The Bible comes alive with many biblical archaeology discoveries and that is particularly so with one of the most recently announced discoveries by the Israel Antiquities Authority: ancient ivory panels that were used to decorate furniture, and were condemned by the prophet Amos. In the ruins of a palatial residence being excavated in Jerusalem, evidence of that luxurious, callous, lifestyle condemed by Amos: remains of ivory panels that were used to decorate the furniture of the elite residents of that city.
This week’s program features the audio soundtrack from a video produced by the Israel Antiquities Authority. The video can also be seen on our website. And to set the scene, this is from the Givati Parking Lot excavation in the oldest area of Jerusalem, just down from the Temple Mount. The dig has been going on for 15 years, layer after layer, and to make sure they don’t miss anything, every layer is taken to the Temple Mount Sifting Project for wet sifting.
Since we are nearing our 40-year anniversary, I also pulled from our archives, a 1987 report from Israel Broadcasting on earlier groundbreaking archaeology done in that same oldest area of Jerusalem, outside today’s city walls, in the area now called the City of David. In this report, Jenny Goldman talks with archaeologist Yigael Shiloh.
Two major recent discoveries discussed on this program, a house connected to “Elisha” excavated at Tel Rehov in the Jordan River Valley, and the base of the Roman Legion in the Galilee, excavated near Megiddo. Todd Bolen of Bibleplaces.com joins me to discuss these discoveries and their significance for Biblical Archaeology.
The house at Tel Rehov has some unusual cultic features, and includes an inscription mentioning Elisha. Could it be the prophet? The dating is close but there is no conclusive proof. As for the Roman Legion, their presence at a base near Megiddo dates to a time a century or two after the time of Jesus but the presence of Roman centurions is unmistakable in the gospels and Acts.