Some Things Forgotten: Israel’s Largest Underground Water Source; The World’s Oldest Museum

Nabonidus Praying to the Sun (British Museum)

Haven’t had time to post so much during the semester, so I am trying to make up for it. Here are some things that have happened in the past week or so…

Israel’s largest underground water source discovered near Jerusalem convention center

Excavation work by Israel Railways while working on high speed Jerusalem-Tel Aviv train line reveals cave with largest underground water sources ever discovered in Israel.

By Zafrir Rinat

A cave discovered during excavation work by Israel Railways in Jerusalem contains the largest and most impressive underground water sources ever discovered in Israel, scholars say.

The cave was discovered near the International Convention Center in the capital during construction work on a station for the future high speed Jerusalem-Tel Aviv train line. Builders came across it while digging a service shaft at a depth of 75 meters – five meters from the planned bottom of the shaft. [See rest here…]

Story in the world’s oldest museum. This king who created the museum has a distinct connection with the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Hebrew Bible. The museum is said to have belonged to a certain Nabonidus. It is thought that Danielic tradition regarding the transformation of Nebuchadnezzar preserved in Daniel 4 to be based on a story regarding Nabonidus. The so-called Prayer of Nabonidus shows the king stricken with a severe inflammation and in need of a Jewish exorcist (גזר והוא יהודי; See 4Q424 f1 3:1-4:4).

The story behind the world’s oldest museum, built by a Babylonian princess 2,500 years ago

Alasdair Wilkins — In 1925, archaeologist Leonard Woolley discovered a curious collection of artifacts while excavating a Babylonian palace. They were from many different times and places, and yet they were neatly organized and even labeled. Woolley had discovered the world’s first museum.

It’s easy to forget that ancient peoples also studied history – Babylonians who lived 2,500 years ago were able to look back on millennia of previous human experience. That’s part of what makes the museum of Princess Ennigaldi so remarkable. Her collection contained wonders and artifacts as ancient to her as the fall of the Roman Empire is to us. But it’s also a grim symbol of a dying civilization consumed by its own vast history [See rest here…]

HT: J. Lauer

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