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Questions tagged [archaeology]

Questions pertaining to the relationship between archaeology and Judaism.

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Who is the Pharaoh of the Exodus? [duplicate]

Which Pharaoh was reigning in Egypt during the Exodus according to our mesorah? Do any traditional Jewish sources discuss his name?
Avi Avraham's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
51 views

"... and the cities are fortified and very large" - how would ex-Egyptians see Canaanean cities?

Tel Hevron (the ancient settlement in Hebron) features a fragment of a Middle Bronze Age city wall. The sign cites the verse "However, the people who inhabit the country are powerful, and the ...
Al Berko's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
138 views

Biological sample from the ancient dead

Is there any halachic justification, or permission, to take a biological sample from a dead person in an ancient site? For example, in Israel there are many archeological digs which sometimes result ...
bondonk's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
82 views

The Shamir vs Bronze/Flint tools

We are told that "there was neither hammer nor axe nor any tool of iron heard in the house, while it was in building" The go-to explanations tend to be fantastical things like use of the ...
ANH's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
749 views

Earliest Identification of Ishmael as Arabs / Muslims

Both Jewish sources and Muslim sources seem to take for granted that at least some Arabs and/or Muslims are somehow descended from Abraham's son Ishmael (whether biologically or spiritually). See, for ...
Avraham's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
143 views

Interest in Biblical Archaeology [closed]

Why is it that I see a lot of non-Jewish people interested in the "Real" location of Har Sinai, the "Real" red sea crossing etc.? But, I don't see that sort of interest among us? ...
Mars Sojourner's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
60 views

Is the Arch of Titus mentioned by Chazal?

Is there any mention in Rabbinic sources (whether by the Tanaim, Amoraim, Rishonim, Achronim) about the Arch of Titus?
Renato S. Grun's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
186 views

First archaeological evidence of Crowns on Letters in a written scroll

What is the first archaeological evidence of Crowns on Letters in a written scroll of Torah? I took a look at the oldest Torah scrolls and didn't see the crowns until the 12th century.
Al Berko's user avatar
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7 votes
1 answer
358 views

Why aren't peas mentioned in the Tanach/Talmud?

Or if my premise is wrong, please correct me? Guns, Germs, & Steel talks about early domesticated crops of the Fertile Crescent. No surprise that he quickly mentions wheat, barley, olives, dates, ...
Shalom's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
80 views

If thou forgettest Me one day, I will forget thee two days

In a class he gave in the 90s, Rabbi Prof. Shnayer Leiman said that he believes that once all of the fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls are properly analyzed and made public, it is very likely that the ...
Harel13's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
116 views

Does archaeology give us any idea of the geographical locations in שמות 14:2?

דַּבֵּר֮ אֶל־בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵל֒ וְיָשֻׁ֗בוּ וְיַחֲנוּ֙ לִפְנֵי֙ פִּ֣י הַחִירֹ֔ת בֵּ֥ין מִגְדֹּ֖ל וּבֵ֣ין הַיָּ֑ם לִפְנֵי֙ בַּ֣עַל צְפֹ֔ן נִכְח֥וֹ תַחֲנ֖וּ עַל־הַיָּֽם׃ Tell the Israelites to turn ...
Perry Webb's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
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While Torah means instructions, does this explain it equaling commands? [closed]

How do Jewish scholars view the conclusion some make from the Hittite Instructions in The Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament (3rd ed. with Supplement, p. i). Pritchard, J. B. (...
Perry Webb's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
372 views

How does the Motza Temple fit into our tradition?

This place is about a mile away from my home and I frequently ran in that area for years and saw the archeological site, until they announced that they've found a Jewish Temple running in parallel to ...
Al Berko's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
64 views

Do any Jewish sources give a non-literal interpretation of the census in Bamidbar?

Are there any classical commentators that state that "elef" didn't literally mean 1 thousand, or something else to that effect, that would result in a smaller number? I am reading Ani Maamin ...
Ben's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
222 views

May one tour the Acropolis in Athens, Greece? [duplicate]

The Acropolis with its Parthenon is Greece's #1 tourist attraction. Are there any halachic issues with touring the ruins of pagan temples?
J G's user avatar
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2 votes
7 answers
327 views

Websites or books about the Torah and history of the world

I am looking for recommendations of good websites and books that talk about various ways of understanding the 'conflicts' between the Torah and a modern understanding of the age of the universe, the ...
J. Bauer's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
254 views

Tetragrammaton in paleo-Hebrew within Hebrew text of Tehilim

Many scrolls were found (in Qumran?) depicting a regular Hebrew scripture text with the Holy name written in paleo-Hebrew (כתב עברי), like this one: What Talmudic explanation fits these findings, if ...
Al Berko's user avatar
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3 votes
2 answers
94 views

Recommendation for Temple archeological tour

It's been a while since I have visited the archeological sites near the Temple area. I believe that you appreciate what you read in history is best appreciated by personally seeing it. As I plan to ...
DanF's user avatar
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6 votes
0 answers
171 views

Can we use archaeology to determine halacha or mesorah?

Can archaeology be used to determine the proper halacha or mesorah in certain cases? For instance, what if we found a Sefer Torah from the times of Moshe Rabbeinu and it differed from our mesorah. ...
ezra's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
77 views

Online Depictions of the Colorful Second Temple

Are there any artistic depictions, available online, of the multicolored appearance of the Second Temple, based on archaeological finds (see, e.g., here), or, e.g., the depiction of the blue/green and ...
Loewian's user avatar
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-3 votes
3 answers
237 views

Did Og exist or was he a metaphor?

Did Og exist or was he a metaphor? I am asking this because we did not find any giant bones in the fossil record as to date. It also doesn’t seem to make sense to me since Judaism is the religion of ...
Turk Hill's user avatar
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0 votes
0 answers
63 views

What is the halacha regarding archeological digging near the Temple Mount?

Follow up to this question that discusses the holiness of the stone that fell off the Western Wall. What is the halachic status regarding any kedusha (holiness) in doing archeological excavations on ...
DanF's user avatar
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0 votes
2 answers
94 views

Exodus points for discussion?

I have a few questions abou the Exodus. Is there any way to know in which era or year the Exodus took place? And do we take Pharaoh to mean Pharaoh or could it be any family member, vice or under ...
Levi's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
189 views

Archaeological findings of events in the Torah or Neviim Rishonim

I am looking for archaeological findings that support what is written in the Torah or Neviim Rishonim. I am looking for non-sensational findings that are agreed upon by the general scientific ...
user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
222 views

Jewish Archaeology

I'm looking for a good read which discusses archaeology and the Tanach, Chazal, etc. Could anyone point me to some resources? I would prefer that the book be in English, and have pictures throughout. ...
ezra's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
84 views

If the Ark was found today how should it be handled Halachicly?

Imagine that the Aron Kodesh that contains the two sets of tablets given at Sinai, which was hidden away towards the end of the first temple period, was found today (in modern times). What are the ...
rikitikitembo's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
152 views

Using archaeological findings for determining weights and measurements

Halacha uses many units of length (amot/cubits), volume (k'zayit/olive), etc. There are multiple opinions regarding how to translate these into modern equivalent units. For instance, the Chazon Ish ...
ChaimKut's user avatar
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6 votes
3 answers
802 views

Have Egyptian paintings of the exodus been discovered? (some claim they are shown in this book)

I was in shul on this past tikkun leil shavuot, as they had some interesting shiurim. They had a rabbi associated with aish there, I don't recall who it was, and he gave a talk about archaeology and ...
barlop's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
160 views

Is the Midrash Chad Shenati available online?

According with this article, Midrash Chad Shenati was discovered in the Cairo Genizah almost a century ago. It is an early medieval midrashic collection most likely of eastern provenance, dating from ...
Renato S. Grun's user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
428 views

Where was Herod's temple built?

The Scripture says that the Second Temple was built on the foundation of Solomon's Temple, but was Herod's Temple built in the same place or was it built next to it? (Do we have any records that say ...
Allyn Shell's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
373 views

How to deal with modern archaeological knowledge regarding supposed polytheism of ancient Israel?

Supposedly, modern archaeological findings hold that ancient Israel was polytheistic (with the exodus from Egypt simply being a legend), and then gradually shifted to monotheism. How does one ...
user avatar
7 votes
3 answers
3k views

How do the Dead Sea Scrolls of Isaiah compare with today's version?

To what degree do the Dead Sea Scrolls of the book of Isaiah match our version of the book of Isaiah?
ray's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
289 views

Is there any support for the claim that tekhelet and argaman could be derived from the same creature?

Is there any indication in Chazal (or at least in other ancient literature) that tekhelet and argaman could be derived from the same creature (as currently proposed by the Tekhelet Institute)?
Loewian's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
390 views

The luxury of murex trunculus indigo

The Tekhelet Institute acknowledges that murex trunculus indigo is molecularly equivalent to plant-based indigo that was available in the ancient world for far cheaper (kala ilan). They reason that ...
Loewian's user avatar
  • 17.8k
14 votes
3 answers
1k views

What should our response be to ancient scripts that mirror the Torah?

There are quite a number of ancient documents that have been found that (supposedly) predate the Torah, and yet they share many lines practically verbatim. If the Torah is truly divine, how could this ...
WhoKnows's user avatar
  • 2,662
14 votes
1 answer
681 views

Was Ankhmahor really Yosef?

I was reading an article today on circumcision a news website I frequent. It displayed a picture from the tomb of Ankhmahor, a high ranking Egyptian official that was, apparently, responsible for mass ...
Isaac Kotlicky's user avatar
11 votes
2 answers
606 views

Is it possible for mesorah to be discovered?

Suppose there was a previously unknown collection of midrash or sayings or halachah or commentary that was discovered in an archaeological excavation and is hundreds or thousands of years old. ...
Premundane's user avatar
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3 votes
4 answers
416 views

Book on Biblical Archeology

I'm looking to increase my knowledge of biblical archeology. As an orthodox jew, I'd prefer a book which takes a more traditional view with regards to the historicity of tanach. Any suggestions?
DankMasterDan's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
548 views

What is the source that the Western Wall was built by the poor?

I understand that there is a general Jewish tradition that the Western Wall/Kotel was built by the poor (I believe under the command of King Solomon) (link). What is the source for the tradition (...
A L's user avatar
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-1 votes
2 answers
427 views

Is there any evidence of Nephilim?

Numbers 13:33 Numbers 13:32–33 includes a description by the Twelve Spies of giant "Nephilim" that they saw in Canaan: 32 And they spread an evil report of the land which they had spied out unto ...
Ess Kay's user avatar
  • 311
2 votes
1 answer
131 views

Updating of holy books

I am curious if such thing is possible, e.g. if some new evidence is found (archeological or other scientific or other). So the next generation will have more accurate interpretation, because we all ...
Derfder's user avatar
  • 161
15 votes
1 answer
564 views

Nullifying Ancient Israelite Idols

Following up on a question raised on the Avodah list (see here & here under the subject “Destroying Idols”). Archaeologists often dig up idols whose worshipers have abandoned them over the ...
J. C. Salomon's user avatar
19 votes
1 answer
981 views

Critical Jewish analysis of the Ipuwer papyrus

I just stumbled across information about the Ipuwer papyrus, and I was wondering how many Jewish Egyptologists have had an opportunity to review and study it at length. Other than this very brief ...
Seth J's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
194 views

Archaeology and תחיית המתים

A few minutes ago, while standing in the rain and seeing some people passing out some pamphlets an idea occurred to me. Are there any papers, books, dvar torahs etc, which links the traditional ...
avi's user avatar
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28 votes
9 answers
4k views

Archeological proof of Exodus?

Is there empirical proof that the exodus from Egypt and related happenings (like Har Sinai etc) did in fact occur (i.e: Archeological proof)? I believe in the Torah, but how would you prove to someone ...
lehrer's user avatar
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