Israel is for Archaeology

With the Bar Mitzvah celebration over, we packed up, left the nice cottage and went to the nearby Tzippori Nation Park. Our friend, Rachel, during graduate school, helped to excavate the "Mona Lisa of the Galilee," the floor mosaic that is part of the park and we got a bit of a personal tour from her. At the park, there are two episodes of civilizations and excavations: the Romans and Greeks. It is a fascinating, on-going and unfolding story. Not a Roman outpost, like Hadrian's Wall, but perhaps a rich person's or dignitary's home with elaborate mosaics revealing the significance of the Nile, the importance of water, larger beasts attacking smaller beasts, and Amazons. Really,...Amazons!?!

The grounds here at the National Park offer many interesting places to poke around, including a covered excavation site, a building housing an excavated home, a large outdoor theatre, and a water/irrigation system.

We then went caving with a tour guide in Rhuma (which could mean Roma but the guide, Michael, was only hypothesizing about that) where human-made caves were discovered.  It is thought that these caves were built so that the Caesar could meet and talk with the Rabbi of Tzippori (the one who was redacting and re-creating Judaism for modern times). But no one wanted the other's people to see these meetings so they met in secret, in the caves. Then, we were told, the caves were connected cisterns and filled in with tunnelled-out material. These caves were used as hiding places for Jews when the Romans came by during the Bar Kochba revolt (132-136 CE).  Roman soldiers used to wear spiked shoes (ouch!) and you could hear them coming as they clomped along the limestone.

Came back home tonight, back to Moshav Aviezer.

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