#1698

2020-03-05

Ethiopian Basilica & Church of the Glorious Martyr

With Clyde Billington

Two church discoveries are reported in the news digests of the latest issue of ARTIFAX, our biblical archaeology news magazine. A church excavated in northern Ethiopia is the oldest church in sub-Saharan Africa and helps us understand the Christian history of that part of Africa. At Beth Shemesh in Israel, excavators have uncovered an impressive Byzantine church with beautiful mosaics and an inscription that dedicates the church to “The Glorious Martyr.” The identity of this martyr is not yet know. Also at Beth Shemesh, a large rock table has been excavated, which some believe may be connected to the story of the return of the Ark of the Covenant to the Israelites in I Samuel 6. And finally, we discuss the discovery of garum vats, a production facility for what some have called, “The Ketchup of the First Century.”

tags: Ethiopia Aksum Sudan Beth Shemesh Glorious Martyr Garum

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#1686

2019-11-12

Hippos Sussita Mosaics

With Clyde Billington

Hippos/Sussita, one of the New Testament cities of the decapolis, is the home to at least a half dozen Byzantine churches which have been, or are being, excavated. The latest report from these excavations concerned beautiful mosaics found in one of the churches. The mosaics, among other things, portray Jesus and the feeding of the 5,000, which occurred (somewhere) nearby. We discuss this discovery and others that have been reported in the latest issue of ARTIFAX, our biblical archaeology news magazine, including a beautiful staircase at Hazor which is believed to lead to a plaza and a palace. Then there's the Goliath Wall at Gath, a massive city wall from the time of David and Goliath that is twice as thick as the later walls that were excavated on top of it. And finally, year-round excavations have begun at Assos, a city along the coast of western Turkey that was visited by the Apostle Paul (Acts 20:13). Archaeologists have been working here for 38 years, but are now picking up the pace, to make the site more interesting to visitors.

tags: Gath Mosaics Hippos Sussita Byzantine Churches Hazor Goliath Feeding 5000 Wal Assos staircase

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#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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#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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#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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