вторник, 31 декабря 2019 г.

Phoenician family tomb discovered in Israel

Archaeologists have discovered the remains of an entire Phoenician family buried together in a tomb in Achziv, an ancient population center on the Mediterranean coast near the northern city Nahariya.

Phoenician family tomb discovered in Israel
Cypriot and Phoenician pottery, bronze bowl, necklace found in the Phoenician grave at Achziv
[Credit: Valdimir Neikhin]

In 2017, a joint team from Jerusalem’s Hebrew Union College and France’s Lyon University uncovered the bodies of a man, woman and small child in an approximately 2,800-year old cist-grave, a burial site surrounded by rocks and covered with stone slabs, the Haaretz daily reported Tuesday. The child was between three and five years old.

Phoenician family tomb discovered in Israel
Cist grave at Achziv in which the remains of a nuclear family were found
[Credit: Shimon Barzilay]
According to the archaeological team that excavated the tomb, items found buried with the family seem to indicate that they belonged to the city’s upper class. While several other such graves have been uncovered in Achziv over the years, never before has an entire family group been discovered.

Phoenician family tomb discovered in Israel
The figurine of the bathing woman was buried in a Phoenician grave
in the 8th or 7th century BC [Credit: Israel Museum]

The coast around Achziv was the heartland of the Phoenicians, seafaring traders who founded a string of city-states from modern-day Beirut south to Haifa and who are remembered for playing a key role in the spread of written language.

Phoenician family tomb discovered in Israel
Phoenician mask (left) and mask mould (right)
[Credit: Valdimir Neikhin]
Achziv was an important port city during the Bronze and Iron ages and was razed and reconstructed several times. It was mentioned in the Bible as part of the territory allotted to the tribe of Asher but the Israelites were recorded as having failed to conquer the key city.

Phoenician family tomb discovered in Israel
Phoenician jug with strainer [Credit: Valdimir Neikhin]
Archaeologists have been excavating the site since the period of the British Mandate, revealing burial masks, pottery and other artifacts.

One figurine of a woman bathing on display at the Israel Museum, discovered in the 1940s and dating back some 2,700 years, has been described as highly evocative of daily life during Biblical times.

Source: Times of Israel [December 25, 2019]

* This article was originally published here

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