Machaerus, Melchizedek, and the Philistines

With Clyde Billington

A little further discussion about our ARTIFAX cover story on Machaerus, details of how John the Baptist ended up a prisoner there, and was then beheaded, as reported in Matthew 14 and Mark 6. Also a few more words about the Pilgrimage Road that just opened in Jerusalem, an important pilgrimage spot for both modern Jews and Christians, between the Pool of Siloam and the Temple Mount. Archaeologist Eli Shukron reports the discovery of an altar related to Melchizedeck and Abraham. We are skeptical but looking forward to hearing more. And finally, another major story of the summer, reported in the latest issue of ARTIFAX, DNA evidence that traces the Philistines, or at least some Philistines, to southern Europe.

tags: Jordan Jerusalem Philistines Herod the Great John the Baptist Machaerus Abraham DNA Dead Sea Herod Agrippa Melchizedek

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From Dan to Beersheva

With John DeLancey

The traditional description of all of Israel is, “From Dan to Beersheva.” And on our Israel tour with John DeLancey last March, we visited both locations. Tel Dan is located in northern Israel, next to one of the sources of the Jordan River, and has been excavated for decades with some intriguing results. In particular, we visited the high place at Dan, where Jeroboam, king of Israel, erected a golden calf for his people to worship, so they wouldn’t go to the temple in Jerusalem, in the kingdom of Judah. At Tel Beersheva, we gathered at the gate of the city and reviewed the story of Abraham and the well of dispute recorded in Genesis 21.

tags: Altar Tel Dan Abraham golden calf idol Jeroboam I House of David Tel Beersheva well tamarisk tree horns

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The Altar on Mt. Ebal

With Adam Zertal

In a 1993 interview, the late archaeologist Adam Zertal discussed his discovery of a cultic structure on Mt. Ebal in 1980. Adam Zertal died on October 18, 2015.

tags: Altar Mt. Ebal Israelites conquest Adam Zertal

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Biblical Archaeology Top Ten of 2011

With Prof. Clyde Billington

From the pages of ARTIFAX magazine and the archives of The Book & The Spade, we review our subjective list of top ten discoveries or developments in Biblical Archaeology announced in 2011. Number one on the list, the two-horned altar found at Tel es-Safi/Gath.

tags: City of David Jerusalem Gath Biblical Archaeology Top Ten Altar

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Temple Mount Bell and Gath Altar

With Prof. Keith Schoville

Major finds of the 2011 excavation season include a two-horned altar from Tel es-Safi, the Philistine city of Gath, and a tiny bell possibly from the hem of a priest's garment, in Jerusalem. The bell was found under the road that ran along the western wall of the Temple Mount, near Robinson's Arch.

tags: Tel es-Safi Gath horned altar tiny bell priest's garment

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