Animal skins with the openings (orifices) sealed have been used for over 5,000 years for the drawing of water, transportation of liquids (water, wine, milk, etc.) and for the “churning” of milk products.
In the lands the southeastern end of the Mediterranean Sea the period from early–May to mid–June is a transitional season from the wet winter months to the dry summer ones. At times the wind blows in from the desert (from the east), and not from the Mediterranean Sea (from the west—which is normal). At those times the humidity drops drastically and a fine dust that permeates everything fills the air. These dry dusty events are called a hamsin, a sirocco, or a sharav.
Under these conditions the green grass rapidly turns brown and the wild flowers die.
“The grass withers and the flowers fall,
because the breath of the LORD blows on them.
Surely the people are grass.
The grass withers and the flowers fall,
but the word of our God stands forever.”
Isaiah 40:7–8 (NIV)
The positive effect of these winds is that the hot dry weather aids the ripening of the grains by “setting” them before the harvest. It is during this season that first the barley and then the wheat harvest take place.
The Zondervan Atlas of the Bible, pp. 30–31
All the camera settings and filters were the same.
A similar transition takes place in September/October, but this is from the dry summer months to the wet winter months.
In a previous post I emphasized the importance of the synagogue that was found at Andriace (a port visited by Paul). In the remains of the synagogue a number of marble plaques were found. The excavator believes that the synagogue was located in the upper floor of the building and that the inscriptions/plaques fell from that floor to where they were found (commentary/data from the museum in Antalya).
This is one of several inscriptions/plaques that were found in the synagogue. It measures 2.9 x 1.4 ft. (87 x 44 cm.). Note in the main panel the seven branch candelabrum (menorah) that is standing upon a tripod (two legs are visible)—these are typical symbols of Judaism during this period (compare the capital found at Capernaum in Israel). On the lower right is a shofar (ram’s horn) and to the lower left an etrog and a lulav (symbols associated with the feast of Succoth [tabernacles]) are visible. Some have suggested that the two “curls” just below where the seven branches join the xxx are Torah Scrolls. The excavators believe they have discovered a mate to this plaque (with a completion of this inscription, but only partially preserved in its upper portion; see Çevik et al. below).
Note the second, smaller, menorah (seven branch candelabrum), on a tripod and a shofar (ram’s horn) and a lulav (associated with the feast of Succoth) in this upper portion of the larger plaque. The excavators believe that a similar, partially preserved, plaque was placed next to this one, and on this mate, this inscription is completed.
The excavators suggest a translation of the combination of both plaques follows:
‘Offering of Makedonios, son of Roman[os], and his [Makedonios'] wife
Prokle and their parents Romanos and Theodote.
(May there be) pea[ce] onto all Israel! Amen! Shalom.’ [Çevik, p. 346]
[Bracket] = estimated missing text and underline portions are from the second plaque/panel (pictured in the article noted below, p. 363).
Nevzat Çevik, Özgü Çomezoglu, Hüseyin Sami Öztürk, and Inci Türkoglu, “A Unique Discovery in Lycia: The Ancient Synagogue at Andriake, Port of Myra.” Adalya XIII (2010), 335–66.
All images were photographed in the Museum in Antalya
(within their photographic guidelines).
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Andriace (also Andriake) is a port city located on the southern coast of Turkey in an area known in ancient times as Lycia. Andriace served as the port of Myra that is located 3 mi. [5 km.] to the northeast. It evidently was a major point for the trans–shipment grain.
The grain came from the plain near Myra, and possibly from cargo ships, bringing it from Egypt. From Andriace it was shipped to Rome or to other parts of the Roman Empire.
Although not mentioned specifically in the Bible, the apostle Paul probably changed ships in Andriace in A.D. 60 on his way to Rome after he had appealed to have his case tried before Caesar. Acts 27:5–6 describes this portion of his trip from Caesarea to Rome in this way: “when we had sailed across the open sea off the coast of Cilicia and Pamphylia, we landed at Myra in Lycia. There the centurion found an Alexandrian ship sailing for Italy and put us on board.” Much of this must have transpired in Andriace, the port of Myra.
View looking south at the recently (2009) discovered “synagogue” at Andriace. On the left (east) side of the image, behind the people, Hadrian’s granary is visible.
The “apse” of the synagogue appears to be facing south—approximately towards Jerusalem—which is southeast of Andriace. The proximity of this structure to the granary is also interesting.
Fifteen images of Andriace are available by Clicking Here.
A report on the excavations and inscriptions at Andriace can be found in Nevzat Çevik, Özgü Çomezoglu, Hüseyin Sami Öztürk, and Inci Türkoglu, “A Unique Discovery in Lycia: The Ancient Synagogue at Andriake, Port of Myra.” Adalya XIII (2010), 335–66.
There is an interesting article in The Atlantic entitled “The Biblical Pseudo–Archeologists Pillaging the West Bank” by Dylan Bergeson. The article features the views of Raphael Greenberg who is critical of “biblical archaeology” as well as the “Archaeology Department of the Civil Administration.” Scattered throughout the article are references to Randall Price—and less prominently to Vendyl Jones.
What I found particularly interesting was the role of Hananya Hizmi who is the “Staff Office for Archaeology” for the “Archaeology Department of the Civil Administration” of the West Bank/Occupied Territories/Judea and Samaria. The article implies that he has almost complete control over the issuing of licenses to dig in this area as well as control over the artifacts that are found in the excavations. The article is not written from a bias-free perspective and is long, but I thought others might find it interesting.