#1636

2018-11-22

Beit Lehi, Jordan Valley Camps, and Jerusalem Cable Car

With Clyde Billington

More news items from the Autumn issue of ARTIFAX, starting with the excavation at Beit Lehi, "the house of the jawbone." Lots of inscriptions in caves at this site, 60 miles SW of Jerusalem, lots of Hellenistic remains, a Byzantine church and one of the earliest Muslim mosques in Israel. Excavations of stone structures in the Jordan Valley, first identified by Adam Zertal, now continuing under a new archaeological team. Zertal suggested that these structures may have been corrals for early Israelites, who lived in tents, and possible evidence for the Exodus. A cable car plan is being discussed that is generating some controversy. The cable car would cross the Hinnom Valley to Mt. Zion and end at the Dung Gate of the old city.

tags: inscriptions Church Jerusalem Mt. Zion Exodus Israelites Beit Lehi Shephelah Hellenistic period mosque Jordan Valley Cable Car Dung Gate

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#1603

2018-01-17

Remembering Lawrence Stager

With Exavator of Ashkelon

Lawrence Stager was one of the pre-eminent American scholars in Biblical Archaeology. He was the Dorot Professor of the Archaeology of Israel in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at Harvard University and Director of the Harvard Semitic Museum. He passed away at the end of 2017, just seven days short of his 75th birthday. His most enduring legacy will be the Leon Levy expedition to Ashkelon, which he began in 1985 and directed until it ended in 2016. We did a phone interview in 1992 with professor Stager in which he gave a status report on the Ashkelon excavation, including the discovery of a Middle Bronze Age mud brick gate, the oldest such gate in the world. He also lamented the recent death of one of his most capable protege's, Douglas Esse, who had lost a battle with cancer.

tags: Philistines Ashkelon Harvard Lawrence Stager

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#1596

2017-11-16

Jerusalem's Roman Theater

With Clyde Billington

More stories from the news digest of the Autumn issue of ARTIFAX magazine, including the cover story on the discovery of the first Roman theater ever found in Jerusalem. Although Josephus mentions a Roman theater in Jerusalem in the first century, this new discovery is apparently not that theater, for reasons discussed on the program. This is a very small theater and may have been used for governing purposes, rather than entertainment. Other topics discussed on this program include the discovery of a Byzantine era mosaic at the Damascus Gate with a connection to the famous Nea Church built by the Emperor Justinian, and the discovery of bullae (clay seal impressions) from the First Temple Period.

tags: Jerusalem Damascus Gate Byzantine Western Wall Roman theater bullae Odeon Bouletarion Mosaic Nea Church Constantine Justinian First Temple Period

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#1571

2017-05-26

Solomon's Donkey Dung and Dan Wall Fall

With Clyde Billington

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.

tags: Solomon Dan Bronze Copper Donkey dung Mining rain Timna

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#1552

2016-12-08

Lachish Gate Shrine & New IAA Archaeology Campus

With Clyde Billington

A second look at some of the top archaeology stories from the Autumn 2016 issue of ARTIFAX magazine with co-editor Clyde Billington. On this program we discuss the recently renewed excavations at Lachish and the discovery of a gate shrine which appears to have been permanently desecrated by the installation of a toilet. We also discuss the Israel Antiquities Authority's new archaeology campus in Jerusalem, as well as the reopening of the restored Mamertine Prison in Rome, where Peter and Paul may have been held.

tags: Lachish Gate Shrine Israel Antiquities Authority Mamertine Rome

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