[b-hebrew] Possible archeological find in Israel

Yigal Levin leviny1 at mail.biu.ac.il
Wed Aug 18 18:25:42 EDT 2004

Ther has been a lot of discussion of this on other lists. The general
concensus seems to be that it's either a late (Byzantine Era) tradition, or
just good PR for the excavator.


----- Original Message -----
Subject: [b-hebrew] Possible archeological find in Israel

> Reported by today's Israel Line
> Cave Possibly Used by John the Baptist Found
> Archaeologists announced on Monday that they had found a cave in the
Judean Hills leading to the oldest baptismal site discovered to date - a
huge water cistern decorated with evocative wall carvings where they believe
John the Baptist anointed many disciples, HA'ARETZ reported. During a tour
of the cave at Kibbutz Tzuba, south of Jerusalem, archaeologists presented
the ancient wall decorations, as well as a stone they believe was used for
ceremonial foot washing. They also reported sifting about 250,000 pottery
shards from the cave, the apparent remnants of small water jugs used in
baptismal ritual. The oldest shards are from the mid-second century B.C.E.
> "The site we've uncovered is seemingly the connecting link between Jewish
and Christian baptism," said British archaeologist Shimon Gibson, who heads
the private Jerusalem Archaeological Field Unit and supervised the dig.
However, others said there was no actual proof that John the Baptist ever
set foot in the cave, located about four kilometers from Jerusalem's Ein
Kerem neighborhood, birthplace of the preacher and the site where, Christian
tradition holds, he baptized Jesus. The discovery, if confirmed, would be
among the most significant breakthroughs for biblical scholars in memory.
> _______________________________________________

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