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The Jerusalem Talmud (IV/7,19) mentions a great fair held at a place called Botnah, which means terebinth. It was the biggest fair in the land, said the Rabbis, bigger than the ones at Acco and Gaza. They advised Jews not to attend, because idolatrous practices were rampant. This was probably the same place that Byzantine writers called Terebinthus, where a great tree stood and where an annual pagan fair was held in the summer. They are the first, apparently, to use the name Mamre as an alternative for Terebinthus
We have a detailed description of the fair from Sozomen of Gaza. Writing in the 5th century, he describes the pagan activities, which were accompanied by "hilarity." The Emperor Constantine forbade them, he tells us, and ordered that a church be built on the spot. Sozomen begins in the present tense but shifts to the past, so it is unclear whether, despite the decree, the hilarity continued.
of Mature This place is now called Terebinthus, and is about fifteen stadia distant from Hebron, which lies to the south, but is two hundred and fifty stadia distant from Jerusalem. It is recorded that here the Son of God appeared to Abraham, with two angels, who had been sent against Sodom, and foretold the birth of his son. Here the inhabitants of the country and of the regions round Palestine the Phoenicians, and the Arabians, assemble annually during the summer season to keep a brilliant feast; and many others, both buyers and sellers, resort thither on account of the fair. Indeed, this feast is diligently frequented by all nations: by the Jews, because they boast of their descent from the patriarch Abraham; by the Pagans, because angels there appeared to men; and by Christians, because He who for the salvation of mankind was born of a virgin, afterwards manifested Himself there to a godly man. This place was moreover honored fittingly with religious exercises. Here some prayed to the God of all; some called upon the angels, poured out wine, burnt incense, or offered an ox, or he-goat, a sheep, or a cock
The sacrificial altar was probably in the middle, where a black segment appears in the diagram above. Here were found metal bells, rings, earrings, pieces of crystal, animal bones and a great many rooster feet. The rooster was holy to Hermes-Mercury, who was not only the messenger but also the god of commerce. An inscription honoring him turned up as well
During Early Bronze Age III (2600–2300 B.C.E.) the city was protected by a massive city wall over 20 feet thick. In 1964 Hammond excavated a 40-foot-long segment of this wall on the south side of the ancient city. It was built of large field stones, some more than 3 feet long. The flat top of this wall rose 8 feet above bedrock and may have been the base for a mud brick superstructure. In 1999, another segment of this wall, more than 45 feet long, was discovered on the north side of the tell by Eisenberg, who confirmed the structure’s Early Bronze III date
The Middle Bronze II gateway with its massive tower may have found its way onto the pages of the Bible. In the account of Sarah’s death at Hebron, Abraham is reported to have bought the cave of Machpelah from Ephron the Hittite as a burial place for his wife. The cave became Abraham’s family tomb. This transaction took place in the hearing of “all who entered the gate” of the city (Genesis 23:10). When the Biblical author wrote these words he might well have had this gate and tower complex in mind since Hammond determined that it continued in use from Abraham’s time until the end of Iron Age II
The text then adds, “And we also saw Children of Anak there” (Numbers 13:28). The Children of Anak are mentioned only in connection with Hebron, which indicates it may have been Hebron’s high and massive Middle Bronze II wall, still in use centuries after it was built, that was in the mind of the Biblical writer when he composed the spy narrative. The Deuteronomic version of the same event employs picturesque hyperbole in describing Canaanite cities like Hebron as being “walled up to heaven” (Deuteronomy 2:28).
The Zohar, a late 13th-century mystical treatise, also supports the belief that Adam and Eve are buried at Machpelah. In addition, the Zohar locates the cave of Machpelah next to the Garden of Eden and suggests that through this cave the souls of the righteous may enter Paradise (Zohar, Lech Lecha 95; Zohar Chadash 58:27).
The name Machpelah means folded. In the Zohar we are told that the field and cave rests on a 2 fold area namely the world above and world below. Thus through this spiritual gate all souls pass when they leave this world
Hammond had found remains of Late Bronze Age occupation in six different areas.6 Hebron was in fact an active city during the Late Bronze Age, particularly in Late Bronze II. In some cases, Hammond determined that houses built in the Middle Bronze Age continued to be used in the Late Bronze Age, as shown by the pottery found in them.
A room in one structure located in Area 6 in the center of the ancient city yielded fragments of typical Late Bronze Age painted pottery and imported Cypriot “base ring” vessels. In the same room (which I designated Room 1096 in my research) Hammond discovered a Late Bronze II arrowhead and a limestone scarab bearing the prenomen of Pharaoh Ramesses II, User Ma’at Ra Setep N Ra (Ramesses’ throne name).7 Ramesses II dominated Canaan during much of his long reign (1290–1224 B.C.E.), near the end of the Late Bronze Age. And he is often thought to have been the pharaoh of the Exodus.
Hammond also found a Late Bronze Age burial cave south of the city wall line. Designated Tomb 2, it had unfortunately been looted shortly before his arrival at Tell Rumeide. The thieves left behind only scattered Late Bronze Age pottery sherds. But those were enough to establish the date of the tomb.
Another Late Bronze Age tomb just outside the north city wall line was cleared in 1998 by Israeli archaeologist Yuval Peleg. He found 53 burials, together with pottery vessels, bronze objects and scarabs of the Egyptian pharaohs Tutmoses III (1479–1425 B.C.E.) and Amenophis III (1391–1353 B.C.E.).8
All in all, the evidence is strong that Hebron was a thriving city in the Late Bronze Age just before the time the Bible says the Israelites captured it.
The Egyptian Execration texts of the Middle Kingdom (2055-1650 BC) mention a list of political enemies in Canaan, and among this list are a group called the "ly Anaq" or people of Anaq
Originally posted by muzzleflash
By the way, Phoenicia is just the word the Greeks called the civilization during those periods, which was located in present day Palestine-Israel. No known records indicate they actually called themselves by that term.edit on 20-11-2012 by muzzleflash because: (no reason given)
The bones were discovered by the anthropologist Georges Vacher de Lapouge at the Bronze Age cemetery of Castelnau-le-Lez, France in the winter of 1890. His findings were published in the journal La Nature, Vol. 18, 1890. The height of the individual was estimated at about 3.5 m (11 ft 6 in) according to de Lapouge, and the bones were dated to the Neolithic period, since they were found at the very bottom of the Bronze Age burial tumulus. The journal includes a photo engraving of what was identified as the humerus, tibia, and femoral mid-shaft of the giant compared to a normal size humerus in the center.
The bones of the Castelnau giant were studied at the University of Montpellier and examined by M. Sabatier, professor of Zoology, at the University of Montpellier, and M. Delage, professor of paleontology at the University of Montpellier, in addition to other anatomists. In 1892 the bones were carefully studied by Dr. Paul Louis André Kiener, professor of pathological anatomy at Montpellier School of Medicine, for which he admitted they represented a "very tall race", but nevertheless found them abnormal in dimensions and apparently of "morbid growth."
It is of some interest that in 1894, press accounts mentioned a further discovery of bones of human giants unearthed at a prehistoric cemetery at Montpellier, France (5 km Southwest of Castelnau) while workers were excavating a water works reservoir. Skulls "28, 31, and 32 inches in circumference" were reported alongside other bones of gigantic proportions which indicated they belonged to a race of men "between 10 and 15 feet in height." The bones were reportedly sent to the Paris Academy for further study
Originally posted by Kantzveldt
reply to post by alumnathe
It's true as you state that the best evidence is from the Near East, in that in the case of Hebron we know where and when they lived from both Hebrew and Egyptian sources, and have evidence of what they constructed, though i have been making the case in these threads that is greatly underestimated and that quality construction at Jerusalem and Baalnek, as well as Hebron could perhaps be attributed to them.
There is also of course an entire corpus of literature regarding the Watchers that the Nephilim were considered to be the descendants of, things are never so straight forward in South America.