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.
With Todd Bolen
More looks ahead to the planned institutional excavations of 2016, what’s happening in biblical archaeology, and what has been happened in the past couple years. A number of excavations have started just in the last few years so there will continue to be a lot of work to do. And you never know what’s going to turn up.
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.
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.
With Prof. Mark Schuler
More conversations about the Byzantine church excavations at Hippos/Sussita, as well as a couple of tie-ins to the gospels and a reference Jesus may have made to this decapolis city.