Well, I got back the pictures from Israel, and disappointingly few of them turned out well. Time to get a digital camera.
I stuck up some of the best here. Most of these are probably not of general interest, but some of you may like the last two.
The inscription is from the dig site I was visiting. This photo was taken on top of one of the (still-being-excavated) walls of the city from the Jebussite stratum (ca. 2000-1300BC). The inscription is a bit faint in the picture (it’s the scratched lines in the stone) but it reads “Nahum” (a man’s name) in the Hebrew script of that period. From its language one can infer that it was written after the Jewish conquest of the city, so it’s probably ca. 1300.
The other picture was taken from a hillside in Jerusalem. (For purposes of orientation: This is on a hillside adjacent to the Old City. Relative to the center of this picture, the Wall is at 4 o’clock, and the al-Aqsa mosque is at 5 o’clock. The hill itself is part of Jerusalem. The hill on the left of this picture is actually a Palestinian village; the hill on the right is part of Jerusalem; and the valley between the two is Gehennom, the valley of Hinnom, which several thousand years ago was used as the city dump, and was a place to throw the bodies of people you really didn’t like. Thus going to Gehennom when you died was considered a generally bad thing.
For further orientation: The Jebusite wall (v.s.) is at 9 o’clock to me in this picture, and about fifty meters straight down. Did I mention that all archaeology in this city is urban archaeology, and goes right through buildings? Almost all of the city is about as dense as the hill on the left in this picture.