#1567

2017-04-18

The Amarna Letters

With Alice Mandell

Called by one author, "a preface to Biblical History," the Amarna tablets describe the Canaanite world just before the Israelites arrived. These diplomatic messages were sent from Canaanite kings and others to the Pharaoh Akhenaton, describing and complaining about various circumstances. These cuneiform tablets were discovered in Amarna, Egypt, in the late 19th century and are still being discussed and debated by Egyptologists and biblical scholars. In this conversation, Alice Mandell, Assistant Professor of Classical Hebrew Language and Biblical Literature in the University of Wisconsin Department of Classical and Ancient Near Eastern Studies, describes some of the latest discoveries and latest debates about these tablets and the world they describe.

tags: Egypt cuneiform Amarna Letters Akhenaten Akkadian Canaan

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#1562

2017-03-14

Dead Sea Scrolls & the Sinai Inscription

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.

tags: Dead Sea Scrolls Alphabetic Cave of the Skulls Jerusalem Papyrus Serabit el-Khadem Sinai Inscriptions Wadi el-Hol Wadi Tze'elim

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#1542

2016-09-07

Jerusalem's Garbage and Ancient Writing

With Clyde Billington

News digest items from the latest issue of ARTIFAX magazine covered in this week’s program with ARTIFAX co-editor Clyde Billington, including: The discovery of the garbage dump from first century Jerusalem A cache of first century writing tablets from London, at the other end of the Roman Empire An abecedary (alphabet listing) from 15th century BC Egypt, the time of Moses And conclusive evidence that the ancient Coptic papyrus fragment that mentions the wife of Jesus is actually a forgery

tags: Jerusalem Jesus wife First century Garbage Writing Tablets Egyptian abecedary

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#1540

2016-08-24

Philistine Cemetery at Ashkelon

With Clyde Billington

From the news digests in the summer 2016 issue of ARTIFAX magazine, we report on the latest discoveries in biblical archaeology, including a Philistine cemetery at Ashkelon, and an Egyptian statue found at Hazor. We briefly mention the mosaics of Huqoq and the speculation of another tomb inside the Tomb of Tutankhamun, a search that seems to be fruitless at this point.

tags: Philistines Hazor Ashkelon cemetery Egyptian statue

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#1525

2016-05-11

Exodus and the High Priests of Amun, part 2

With Charles Aling

More from Egyptologist Charles Aling, looking at role-changing clues to the impact of the Exodus. Professor Aling examines three important positions that were often all three held by the high priest of Amun. But after the reign of Amenhotep II -- who may be the pharaoh of the Exodus, going by the Bible's internal chronology -- these positions changed significantly, as if the reigning pharaohs no longer trusted the high priests of Amun. An intriguing suggestion that the Exodus changed the Egyptian ruling class, right up to the reign of Akhenaten.

tags: Egypt Exodus Amenhotep II Akhenaten

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