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Paradise lost -- and found
Date:10/28/2010

In similar Assyrian gardens, trees and plants would have been brought in from all over the empire, explains Prof. Lipschits, who says that this type of garden, also in the Babylonian or Persian kingdoms, would have also served a spiritual function as a place of peace, tranquillity and connection to nature.

A global village?

Preliminary results show that while Ramat Rachel was built by the Judeans, the people of the ancient kingdom of Judah, it was commissioned by foreign powers. These results may reveal information about a wide variety of empires that ruled in Israel at one time. This site, says Gross, was in use from the 7th to the 4th century B.C.E., a time period which saw many wars and exchanges of power with the garden evolving under each civilization.

Researchers are excited about what more this unique dig will be able to tell them. There has never been anything like it, explains Gross, who says that the TAU team will be pioneering a method for excavating gardens. "Proper excavation will provide an essential tool to future researchers," he says. "We are carefully deciphering what we have in front of us. There are no parallels to it."

The team hopes to delve deeper into the history of the garden with a close analysis of soil and other findings to determine what kind of plant life would have grown there, and which, if any, animals called the garden home.


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Contact: George Hunka
ghunka@aftau.org
212-742-9070
American Friends of Tel Aviv University
Source:Eurekalert  

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