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Jan 18, 2010

Right in our own backyard! Archaeology site in RBS

Yesterday I went up to the local archaeological site in RBS to check it out. I heard you can volunteer to join and help out the dig, so I wanted to check that out, and I also heard they were nearly finished - so I wanted to check it out before it all disappears.

We went up and nobody seemed to care. The head archaeologist only cared as we approached her to ask about joining to dig for a couple of hours, as she wanted us to go around as where we were standing she said was dangerous. Other than that she let us walk around as much as we wanted and look, and paid us no attention. And she answered our questions when we asked, but she didn't give us a tour.

The head archaeologist, Ilana I think her name is, on site told us they are finishing up the work. She said they have about a weeks worth of work left, and there is not really much to do so if you volunteer, they will give you busy work. NOTE: to volunteer you have to go to the Archaeologists website and fill out a volunteer form 9for insurance purposes) and fax it in.

They have found in the site of the dig a well preserved mikvah, along with lots of pottery and ancient equipment, along with parts of houses and walls, parts of baths, etc. I asked if they found bones or graves and she said they did not, as this was clearly a settlement and not a graveyard. if you are a kohein I have no idea if the non-religious archaeologist has any ne'emanus for relying on her that there are no graves, especially considering how wary they would be to actually admit to finding graves considering they know it would create protests by the Asra Kadisha and others. Ask a shailoh.

What is a shame is that I asked what will happen to all these finding when they finish the work. She told me that they will just bulldoze it. What a shame! She said they will probably try to preserve the mikvah because it is in such great condition. But aside from that, they will just bulldoze everything. I guess they took their measurements and studies and pictures and have no need for the actual finds.


I have no idea what this is
They said this is a zitsbath, common in finds from Hasmonean times - they would sit on the "bench" and have water poured over them.

Here is the mikvah. How does it compare to today's mikvahs? I don't know if it was a mens or womens mikvah and didnt think to ask.


And here is an ancient package of Mike and Ike's right near the entrance to the mikvah. If you look carefully you might be able to see the hechsher of the Hasmoneac Kashrut organization.

Amazing what you can find right in your own backyard!

11 comments:

  1. It was so heartwarming to see the Israeli flag at the sight first vandalized then taken down.

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  2. that site is awesome. i live in a neighborhood with an ancient archeological mikvah.
    Do you think the rabbaim will be matir it, or only certain people will be allowed to use it? :-)

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  3. That's really very cool. I love visiting archeological digs. And that ancient Mike & Ikes is a real find!

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  4. Sadly, you have more such sites in the neighborhood and they are neglected and full of garbage. There is an ancient mikvah with the remains of a mosaic floor! in an overgrown lot with garbage in it. Everytime I've been there I've pointed it out to people and suggested a clean up day to fix it up. NO interest.

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  5. www.thewaytonothing.blogspot.comJanuary 18, 2010 6:04 PM

    Mordechai,

    Spend a day hunting through and if you are blessed to find an ancient Mike n Ike I am sure you will be able to raise community awareness.

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  6. "Hasmoneac Kashrut organization" - sorry, I only eat HKO-mehadrin.

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  7. Very interesting. You didn't mention how old this site was--from what time in history.

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  8. Wow, that was a quick response, Rafi--I just went back to the post and saw that. I could tell by the "Mike 'n Ike's" box...

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  9. If there were graves the guys from Atra Kadisha would already know about it even before the archeologists set up a tent. No graves here.

    ReplyDelete

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