#1683

2019-10-24

Biblical Context, part 2

With James Fleming

More from our 1991 interview with James Fleming, director of the Biblical History Center in LaGrange, Georgia. In 1991, he directed a similar facility, the Biblical Resources Study Center in Jerusalem. In this program, some insights of biblical geography, how being in the land of Israel can help us better understand the context of biblical texts.

tags: Dead Sea Scrolls Herodion Bethpage Geography

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#1671

2019-08-01

Machaerus, Melchizedek, and the Philistines

With Clyde Billington

A little further discussion about our ARTIFAX cover story on Machaerus, details of how John the Baptist ended up a prisoner there, and was then beheaded, as reported in Matthew 14 and Mark 6. Also a few more words about the Pilgrimage Road that just opened in Jerusalem, an important pilgrimage spot for both modern Jews and Christians, between the Pool of Siloam and the Temple Mount. Archaeologist Eli Shukron reports the discovery of an altar related to Melchizedeck and Abraham. We are skeptical but looking forward to hearing more. And finally, another major story of the summer, reported in the latest issue of ARTIFAX, DNA evidence that traces the Philistines, or at least some Philistines, to southern Europe.

tags: Jordan Jerusalem Philistines Herod the Great John the Baptist Machaerus Abraham DNA Dead Sea Herod Agrippa Melchizedek

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#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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#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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