Category Archives: Middle East News

Middle East News

Turkey Starts Building ‘Security Wall’ On Iran Border

Turkey has begun building a Turkey-Iran border wall similar to the one on the Turkey-Syria border.   Ankara said the step is necessary to increase security measures at the border.

Tehran welcomed the move. “We welcome all kinds of actions that will increase security and stability at the border. We are in favour of deeper bilateral dialogue to increase coordination in this regard. Border security is important for both Iran and Turkey and the necessary efforts should be made by both countries,” Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi was quoted as saying by a local daily shortly after Turkey’s announcement in May 2017. IBT

Iran Border

Turkey has begun building a “security wall” along part of its border with Iran, regional officials said Tuesday, in a move aimed at stopping Kurdish separatists.

Pictures showing huge concrete blocks being moved into place were published on the governor’s website for the eastern Agri province.

Turkish authorities announced construction of a 144-kilometer (80-mile) long barrier in May as a means of blocking cross-border movements by members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). The entire Turkish-Iranian frontier is around 500 kilometers long.

Syrian Border

To beef up security on its Syrian border, Turkey began constructing a similar wall two years ago to prevent Islamic State group fighters moving easily between the two countries and to clamp down on illegal crossings.

In June, Turkish Defense Minister Fikri Isik said 690 kilometers out of a planned 828 kilometers of the wall had been completed along the frontier with Syria.

He added that further border security measures would be put in place once the construction had been completed. TimesOfIsrael

Ancient Stone Workshop Uncovered Near Site Where Jesus Turned Water Into Wine

On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Now both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding. John 2:1-2

Now there were set there six waterpots of stone, according to the manner of purification of the Jews, containing twenty or thirty gallons apiece. Jesus said to them, “Fill the waterpots with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. John 2: 6-7

Israeli archaeologists have uncovered a rare 2,000-year-old stone quarry and workshop located near the ancient Galilean town of Cana, which is recorded in the Christian Gospels as the place where Jesus turned water into wine.JNS

The quarry for producing chalkstone containers dating back to the Roman era is currently being excavated at Reina in Lower Galilee, by the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA). In this small cave archaeologists have uncovered thousands of chalkstone vessels such as mugs and bowls in varying stages of production.

The IAA director of the excavations, Dr Yonatan Adler, said: ‘In ancient times, most tableware, cooking pots and storage jars were made of pottery. In the first century of the Common Era, however, Jews throughout Judea and Galilee also used tableware and storage vessels made of soft, local chalkstone’.  ChristianToday

Archaeological excavations inside the ancient workshop at Reina in Lower Galilee. (Samuel Magal/IAA)

Cave – Quarry Workshop

What is rare, however, is to find a production center for such vessels. The four locations uncovered to date in Israel — two near Jerusalem, this one in Reina, and a fourth site found recently in its vicinity which is currently under excavation — highlight “the pivotal role of ritual purity observance not only in Jerusalem but in far-off Galilee as well,” said Adler.

The small cave in Reina was uncovered during the construction of a municipal sports center. So far archaeologists have unearthed thousands of pieces of chalkstone that were scooped out from the inside of cups and bowls as they were formed, and other types of production waste, including fragments of stone mugs and bowls in various stages of production, according to the Israel Antiquities Authority. TimesofIsrael

Stone vessels unearthed inside the ancient Galilee workshop. Images Source IAA

Stone Vessels Quarry Workshop

The quarry for producing chalkstone containers dating back to the Roman era is currently being excavated at Reina in Lower Galilee, by the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA). In this small cave archaeologists have uncovered thousands of chalkstone vessels such as mugs and bowls in varying stages of production.

The IAA director of the excavations, Dr Yonatan Adler, said: ‘In ancient times, most tableware, cooking pots and storage jars were made of pottery. In the first century of the Common Era, however, Jews throughout Judea and Galilee also used tableware and storage vessels made of soft, local chalkstone’.

The choice of chalkstone was apparently a religious one, centered on the idea of Jewish ritual purity. Adler said: ‘According to ancient Jewish ritual law, vessels made of pottery are easily made impure and must be broken. Stone, on the other hand, was thought to be a material which can never become ritually impure, and as a result ancient Jews began to produce some of their everyday tableware from stone.

‘Although chalkstone vessels are well known at many Jewish sites throughout the country, it is extremely unusual to uncover a site where such vessels where actually produced.’

He added: ‘Our excavations are highlighting the pivotal role of ritual purity observance not only in Jerusalem but in far-off Galilee as well’.

The use of stone vessels is noted across historical sources from the era, not least the Gospel of John. In the story of the wedding at Cana, where Christ famously turned water into wine, John writes: ‘Now there were six stone water jars set there for the Jewish custom of purification, containing 20 or 20 gallons each’ (John 2:6).  ChristianToday

Video:  Excavations in Galilee Reveal a 2,000 Year-Old Stone Vessel Production Center

Roman City That Was Home To Jesus’s Apostles Has Been Found In Israel, Archaeologists Say

Philip, like Andrew and Peter, was from the town of Bethsaida.   John 1:44

They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, with a request. “Sir,” they said, “we would like to see Jesus.”   John 12:21

Archaeologists say they have discovered a lost Roman city that was home to three of Jesus’s apostles—Peter, Andrew and Philip—on the shore of the Sea of Galilee in northern Israel.

The Israeli researchers’ claim centers on the discovery of remains from a Roman-style bathhouse in the Bethsaida Valley Nature Reserve, which is said to be the former location of the lost Roman city of Julias.  JNSMap Source:  Daily Mail UK

A team found a Roman-style bathhouse on the north shore of the Sea of Galilee in Israel that could be a remnant of Julias, the city that Peter, Andrew and Philip called home, Haaretz reported.

The bathhouse, uncovered at a site called el-Araj in the Bethsaida nature reserve, suggests that there was once a city in that location, as opposed to just a fishing village, which backs up information from the first-century Jewish historian Josephus Flavius — he wrote that the Jewish monarch King Philip Herod, son of Herod the Great, turned the Bethsaida fishing village into a Roman city.  IBTimes

The lost Roman city of Julias, home of three apostles of Jesus. Zachary Wong

Josephus Flavius – Bethsaida

None other than the Jewish historian Josephus Flavius – in fact the only source describing this city’s existence – wrote that the Jewish monarch King Philip Herod, son of the great vassal King Herod, transformed Bethsaida, which had been a Jewish fishing village, into a real Roman polis (Ant. 18:28. Though whether it was built on Bethsaida, or by it, remains unknown.)

Philip flatteringly renamed the city “Julias” after Livia Drusilla, who after marriage would become known as Julia Augusta, the mother of the Roman Emperor Tiberius.

“Josephus reported that the king had upgraded Bethsaida from a village into a polis, a proper city,” Aviam says meticulously. “He didn’t say it had been built on or beside or underneath it. And indeed, all this time, we have not known where it was. But the bathhouse attests to the existence of urban culture.”

Josephus himself would take over fortifying Bethsaida’s defenses (as reported by himself) ahead of the Great Jewish Revolt against Rome that began in 67 C.E., and would end in disaster for the Jews in 70 C.E.  Josephus himself claims to have been hurt in battle in the swamp near Julias (Life 399-403). Haaretz

Pottery shards and a mosaic were also found at the site.  The Roman layer was discovered is 211 meters (about 700 feet) below sea level.

A Roman bathhouse with mosaic fragments.Zachary Wong

What the archaeologists found at el-Araj is an older layer dating from the late Roman period, the 1st to 3rd centuries C.E., two meters below the Byzantine level. That Roman layer contained pottery sherds from the 1st to the 3rd centuries B.C.E., a mosaic, and the remains of the bathhouse. Two coins were found, a bronze coin from the late 2nd century and a silver denarius featuring the Emperor Nero from the year 65-66 C.E.

And has a major missing church been found too? The excavators found walls with gilded glass tesserae for a mosaic, an indication of a wealthy and important church. Willibald, the bishop of Eichstätt in Bavaria, visited the Holy Land in 725 C.E., and in his itinerary, he describes his visit to a church at Bethsaida that was built over the house of Peter and Andrew. It may well be that the current excavations have unearthed evidence for that church, say the archaeologists. Haaretz

Online:  Haaretz – The Lost Home of Jesus’ Apostles Has Just Been Found, Archaeologists Say

Russia Military In Southern Syria Near Israel’s Border

Russia is deploying troops to southern Syria, near the Israeli border, Ynet reports citing reports in Arabic-language media.

According to the Lebanese-based Al Mayadeen news channel, Russia is building a military base in the area of Quneitra and Dara’a, on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights. TimesOfIsrael

Russian military forces have replaced the Syrian regime’s military presence in Daraa and Quneitra in southern Syria, and have built a base in the area, Syrian opposition sources reported this week.

The move indicates that Russia intends to create a more permanent military presence near Israel’s northern border, and comes after the implementation of a Syrian cease-fire agreement brokered by the U.S. and Russia in July.

The Lebanon-based and Hezbollah-affiliated Al Mayadeen media network corroborated the reports, stating that Russian forces have been deployed in the region and are stationed in military posts shared with Syrian army units.

The Syrian army’s 4th division auxiliary force is the only regime unit due for complete withdrawal from southern Syria, while other Syrian military units will remain there, Al Mayadeen reported. Further, the Lebanese media outlet said Russia has built a military base between the city of Damascus and the suburb of Daraa.

Israeli officials remain concerned regarding the presence of the Syrian army as well as Hezbollah and Iranian forces in southern Syria. In July, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the cease-fire brokered by the U.S. and Russia perpetuates the presence of Iranian forces near Israel. America and Russia responded to Netanyahu’s criticism by saying Israel’s interests would be taken into account in Syria.  JNS

Half Of All Foreign Aid To The Palestinian Authority Is Used As Payments To Prisoners, ‘Martyr’ Families

Half of foreign aid to the PA is used to fund terrorism.

The 2017 Palestinian Authority budget for payments to inmates in Israeli prisons and the so-called “families of martyrs” is equal to half of the foreign aid Ramallah expects to receive this year, a recently published Israeli report shows.

According to the PA Ministry of Finance’s 2017 budget, published on its website earlier in July, salaries to incarcerated and released Palestinian prisoners, many of which are convicted terrorists, will amount in 2017 to NIS 552 million ($153.4 million).

This is an increase of 13 percent over the 2016 budget, according to a report by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs published July 24.

The new budget also allocates $190,869,166 for payments to the so-called “martyr’s families,” a 9% jump from the $174,630,296 allocated in 2016.

The “martyrs’ families” are defined as those with members “killed or wounded in the struggle against Zionism,” which includes those killed while committing terror attacks against Israelis, or those killed in any other context by an Israeli.

The total allocated to Palestinian prisoners and ex-prisoners, as well as martyrs’ families, in the 2017 budget is 1,239,528,424 shekels ($344,313,451), equal to 49.6% of foreign aid Ramallah expects to receive in 2017. TimesOfIsrael

Biblical Canaanites DNA Linked To Modern-Day Lebanese

Genome sequenced from 3,700-year-old remains is found in modern-say Lebanese.  Modern-day Lebanese share 93% of their DNA with the ancient Canaanites.

In the first test, the researchers aimed to assess the ancestry of the ancient Canaanites and what they found was that ancient Canaanites shared a common ancestry with other ancient Levant civilizations including Phoenicians, Israelites, and Moabites. In the second test which aimed to identify the ancestry of modern Lebanese people, the DNA analysis showed that despite being separated by more than 3,700 years, the Lebanese genome shared as much as 93% of its composition with the genome drawn from the ancient Canaanites. Another interesting finding from the genetic analysis was that the Lebanese people have been isolated from other communities for thousands of years. WorldAtlas

Researchers supported by The Wellcome Trust were able to sequence the Canaanite genome from the remains of five individuals buried in the ancient port city of Sidon (modern Saïda, Lebanon) around 3,700 years ago. The results were compared against the DNA of 99 modern-day Lebanese residents.  NationalGeographic

Canaanite Secrets Unraveled

According to the Los Angeles Times, in the last 19 years, a team of archaeologists have been unraveling Canaanite secrets hidden for thousands of years at the Sidon excavation site situated in the Lebanon’s third largest city, Sidon. Archeologists have excavated 160 burial sites from this single excavation site from which they obtained numerous skeletons from the Bronze Era. Tests conducted on the skeletons show that they were over 3,700 years old. The skeletons from the necropolis are believed to be those of ancient Canaanites and this helped archaeologist to get a glimpse of their burial rituals where young children were buried in clay jars while adults were buried in the sand.

Canaanite individuals had been buried in large clay jars.

The Canaanites DNA

The Canaanites lived at the crossroads of the ancient world. They experienced wars, conquests and occupations for millennia, and as a result evolutionary geneticists expected that their DNA would become substantially mixed with incoming populations.

Astonishingly, new genetic analysis shows that scientists were wrong. According to a new study in the American Journal of Human Genetics, today’s Lebanese share a whopping 93% of their DNA with the ancient Canaanites.

The study also found that the Bronze Age inhabitants of Sidon, a major Canaanite city-state in modern-day Lebanon, have the same genetic profile as people living 300 to 800 years earlier in present-day Jordan.

Later known as Phoenicians, the Canaanites have a murky past. Nearly all of their own records have been destroyed over the centuries, so their history has been mostly pieced together from archaeological records and the writings of other ancient peoples. LATimes

The buried remains of a Canaanite adult whose DNA was sequenced in the study. (Claude Doumet-Serhal / The Sidon Excavation)

DNA

First, they investigated the genetic ancestry of the Canaanites themselves. They found that these Bronze Age inhabitants of Sidon shared about half their DNA with local Neolithic peoples and the other half with Chalcolithic Iranians. Interestingly, this genetic profile is nearly identical to the one evolutionary geneticist IosifLazaridis and his team found last year in Bronze Age villagers near ‘Ain Ghazal in modern-day Jordan.

This suggests that Canaanite-related ancestry was spread across a wide region during the Bronze Age and was shared between urban societies on the coast and farming societies further inland. This evidence supports the idea that different Levantine cultural groups such as the Moabites, Israelites, and Phoenicians may have had a common genetic background, the authors said.

The researchers were also able to determine that the genetic mixing of the Levantine and Iranian peoples happened between 6,600 and 3,550 years ago, a range they would be able to narrow down with more ancient DNA samples from the region…

As expected, they found some new additions to the modern Lebanese genome since the Bronze Age. About 7% of modern Lebanese DNA originates from eastern Steppe peoples found in what is now Russia, but wasn’t represented in the Bronze Age Canaanites or their ancestors. What surprised the team was what was missing from their genetic data.

“If you look at the history of Lebanon — after the Bronze Age, especially — it had a lot of conquests,” Haber said. He and Tyler-Smith expected to see greater genetic contributions from multiple conquering peoples, and were surprised that as much as 93% of the Lebanese genome is shared with their Canaanite predecessors.

Though a 7% genetic influx from the Steppe seems very small, that number might be covering some hidden complexities, said Lazaridis, who worked on the Bronze Age Jordanian samples but was not involved in the new study.

Not much is known about the migrations of these eastern Steppe populations, he said. If the genomes of the incoming people were only half Steppe, for example, 14% of the Lebanese genome could have come from the new migrants.  LATimes

Online:  LATimes – The DNA of ancient Canaanites lives on in modern-day Lebanese, genetic analysis shows

National Geographic – Living Descendants of Biblical Canaanites Identified Via DNA

Study:  Continuity and Admixture in the Last Five Millennia of Levantine History from Ancient Canaanite and Present-Day Lebanese Genome Sequences,” and published in the American Journal of Human Genetics.

Video:  The DNA Of Ancient Canaanites Lives On In Lebanese | Los Angeles Times

Media Trumpets That Bible Is Wrong
Oops, media wrong again.

After the death of Joshua, the Israelites asked the Lord, “Who of us is to go up first to fight against the Canaanites?” Judges 1:1

after a scientific study asserted that human remains dating to roughly 3,700 years ago from ancient Canaanites had DNA quite similar to Lebanese, many media outlets trumpeted that the Bible was wrong when it claimed the ancient Canaanites were completely destroyed.

David Klinghoffer, in Evolution Newslisted the plethora of media headlines emblazoned with the idea that the Bible was wrong:

  •  “Study disproves the Bible’s suggestion that the ancient Canaanites were wiped out” (The Telegraph)

  • “Bible says Canaanites were wiped out by Israelites but scientists just found their descendants living in Lebanon” (The Independent)

  • “Bronze Age DNA disproves the Bible’s claim that the Canaanites were wiped out: Study says their genes live on in modern-day Lebanese people” (Daily Mail)

  • “Scientists Find Evidence That Ancient Canaanites Survive Today: Was The Bible Wrong?” (Tech Times)

  • “New DNA study casts doubt on Bible claim” (Mother Nature Network)

  • “The Bible was WRONG: Civilisation God ordered to be KILLED still live and kicking” (Express)

  • “Genetic evidence suggests the Canaanites weren’t destroyed after all” (Ars Technica)

  • “Canaanites Weren’t Annihilated by Ancient Israelites After All” (Newser)

  • “Study disproves the Bible’s claim that the ancient Canaanites were wiped out” (Click Lancashire)

  • “Canaanites survived Biblical ‘slaughter’, ancient DNA shows”(ABC Online)

  • “DNA vs the Bible: Israelites did not wipe out the Canaanites” (Cosmos)

  • “The Bible got it wrong: Ancient Canaanites survived and their DNA lives in modern-day Lebanese” (Pulse Headlines)

As Klinghoffer continues:

The first chapter in Judges lists all the places in Israel where the Canaanites persisted, “to this day,” “for they did not drive them out,” “he dwelt among the Canaanites, the inhabitants of the land,” etc. God is not happy with this, for “they shall be as snares to you, and their gods shall be a trap to you” (2:3). From the Anchor Bible Dictionary, Vol. 1 (“Canaan”), “The persistence of Canaanites within Israelite territory was a theological problem variously addressed by biblical writers.”

Nor did Asher drive out those living in Akko or Sidon or Ahlab or Akzib or Helbah or Aphek or Rehob. Judges 1:31

Klinghoffer notes:  The ancient DNA evidence comprises the “complete genomes of five Canaanite individuals who lived almost 4,000 years ago in what’s now the modern-day Lebanese city of Sidon” (Science Daily). Interestingly, the Canaanites in that ancient city are among those that the Bible specifically says lived on (Judges 1:31) to cause serious trouble for the Israelites. DailyWire

Evidence Of Babylonian Destruction Of Jerusalem 2,600 Years Ago Unearthed In City Of David

He burned the house of the Lord, the king’s house and all the houses of Jerusalem; even every large house he burned with fire.  Jeremiah 52:13

New finds in the City of David confirm the veracity of the biblical account of the Babylonian capture and conquest of First Temple period Jerusalem. The event is commemorated next Tuesday on the Hebrew date Tisha B’av (August 1) in a day of fasting and mourning, Israeli experts said.

According to Israel Antiquities Authority archaeologist Dr. Joe Uziel, co-director of the current excavations at the City of David, findings discovered in the site’s eastern slope, including a row of 2,600-year-old rooms and their contents — all covered with visible layers of charcoal ash — aid in understanding the days leading up to and the act of the destruction.

Shattered jugs attesting to the destruction (Eliyahu Yanai/City of David Archive)

Within the collapsed rooms were uncovered rare artifacts, including a unique, apparently Egyptian, ivory statue of a nude woman, and smashed pottery jars with a rosette seal which was in royal use during the final decade before the fall of the First Temple, according to co-director Ortal Chalaf.

“These seals are characteristic of the end of the First Temple period and were used for the administrative system that developed towards the end of the Judean dynasty. Classifying objects facilitated controlling, overseeing, collecting, marketing and storing crop yields. The rosette, in essence, replaced the ‘For the King’ seal used in the earlier administrative system,” said Chalaf.

ivory statue in the image of a woman (Clare Amit, Israel Antiquities Authority)

Additionally, charred remains of wood, grape seeds, and fish scales and bones will be carbon dated by members of the interdisciplinary cooperative team of Israel Antiquities Authority archaeologists and Weizmann Institute scientists Elisabetta Boaretto and her postdoctoral fellow Johanna Regev, who were present at the dig site.

Researchers discovered dozens of jars used to store grains and liquids – many of which have stamped handles and rosette seals (Eliyahu Yanai/City of David Archive)

According to biblical descriptions, in 586 BCE, the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar vanquished the Judaean king Zedekiah and razed his capital city, Jerusalem. The Babylonian captain of the guard Nebuzaradan was dispatched into the city, where, as told in the Book of Jeremiah, he “burned the house of the Lord, and the king’s house; and all the houses of Jerusalem, even every great man’s house, burned he with fire.”

At the dig site, the rampant destruction caused by a fiery inferno is clearly seen. Burnt charcoal layers of destruction preserved flooring and utensils in situ, giving a stark picture of the immediacy of the blaze.  TimesOfIsrael

Video:   Evidence of Babylonian Destruction of Jerusalem Found at the City of David

1,600-Year-Old Byzantine-Era Stone Wine Press Found In The Ramat, Negev Region

Cool!

Digging in the ancient 1,600-year-old wine press in Ramat Negev. (Tali Gini, Israel Antiquities Authority)

A lare Byzantine-era wine press uncovered in the Negev region is only the second of its kind to be found…

According to the archaeologist of the southern Negev region Yoram Chaimi, the discovery of the wine press came as a complete surprise. “In the entire southern Negev region, there is only one other wine press that is included inside an enclosed structure, which is in [the Nabataean city] of Avdat,” also along the incense trade route.

Gini hypothesized as to why the wine press was abandoned. “In the middle of the sixth century CE, there was a disastrous plague, which led to less need of wine in the southern regions. After the plague, they continued to use the building, but not the winepress,” she said. At the end of the Byzantine period, the area was deserted.  TimesofIsrael

The wine press in Ramat Negev is intermeshed with a building. (Davida Dagan, Israel Antiquities Authority)

Wine-Making

Haimi, who is heading an ongoing dig aimed at unearthing the history of the Sobibor extermination camp in Poland, took a moment to speak to The Jerusalem Post while supervising excavation of the ancient wine press.

“Wine-making at the time was done using human labor,” he said. “The workers would step on the grapes, then the pulp would be delivered to a basin where the clear liquid would surface and the dregs sink. This clear liquid is tirosh, the grape juice most Israelis associate with childhood Seder meals in which they were given the sweet, nonalcoholic tirosh to drink for the traditional four cups of wine.

“The tirosh would be moved to fermentation pots. Negev wines were held in very high esteem at the time, like the boutique wines of today,’ said Haimi.

Wine production in the region went smoothly until a plague in the sixth century CE led to the decline of wine-making in southern Israel. The wine industry came to halt with the Arab conquest of the Levant and the end of the Byzantine period.  Jpost

Impressive 2,700-Year-Old Water System Discovered In Central Israel

A major water system from the 1st Temple era was found in central Israel.

An impressively large 2,700-year-old water system was recently exposed at Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) excavations near Rosh Ha-Ayin, in central Israel, with the help of students majoring in the Education Ministry’s Land of Israel and Archaeology studies. The excavation precedes the construction of a new residential neighborhood initiated by the Ministry of Construction and Housing.

In antiquity, rainwater collection and storage was a fundamental necessity. With an annual rainfall of 500 mm [20 in], the region’s winter rains would easily have filled the huge reservoir. On its walls, near the entrance, human figures were identified, crosses, and a vegetal motif that were probably carved by a passersby in a later period. Overall, seven figures measuring 15–30 cm [6-12 in], most with outstretched arms and a few appear to be holding some kind of object.

The water system was found to be nearly 20 meters [66 ft] long and reaches a depth of over four meters [13 ft]. The excavations reveal that the reservoir was built beneath a large structure with walls that are all nearly 50 meters [164 ft] long. Some of the potsherds found on the floors of the rooms probably belonged to vessels used to draw water from the reservoir. It is highly likely that the structure and the reservoir were built at the end of the Iron Age (late eighth or early seventh century BC), but whereas the building was abandoned during the Persian period the reservoir was still in use until modern times.

High school students majoring in the Education Ministry’s Land of Israel and Archaeology track participated in the Rosh Ha-Ayin excavations as part of the Ministry and the IAA’s new educational program, which is designed to connect students with the past and train the archaeologists of tomorrow. Students opting for this track as part of their chosen matriculation assessment join an excavation for a week. They experience the various tasks involved in the excavation, discuss the research questions and archaeological considerations, and document the dig in the excavation journal as part of their research work.In recent years, a number of other farmsteads built at the end of the First Temple period have been discovered near Rosh Ha-Ayin. They were probably erected after the destruction of the Kingdom of Israel in 720 BC, when the Assyrian empire dominated the region.

The establishment of farmhouses in this area is interesting, given the fact that many regions within the decimated kingdom of Israel remained desolate. Some scholars believe that the establishment of the farmsteads was motivated by the empire’s wish to settle the area, which lay on an international route and near the western border of the Assyrian empire. According to IAA excavation director, Gilad Itach, “The structure exposed in this excavation is different from most of the previously discovered farmsteads. Its orderly plan, vast area, strong walls, and the impressive water reservoir hewn beneath it suggest that the site was administrative in nature and it may well have controlled the surrounding farmsteads.”

In cooperation with the Ministry of Construction and Housing and Rosh Ha-Ayin Municipality, the IAA has plans for the site to remain an open area accessible to the public adjacent to the new residential neighborhood.

Video: Impressive 2,700-Year-Old Water System Discovered Near Rosh Ha-Ayin”>Impressive 2,700-Year-Old Water System Discovered Near Rosh Ha-Ayin.

Turkey’s State-Owned Media Outlet Reveals US Military Positions

After Erdogan’s revamping  of the government Turkey is a dictatorship not a democracy.  The two of the bases for unity in NATO is democracy and mutual support in the case of attack.  Turkey is an undemocratic country  now,  If Turkey was attacked we would be obligated to come to Turkey’s defense. Turkish membership in NATO  should be revoked.

Turkey’s state-owned media outlet has published the locations of U.S. military bases inside Syria, showing a stunningly betrayal to the national security of a supposed ally.

The report contained the locations of 10 American bases and outposts in Kurdish-held northern Syria, which is under the control of the YPG (Kurdish) militia. Turkish security sources confirmed the details of the story, which even included specific troop numbers and details of the capacity of some of the bases, according to Al-Monitor.

The report also revealed the locations of some French forces in the region.

Turkey has for some time been angry with America for its support of the Kurdish YPG forces. The YPG is the militia of the Kurdish regions of Syria and is a partner with the United States in the battle against the Islamic State terrorist group. However, they are also affiliated with the PKK, a Kurdish separatist militia and political party which fights for self-rule in the Kurdish areas of Turkey. Therefore Turkey regards the YPG as a terrorist group and as a national security threat.

The U.S. government is understandably angry about the leaks.

“We would be very concerned if officials from a NATO ally would purposefully endanger our forces by releasing sensitive information,” a spokesperson for Operation Inherent Resolve, the U.S.-led coalition effort to defeat the Islamic State, said in a statement. “We have conveyed these concerns to the Government of Turkey.” ClarionProject