2016 Excavation Plans

With Todd Bolen

It’s a long standing tradition throughout the 33 years of The Book & The Spade that we start the year by looking ahead to the planned institutional excavations. It gives us a platform for discussing what’s happening in biblical archaeology, and what has been happening in the past couple years. In 2016 one long running excavation, at Ashkelon, is coming to a close. But a number of excavations have started just in the last few years so there will continue to be a lot of work to do. And you never know what’s going to turn up.

tags: Abel Beth Maacah Ashkelon Jezreel Khirbet el-Maqatir Azekah

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Tut's Tomb and the Acra Fortress

With Clyde Billington

The two hottest stories in archaeology right now are: the search for additional rooms in the tomb of King Tutankhamun (possibly the tomb of Nefertiti or some other pharaoh), and the discovery of the Hellenistic fortress known as the Acra, right outside the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem. On this program, professor Clyde Billington (my co-editor on ARTIFAX magazine) brings our listeners up-to-date on what's happening with these two stories and supplies some background information to help explain their significance and their connection to biblical archaeology.

tags: Acra Fortress Nefertiti Tutankhamun Antiochus Epiphanes

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Eshba'al's Jar and Nefertiti's Tomb

With Clyde Billington

One of the most exciting reports of discoveries and developments this year is actually about an inscription that was found in 2012. The inscription comes from the Khirbet Qeiyafa excavation, directed by Yosef Garfinkel and Saar Ganor (pictured with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu). The inscription gives the name Eshba’al, a name that is found in history only one other time, in fact in the Bible-I Chron 8:33, as the fourth son of King Saul. The fact that this inscription dates to the 10th century BC, the time of David and Saul, adds more weight to the significance of the Khirbet Qeiyafa excavation. This is the fourth 10th century inscription found in just the last half dozen years or so, before which there were none. On the second half of this program, featuring my ARTIFAX co-editor Clyde Billington, we discuss reports that archaeologist Nicholas Reeves believes he has found evidence that the tomb of King Tutahnkamen has more chambers, and that he thinks the evidence also suggests that King Tut’s tomb was actually, originally, the tomb of Nefertiti, Tut’s stepmother. This is an interesting story to keep an eye on.

tags: Khirbet Qeiyafa 10th century inscriptions Eshbaal Garfinkel Nefertiti Tutankhamen

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Preserving Culture in War, part 3

With Katharyn Hanson

We resume our conversations with American archaeologists who are working to help Iraqis and Syrians preserve their cultural heritage in the midst of the fighting that continues to wreak havoc and destruction in the area that has often been called the cradle of civilization. This week’s program features Katharyn Hanson, a University of Chicago grad who has been working with the Archaeological Site Preservation Program at the Iraqi Institute for the Conservation of Antiquities and Heritage in Irbil, Iraq.

tags: Iraq Syria Irbil Katharyn Hanson

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Pharaoh's Chariots

With Prof. Bela Sandor

The recent PBS NOVA special on Building Pharaoh’s Chariot featured University of Wisconsin professor emeritus Bela Sandor. So we contacted prof. Sandor, invited him to the local archaeology society, and talked with him about ancient chariots. It turns out ancient Egyptian technology in this area was hard to reproduce because it was so advanced. A new perspective on the biblical stories of the Pharaoh that chased Moses into the Red (or Reed) Sea, Solomon’s chariot cities, and the Ethiopian eunuch.

tags: Egypt Chariots King Tut

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