#1658

2019-04-30

The Tombs of the Kings May Reopen

With Clyde Billington

The Tomb of the Kings was once thought to be the tomb of the ancient kings David and Solomon. Scholars today are pretty sure that's not the case but they still don't know whose tomb it actually was. Top candidates are Queen Helena of Adiabene, a first century convert to Judaism, or King Herod Agrippa I. The government of France owns the tomb and is currently in discussions with the government of Israel about reopening it after all access was curtailed in 2010. The tomb was not widely accessible in 2008 when our Book & The Spade tour visited it. On this program we also discussed several more archaeology news items from the news digests of the latest issue of our magazine ARTIFAX: the possible opening of the ruins of the Nea Church in Jerusalem, a winepress mosaic in the city of Korazin, and a coin of Herod Agrippa.

tags: Herod Nea Church Tombs of the Kings Helena Adiabene Agrippa I Korazin Chorazin

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#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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#1651

2019-03-05

From Qeiyafa to Lachish

With John DeLancey

The archaeological sites of Khirbet Qeiyafa and Tel Lachish give us biblical connections to the reign of King David and to the conquests of the Assyrians and the Babylonians. We visited both sites during the same day during our 2018 Archaeology Adventure Study Tour and we also have them on our itinerary for our March 2020 tour. Khirbet Qeiyafa overlooks the Elah Valley, where David met Goliath. This unusual city may or may not be mentioned in the Bible, depending on the clues you read. Lachish is mentioned prominently, it was the most important city in Judea outside of Jerusalem.

tags: Khirbet Qeiyafa Elah Valley Goliath King David Azekah Tel Lachish Sennacherib Assyrians

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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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