#1670

2019-07-23

Herod's Fortress at Machaerus

With Jimmy Hardin

The cover story on the latest (summer) issue of ARTIFAX focuses on Machaerus, a fortress palace built by Herod the Great overlooking the Dead Sea from the East. Machaerus is most famous for the imprisonment and beheading of John the Baptist, as recounted in the Gospels and by the historian Josephus. The first excavation of Machaerus was undertaken by Jerry Vardaman, the founding director of the Cobb Institute of Archaeology. We talk with the current interim director, Jimmy Hardin, about some of the results of that excavation that were recently discovered at several locations.

tags: Jordan Herod the Great John the Baptist Machaerus Dead Sea Herod Agrippa

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#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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#1609

2018-03-14

The Tomb of Jonah and Archaeological Destruction

With Clyde Billington

The Mosque marking the traditional tomb of Jonah in Mosul was destroyed by ISIS four years ago. Now that ISIS is gone, the mosque could be rebuilt but there's just one problem, it sits on top of a ruin that archaeologists have identified as the ancient palace of Assyrian kings Sennacherib, Esarhaddon, and Ashurbanipal. These kings are mentioned in the Old Testament. Sennacherib tried and failed to conquer Jerusalem. We bring our listeners up-to-date on what's happening at this site. We also report on the looting and destruction of two other palaces in Israel, the Jericho palace of King Herod, and the palace of Archelaus, the son of Herod, just north of Jericho.

tags: Jericho Gaza Herod Palace ISIS Jonah Assyrian Tomb Nineveh Sennacherib Esarhaddon Ashurbanipal Archlaus

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#1606

2018-02-20

Herod's Royal Winery at Herodion

With Clyde Billington

Once again we’re reviewing the latest news stories about biblical archaeology that have appeared in the digest of the most recent issue of ARTIFAX magazine but haven’t been discussed on the air yet. There are three items in this review. The first involves excavations in the honeycomb of tunnels beneath Herod’s mountain-top fortress/palace at Herodion. Among other things, archaeologists have discovered the remains of Herod’s winery, including wine jars (amphorae) that were imported from Italy. We also discuss the Akra Fortress, on a hilltop that no longer exists just southeast of the Temple Mount. Who leveled the hilltop? Dr. Billington, in his article in ARTIFAX, suggests it was Herod. And finally, the latest news from the renovations in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem a year ago last October, when researchers got their first look at the traditional tomb of Jesus in 500 years. According to analysis of the mortar samples from the site, the oldest construction dates to A.D. 325, exactly when tradition says the Emperor Constantine had the church built.

tags: Temple Mount wine Herodion Akra Fortress Holy Sepulcher

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#1589

2017-09-27

Caesarea & the Tsunami

With Clyde Billington

More on the latest in biblical archaeology from the news digests of the autumn issue of ARTIFAX magazine: The IAA is going to investing more money to excavate and reconstruct the city of Caesarea Maritima, the seaport that Herod built on the Mediterranean shore, where visitors can already see impressive remains, including a Roman aquedect, a Roman theater, the remains of Herod’s palace, Crusader walls, etc. We also discuss an archaeologists theories about an ancient tsunami that may have struck the Levantine coast, with ties to a biblically recorded earthquake, plus an explanation of why the story of the biblical judge Othniel contains evidence that supports the early date of the Exodus. All of this discussed with professor Clyde Billington, my co-editor at ARTIFAX magazine.

tags: Temple Menorah Exodus Caesarea tsunami earthquake Augustus Othniel Mitanni

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