#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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#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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