Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Fascinating discovery

2,000-year-old tunnels found in Israel

JERUSALEM, March 14 (UPI) -- Archeologists say they've found remains north of Nazareth of the Jewish settlement "Kana of the Galilee," dating from the Roman period.

The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs said excavations conducted by the Israel Antiquities Authority indicate the remains, including tunnel hideouts, existed at the time of King Solomon and the Kingdom of Israel, following the split between Israel and Judah, from the 10th to the ninth centuries B.C.

The director of the excavation, Yardenna Alexandre, reported finding evidence indicating the site was vanquished during the ninth century B.C. Following the destruction, the site was abandoned until its ruins were reinhabited by early Roman period settlers during the first century A.D.

Archeologists said the Jewish settlers built igloo-shaped pits on the ruins of the previous settlement, in which the bedrock served as the floor of the pit. A rock-hewn pit was discovered in one of the tunnels containing 11 complete storage jars that are characteristic of the second half of the 1st century.

Alexandre said the pits are connected to each other by short tunnels and were apparently used as hiding places.