#1628

2018-09-04

Masada and Tel Shimron

With Clyde Billington

Masada is the most visited national park in Israel and also one of the most important archaeological sites of Israel. In the early 1960s, when Yigael Yadin excavated Masada, it was the first time crowdsourcing was used in archaeology. Yadin invited volunteers to come and work with him, and they did. And ever since, volunteers have been a key component in the institutional archaeological excavations which take place, mostly in the summer, every year. Masada still has secrets to divulge to excavators even now more than a half century later and some of them are reported in the latest issue of Biblical Archaeology Review. Professor Billington and I discuss this report. We also review another article which describes the beginning of a new excavation in the Jezreel Valley, Tel Shimron. This is an ancient city which at times in history apparently outshone it's neighbor across the valley, Tel Megiddo. It will be interesting to see what this excavation reveals in the years ahead.

tags: Herod Masada Yigael Yadin Tel Shimron Garden

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#1619

2018-05-29

Finding Bethsaida

With Mordecai Aviam

We did this interview withi Mordecai Aviam in his office at Kinneret College, on the southern shore of the Sea of Galilee, where he is senior lecturer in the Department of the study of the Land of Israel. We discussed the recently begun excavation of el-Araj, a site along the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee, which may be the New Testament city of Bethsaida. For 30 years the nearby site of et-Tel has borne the Bethsaida identification, but there are issues with et-Tel and el-Araj has compelling discoveries which may indicate it is the real Bethsaida.

tags: Bethsaida disciples apostles et-Tel el-Araj Julia Herod Philip

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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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