Daily Archives: April 21, 2010

Jaffa Gate reopened today

The Jerusalem Post reports the reopening of Jaffa Gate after two months of renovation.

A large black cloth that has shrouded Jaffa Gate in both darkness and mystery over the past two months was removed Wednesday morning during a special ceremony to rededicate the famous Jerusalem landmark, revealing the extensive “face-lift” recently given to one of the Old City’s most important and well-known points of entry.

The gate’s freshly-cleaned Jerusalem stones, a completely refurbished white ceiling inside its entryway, and other aesthetic fruits of the renovation labor were immediately apparent after the cloth came down.

The complete report is available here.

Here is an aerial photo of the Jaffa Gate (in the bottom of the photo) and the Christian Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem in December.

Aerial view of Jaffa Gate and the Christian Quarter. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Aerial view of Jaffa Gate and the Christian Quarter. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Early farming sites uncovered in Syria

The Syrian Department of Archaeology and Museums reports excavations of some farming communities on the Euphrates River in northern Syria dating back to the 10th millennium B.C.

Assistant Director of the Syrian Department of Archaeology and Museums Thaer Yerte said excavations at the site revealed information about the communities that settled on the banks of the Euphrates, uncovering two different areas that include three communal buildings and dozens of circular houses built from limestone and paved with pebbles from the river.

The structures contained various flint tools such as blades, knives, sickles, arrow tips and hatchets, tools used for leatherwork and crafting straw mats, stone mills and pestles, pottery fragments and animal bones and horns, Yerte added.

He pointed out that the first communal building in the site contains a circular hole in the ground 15 meters deep with a diameter of 12 meters, with a clay terrace inside the building containing limestone blocks decorated with engravings of animals, geometrical shapes and the sun. The floor is made of clay tiles painted with lime, while the ceiling is supported by wooden pillars.

The second communal building is circular with a diameter of 7 meters, consisting of five chambers with a square stone support pillar in its center. It contained flint and stone tools, stone pottery, a flint figurine representing a mother goddess, a clay figurine representing a half-human half-animal creature, and ox horns.

The complete article may be read here.

The area in northern Syria and southeastern Turkey along the Euphrates River is known as Paddan-aram in the book of Genesis. This area served as home for several of the biblical patriarchs. See Genesis 25:20; 28:2,5-7; 31:18; 33:18; 35:9,26; 46:15).

Today’s photo of the Euphrates River was made in northern Syria about 25 miles south of the border with Turkey.

The Euphrates River in northern Syria. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

The Euphrates River in northern Syria. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.