The 11 caves in which Dead Sea Scroll materials were found more than a half century ago have been joined by one more cave, cave #12. No new scrolls were found, but archaeologists did unearth evidence of scroll storage jars and related materials left behind by looters who plundered the site decades ago. We discuss this find and several other sites where archaeology is going on this year with John DeLancey, who will be the co-leader of our May 2018 TB&TS Israel Study tour.
In the second program we continue to review some of the most interesting sites in Israel where excavations are planned for 2017. This is an annual feature which gives listeners an idea of where Biblical Archaeology is focused right now, and it also serves to remind listeners that these are all opportunities where volunteers can get involved and do some hands-on biblical research. As William Dever once said, on The Book & The Spade program, “The only new facts about the Bible and the biblical world are coming from the ground.”
It’s a long standing tradition throughout the 33 years of The Book & The Spade that we start the year by looking ahead to the planned institutional excavations. It gives us a guideline for discussing what’s happening in biblical archaeology, and what has been happening in the past couple years. In 2016 one long running excavation, at Ashkelon, is coming to a close.
But a number of excavations have started just in the last few years so there will continue to be a lot of work to do. And you never know what’s going to turn up.
I’m joined again for this assessment by Todd Bolen, the editor of bibleplaces.com. Todd has lived and taught in Israel for a number of years and helps us evaluate each site.
More items from the news digest of the latest issue of ARTIFAX magazine. We discuss the silver hoard that was found during the first season of excavations at Abel Beth Maacah, near Dan, in northern Israel. We discuss the crown of thorns relic recently placed on display in Paris. And we discuss the recent discovery of a new version of the Noah’s Ark story in which the boat was actually round.