More stories from the news digests of the latest issue of ARTIFAX magazine, including inscriptions that name a newly discovered Roman governor of ancient Judea, and that connect to the ruling family of the Hasmonean period.
An inscription naming Gargilius Antiquus was found in the harbor of Dor, indicating that he was probably the governor of the Roman province of Judea when the second Jewish revolt broke out.
An inscription, “Hyrcanus,” was found in the massive Givati Parking Lot excavation just outside the walls of Jerusalem. It is probably one or the other John Hyrcanus, from the Hasmonean lineage of the 1st and 2nd centuries BC.
“The Thinker” is the name given to the figure of a man found sitting atop a pot dating to around 1800 BC, the patriarchal period. The man is shown deep in thought.
And finally mention of some of the finds from last summer’s Gezer excavation of the Bronze Age gate.
For more than 60 years, the story of the Dead Sea Scrolls discovery has included mention of the 11 caves in which scrolls and scroll materials were found. Then, earlier this year, it was announced that Cave #12 has been identified. A new effort to identify caves with archaeological contents along the shore of the Dead Sea has begun.
On this program we talk with professor Randall Price, one of the leaders of this year’s Cave #12 excavation for more details on the cave search and what’s ahead.
Every year we draw attention to all of the interesting excavations in Biblical Archaeology by highlighting ten of the most exciting discoveries or announcements of the previous year. This year the top discovery on the list goes right to the heart of the Christian faith, the opening up of the traditional tomb of Jesus in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. There are nine more on the list, one all the way at the other end of the Roman Empire.
Professor Clyde Billington, the new president of the Near East Archaeological Society and fellow editor of ARTIFAX magazine, joins me to discuss some of the news items from the latest issue of ARTIFAX.
Our discussion includes this summer’s excavation of a palace from the time of Solomon at Tel Gezer, the discovery of the cave that may have been the source of the water/wine containers present at the wedding in Cana attended by Jesus and his disciples, the results of the excavations in the priestly quarter of first century Jerusalem, and a possible gem from the Jewish High Priest’s ephod.
A mathematician has come up with designs of the floors of the first century temple, the temple of Jesus’ time, built by King Herod. These geometric stone tile floors are called Opus Sectile, a design brought to Israel by Herod and used in many of his projects.
In these two programs Frankie Snyder describes her detective work and what has been discovered about this unique flooring design.
Jodi Magness, a prolific archaeologist, author, and Book & The Spade guest (on a half dozen times already) has turned up some of the most beautiful mosaics ever found in Israel. Every summer for the past four years there have been stories about the mosaics, and so we figured it was time to talk with her and get an update.
The critical issue she’s investigating is the dating of early synagogues, and so far what she’s found backs her premise that many of these synagogues were built several centuries later than scholars thought, during the Byzantine era, which means Judaism was still thriving when Christians were in charge.