click on the photo and then another click, you should see some kids tending their goats.

Just to the left of Silwan begins the huge Mt. of Olives cemetery.
Jews have been, and continue to be, buried there for thousands of years.
The rows of graves stretch from the Kidron all the way up to the top of the mountain.
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(Isaiah, inscription, interpretation, and interment are all "I" words for today's ABC Wednesday meme.)
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19 comments:

VP said...

A very interesting place, a bit dilapidated, but still fascinating...

Dina said...

VP, I was hoping you couldn't spot the garbage around the tombs (and surely inside too).

Roger Owen Green said...

important to maintain some sense of history
ROG, ABC Wednesday team

chubskulit said...

Interesting facts, I love your sharing every week.

Instrument
Rose, ABC Wednesday Team

Nicola Carpenter said...

What an amazing place. Thanks for sharing.

Adullamite said...

That's really interesting. More please!

Julie said...

'The entrance ways were carved meticulously ...' - golly that is hard to credit nowadays. What a blasted place that now appears to be. Good that goats can fossick and find a meagre meal amongst the ruins. The cemetery must be absolutely massive, Dina. And crowded ...

Wonderful stuff. The information signs are easily recognisable and not that different to dozens of signs all around Sydney.

Mark said...

fascinating post Dina.

Kate said...

A far more ancient site than any here in Minnesota! Lots of history and I enjoy your educational posts. Kate, ABC Team

SH -ic said...

thanks ..***
sometimes I m so lazy .. writing so many comments by so many readers .. pleas apolpgize me .. often I just do ****---will that be ok for you,,..here is autum coming

Rob Mandy said...

Once the archeo-virus gets you....

Karl Demetz said...

Very interesting post, Dina. Many thanks for sharing, I see, I have much to learn.

Dina said...

SH-ic, I think your ***** is a 5-star comment, much appreciated.
If I had to write comments in German it would take me all day.
Thanks for visiting.

'Tsuki said...

Interesting.

Birdman said...

Wow! Amazing! Talk about Indiana Jones...

crystal said...

interesting photos! The tiny goats :)

Ann said...

So much history in such a small area. You've reminded me that I have a very old shot of the Mount of Olives cemetery in my taphophile archives. Apologies for not visiting lately, combination of difficultly accessing blogger from work and family problems.

Gemma Wiseman said...

Amazing crowding of graves on the Mount of Olives! I am surprised just how close homes are here too! Could this possibly be the oldest, ongoing cemetery in the world?

Dina said...

Gemma, that's a good question. Hmm...
I'd have to do some research.