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13th Century marble pieces found in Acre
Jerusalem Post ^ | 11-3-09 | JAMIE ROMM

Posted on 11/03/2009 5:12:34 AM PST by SJackson

In an excavation conducted in late October, about 100 meters north of the Old City wall of Acre, a unique find was discovered from the Crusader period in the 13th Century; a hoard of 350 marble items that were collected from destroyed buildings.

According to Dr. Edna Stern, excavation director of the Israel Antiquities Authority, the hoard was found within the framework of an archaeological excavation conducted by the Israel Antiquities Authority before the Acre Municipality began building a new structure to house classrooms in the Hilmi Shafi Educational Campus.

"We have here a unique find, the likes of which have never been discovered in the Kingdom of Jerusalem in the Crusader period (the capital of which was Acre)," Stern said in a statement on Tuesday.

"During the archaeological excavations we came upon a cellar that was sealed by collapse comprised of building stones and charred beams."

Stern said that beneath the cellar floor a hoard of about 350 marble items and colored stones were discovered, including two broken marble tombstones with Latin inscriptions with one belonging to a person by the name of Maratinus.

Flat marble slabs and marble tiles of various sizes and colors were found as well.

"Some extraordinary items were also found, among them a large stone cross and a large fragment of porphyry (a rare precious purple stone, which was the color of royalty in Roman times)," Stern said.

"The quality of the marble is excellent and it was undoubtedly imported from abroad."

She said that the marble is a major find in helping to learn about the history of the area.

"Everyone knows that Crusader Acre was an important center for international trade and the marble hoard reflects the magnificent buildings that were erected here but have not survived, as well as also the commerce and the wealth of its residents," Stern said. "Just as there is a trend today to incorporate wooden doors from India or roof tiles from old buildings in Italy in modern villas, at that time they used to integrate ancient architectural items from the Roman and Byzantine periods in their construction. And just like today, people at that time also yearned for the classic and the exotic."

She said that written sources showed that such stones, which were exceptionally valuable, were bought and sold to be reused in buildings.

"We can assume that the owner of the hoard, whether he was a merchant or he collected the stones for his own construction, was aware of impending danger and therefore buried the valuable stones until such time as the tension abated," Stern said.

However, according to Stern the cache of stones was not sold in the end due to the building's destruction in 1291 when Crusader Acre was conquered by the Mameluks and was completely devastated.

The marble hoard was removed from the field and transferred to the Israel Antiquities Authority for further study.

TOPICS: Israel; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: godsgravesglyphs

1 posted on 11/03/2009 5:12:35 AM PST by SJackson
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2 posted on 11/03/2009 5:18:42 AM PST by SJackson (In wine there is wisdom, In beer there is freedom, In water there is bacteria.)
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To: SJackson

Siege of Acre (1291)

Acre falls

Before night on Friday 18 May 1291[37], Acre, after being in the hands of the Franks for 100 years [38], was in the hands of Al-Ashraf Khalil and his army after a siege of 43 days, with exception of the huge headquarters of the Templars which stood on the west side of the city seashore. After a week, Al-Asraf Khalil negotiated with Peter de Severy, who was in charge of the Templars, and it was agreed that the Templars and everyone inside the fortress would have free passage to Cyprus, but the Sultan’s men who were sent to the fortress to supervise the evacuation seemed not disciplined enough to handle the matter and were massacred by the Templars. Under the cover of darkness, Theobald Gaudin, the new Master of the Temple, left the fortress for Sidon with a few people and the fortune of the Templars. In the morning, Peter de Severy went to the Sultan to settle a new negotiation but he was arrested with his followers and they were executed in retaliation for the Sultan’s men who were masscared earlier by the Templars inside the fortress. When the besieged Templars in the fortress saw what happened to Peter de Severy, they continued the fight. On May 28, after a wide breach was made under the fortress, the Sultan sent about 2000 men to take it. The Frankish fortress collapsed killing everyone inside, including Sultan’s men.[39]

The news of the conquest of Acre reached Damascus and Cairo. Al-Ashraf Khalil entered the decorated city of Damascus with Franks chained at the feet and the captured crusader standards which were carried upside-down as a sign of their defeat. After celebrating his victory in Damascus, Khalil left for Cairo which was also decorated and celebrating.[40] Arriving at Cairo, he ordered the release of Philip Mainebeuf and the men who accompanied him to Cairo earlier.[41]

3 posted on 11/03/2009 5:19:38 AM PST by Texas Fossil (Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one.)
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To: SunkenCiv


4 posted on 11/03/2009 6:01:23 AM PST by Hegemony Cricket (The emperor has no pedigree.)
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To: Texas Fossil

“left the fortress for Sidon with a few people and the fortune of the Templars.”

The Ark?

5 posted on 11/03/2009 7:28:50 AM PST by Jewbacca (The residents of Iroquois territory may not determine whether Jews may live in Jerusalem.)
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To: Jewbacca

There was no tradition that it was ever at Acre.

All speculation about that artifact is just that.

Axum Ethiopia has an old “tradition” but I am skeptical about that also.

It is really not for us to know.

Will happen in his time not ours.

6 posted on 11/03/2009 4:12:41 PM PST by Texas Fossil (Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one.)
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7 posted on 11/03/2009 6:15:23 PM PST by SunkenCiv ( Jan 3, 2004__Profile updated Monday, January 12, 2009)
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