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.
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.
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.
It’s always fun to look back at the end of the year and see how Biblical Archaeology has opened up new perspectives on the biblical world. This year it was not just the discoveries of the year, but how discoveries from previous years were finally realized. Many of our Top 10 items were discovered decades ago, but their significance was only now becoming apparent in 2015.
Once again I was joined by Todd Bolen, the editor of Bibleplaces.com, to discuss the news stories of 2015. And our top item on the list highlighted the work of University of Wisconsin alumnus Brent Seales, now a computer science professor at the University of Kentucky. His software developments could open the way for the reading of many more ancient texts, such as the carbonized scroll of Leviticus from the Engedi synagogue that we reported on this year.
From the middle of the piles of dirt discarded from a controversial building project on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, a 10-year old Russian boy recovered an ancient seal from the time of King David. This discovery, reported by the Temple Mount Sifting Project, is one of the news items included in the latest issue of ARTIFAX magazine, discussed on this program with my ARTIFAX co-editor, professor Clyde Billington.
In addition to this 3,000-year old seal, our program covers the recently announced discovery of a podium that was built alongside the recently excavated street that led from the Pool of Siloam up to the Temple Mount. The purpose of the podium is an archaeological mystery.
Why are some stones in the Western Wall of the Temple Mount eroded and some as smooth as stones can be? On this program we discuss some of the latest reports on biblical archaeology related to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. That includes an investigation into western wall stone erosion, and some new information from the Temple Mount sifting project.
Israeli archaeologist Eilat Mazar recently announced the discovery of two caches of gold at her Ophel area excavations, near the southern steps of the Temple Mount. Anytime gold is discovered it’s a good day for archaeology.
But the unique dating of this amazing discovery and the menorah pictured on this medallion suggest to Prof. Clyde Billington an unusual link to another gold treasure cache, taken by the Romans from the Temple Mount in 70 A.D. What is the connection? Tune in and find out.
My guest on this week’s program is professor Clyde Billington, professor of ancient history at The University of Northwestern-St. Paul. Professor Billington is co-editor of ARTIFAX, our quarterly archaeology magazine. His article on this discovery will be featured in the soon-to-be-published Autumn issue of ARTIFAX.