#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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#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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#1643

2019-01-08

Top Ten Biblical Archaeology Stories of 2018

With Gordon Govier

It may take years before we know what was the most important Biblical Archaeology discovery of 2018, but every year I try to identify 10 of the top stories of Biblical Archaeology that were reported on during the year just past, some involving discoveries from many years ago. For instance, our top item, a ring with Pilate's seal, was actually discovered in the 1960s but not identified until 2018. And the statue head of the ancient king, our #2 discovery, was found in 2017 but didn't create news until it was put on display in the Israel Museum in 2018.

tags: Top Ten Seal Pilate ring

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#1640

2018-12-18

Ancient Copper Mines of Timna Park

With Tali Erickson-Gini

Every Hanukkah for the past eight years, the public has been invited to Timna Park in far southern Israel to engage in archaeology. The remains of ancient Egyptian copper mines are located in the park, dated to the 12-13th century BC. Dr. Erickson-Gini discusses this unique archaeological opportunity and what's been found at Timna Park.

tags: Egypt copper mines Bronze slag volunteer archaeologists

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#1637

2018-11-27

The Church of Nicea and Maresha Seal Impressions

With Clyde Billington

A church has been discovered at the site of the Council of Nicea, a critical meeting in A.D. 325 that shaped the history of the Christian church. And it's ten feet under water. That's one of the stories from the news digest in the latest issue of ARTIFAX. We also discuss some Hellenistic seal impressions found in an underground chamber at Maresha, a Hellenistic gold item found at the Givati Car Park excavation in Jerusalem, and the discovery of a first century tomb in Jordan filled with cartoons. That is, drawings on the wall, and some have captions in ancient Aramaic.

tags: Turkey Aramaic bullae Archaeology Nicea Meresha cartoons

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