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January 02, 1987 - Image 13

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1987-01-02

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Digs Uncover
Ancient City

Jerusalem — Evidence of an
ancient community that
existed for over 1,000 years, in
which Jews, pagans and Chris-
tians lived and prospered, has
been uncovered in archaeolog-
ical excavations carried out at
Sepphoris in the western
Galilee under a joint project of
the Hebrew University of
Jerusalem and Duke Univer-
sity of North Carolina.
The project's second season
of excavations at Sepphoris,
also known as Diocaesarea or
Zippori in ancient sources,
were recently concluded.
The excavations are part of a
long-term project to recover
the rich history of a site, lo-
cated just west of Nazareth,
that was the home of the
Sanhedrin, the central body of
Jewish legal and spiritual life
during the Roman period, and
also the home for 17 years of
Rabbi Judah Hanasi, patriarch
and leader of the Sanhedrin
when the Mishnah was com-
piled there around 200 C.E.
The historian Josephus re-
ferred to Sepphoris as the "or-
nament of all Galilee."
Among the coins, pottery
and other artifacts found in the
last two seasons of 'digs at Sep-
phoris are some bearing in-
scriptions in Hebrew, Greek,
Syriac and Roman script, tes-
tifying to settlement over an
extended period dating from
the early Second Temple
period and extending up to the
Arabic period, and of a popula-
tion that included Jews, pa-
gans and early Christians.
Among the more noteworthy
artifacts that have been found
are a pair of bronze statuettes
of figures from classic mythol-
ogy, a cross found on earthen-
ware dating from the early
Christian period, and a lead
weight bearing an inscription
in Greek including the name of
the Jewish supervisor of the
city market.

Robot Expert
Studies Humans

Rehovot — Israeli Tamar
Flash, an MIT-trained scien-
tist has introduced the study of
robotics at the Weizmann In-
stitute of Science. Working at
the Applied Mathematics and
Computer Science Depart-
ment, she has recently con-
ducted a series of experiments
analyzing the way in which
people move their hands, both
in straight and curved trajec-
tories.
Currently scientists believe
that many movements, espe-
cially fast ones, are preprog-
rammed by the brain.
Dr. Flash has learned that
fast human hand movements
follow the same trajectory as a
slow hand movement. This
simplifies the computational
problems involved in the gen-
eration of hand trajectories
and implies that the brain does
not preprogram every single
movement from scratch.

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