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Major archaeological discoveries in Israel
inisrael.com travel guide

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Enjoy Israel

Major archaeological discoveries in Israel

Attractions travel guide

Israel has a rich history, and as a result, there have been many significant archaeological discoveries in the country over the years. Some of the most notable include:

The Dead Sea Scrolls:

Discovered in the 1940s, these ancient Jewish texts include some of the oldest known copies of the Hebrew Bible. More about Dead Sea Scrolls >>

The City of David:

Located in Jerusalem, this ancient city dates back to the time of King David and has been the subject of many excavations over the years. More about City of David >>

The Masada fortress:

A palace-fortress built by king Herod in the 1st century BCE, an ancient fortification in the Southern District of Israel, on top of an isolated rock plateau.

The Tel Megiddo:

Also known as Armageddon, the site has been excavated since the early 20th century, revealing the remains of many ancient cities built one atop the other.

Caesarea:

A port built by King Herod in the 1st century BCE, Caesarea has yielded a wealth of artifacts and architectural remains, including an ancient theater and a restored Roman aqueduct.

The Herodian Quarter of Jerusalem:

This area in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem was first excavated in the 1970s and has since revealed a wealth of remains from the time of King Herod, including a palace, a market, and an extensive system of underground tunnels.

These are some of the major ones but many other sites have been excavated in the area and many more yet to be discovered.

Churches in Israel

Churches in Israel

Christian Pilgrims have been visiting Israel for centuries. No wonder: the land where Jesus and the disciples lived is filled with historical sites and ancient churches that hold a tremendous importance for Christian believers. Many important churches in Israel are spread throughout the country, and are visited by thousands of believers every year. 

The following is a shortlist of some of the most significant churches in Israel: The Church of the Holy Sepulcher The Church of the Holy Sepulcher, within the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem, is the first among the Christian shrines. According to Christian belief, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher (refereed to as Golgotha, the Hill of Calvary, by most Christians) is where Jesus was crucified and buried. The resurrection has been celebrated there for many centuries as the most sacred place in all of Christendom. The Chapel of the Ascension The Chapel of the Ascension in Jerusalem is believed by Christians to be where Jesus ascended into heaven. It is a holy site for Muslims as well, and serves as a church and a mosque. The first church was built there in 390 AD., the current chapel was built in 1150 AD., and the mosque was added in 1620 AD. It is located just south of the Mount of Olives. The Church of the Nativity The Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem is one of the most ancient churches in the world, and one of the most important churches in Israel. It was built over the supposed birth place of Jesus, and is considered sacred to Muslims as well. The Church of the Annunciation The Church of the Annunciation, sometimes referred to as the Basilica of the Annunciation, is located in Nazareth, where - according to Roman Catholic tradition – Mary was told by Gabriel that she will be the mother of Jesus. The Church of the Annunciation is a pilgrims' must-see and a tourists' long time favorite. Church of St. Gabriel According to the apocryphal Gospel, the Church of St. Gabriel (St. Mary's well) is the actual place where Gabriel made the announcement to Mary. It is also located in Nazareth. 

The Church of St. Joseph is another main Christian attraction in Nazareth. Known as the supposed location of Joseph's carpentry shop, the Church of St. Joseph is visited by many believers every year. The lower level contains the Grotto of the Annunciation, believed by many Christians to be the remains of the original childhood home of Mary.

Major archaeological discoveries in Israel Major archaeological discoveries in Israel

Zippori National Park

The city of Zippori, founded in the Hellenistic/Maccabees era by Alexander Janneus, is located on hill in the Lower Galilee half way between the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) and the Mediterranean Sea. Josephus Flavius, a first century C.E. historian, described it as "the ornament of all Galilee." The city’s name may have originated from the Hebrew word “tsipor” meaning bird and highlighting the view from the top of the hill. The city may get its name from the Hebrew word "tsipor" (bird) because the view from the town gives a sense of flying. Zippori, was conquered by the Romans in 37 B.C.E but during the revolt against Rome in 66 C.E., the Jews of Zippori elected not to take arms; conversely they opened the city gates to the legions of Roman Emperor Vespasian. In return the city was saved and renamed Eirenopolis or “city of peace” as evidenced by coins minted in Zippori during that period. The city had developed into an essential site, in the Land of Israel, for Jewish religious and spiritual life during the second century. The Bar-Kohba revolt of 135 introduced an influx of jewish refugees into the Galilee who by the Third Century were the town’s majority. Rabbi Yehuda Hanasi, who also redacted the Mishnah, headed and relocated the Sanhedrin (Supreme Jewish religious and Judicial body) to Zippori during the Third Century. Long after the Sanhedrin was moved to Tiberias, Zippori retained its status as an important center of Bible study and many prominent sages taught in its academies. Zippori was an important trade market for traders due to it being strategically located on and around major trade routes. Zippori National Park Zippori National Park, encompassing the ruins and archaeology findings of the ancient Roman- and Talmudic-era city of Zippori, is located in the rolling hills of Lower Galilee, west of Nazareth.

The Carmel market

The Carmel market

The Carmel Market is the largest open market in Tel Aviv and the best place to buy fresh food and wonder around. Next to the market lies the Yemenite Vineyard, a small neighborhood with charming little streets and typical Yemenite restaurants. The Carmel Market (Shuk HaCarmel) is the biggest marketplace in Tel Aviv and a fun place to visit. In the Carmel market you can find just about anything for the lowest prices in town, including different kinds of bread, olives, dried fruits, spices and so on. It is also the best place to buy fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as fish and poultry. The clothing section is located next to Allenby Street, and you can surely find there a bargain or two. Just off the Carmel Market lies one of the most special neighborhoods in Tel Aviv. It is called Yemenite Vineyard (Kerem Hateymanim), originally formed in the beginning of the 20th century by the Jewish immigrants from Yemen. The municipality started renovating this area some 15 years ago, and walking through its narrow alleys and small houses is pretty inspiring. Accept for a walk in these charming little streets, you can make a stop in one of the small neighborhood restaurants. All of them serve traditional Yemenite cuisine, spiced with Hawhyedge, the most characteristic spice in the Yemenite kitchen. The neighborhood is located very close to the sea, so it can be a good stop on your way to or from the beach. Hotel Metropolitan at 11 Trumpeldor St. is just few minutes walk from the Carmel Market to the north. It is an affordable yet elegant lodging option next to the beach and the city center. Another nice hotel in this area is Sun City hotel at 9 Trumpeldor St., which is very well kept and quite intimate. It has a great location - next to the city's lively markets and shopping areas, and only 500 meters from the Mediterranean. Galileo Hotel, located in the heart of the Yemenite Quarter, one of Tel Aviv's first neighborhoods, is a picturesque hotel which will provide you with all the facilities of a budget accommodation in the best location. It is easy to find your way around the Carmel Market area using public transportation, because most buses have stops in the central Allenby Street. It is also located right off Shenkin St., which is another landmark you mustn't miss on your Tel Aviv visit.

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