TRAVEL NEWS: Jerusalem Gold on TV and under Temple Mount

‘Dig,’ an Archaeological Thriller, Could Make a Debut This Fall

In recent years, executives at the USA Network have stood on the sidelines, watching cable dramas like AMC’s “Breaking Bad” and Showtime’s “Homeland” collect the critical raves and awards. Now they want to get into the game.

On Wednesday, USA is to announce a deal for the most expensive and ambitious drama the network has ever commissioned: “Dig,” an action series set (and shot) in Jerusalem and based in the world of archaeology. The network hopes it will be, in the words of Jeff Wachtel, the chief content officer for NBCUniversal’s cable networks, “the big, buzz-worthy project” that USA has been looking for.

The show, which the network is calling an “event series,” will start as a six-episode season, probably next fall. The plan is to expand to 13 episodes for a second season.

Beyond the premise, which sounds unlike anything else currently on television, and the credentials of the production team, what distinguishes “Dig” is its connection to Israel, which, in recent years, has become a fount of television ideas for American networks. Mr. Nir had been especially aggressive in seeking to bring an American television series to Israel for full production on location, Mr. Rosen said.

Toward that end, the production has already enlisted the cooperation of Nir Barkat, recently re-elected as mayor of Jerusalem, who has promised wide access to the historical areas of the Old City and other landmarks.

To read more about the upcoming series, click here.


Israeli archeologists strike gold at Temple Mount

Coin Found at Temple Mount

Coin Found at Temple Mount

A Hebrew University archeologist unveiled the “Ophel Treasure,” a collection of 36 gold coins and a large gold medallion believed to date back to 614 CE, at Jerusalem’s Mount Scopus campus Monday morning.

The gold artifacts were unearthed earlier this year approximately 50 meters from the Temple Mount’s southern wall, where Dr. Eilat Mazar has directed the Ophel excavation since 2009.

Hanging from a gold chain, the remarkably well kept and glittering 10-cm. medallion is engraved with a sevenbranched menorah, a shofar and a Torah.

Mazar, a third-generation archeologist at HU’s Institute of Archeology, said the medallion was likely used to adorn a Torah scroll.

“This is the biggest gift we could get for the new year and for Eretz Israel,” said Mazar, who deemed the discovery “one of the most important excavations” in the institute’s 45-year history.

To read more about the amazing discovery, click here.


Editor’s Note: You can retrace the footsteps of the ancient Nabateans, Greeks and Romans, as you journey with Original World Travel up the Nile, into the Sinai, and across Jordan and Israeli.  OWT offers a journey into the Ancient Civilizations of the Middle East, with departures in April and October.


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