#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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#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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#1635

2018-11-13

Jerusalem Inscription/The Scroll vs. The Codex

With Clyde Billington

The cover story of the latest issue of ARTIFAX magazine reports on the discovery of an inscription from 100 BC that mentions Jerusalem. The inscription was found at the west end of modern Jerusalem, near the central bus station. It appears 2,000 years ago this was a small pottery village that served the nearby city of Jerusalem and the pilgrims who visited its temple. We also discuss a column by Larry Hurtado in the November/December issue of Biblical Archaeology Review which reports that it were the early Christians who pioneered a new innovation in writing, the codex, which eventually displaced the scroll. The evidence is overwhelming, and fascinating.

tags: Jerusalem Inscription Dodalos potter village scroll codex Christian writers Scripture

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#1628

2018-09-04

Masada and Tel Shimron

With Clyde Billington

Masada is the most visited national park in Israel and also one of the most important archaeological sites of Israel. In the early 1960s, when Yigael Yadin excavated Masada, it was the first time crowdsourcing was used in archaeology. Yadin invited volunteers to come and work with him, and they did. And ever since, volunteers have been a key component in the institutional archaeological excavations which take place, mostly in the summer, every year. Masada still has secrets to divulge to excavators even now more than a half century later and some of them are reported in the latest issue of Biblical Archaeology Review. Professor Billington and I discuss this report. We also review another article which describes the beginning of a new excavation in the Jezreel Valley, Tel Shimron. This is an ancient city which at times in history apparently outshone it's neighbor across the valley, Tel Megiddo. It will be interesting to see what this excavation reveals in the years ahead.

tags: Herod Masada Yigael Yadin Tel Shimron Garden

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#1627

2018-08-28

Israelite Psalms Found in Egypt

With Clyde Billington

Some of the Biblical Archaeology stories we report in ARTIFAX magazine come from Egypt, such as the item in our latest issue: Three Ancient Israelite Psalms Found in Egypt. Professor Billington discusses the significance of this finding. We also discuss the history of writing as it relates to Egypt, in the context of another Egypt digest item: First Known Semitic Abecedary in Egypt. This abedecary dates to the 15th century BC, roughly the time of Moses according to the biblical Chronology, an important connection that shows it's not impossible to think that Moses could have written the Torah. We also discuss the innovations of technology that help us better understand the ancient world, such as the new Virtual Reality tour of the Tomb of Nefertari, sometimes called the "Egyptian Sistine Chapel." Nefertari was the primary queen of Ramses II, who ruled from 1279-1212BC.

tags: Egypt abecedary Psalms Semitic Nefertari Ramses II Virtual Reality

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