Daily Archives: May 18, 2013

The Bet Qama discovery

Numerous discoveries are made in Israel during the process of building a house, a road, or some other construction project. It becomes necessary to call the Israel Antiquities Authority so that an emergency excavation can be conducted.

Israel has a wonderful toll road (Highway 6) running from Galilee to the Negev. During preparatory work to extend the highway to the south, a settlement covering almost 1½ acres was uncovered in the fields of Kibbutz Bet Qama (Beit Kama) a few miles north of Beersheba. Shmuel Browns, Israel guide and blogger, attended a briefing by the IAA earlier in the week. He describes the discovery:

The site seems to have consisted of a large estate that included a tower, a church, residential buildings, presumably an inn for travelers, and storerooms, a large cistern, a public building and pools surrounded by farmland. Also found was a stone with a Byzantine cross in secondary usage.

Browns think this would be a good candidate for a monastery. He has granted permission for us to share this photo that he made during the IAA briefing.

The IAA explains the Beit Qama discovery. Photo by Shmuel Browns.

The IAA reports on the Beit Qama discovery. Photo by Shmuel Browns.

Take a look at the blog post with a half dozen nice photos by Shmuel Browns here.

The Press Release by the IAA may be read here.

I see that Carl Rasmussen has posted a blog here about the 5th century synagogue that was discovered during construction work in 1993 at Sepphoris. This site is only 3½ miles north of Nazareth, the early home of Jesus.

There is still a lot to be uncovered in the Near East. See my post about “Know but mostly unknown” here.