#1657

2019-04-23

Natan-Melech, Servant of the King

With Clyde Billington

One of the most exciting discoveries announced in biblical archaeology so far this year is highlighted on the cover of the latest issue of our quarterly magazine ARTIFAX, a seal impression bearing the name of a man who is referenced in II Kings 23:11: Nathan-Melech. The seal impression, or bulla, was found in the ruins of a burned out administrative building dating to the 5th-6th century BC at a site known as the Givati Car Park excavation. This is a 12-year (so far) excavation just outside the gates of the Old City of Jerusalem, next to the entrance to the City of David, the oldest part of Jerusalem. The biblical reference and the text of the bulla both describe Nathan Melech as "servant of the king." It might not be the same guy, but odds would say it probably is. Along with this bulla, an actual stamp seal was also found in approximately the same place, with the inscription "(belonging) to Ikar son of Matanyahu." Ikar is not known from the Bible. Also on this program, we discuss the 50-year anniversary of the Madeba Plains Project. This is an ongoing excavation involved three major sites in Jordan, handled principly by archaeologists connected with colleges of the Seventh Day Adventist Chuch. The Madeba Plains Project is widely regarded as an exemplary archaeological operation.

tags: Jordan Seal Heshbon Bulla excavation Natan Melech Givati Madeba Plains Jalul

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#1652

2019-03-13

From Dan to Beersheva

With John DeLancey

The traditional description of all of Israel is, “From Dan to Beersheva.” And on our Israel tour with John DeLancey last March, we visited both locations. Tel Dan is located in northern Israel, next to one of the sources of the Jordan River, and has been excavated for decades with some intriguing results. In particular, we visited the high place at Dan, where Jeroboam, king of Israel, erected a golden calf for his people to worship, so they wouldn’t go to the temple in Jerusalem, in the kingdom of Judah. At Tel Beersheva, we gathered at the gate of the city and reviewed the story of Abraham and the well of dispute recorded in Genesis 21.

tags: Altar Tel Dan Abraham golden calf idol Jeroboam I House of David Tel Beersheva well tamarisk tree horns

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#1650

2019-02-26

A Visit to Tel Gezer

With John DeLancey

John DeLancey was a volunteer at the Bronze Age Gate excavation, which was digging the ancient Canaanite water system among other things. On this program (from last May's Israel tour), John orients us to the site and gives us his personal insights on the archaeology that has taken place at Tel Gezer, one of the most important archaeological sites in Israel.

tags: Water System Tel Gezer pendant Shephelah Via Maris gate

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#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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#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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