#1649

2019-02-20

Negev Desert Finds and King of Hebron Inscription

With Clyde Billington

A faint drawing of Jesus Christ was discovered on the wall of a Byzantine church at Shivta in the Negev desert. And an inscription has been found mentioning the "king of Hebron." Is there any other king of Hebron besides David? These stories and more from the news digest of the latest issue of ARTIFAX, our quarterly news magazine on biblical archaeology are shared on this program, and discussed with professor Clyde Billington, co-editor of ARTIFAX.

tags: Church Byzantine Negev David Shivta King of Hebron

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#1648

2019-02-12

Yahweh Worshiped at Tel Dan

With Clyde Billington

King Jeroboam I of Israel erected golden calf statues at Dan and at Bethel, saying, "Behold your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt." (I Kings 12:28) The idols were meant to keep people from going to Jerusalem to worship in the temple. But who were the people worshiping when they came to Dan and Bethel? Apparently Yahweh and not pagan Canaanite gods, judging by a new analysis of archaeological finds from years of excavations at Tel Dan. Before that discussion with my colleague, professor Clyde Billington, we reviewed another news item from the news digests of the latest issue of ARTIFAX, our quarterly biblical archaeology magazine: the excavations at Tel Keisan, near Acre, the Persian military base from which King Cambyses II launched an attack on Egypt in 525 BC. Also discussed in this program, the discovery of a tiny beka stone, used for weighing the half-shekel temple tax that was assessed on each Jewish male.

tags: Persians Tel Dan Jezreel Valley golden calf idol Jeroboam I Tel Keisan Cambyses II beka temple tax half shilling

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#1647

2019-02-05

Beit Shemesh and Kiriath Yearim

With Clyde Billington

Two stories that are linked in the Ark of the Covenant tradition are reported in the news digest of the latest issue of ARTIFAX magazine. After the ark was captured by the Philistines at the battle of Aphek, it was returned to the Israelites at Beit Shemesh in a cart pulled by two cows. (I Samuel 6:12) The men of Beit Shemesh didn’t know what to do with the ark, so they sent it to Kiriath Yearim. Both Beit Shemesh and Kiriath Yearim are under excavation at the present time. Beit Shemesh is yielding new information about the restoration of Judean cities after destruction by Sennacherib at the beginning of the 6th century BC. And Kiriath Yearim has an artificial mountain top, much like the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. These stories and the discoveries from Canaanite tombs excavated at Tel Megiddo are discussed in this week’s program.

tags: Israel Finkelstein Temple Mount Megiddo Beit Shemesh Olive Oil Aphek Sennacherib Kiriath Yearim Izbet Sarta Ebenezer Canaanite Tombs

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#1646

2019-01-30

Byzantine Desert Monasteries and the Anchor Church

With Yizhar Hirschfeld

This week's program comes from a 1993 interview that I did at the Israel Museum with Yizhar Hirschfeld, at that time the Field Director of Archaeology for the museum. Among the topics we discussed were the Byzantine monasteries of the Judean desert, the topic of his PhD studies, and the Anchor Church of Mt. Berenice in Tiberias. It too was an outgrowth of the Byzantine era, and was visited by pilgrims for many centuries until its destruction at the end of the Crusader period. Hirschfeld was beginning another major excavation in Tiberias in 2006 when I had some correspondence with him. He died suddenly on November 16, which just happens to be my birthday. He had a distinguished archaeological career that ended much too soon. May his memory be blessed.

tags: Church Byzantine Tiberias Yizhar Hirschfeld Anchor Mt. Berenice Judean Desert monasteries

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#1645

2019-01-22

2019 Excavation Plans, part 2

With John DeLancey

More discussion of major excavations plan for the 2019 dig season, including sites along the Israelite/Philistine frontier, such as Azekah, Tel es-Safi/Gath, Tel Beit Shemesh, and Tel Burnah.

tags: Tel es-Safi Gath Azekah Tel Burnah Tel Beit Shemesh

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