The Amarna Letters

With Alice Mandell

Called by one author, "a preface to Biblical History," the Amarna tablets describe the Canaanite world just before the Israelites arrived. These diplomatic messages were sent from Canaanite kings and others to the Pharaoh Akhenaton, describing and complaining about various circumstances. These cuneiform tablets were discovered in Amarna, Egypt, in the late 19th century and are still being discussed and debated by Egyptologists and biblical scholars. In this conversation, Alice Mandell, Assistant Professor of Classical Hebrew Language and Biblical Literature in the University of Wisconsin Department of Classical and Ancient Near Eastern Studies, describes some of the latest discoveries and latest debates about these tablets and the world they describe.

tags: Egypt cuneiform Amarna Letters Akhenaten Akkadian Canaan

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The River Chebar and Fatimid Gold

With Clyde Billington

More Biblical Archaeology news from the just-published Spring 2015 issue of ARTIFAX magazine. I'm joined by my co-editor, Clyde Billington, to discuss some intriguing cuneiform tablets now on display at The Bible Lands Museum in Jerusalem, that offer intriguing insights into the Jewish exile in Babylon. One tablet mentions the Chebar River, the only mention of this river outside of the book of Ezekiel. Several other news items cover discoveries made by non-archaeologists in Israel: gold coins in the harbor of Caeseara (pictured), and silver coins in a cave in the Galilee. Those who discovered these treasures did the right thing, by notifying the authorities right away so the finds could be studied in order to reveal all possible information about the time periods they represent.

tags: Alexander the Great Babylonian Exile Cave discovery Cuneiform tablets Gold coins Underwater archaeology

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Excavating in Jerusalem

With Prof. Eilat Mazar

A discussion of the newest archaeology attraction in Jerusalem, at the east end of the Ophel area. Archaeologist Eilat Mazar has uncovered what she believes are the walls built by King Solomon, 3,000 years ago.

tags: City of David Solomon's walls Ophel Cuneiform tablet Yigal Shiloh Eilat Mazar

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Philistine Temple in Gath

With Co-host Keith Schoville

Philistine city excavation yields a temple, cuneiform tablet at Hazor


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Women of the Middle Bronze Age, part II

With Mark Chavalas

What cuneiform tablets reveal about the role of women 4,000 years ago


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