With Clyde Billington
Catching up with some of the archaeology stories in the news digests of the latest issue of our ARTIFAX magazine, co-editor Clyde Billington and I discuss some new Dead Sea Scrolls fragments that have been found. That is, they were found in some caves along the western shore of the Dead Sea but not at Qumran, rather further south near Masada, along Wadi Tze’elim. Another discovery in the same cave (known as the Cave of the Skulls) is the Jerusalem Papyrus, which was one of our Top Ten biblical archaeology stories of 2016. This papyrus contains what appears to be the oldest mention of Jerusalem in the Hebrew language, dating to the 7th century B.C. And finally, we discuss the recent proposition put forth by Douglas Petrovich, that the alphabetic Canaanite inscriptions from Wadi el-Hol in Egypt and Serabit el-Khadem in the Sinai were actually written by ancient Hebrews.
With Randall Price
Another cave has been discovered, connected to the Dead Sea Scrolls. This cave was excavated by archaeologists and volunteers in January 2017. One of the leaders of the excavation was Randall Price, a professor at Liberty University.
With John DeLancey
The 11 caves in which Dead Sea Scroll materials were found more than a half century ago have been joined by one more cave, cave #12. No new scrolls were found, but archaeologists did find evidence of scroll storage jars and related materials left behind by looters who plundered the site decades ago. We discuss this find and several other sites where archaeology is going on this year with John DeLancey, who will be the co-leader of our May 2018 TB&TS Israel Study tour.
With Brent Seales
Professor Seales first got our attention a year and a half ago with the news that he had virtually unrolled a carbonized scroll of Leviticus, excavated in 1970 from a burned synagogue on the Dead Sea shore at Engedi. At the time he took up the Leviticus scroll professor Seales had been at somewhat of a dead end on his efforts to read scrolls from the Villa of the Papyri, excavated a century and a half ago from Herculaneum. The ink on the scrolls was indistinguishable from the burned black papyri. But now professor Seales believes he's found the solution to that problem, and it may well be that this ancient library, destroyed by the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in A.D. 79, is once again going to be available to interested readers.