Backgrounders on the Bible through Biblical Archaeology

New Discoveries.

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.

 

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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.)


1571 Clyde Billington – Solomon’s Donkey Dung and Dan Wall Fall

The Iron Age Gate at Dan

The Iron Age Gate at Dan

Two of the top archaeology news stories in the latest issue of ARTIFAX magazine concern the dating of copper mining operations at Timna through ancient donkey dung and the collapse of the wall near the Iron Age Gate at Dan following recent rainfall.

These stories and more from the latest issue of ARTIFAX are discussed with my ARTIFAX co-editor, professor Clyde Billington.


1570 Clyde Billington – Dead Sea Scroll Fragments and Hippos Theater

An evening visit to Hippos/Sussita

An evening visit to Hippos/Sussita

There are a number of unpublished Dead Sea Scroll fragments in the possession of U.S. institutions. We discuss the significance and meaning of this situation, and whether they will be published soon. This story is one of the news digest items from the latest issue of ARTIFAX magazine.

The discovery of a large theater, apparently used for cultic worship, at the decapolis city of Hippos/Sussita is another news development reported in ARTIFAX. We discuss these stories and others from the latest issue.


1569 Clyde Billington – Temple Mount Sifting Project

Sifting Temple Mount material

Sifting Temple Mount material

For the last decade the Temple Mount Sifting Project has been sifting material illegally excavated from the Temple Mount in 1999. The project is about 70 percent completed but has now gone on hiatus. It appears to be partly a funding issue but also a slowdown so that the important publishing of the finds can catch up.

Among recent finds, the discovery of a column capital from the Temple Mount, perhaps from Solomon’s portico. We discuss these latest developments as well as other reports from the news digest of the latest issue of ARTIFAX magazine.


1564 Clyde Billington – Walls of Jerusalem, Jebusite and Roman

Walls of Jerusalem - built in the 16th century

Walls of Jerusalem – built in the 16th century

News stories about the walls of Jerusalem, reported in the latest issue of ARTIFAX magazine, include stories about the discovery of two triclinia (banquet rooms), along the western wall of the Temple Mount; the discovery of the location where the Romans breached the “Third Wall” during the first Jewish revolt; and new information about the Middle Bronze Age fortifications built by the Jebusites around the Gihon Spring.

 


1563 Clyde Billington – The Hyrcanus Inscription and The Thinker

The Thinker

The Thinker

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.