Rare 2,000 Year Old Quarry Uncovers Daily Life Of Jews During The Time Of Jesus

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Archaeologists uncovered the objects at the site of Magdala in Israel

  • Experts have described unearthing the artefacts as 'a very rare find'

  • Bronze 'mahta' would have been used in ceremonies to transfer incense

  • The team believes the implements are equally likely to have been used in daily work, or kept as heirlooms by a family

  • By Ryan O'Hare for MailOnline

    Published: 09:53 EDT, 5 April 2016 | Updated: 14:37 EDT, 5 April 2016

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    Archaeologists have uncovered a number of bronze artefacts which would have been used by Jewish priests in the ancient settlement of Migdal, almost 2,000 years ago.

    The find, which includes a ceremonial incense shovel and a jug, was unearthed on the shores of the Sea of Galilee in Israel – the biblical stomping grounds of Jesus.

    Experts believe the ornate bronze shovel, called a 'mahta', would have been used in temple ceremonies to transfer burning embers of incense, and is even referred to in the Jewish scriptures and the Bible.

    Archaeologists in Israel have uncovered bronze artefacts on the shores of the Sea of Galilee - a shovel (pictured) and a jug - which would have been used by Jewish priests in the ancient settlement of Migdal, almost 2,000 years ago

    Archaeologists in Israel have uncovered bronze artefacts on the shores of the Sea of Galilee - a shovel (pictured) and a jug - which would have been used by Jewish priests in the ancient settlement of Migdal, almost 2,000 years ago

    Chief archaeologist, Dina Avshalom-Gorni, said: 'The incense shovel that was found is one of ten others that are known in the country from the Second Temple period.

    'From early research in the world it was thought that the incense shovel was only used for ritual purposes, care for the embers and incense that were burnt in ritual ceremonies.'

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    The ornate shovels appear in Jewish art as religious items associated with the temple, and have been depicted on mosaic floors of synagogues.

    According to Dr Avshalom-Gorni, the items were found next to one another on the floor of a storehouse on a former historic settlement in modern-day Magdala.

    Cleaned and restored: The ornate bronze shovel, called a ‘mahta’ in Hebrew, would have been used in temple ceremonies to transfer embers of incense, and is even referred to in the Jewish scriptures and the Bible

    Cleaned and restored: The ornate bronze shovel, called a 'mahta' in Hebrew, would have been used in temple ceremonies to transfer embers of incense, and is even referred to in the Jewish scriptures and the Bible

    The shovel and jug were found next to one another on the floor of a storehouse on a former historic settlement in modern-day Magdala. The team believes that in the case of their recent find, the implements could be equally likely to have been used in daily work, or kept as heirlooms by a family

    The shovel and jug were found next to one another on the floor of a storehouse on a former historic settlement in modern-day Magdala. The team believes that in the case of their recent find, the implements could be equally likely to have been used in daily work, or kept as heirlooms by a family

    BIBLICAL REFERENCE OF THE JUG

    Archaeologists digging on the shores of the Sea of Galilee in Israel have uncovered bronze artefacts - a shovel and a jug - which date back 2,000 years.

    According to the team, the Hebrew word for the bronze incense shovel is 'mahta', derived from the action of raking or gathering embers.

    The tool is referred to in the Bible in the book of Exodus 27:1–3: 'You shall make the altar…you shall make pots for it to receive its ashes, and shovels and basins and forks and fire pans; all its utensils you shall make of bronze.'

    However, similar shovels have also been found which indicate they were used for day-to-day tasks. 

    The team believes that in the case of their recent find, the implements could be equally likely to have been used in daily work, or kept as heirlooms by a family. 

    Magdala was a large settlement in the early Roman period, mentioned in both Jewish and Christian sources. 

    It is recorded in the Bible as the birthplace of Mary Magdalene, a follower of Jesus, and as the site of a war against the Romans in Jewish texts.

    Excavations at the site, near the present-day town of Magdala, have revealed Jewish ritual baths, streets, a marketplace and industrial facilities, as well as a synagogue decorated with coloured plaster walls and mosaic floors.

    In addition to the bronze artefacts found at the site, archaeologists have also uncovered a stone with the symbol of a menorah engraved, the symbolic Hebrew candle holder (pictured)

    In addition to the bronze artefacts found at the site, archaeologists have also uncovered a stone with the symbol of a menorah engraved, the symbolic Hebrew candle holder (pictured)

    The handle of the jug uncovered by the team appears to be fashioned in the shape of a woman’s leg (pictured)

    The handle of the jug uncovered by the team appears to be fashioned in the shape of a woman's leg (pictured)

    DISCOVERIES AT MIGDAL

    Archaeologists have stepped up excavations at the site of Migdal in recent years.

    A number of volunteers from Chile, Mexico, Italy and Spain made the find at the site, and volunteers will return to continue excavations next year. 

    Works so far at the site, near the present-day town of Magdala, have revealed Jewish ritual baths, streets, a marketplace and industrial facilities, as well as a synagogue decorated with coloured plaster walls and mosaic floors.

    The Israel Antiquities Authority has stepped up excavations at the site in recent years, in partnership with the Anahuac University of Mexico. 

    A number of volunteers from Chile, Mexico, Italy and Spain made the find at the site, and volunteers will return to continue excavations next year.

    Eyad Bisharat, who supervised the excavation works, said: 'The volunteers were absolutely thrilled. 

    'They simply could not calm down knowing that these artefacts had been waiting just below the surface for 2,000 years. 

    'Even we veteran excavators were extremely excited because it's not every day that one uncovers such rare artefacts as these, and in such a fine state of preservation.'

    The site of Migdala, at modern-day Magdala, is located on the banks of the Sea of Galilee in Israel (pictured)

    The site of Migdala, at modern-day Magdala, is located on the banks of the Sea of Galilee in Israel (pictured)

    Excavations at the site (pictured), near the present-day town of Magdala have previsouly revealed Jewish ritual baths, streets, a marketplace and industrial facilities, as well as a synagogue decorated with coloured plaster walls and mosaic floors

    Excavations at the site (pictured), near the present-day town of Magdala have previsouly revealed Jewish ritual baths, streets, a marketplace and industrial facilities, as well as a synagogue decorated with coloured plaster walls and mosaic floors

    WHY IS THE SETTLEMENT OF MIGDAL SIGNIFICANT? 

    Migdal is the modern-day name for the village of Magdala,  situated on the northwestern shore of the Sea of Galilee at the foot of Mount Arbel.

    The settlement is believed to have been the hometown of Mary Magdalene, one of Jesus' most loyal followers. She is referred to in the gospels as Mary, and it is believed that her name was a variation of 'Mary from Magdala'.

    Researchers are studying the site looking for clues about how and when Magdalene first met and began following Jesus.

    Jewish artefacts found at the site in Migdal on the shore of the Sea of Galilee - previously known as Magdala - include a table carved with a Menorah, yet the temple itself, as well as a coin, discovered on the site dates back to the time of Jesus and the rise of Christianity in the region. 

    Archaeologists believe this combination suggests Jews and Christians may have once used the holy site to worship together, and it could lead to discoveries about how and when Jesus and Magdalene met. 

    This is source I found from another site, main source you can find in last paragraph

    Source : http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3524527/Biblical-incense-shovel-unearthed-shores-Sea-Galilee-2-000-year-old-tool-alongside-jug-birthplace-Mary-Magdalane.html

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