Backgrounders on the Bible through Biblical Archaeology

1199 – The Lost Tribes of Israel, and the ruins of Cyrene


This week’s program ranges east and west of the traditional Holyland to look at archaeology and what it has revealed about the Lost Tribes of Israel, who were carried off by the Assyrians and then the Babylonians. And then we turn our attention to the ruins of Cyrene in eastern Libya. Jews from Cyrene played an influential role in the early Christian church. It wasn’t just Simon of Cyrene, who carried the cross for Jesus on the way to Golgotha. Cyrene is mentioned several tims in the book of Acts, residents of which played an important role in establishing the Christian community in Antioch. Cyrene today is waiting for comprehensive archaeological investigation that could reveal important information on the Jewish community of the first century A.D.

One major component of archaeology in Israel is salvage archaeology (as opposed to institutional archaeology–that planned and carried out by college professors and volunteers). Salvage archaeology is often done in front of bulldozers. It takes place wherever construction is planned or in-progress. The Jerusalem Post has a great article explaining salvage archaeology, called Guardians of the Underground.

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