Photo: Ron Cantrell

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Cheers signal a "New Find"

Each day Kibbutz Ramat Rachel Archaeological excavation has delivered up new treasures for those of us digging there. Bad attitudes due to the “way too early” hour for beginning the dig fades as the first cheer of the day goes up from one of the dig areas. Each cheer means that at breakfast, news of the find that caused the cheer will be shared with all.

Digging begins at 5:30 am. Breakfast break is 9:00 am.
Though the Kibbutz and surrounding area now are known as Ramat Rachel, Jeremiah 41:17 reveals the name as "Chimham" near Bethlehem.

"And they departed, and dwelt in the habitation of Chimham, which is by Bethlehem, to go to enter into Egypt" (Jeremiah 41:17).

II Kings refers to the area as the "garden of Uzza:"

"And Manasseh slept with his fathers, and was buried in the garden of his own house, in the garden of Uzza: and Amon his son reigned in his stead."
vs 26 "And he was buried in his sepulchre in the garden of Uzza; and Josiah
his son reigned in his stead" (II Kings 21:18).

Cheers from the last two days (week two of four) have been from three special yields.

1) A seal impression on pot handle resembling something between an "M" and an "X."

2). A crude ram’s head who’s purpose is yet to be decided by the archaeologists,

3) A great Byzantine oil lamp with a very clear Greek inscription.

This site will become a top tourist attraction as they are now adding walk ways and information signs in order to make a visit to the area a memorable learning experience.

1 comment:

Shmuel Browns said...

I agree that the archaeological park at Kibbutz Ramat Rahel is not on most tourists' radar. It's an interesting site that I do take people to. At 850 m above sea level there's also a great view of Jerusalem and surroundings from the lookout. Don't miss the Olive Park, also designed by Ran Morin, next to the kibbutz.