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8092Re: [ANE-2] Tiberias full of antiquities

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  • David Hall
    Apr 5, 2008
      Thanks for the information. As nearly as I was able to see, the main Roman Tiberias was about a kilometer long, if that large, with outliers possible.

      Have read that the largest Roman ruins on the north shore of the lake west of the Jordan were the ruins of Capernaum. The provincial Roman governors/client kings were given authority to collect a toll on goods transported across their territory. Capernaum was near the border between the territories of Antipas and Philip. It was likely that a toll collection booth was in place along the king's road and soldiers stationed to prevent tax evasion (am away from my library will try to provide references later). Bethsaida was a large set of ruins at the border of Philip's territory and was the probable site of a bridge or ford across the Jordan with a tax collection post also. If it were at the edge of delta/estuary area fording the river may have been difficult and travel worsened when the soil was very soft after rains and floods. It is not known whether or not malaria was a risk in Hellenistic-Roman times. Malaria was reported by 19th century travelers in this
      district. Other sites along the shore may have been devoid of the 30 foot reeds that grow in the delta and blessed with favorable breezes and winds to keep mosquitoes away. The only other large Roman ruined town on the north shore that I am aware of is Magdala.

      David Q. Hall

      eliot braun <eliotbraun@...> wrote:
      Tiberias is a sad treaure trove of Antiquities. The tomb you note is certainly not Rachel's tomb, which is purportedly astride the road from Jerusalem to Bethlehem. You probably mean the tomb of Rabbi Meir (Baal Ha-ness).Tiberias has lots to offer in the way of antiquties. Here are a few: There are some more Roman period ruins further north on the shore, near the Galei Kinneret Hotel (if its still called that), or were, they'be been cemented over.. Beneath the walled town, especially on the shore, there were all sorts of massive buildings, including the Crusader fortress. Only a little of it may be seen between 2 big hotels and the littlle 'el Bahri mosque (19th century) on the shore. It sits on part of the fortress. Much else lies buried beneath the park or was destroyed by the construction of hotels; that includes a fortification wall of uncertain date (under the Jordan River Hotel --if the name hasn;t changed) and a Crusader church--i.e., foundations. In the
      big pit
      there is a Crusader building atop a mosaic floor of a synagogue. To the north is a Late Roman Byz. cemetery near the Scottish hospice and farther north is a tell with Iron Age and EB remains. Not too far from the tomb noted above and down the slope there are remains of houses of the Late EB I below buildings of the Mameluke period. In and around the cemeteries are buildings of the Early Arab period. Much of it is destroyed, hard to find, or hidden by the honkey tonk nature of the town. Up above, overlooking the town is the large church; once thought to be the fortress of Berenice.There is also a small 18th century fortress built by a local ruler, Dahr el- Omar.
      My hope is that with the creation of an archaeological park there will be some awakening of the treasure trove the city has and something will be done about the sad state of its antiquities.
      Eliot Braun

      David Hall <dqhall59@...> wrote: This morning I walked up the trail from near the Tiberias Holiday Inn towards the Roman-Byzantine theater and looked down. There about one hundred yards north of the Holiday Inn entrance road was a pit containing two towers and some rooms adjoining them. I walked to the pit and made observations without entering the pit. The two basalt towers were flanked on the inside with two round capitals on square bases abutting the towers. The space between them was about the width of a road. These towers were not the same as the 8th century tower remains in modern Tiberias uphill from the marina shore area. The stone carving styles in the two towers complex south of the Roman cardo area appeared similar to styles seen in the excavated cardo-marketplace area to the north that is from the Roman-Byzantine era. This gate with the two towers may be the southern gate of Roman-Byzantine Tiberias. My Oxford guidebook
      recoded that towers existed in the Roman era Tiberias, but city
      walls were not added until Byzantine times. Remains of the Roman Tiberias were found as far north as the sewage treatment plant below Rachel's tomb. I estimate that the ruins may extend for more than a kilometer.

      I do not believe you can context the coconut shaped containers found in the 8th century tower digs with the with the recent announcement about these towers that were discovered years ago and recently uncovered again.

      David Q. Hall

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      Eliot Braun, Ph D
      Sr. Fellow WF Albright Institute of Archaeological Research, Jerusalem
      Associate Researcher Centre de Recherche Français de Jérusalem
      PO Box 21, Har Adar 90836 Israel
      Tel 972-2-5345687, Cell 972-50-2231096

      You rock. That's why Blockbuster's offering you one month of Blockbuster Total Access, No Cost.

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