Talk:Beit She'arim National Park

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Name of this article[edit]

Since this article is primarily about Beit She'arim and hardly at all about the national park that now protects it, it seems to me that the name of the article should be Beit She'arim (as it once was). Zerotalk 12:09, 19 October 2009 (UTC)

I think someone changed it to differentiate this article from modern Beit She'arim. If you have been to the site, you can see where the Arab village was, next to the necropolis - certainly not on top of it.--Gilabrand (talk) 12:18, 19 October 2009 (UTC)
Mazar says that the Beit She'arim settlement (not the necropolis) "was situated on top of the mound" and occupied an area of more than 100 dunams at the height of its prosperity. (Mazar, Vol 1, p14). Various sites connected with the settlement, like the synagogue, are on the various slopes of the hill. The necropolis "is spread in a semicircle on the northeastern, northern, and western slopes of Tell Beth She'arim [the hill], and on the slopes of adjoining hills to the the north and west". (p20) In other words it was a lot more extensive than can be seen by a visitor today. (I have been there, since I have friends in Tivon, but I don't remember much.) The hill on which the Beit She'arim settlement sat is the same as the one on which Sheikh Bureik sat - not only is that stated by both Conder and Mazar, but the PEF map of 1880 showing Sheikh Bureik and the mound shown in Mazar's topographic maps match up exactly. Zerotalk 12:37, 19 October 2009 (UTC)

Identity of hill[edit]

The Beit She'arim and Sheikh Bureik were on the same hill is stated on page 13 of Mazar's book. But since I have it front of me I'll copy what Claude Conder wrote much earlier (Tent work in Palestine, Vol. 1 (1879), p161-162):

Sheikh Abreik stands on the site of an unknown town of no little importance. To the west the hillside is completely undermined by extensive excavations and systems of tombs which required many days to examine. Under the town is one called "the Cave of Gehenna," and on the hill is another consisting of chamber within chamber, the first entered being painted with palm branches, ivy-leaves, and other mortuary emblems in red; in one tomb the inscription "Parthene" is written in Greek, in another we found graves unopened, and the entrances most carefully closed; but unfortunately the roof had fallen in, and all that our excavation brought us was a delicate little tear-bottle, the glass oxidised by age, and covered with a prismatic crust which scaled off easily.

Zerotalk 12:20, 19 October 2009 (UTC)

Someone who knows more about this might want to add something about this[edit]

Greg Ross talks about a Mystery Slab of Beth She’Arim which was excavated in a cave near the sacred Galilean catacomb of Beth She’Arim in 1956, when a bulldozer unearthed an enormous rectangular slab, 11 × 6.5 × 1.5 feet. Rather than try to move the 9-ton mass, workers at first paved over it. Seven years passed before anyone thought to examine it closely.

It was one gigantic piece of glass. He states that it is unknown who made it or exactly how. Evidently an ancient furnace had produced great batches of molten glass that could be cooled and broken into reworkable pieces. This batch had been abandoned, perhaps because contamination had ruined its clarity.

See ref

Johann.H.Muller (talk) 19:55, 27 February 2010 (UTC)

I have read quite a lot of professional archaeological writing on this site and never saw anything like this. It sounds very much like a myth. Zerotalk 00:34, 28 February 2010 (UTC)
No myth, it's actually on display at the site. A quick search on Google Scholar also produces several results. It's a remnant of the extensive glass industry in the region during the Roman and Byzantine eras. See here and there photos on the net as well. Poliocretes (talk) 09:12, 28 February 2010 (UTC)

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