#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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#1516

2016-03-09

The Harbor of Corinth and the Fortress of Machaerus

With Clyde Billington

Archaeological work is being done underwater to study the western harbor of Corinth, Lechaion on the Corinthian Gulf. Ancient Corinth profited greatly from the maritime traffic across the isthmus from the western harbor of Lechaion to the eastern harbor of Cenchrae. The work currently underway is looking at construction dating to around 500 A.D. Authorities in Jordan have announced the reconstruction of Herod's mountaintop fortress of Machaerus, where Herod Antipas beheaded John the Baptist (as reported in Mark 6:21-29) after the dance of Salome. We discuss these two news items that were reported in the winter 2016 issue of ARTIFAX magazine.

tags: Jordan Corinth Herod Corinthians Greece Machaerus

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#1493

2015-08-27

Galilee Mosaics 2015

With Clyde Billington

015 appears to have been a fairly productive excavation year in Israel, particularly in the Galilee, where two different excavations reported major mosaic developments. In the excavations at Huqoq, overlooking the northwestern shore of the Sea of Galilee, archaeologist Jodi Magness (University of North Carolina Chapel Hill) continues to excavate a fifth century synagogue with stunning beautiful mosaics. Additional work was done this summer on a mosaic which appears to illustrate the tradition that describes a meeting between Alexander the Great and the Jewish high priest in Jerusalem. At the same we report on the University of Hartford excavation of the Orthodox Church of the Annunciation in Nazareth, which uncovered a more plain (crosses, for instance) mosaic dating about a century earlier. The mosaics are about six feet below the current floor level, and plans call for a glass window installation so visitors can see the mosaics. Additional news reported in this program, with my ARTIFAX co-editor Clyde Billington, a first century miqva discovery in the Ein Kerem area of Jerusalem (traditional home of the parents of John the Baptist) and tensions over the new carpet installation at the Dome of the Rock.

tags: Church of the Annunciation Nazareth Mosaics Huqoq Synagogue Dome of the Rock Ein Kerem miqva

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#1473

2015-03-31

Finding Jesus, part 2

With David Gibson

The current CNN series Finding Jesus, is supported by a book of the same name, written by David Gibson and Michael McKinley. This series examines six relics/artifacts to see what they can tell us about the story of Jesus, such as the Shroud of Turin, the James Ossuary, the Gospel of Judas, pieces of the true cross, and some ancient bones connected to John the Baptist.

tags: James Ossuary Shroud of Turin Gospel of Judas

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