Sep 17 2014

5000 year old lunar monument identified in Galilee



Hebrew University Ph.D. candidate Ido Wachtel has discovered compelling evidence that a crescent-shaped stone structure located in the Galilee was not part of a fortifying wall as previously thought by scholars, but was a lunar monument.

According to Wachtel, and as cited by Livescience:

The shape may have had symbolic importance, as the lunar crescent is a symbol of an ancient Mesopotamian moon god named Sin, Wachtel said. [. . .] An ancient town called Bet Yerah (which translates to “house of the moon god”) is located only a day’s walk from the crescent-shaped monument Wachtel noted.

This is an exciting finding in Levantine archaeoastronomy, shedding light upon the context pre-dating the Hebrew Bible — particularly its polemic against astrolatry, as found in Deuteronomy 4:19, Deut. 17:3, 2 Kings 17:16, and elsewhere.

Sep 06 2014

Colloquium announcement: The Star of Bethlehem — Historical and Astronomical Perspectives

This two-day colloquium will take place at the University of Groningen on October 23 and 24, 2014.

Scholars in the history of astronomy, ancient history, religion and related fields will speak on the topic of the Star of Bethlehem. There is also space for approximately thirty guest attendees.

Among the list of speakers are Owen Gingerich, Alexander Jones, John Steele, Kocku von Stuckrad, and Mladen Popović. This should be a most exciting and fruitful colloquium.

More information may be found at this link.