#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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#1618

2018-05-23

Byzantine Churches of the Galilee

With Mordecai Aviam

We did this interview withi Mordecai Aviam in his office at Kinneret College, on the southern shore of the Sea of Galilee, where he is senior lecturer in the Department of the study of the Land of Israel. We dicussed his research into Byzantine churches of the Galilee, amongst the pagan populations that became Christian when Christianity became the religion of the Roman Empire. He is in the middle of excavating a number of the church sites, looking for mosaics that give information about church history.

tags: Mosaics Galilee Churches pagan bishops Christianity Roman Empire

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#1610

2018-03-21

Roman Camp at Megiddo

With Clyde Billington

Megiddo, one of the most famous sites of biblical archaeology, is becoming even more so with archaeological developments in its neighborhood. While the tell excavation continues (a royal burial was announced recently), a new excavation across the road has been uncovering the remains of second century Roman camp, the largest known in the eastern Mediterranean. Down at the crossroads, about a mile away, an Israeli prison is being demolished. A more modern facility is being built elsewhere, so that the mosaics from Roman period homes can be displayed, one which identifies one of the earliest known Christian worship communities in Israel (discovered in 2005). We also discuss the mosaics found in Byzantine churches in the Galilee, reconnecting Ephesus to the Aegean Sea, a surveillance network in Syria, and an Assyrian document that echoes the story of Abraham from Genesis.

tags: Ephesus Megiddo Roman Legion Abraham prison mosaic church mosaics Cayster River Hagar

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#1606

2018-02-20

Herod's Royal Winery at Herodion

With Clyde Billington

Once again we’re reviewing the latest news stories about biblical archaeology that have appeared in the digest of the most recent issue of ARTIFAX magazine but haven’t been discussed on the air yet. There are three items in this review. The first involves excavations in the honeycomb of tunnels beneath Herod’s mountain-top fortress/palace at Herodion. Among other things, archaeologists have discovered the remains of Herod’s winery, including wine jars (amphorae) that were imported from Italy. We also discuss the Akra Fortress, on a hilltop that no longer exists just southeast of the Temple Mount. Who leveled the hilltop? Dr. Billington, in his article in ARTIFAX, suggests it was Herod. And finally, the latest news from the renovations in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem a year ago last October, when researchers got their first look at the traditional tomb of Jesus in 500 years. According to analysis of the mortar samples from the site, the oldest construction dates to A.D. 325, exactly when tradition says the Emperor Constantine had the church built.

tags: Temple Mount wine Herodion Akra Fortress Holy Sepulcher

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