Backgrounders on the Bible through Biblical Archaeology


On this week’s program we catch up with two more sites that were the focus of major excavations this summer, Kibbutz Tzuba’s water system and Tel Kabri.

Kibbutz Tzuba is near Ein Kerem, the traditional home of John the Baptist just west of Jerusalem. Archaeologist Shimon Gibson suggested a year ago that this unique water system, inside a cave, was somehow connected with John the Baptist. The only connection is the nearby location of En Kerem, and some interesting cave wall depictions that could represent John the Baptist. However, as he continued to excavate this year, he has determined that the history of this place goes back to approximately the reign of King Hezekiah, who is responsible for another water system on the other side of Jerusalem. Gibson is a top notch archaeologist, so even if his link to JTB is a stretch, he’s got himself a fascinating site.

Tel Kabri was in the news about a decade ago, but when excavator Aharon Kempinski died suddenly, work on the tel also died. But it was too interesting to ignore and this year a team from Tel Aviv University and Georgetown University has returned to pick up where he left off.
The tel is near Akko, and the Mediterranean coast and has ruins of a palace with frescos that show Minoan influence. This year remains of a second palace were uncovered. There’ll be more on this dig for many years to come.


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