4,000 year-old tomb discovered in Bethlehem

Workers renovating a house in the traditional town of Jesus’ birth accidentally discovered an untouched ancient tomb containing clay pots, plates, beads and the bones of two humans, a Palestinian antiquities official said Tuesday.

The tomb seems to be right in the middle of town.

Workers in a house near the Church of the Nativity uncovered a hole leading to the grave, which was about one meter (yard) below ground, he said. They contacted antiquities officials, who photographed the grave intact before removing its contents.

They dated the grave to the Early Bronze Age, between 1,900 B.C. and 2,200 B.C.

With all the attention Bethlehem gets as Jesus’ birthplace, it’s easy to forget the city has a long biblical history. Genesis records that Jacob buried his wife Rachel near the city (also called Ephrath). The judge Ibzan hailed from Bethlehem and was buried there. The story of Ruth & Boaz takes place there. It was also David’s stomping ground .

This tomb apparently predates all of them. It’s remarkable that it has remained untouched until now.

Read the story here. (Includes photos of the pottery.)

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About LukeChandler

Luke holds an M.A. in Ancient and Classical History and has been an adjunct professor at Florida College in Temple Terrace, Florida. Luke and his wife Melanie have five children. He serves as a minister in English and Spanish with the North Terrace Church of Christ and participates annually in archaeological excavations in Israel. Luke also leads tours to Europe and the Bible Lands.
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