Tomb of ‘Jesus midwife’ excavated, revealing remarkable courtyard and oil lamps

A cave in Israel is said to be the burial place of Salome. JesusThe midwife has revealed many of its secrets, according to archaeologists who have unearthed inscriptions and valuable artifacts at this place, which was once revered as a place of pilgrimage by the early Christians.

Discoveries at Salome Cave, near the ancient city of Lachish and about 30 miles (48 kilometers) southwest of Jerusalem, include hundreds of clay oil lamps and wall-carved inscriptions that pilgrims bought or rented before entering the cave. worshipers, some written in Arabic.

Salome’s cave and forecourt will become part of the Judean Kings Trail of archaeological sites in southern Israel when the final excavations are complete. (Image credit: Emil Aladjem, Israel Antiquities Authority)

Although looters discovered the cave 40 years ago and archaeologists excavated the site in 1984, the new excavation is the first to examine the cave’s forecourt, an ornate space covering 3,767 square feet (350 square meters) with mosaic floors and surrounded by stone walls. . Next to the courtyard, the entrance to the cave is heavily decorated with symbolic carvings of rosettes, pomegranates and acanthus vases – a type of vase covered with ornamental leaves of the acanthus plant; A statement from the Israel Antiquities Authority (opens in new tab) (IAA). They visited the cave during Christian pilgrims. Byzantium from the fifth century AD; however, IAA researchers say evidence shows that a wealthy Jewish family used the cave to bury it about 2,000 years ago.

“The family tomb proves that its owners were a high-status family in Judea. chief [lowlands] During the Second Temple period, which lasted from 516 to 70 AD, the name Salome may have been mentioned in one of the bone tombs in antiquity. [stone boxes] The tradition developed in the tomb and identifying the site with the midwife Salome.”

Recent excavations show that the site was originally a cave for Jewish burials, but during the Byzantine period it became associated with the Christian figure Salome and became a place of pilgrimage. (Image credit: Emil Aladjem, Israel Antiquities Authority)

midwife of jesus

The story of Midwife Salome is told in the Gospel of Jacob, which is considered fabricated by Christians – that is, doubtful of its authenticity – and is not mentioned in the New Testament.

The story of Midwife Salome is told in the apocryphal Gospel of Jacob; It is said that his arm dried out because he doubted Jesus’ virgin birth, but was healed when he touched Jesus’ cradle. (Image credit: Emil Aladjem, Israel Antiquities Authority)

Salome is largely unknown to Western Christians today; however, he was revered by early Christians and is depicted as the midwife at the birth of Jesus on many Eastern Orthodox icons.

The story in the Gospel of James tells that Salome was a friend of another anonymous midwife at the birth of Jesus; but his hand dried up when he refused to believe that Jesus’ mother was a virgin, and it was healed only after touching the baby’s cradle.

Excavations show that the original Jewish burial cave became a Christian pilgrimage site from the Byzantine era, from the 5th century AD to at least the 9th century AD until the Islamic period of the area. (Image credit: Emil Aladjem, Israel Antiquities Authority)

Salome cave itself consists of several chambers carved into multiple rocks. kokhim (grave niches) and chambers of broken bones attesting to the original Jewish burial tradition. But it was a surprise archaeologists that the site became an early Christian chapel and pilgrimage centre.

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