Archaeology in the News

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Re: Archaeology in the News

Post by wosbald » Sun Feb 07, 2021 10:24 am

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Ancient fabric find show how King David may have dressed
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Purple fabric found in Israel’s Timna Valley dating to 1000 B.C., the era of Kings David and Solomon. (Credit: Dafna Gazit/Courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority)

A new archeological discovery may shed new light on the way King David and King Solomon dressed 3000 years ago.

Researchers found remnants of woven fabric, a tassel, and fibers of wool dyed with royal purple in Israel’s Timna Valley, a color associated with royalty in the ancient world and mentioned in the Bible as being worn by Israelite kings.

The Timna Valley is about 20 miles north of the Gulf of Aqaba in the Red Sea, and was a source of copper for thousands of years.

Radiocarbon dating puts the textile discovery at around 1000 BC, corresponding to the United Monarchy period, when the biblical figures David and Solomon ruled Jerusalem.

“This is a very exciting and important discovery,” said Dr. Naama Sukenik, curator of organic finds at the Israel Antiquities Authority. “In antiquity, purple attire was associated with the nobility, with priests, and of course with royalty.”

He noted that the dye was made from a gland in the body of mollusks found in the Mediterranean Sea — located 185 miles from the Timna Valley — and was often more valuable than gold.

“Until the current discovery, we had only encountered mollusk-shell waste and potsherds with patches of dye, which provided evidence of the purple industry in the Iron Age. Now, for the first time, we have direct evidence of the dyed fabrics themselves, preserved for some 3000 years,” Sukenik said.

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A tassel found in Israel’s Timna Valley dating to 1000 B.C., the era of Kings David and Solomon. (Credit: Dafna Gazit/Courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority)

The discovery was a result of a joint project of the Israel Antiquities Authority, Tel Aviv University, and Bar-Ilan University.

[…]

[Prof. Erez Ben-Yosef from Tel Aviv University’s Archaeology Department] said he believes copper-production center at Timna was part of the Biblical kingdom of Edom, which bordered the kingdom of Israel to the south.

“The new finds reinforce our assumption that there was an elite at Timna, attesting to a stratified society. In addition, since the mollusks are indigenous to the Mediterranean, this society obviously maintained trade relations with other peoples who lived on the coastal plain. However, we do not have evidence of any permanent settlements in the Edomite territory. The Edomite Kingdom was a kingdom of nomads,” he said.

He said it also shows that the Israelite kings could have been similar.

“It is wrong to assume that if no grand buildings and fortresses have been found, then biblical descriptions of the United Kingdom in Jerusalem must be literary fiction,” he said.

“Our new research at Timna has showed us that even without such buildings, there were kings in our region who ruled over complex societies, formed alliances and trade relations, and waged war on each other. The wealth of a nomadic society was not measured in palaces and monuments made of stone, but in things that were no less valued in the ancient world — such as the copper produced at Timna and the purple dye that was traded with its copper smelters,” Ben-Yosef said.

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Re: Archaeology in the News

Post by wosbald » Mon Feb 15, 2021 10:03 am

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Treasure hunter finds piece likely to have been part of crown of Henry VIII [In-Depth, Video]
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Kevin Duckett with his metal detector. (Credit: Courtesy to Crux)

LEICESTER, United Kingdom — Kevin Duckett was near a pond close to the English town of Market Harborough with his metal detector when it began to buzz like mad.

It was 2017, and the landowner had only recently allowed the use of metal detectors on his property, which was near the site of a pivotal battle in England’s Civil War.

“I spent a long time uncovering that clod of soil, I really savored the moment. But when I eventually did uncover it, to see his little face looking back up at me was quite astonishing,” Duckett told Crux.

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The figurine found in a field outside Market Harborough, England, in 2017. (Credit: Kevin Duckett)

The “little face” he was talking about was on a small 24 carat gold enameled figurine, just under 1½ inches tall.

“I knew it was very old, but I had no idea what it was,” Duckett said. Trying to figure out the mystery of the figurine became a labor of love for the treasure hunter.

“Day in day out I’ve worked away at it,” he said.

[…]

One thing Duckett discovered was that the “little face” probably belonged to Henry VI, who ruled England from 1422-1461 and briefly again from 1470-1471.

“I began researching Henry VI and realized, it was made during Henry VIII’s period in the first half of the 16th century,” he said.

“The fixing on the back of the jewel had all of the experts confused as it was unlike any badge,” Duckett said.

He said he realized it might have been made for a royal crown, and then suddenly, “it all made sense.”

“This fitting was identical to other contemporary crown fittings. It is designed to fit through a square hole so that it does not move,” he said.

But which crown?

A replica of the Tudor crown was on display at the Hampton Court Palace in London, and when Duckett visited it in January 2020, the figurines that adorned it were almost identical to the piece that he had found in a field over 100 miles away.

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King Henry VIII’s re-created Crown of State. (Credit: Hampton Court Palace)

It was the coronation crown of Henry VIII and had originally been adorned with five miniature statues: Three of Christ, one of the Madonna and Child, and one of St. George.

After he broke with Rome, Henry VIII had the three images of Christ removed and replaced with three royal saints to emphasize the king’s role as head of the Church of England. These miniature figures were St. Edmund, St. Edward the Confessor, and Henry VI — who was promoted as a saint and martyr by the Tudors until the end of the 16th century.


“The very thought that Henry VIII used to wear this figure in his crown on his head over 500 years ago when he was the most powerful man in the land is just mind-blowing,” Duckett told Crux.

“I found out that he had three jewels specially made to be added to the state crown because of the Reformation as he split from the Catholic Church … Henry wanted everyone to know that he was more powerful than the Church,” he said.

“I can still hardly believe that I have found this magnificent royal piece in a humble farmer’s field near Market Harborough,” he added.

[The question of how it came to be in said farmer's field] is the second mystery of the treasure hunter’s discovery.

[…]

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King Charles I by Daniel Mytens, 1631 (Credit: National Portrait gallery)

[…]

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Re: Archaeology in the News

Post by wosbald » Thu Mar 25, 2021 10:06 am

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This is just a Preview: the exhibition will grow in the coming weeks.

Keep following us.

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Re: Archaeology in the News

Post by wosbald » Thu May 13, 2021 10:00 am

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40 years later, memories of assassination attempt on John Paul II still vivid
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St. John Paul II is assisted by aides after being shot in St. Peter's Square May 13, 1981. The Polish pope, who was shot at the start of his weekly general audience by Mehmet Ali Agca, was convinced that he owed his life to Our Lady of Fatima. (Credit: CNS photo/L'Osservatore Romano)

KRAKÓW, Poland — May 13, 1981 was a busy day — like any other — for St. John Paul II. The Institute for Marriage and Family has been established, and the pontiff had received French doctor and geneticist Jerome Lejeune.

“After lunch with Lejeune and his wife Pope John Paul II started his traditional drive among pilgrims gathered at St. Peter’s square, before the General Audience,” Włodzimierz Rędzioch recalled.

Rędzioch, known among reporters working in the Vatican as Vladimiro, is the Vatican correspondent for the Niedziela Polish catholic weekly. In 1981 was working for L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper.

It was during this drive that John Paul was shot by Mehmet Ali Agca, a citizen of Turkey.

“I didn’t hear the shots,” Rędzioch told Crux. “I only heard that all pigeons all the sudden took flight from St. Peter’s Square.”

“The popemobile started to return, making additional swirls — probably because the security was afraid that there may be more shots,” he said.

The bullet hit John Paul in the stomach, right elbow, and the index finger of the left hand.

“He slumped into my arms. He suffered a lot,” Cardinal Stanisław Dziwisz, at the time the personal secretary of the Polish pope, told KAI.

“We didn’t know what happened, but pilgrims started to whisper the word ‘attentato’,” Rędzioch told Crux, remembering that the square was completely deserted by security personnel and general audience organizers.

“Only pilgrims were left present in the square. Father Kazimierz Przydatek, responsible for Polish pilgrimage groups, showed nerves of steel and started to pray a rosary,” he continued, remembering that the Polish pilgrims then put an image of the Black Madonna of Częstochowa on the chair set up for the pope in the square.

John Paul was taken to Rome’s Gemelli hospital.

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St. John Paul II pictured in bed at Gemelli Hospital in Rome days after being shot May 13, 1981, in St. Peter’s Square by Turkish gunman Mehmet Ali Agca. Many around the world apprehensively awaited progress reports during his three-week stay in the hospital. (Credit: Arturo Mari/L’Osservatore Romano via CNS)

Years later the saint wrote about this in Memory and Identity: “I remember the way to the hospital. I remained conscious for a while. I had the feeling that I would survive. I was suffering, there was reason to be afraid, but I had such a strange trust. I told Father Stanisław that I forgive the attacker.”

“In those moments my heart was breaking with pain,” Dziwisz told KAI. “The sight of a bloody white cassock will stay with me forever. We were shocked because the attack on the pope seemed unimaginable. We didn’t even try to give the Holy Father first aid; there was no doctor nearby. It was a race against time, especially since there was an afternoon rush in Rome, and the city was jammed. Fortunately, the ambulance reached the Gemelli hospital very quickly.”

Rędzioch remembered it was at 6:58 pm when he heard the news that the pope’s vital organs hadn’t been hit. He was constantly moving between Polish House and the Vatican’s press office, both located near St. Peter’s Basilica.

“At 11:30 pm we were told the news that the operation has ended and now we have to wait,” he said.

Rędzioch and many Polish immigrants and their compatriots at home who were hoping that John Paul II was the one who would bring changes to communist-ruled Poland and the Eastern European bloc. These hopes were millimeters from crumbling. Two weeks after the assassination attempt, when pope was still in the hospital, Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński died in Poland — offering all the prayers that people said for his own recovery — to the suffering pope.

Wyszyński, the Primate of Poland, was a spiritual father for Karol Wojtyła who once said there would be no Polish Pope without the primate. Both were vigorous critics and peaceful fighters of the communist regime.

Wyszyński is scheduled to be beatified on Sept. 12, 2021.

Dziwisz has no doubt the Soviets were behind the assassination attempt, even though the role of KGB was never officially proven.

“From the perspective of the years and events related to the collapse of these systems, to which, after all, the Holy Father contributed, we can say that the powers built on human harm and oppression will want to use the same methods to get rid of the man who seemed to be threatening their absolute power.”

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The blood-splattered suit of a Vatican security guard and a picture of St. John Paul II meeting with his would-be assassin, Mehmet Ali Agca, are displayed in the national museum dedicated to the Polish pope in his hometown of Wadowice, Poland. The exhibit details Agca’s 1981 attempt on the pope’s life and its aftermath, which included the jail-cell visit to Agca. (Credit: Nancy Wiechec/CNS)

Rędzioch remembers a conversation with Cardinal Andrzej Deskur, one of the closest friends of John Paul II who on the very day of the conclave in 1978 experienced a stroke that left him paralyzed until his death in 2011.

“Cardinal Deskur told me that he’s not interested which hand was used to shoot the pope — he was convinced that it was the devil who was behind the attack on John Paul,” he recalled, adding: “I understood at that moment that the details of the attack are not important, that this attack is part of the eternal struggle of the Evil One with the Church of Christ.”

While recovering at the hospital, John Paul realized that the date of the attack was not accidental. It was May 13, 1917, when the Virgin Mary appeared to three children in Fatima.

A Slovak bishop, Paweł Hnilica, brought the Fatima documentation to the pope, who at the time was unaware of the full details of the predictions made during the Fatima apparitions.

A year later, John Paul II traveled to Fatima to thank Virgin Mary for saving his life. He placed a bullet meant to kill him in the crown of Mother of God, marking a new beginning of one of the most powerful Marian devotions in the world.

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"[T]he emergency of irregular migration has to be met with justice, solidarity and mercy. Forms of collective expulsion, which do not allow for the suitable treatment of individual cases, are unacceptable."
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Re: Archaeology in the News

Post by wosbald » Thu May 20, 2021 2:56 pm

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Subject Header: Pope Pius XII & Jews/Vatican WW2 Archives
Intra-Thread Trackbacks: pg 9 / pg 9

Inter-Thread Trackbacks:
"The Catholic Thread": pg 130



No 'smoking gun' yet in Pius XII archives, researchers say
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Handwritten corrections by Pope Pius XII are pictured on his text for a Dec. 3, 1944, audience with employees of Italian broadcaster RAI. The text was among materials from his pontificate on display for journalists in the Vatican Apostolic Archives at the Vatican Feb. 27, 2020. (CNS/Paul Haring)

Pope Francis' opening last year of the Vatican's archive of material related to his controversial predecessor Pius XII has provided a sense of hope that the Catholic Church can have open discussions about its past, three researchers who have had access to the archives told a May 5 webinar.

But the researchers, speaking in a discussion hosted by Fordham University, also said it would likely take years to assess the material the Vatican has made available about Pius, who led the global church from 1939-58 and has been under scrutiny in the decades since over his actions during the Holocaust.

As Brown University historian David Kertzer, author of several best-selling books on Vatican and Italian history and one of the researchers, put it: "I do not think there is going to be one smoking gun — in fact, I would despair of any evidence that's actually changing people’s minds these days."

Speaking alongside Kertzer on the panel were Maria Chiara Rioli, a fellow at the universities of Ca’ Foscari in Venice and at Fordham, and Nina Valbousquet, a researcher at the Ecole Française de Rome.

Valbousquet said she felt a sense of hope about Francis' decision to open the archives, which have now been available to researchers since March 2020, but remains cautious of "apologetic tendencies" to overlook questions about Pius' actions during the holocaust in favor of his canonization cause.

Pius was declared venerable by Pope Benedict XVI in 2009, placing the late pontiff effectively two steps away from possible sainthood.

Referring to Francis' promise on opening the archives that the church is "not afraid of history," Valbousquet called that a "good first step" but said that "unfortunately within the church there are other tendencies that are much more reactionary."

Although Kertzer expressed skepticism about finding shocking new evidence about Pius' actions during World War II, he said he expects the archives will provide "a much richer understanding of what [was] going on, even without a smoking gun."

According to the experts, much of what is in the seemingly endless secretive archival records are actually kind of boring — housing documents like requests for money to buy shoes. But scholars predict the vaults will shed light upon the range of opinion within church leadership at the time about how to respond to the reports about treatment of Jews in Nazi Europe.

Rioli described the opinions of bishops on the continent as “a mosaic” that will “give us a more wide view of mid-century church leadership."

[…]

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"[T]he emergency of irregular migration has to be met with justice, solidarity and mercy. Forms of collective expulsion, which do not allow for the suitable treatment of individual cases, are unacceptable."
— Pope Francis, Morocco

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Re: Archaeology in the News

Post by wosbald » Thu Jun 03, 2021 12:20 am

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Scholar discounts new claim St. Peter’s remains may be in forgotten tomb
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The reliquary commissioned by St. Paul VI to hold bone fragments believed to belong to St. Peter the Apostle is seen in this June 30, 2019, file photo. A debate has ignited after three Italian researchers published a paper asserting that St. Peter's remains may have been — and continue to be — buried in catacombs under the Mausoleum of St. Helena rather than under St. Peter's Basilica. (Credit: CNS photo/courtesy Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople)

ROME — The remains of St. Peter may have been and possibly still could be buried in catacombs under the Mausoleum of St. Helena after being moved from the Vatican hillside during anti-Christian persecutions in the third century, according to a paper published recently by three Italian researchers.

Labeling their conclusions as “conjecture,” the researchers suggested archaeologists could “validate” their findings with “excavation campaigns”; however, a leading expert in Christian archaeology and a member of the Pontifical Commission for Sacred Archaeology told Vatican News that the researchers’ hypothesis was “unacceptable.”

Emperor Constantine would never have gone through so much logistical trouble building St. Peter’s Basilica in the early fourth century “if it had not been contingent upon the presence of the venerated remains” below, where the saint’s tomb had been venerated since early Christian times, Vincenzo Fiocchi Nicolai told Vatican News May 30.

“It is clear,” he said, “that Peter’s remains were found in the place of the original burial site on the Vatican hill when the formidable Constantinian basilica was built, the biggest basilica ever established in the city,” he said, adding that if later the remains had been moved “ad catacumbasto,” then that refers to a cemetery on the Appian Way, later called, the catacombs of St. Sebastian.

Fiocchi Nicolai’s comments were a response to a paper titled, “The Search of St. Peter’s Memory ad catacumbas in the Cemeterial Area ad Duos Lauros in Rome,” published in early March in Heritage, a journal of cultural and natural heritage science.

The researchers highlighted the lengthy quest by archeologists to prove where St. Peter had been buried but added that the debate was still open as to where his remains could be found.

[…]

“The presence of Peter’s remains in the catacombs of Sts. Marcellinus and Peter, therefore, would directly and simply explain why Constantine built the complex basilica and mausoleum in that area,” the researchers wrote. They referred to a seventh-century copy of the Liber Pontificalis — Book of the Popes — that said that the basilica was “dedicated to St. Peter the Apostle (Beato Petro), martyred with Marcellinus.”

And one burial “cubicle” below has a fresco depicting St. Peter holding a scroll, they wrote.

Fiocchi Nicolai told Vatican News that the reasoning the authors used to posit that the location was dedicated to St. Peter the Apostle was “acrobatic and, in fact, based on nothing.”

The term “beatus” is a common term in the Liber Pontificalis to refer to every saint, and the burial inscription of a “Petri” whose date of death is the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul is a coincidence, he said, since the name “Petrus” is very common.

While scholars are certain St. Peter’s ancient tomb was located on the Vatican hill where he had died a martyr and where Constantine ordered a basilica be built, his remains have been a source of much controversy and mystery.

St. Paul VI announced in 1968 that the “relics” of St. Peter had been “identified in a way which we can hold to be convincing,” after bones were discovered following excavations of the necropolis under St. Peter’s Basilica, which began in the 1940s near a monument erected in the fourth century to honor St. Peter.

The pope had cases of the relics placed beneath the basilica’s main altar and in his private chapel in the Apostolic Palace. Scientists have confirmed the remains are those of a 60- to 70-year-old robust male, according to Vatican News.

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"[T]he emergency of irregular migration has to be met with justice, solidarity and mercy. Forms of collective expulsion, which do not allow for the suitable treatment of individual cases, are unacceptable."
— Pope Francis, Morocco

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