#1686

2019-11-12

Hippos Sussita Mosaics

With Clyde Billington

Hippos/Sussita, one of the New Testament cities of the decapolis, is the home to at least a half dozen Byzantine churches which have been, or are being, excavated. The latest report from these excavations concerned beautiful mosaics found in one of the churches. The mosaics, among other things, portray Jesus and the feeding of the 5,000, which occurred (somewhere) nearby. We discuss this discovery and others that have been reported in the latest issue of ARTIFAX, our biblical archaeology news magazine, including a beautiful staircase at Hazor which is believed to lead to a plaza and a palace. Then there's the Goliath Wall at Gath, a massive city wall from the time of David and Goliath that is twice as thick as the later walls that were excavated on top of it. And finally, year-round excavations have begun at Assos, a city along the coast of western Turkey that was visited by the Apostle Paul (Acts 20:13). Archaeologists have been working here for 38 years, but are now picking up the pace, to make the site more interesting to visitors.

tags: Gath Mosaics Hippos Sussita Byzantine Churches Hazor Goliath Feeding 5000 Wal Assos staircase

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#1570

2017-05-26

Dead Sea Scroll Fragments & the Hippos Theater

With Clyde Billington

There are a number of unpublished Dead Sea Scroll fragments in the possession of U.S. institutions. We discuss the significance and meaning of this situation, and whether they will be published soon. This story is one of the news digest items from the latest issue of ARTIFAX magazine. The discovery of a large theater, apparently used for cultic worship, at the decapolis city of Hippos/Sussita is another news development reported in ARTIFAX. We discuss these stories and others from the latest issue.

tags: Dead Sea Scrolls Decapolis Roman theater Hippos/Sussita

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#1513

2016-02-17

Remembering Yoram Tsafrir

With Yoram Tsafrir

During a visit to Israel in 2001 I had a chance to talk with archaeologist Yoram Tsafrir at Hebrew University about his excavations at Tel Betshean. Tel Betshean is one of the most interesting stops on our tours: a Roman city — one of the cities of the decapolis in Jesus’ time, when it was known as Scythopolis. It sits in the shadow of a large tel upon which sat the Old Testament city of Betshean, the walls upon which the bodies of Saul and Jonathan were hung upon after their defeat by the Philistines. Yoram Tsafrir died last November, he was 77. We present this interview from our archives in his memory.

tags: Philistines Decapolis Betshean Scythopolis

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#1482

2015-06-03

The Mask of Pan

With Clyde Billington

Archaeologists found a bronze mask of the Greek/Roman god Pan at the decapolis city of Hippos/Sussita. Who was Pan and how did he relate to the biblical story? That’s one of the topics we discuss in this program, reporting on news digest items from the latest issue of ARTIFAX magazine. Other topics include an ancient Christian grave yard found in Saudi Arabia, and a cache of Egyptian seals from in the Negev desert.

tags: Decapolis Caesarea Philippi Banias Pan Hippos/Sussita pagan gods

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#1405

2013-12-05

NEAS Report: Abila and Iconoclasm

With David Vila and Adeeb Mickahail

A couple of interviews from the annual meeting of the Near East Archaeological Society, held last month in Baltimore. I talked with David Vila of John Brown University about the ongoing excavations at Abila, one of the cities of the decapolis. This excavation has been going on for 30 years, focusing mainly on the Byzantine period so far. I was also intrigued by some of the observations about iconoclasm made by Adeeb Mickahail, who teaches Old Testament at Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. I think he had some interesting observations about idolatry in the Old Testament.

tags: Decapolis Abila Iconoclasm idolatry idols

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