Backgrounders on the Bible through Biblical Archaeology

Archaeological Interviews

1582-1583 Cynthia Shafer-Elliott Canaanite DNA & Tel Halif Update

s200_cynthia-shafer-elliott-1News reports about Canaanite genetic research, linking ancient Canaanites with the modern residents of Lebanon, flooded the news last week. The news reports had some issues that we took up in this interview with Cynthia Shafter-Elliott, who teaches Hebrew Bible and Archaeology at William Jessup University in Rocklin, California.

We also got an update on Cynthia’s excavation work at Tel Halif in the southern part of Israel and talked about the Israelite 4-Room House.


1580-1581 Steve Ortiz-Gezer’s Tenth Season

Steve Ortiz

Steve Ortiz

Tel Gezer, a benchmark site in biblical archaeology, has been under excavation for the past ten years by Steve Ortiz and Sam Wolff (co-directors). During this year’s final season of excavation, the remains of two adults and one child were found in a destruction layer dated to about 1200BC.

In this 2-part interview we talk with Steve Ortiz about the results of their excavation, what they know about those three skeletons, and why Gezer was such a hard city to conquer, for the Israelites, the Egyptians, and the Philistines, who were all in the area at the time.

 


1579 Scott Stripling-Shroud of Turin Research

Shroud of Turin

The image on the Shroud of Turin

Shiloh excavation director Scott Stripling, featured in our last two programs, also participated in a research project for the Shroud of Turin during a trip to Israel several months ago. The project involved limestone particles that have been found on the shroud, and a visit to the underground tombs at the Ecole Biblique, which are adjacent to the Garden Tomb.

During the interview Scott referenced an article that he and colleague Abigail Leavitt wrote for the BibleArchaeology.org website. He also referenced a study of the Garden Tomb done by archaeology Gabi Barkay, and written up for Biblical Archaeology Review in 1986, which is the definitive archaeological report on the Garden Tomb.


1577-1578 Scott Stripling – Shiloh Excavation Resumes in 2017

he Ark of the Covenant and the Tabernacle

The Ark of the Covenant and the Tabernacle in the Wilderness.

Scott Stripling is once again our guest to report on the end of the Associates for Biblical Archaeology excavation in Israel, this year at Shiloh, since they have closed the excavations at Khirbet el-Maqatir. Shiloh, of course, was the location of the tabernacle and the ark of the covenant for most of the almost 400 years (by the biblical account), between the time of the exodus and conquest and the establishment of the temple in Jerusalem in Solomon’s time.

Many years ago an archaeologist told me that there wasn’t much left to excavate at Shiloh but that is apparently not the case, as Scott fills us in on what happened during this first season and what they are looking for in the seasons to come.

(illustration from the 1728 Figures de la Bible; illustrated by Gerard Hoet (1648–1733) and others, and published by P. de Hondt in The Hague; image courtesy Bizzell Bible Collection, University of Oklahoma Libraries, via Wikipedia.)


1574-1575 Peter Flint – The Dead Sea Scrolls at 50

Peter Flint

Peter Flint

From our archives we present an interview from 20 years ago, when the half-century anniversary of the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls was being observed. Peter Flint, a South African scholar who was a world leader in Dead Sea Scrolls scholarship, directed the Dead Sea Scrolls Institute at Trinity Western University in British Columbia.

We were sorry to hear that he passed away last November. He was 65 years old. Peter Flint was a gracious and informative guest and we were very pleased that we got to have him on TB&TS twice.


1572-1573 Sidnie White Crawford – The Dead Sea Scrolls at 70

Sidnie White Crawford

Sidnie White Crawford

It’s been 70 years since the Dead Sea Scrolls were first discovered in a desert cave overlooking the Dead Sea near the ruins of Qumran. The value of that discovery has changed over the years as our understanding of the scrolls has changed. We discuss current perspectives on the Dead Sea Scrolls with Sidnie White Crawford, a Dead Sea Scrolls scholar and professor of the Hebrew Bible at the University of Nebraska.


1567-1568 Alice Mandell – The Amarna Letters

Alice Mandell

Alice Mandell

Called by one author, “a preface to Biblical History,” the Amarna tablets describe the Canaanite world just before the Israelites arrived. These diplomatic messages were sent from Canaanite kings and others to the Pharaoh Akhenaton, describing and complaining about various circumstances. These cuneiform tablets were discovered in Amarna, Egypt, in the late 19th century and are still being discussed and debated by Egyptologists and biblical scholars.

In this 2-part recorded conversation, Alice Mandell, Assistant Professor of Classical Hebrew Language and Biblical Literature in the University of Wisconsin Department of Classical and Ancient Near Eastern Studies, describes some of the latest discoveries and latest debates about these tablets and the ancient world they describe.