#1657

2019-04-23

Natan-Melech, Servant of the King

With Clyde Billington

One of the most exciting discoveries announced in biblical archaeology so far this year is highlighted on the cover of the latest issue of our quarterly magazine ARTIFAX, a seal impression bearing the name of a man who is referenced in II Kings 23:11: Nathan-Melech. The seal impression, or bulla, was found in the ruins of a burned out administrative building dating to the 5th-6th century BC at a site known as the Givati Car Park excavation. This is a 12-year (so far) excavation just outside the gates of the Old City of Jerusalem, next to the entrance to the City of David, the oldest part of Jerusalem. The biblical reference and the text of the bulla both describe Nathan Melech as "servant of the king." It might not be the same guy, but odds would say it probably is. Along with this bulla, an actual stamp seal was also found in approximately the same place, with the inscription "(belonging) to Ikar son of Matanyahu." Ikar is not known from the Bible. Also on this program, we discuss the 50-year anniversary of the Madeba Plains Project. This is an ongoing excavation involved three major sites in Jordan, handled principly by archaeologists connected with colleges of the Seventh Day Adventist Chuch. The Madeba Plains Project is widely regarded as an exemplary archaeological operation.

tags: Jordan Seal Heshbon Bulla excavation Natan Melech Givati Madeba Plains Jalul

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#1652

2019-03-13

From Dan to Beersheva

With John DeLancey

The traditional description of all of Israel is, “From Dan to Beersheva.” And on our Israel tour with John DeLancey last March, we visited both locations. Tel Dan is located in northern Israel, next to one of the sources of the Jordan River, and has been excavated for decades with some intriguing results. In particular, we visited the high place at Dan, where Jeroboam, king of Israel, erected a golden calf for his people to worship, so they wouldn’t go to the temple in Jerusalem, in the kingdom of Judah. At Tel Beersheva, we gathered at the gate of the city and reviewed the story of Abraham and the well of dispute recorded in Genesis 21.

tags: Altar Tel Dan Abraham golden calf idol Jeroboam I House of David Tel Beersheva well tamarisk tree horns

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#1637

2018-11-27

The Church of Nicea and Maresha Seal Impressions

With Clyde Billington

A church has been discovered at the site of the Council of Nicea, a critical meeting in A.D. 325 that shaped the history of the Christian church. And it's ten feet under water. That's one of the stories from the news digest in the latest issue of ARTIFAX. We also discuss some Hellenistic seal impressions found in an underground chamber at Maresha, a Hellenistic gold item found at the Givati Car Park excavation in Jerusalem, and the discovery of a first century tomb in Jordan filled with cartoons. That is, drawings on the wall, and some have captions in ancient Aramaic.

tags: Turkey Aramaic bullae Archaeology Nicea Meresha cartoons

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#1636

2018-11-22

Beit Lehi, Jordan Valley Camps, and Jerusalem Cable Car

With Clyde Billington

More news items from the Autumn issue of ARTIFAX, starting with the excavation at Beit Lehi, "the house of the jawbone." Lots of inscriptions in caves at this site, 60 miles SW of Jerusalem, lots of Hellenistic remains, a Byzantine church and one of the earliest Muslim mosques in Israel. Excavations of stone structures in the Jordan Valley, first identified by Adam Zertal, now continuing under a new archaeological team. Zertal suggested that these structures may have been corrals for early Israelites, who lived in tents, and possible evidence for the Exodus. A cable car plan is being discussed that is generating some controversy. The cable car would cross the Hinnom Valley to Mt. Zion and end at the Dung Gate of the old city.

tags: inscriptions Church Jerusalem Mt. Zion Exodus Israelites Beit Lehi Shephelah Hellenistic period mosque Jordan Valley Cable Car Dung Gate

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#1608

2018-03-07

Governor of the City Seal

With Clyde Billington

Reviewing archaeology news reported in the latest issue of ARTIFAX, we cover a seal impression (bulla) which has the inscription, "Governor of the City." This conforms to two separate scriptural mentions of the Governor of the City of Jerusalem. This seal impression was found by Israel Antiquities Authority archaeologists working in the western wall plaza area, near the Temple Mount. Also in this program, we discuss several reports from Egypt, including a new investigation of King Tut's tomb and the discovery of a void inside of the great pyramid. And finally, a few words about the great work done by Andrews University archaeologists over the past 50 years at the site of Tall Hisban in Jordan.

tags: Jerusalem Heshbon King Tut Western Wall Governor of the City Tall Hisban Andrews University

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