#1698

2020-03-05

Ethiopian Basilica & Church of the Glorious Martyr

With Clyde Billington

Two church discoveries are reported in the news digests of the latest issue of ARTIFAX, our biblical archaeology news magazine. A church excavated in northern Ethiopia is the oldest church in sub-Saharan Africa and helps us understand the Christian history of that part of Africa. At Beth Shemesh in Israel, excavators have uncovered an impressive Byzantine church with beautiful mosaics and an inscription that dedicates the church to “The Glorious Martyr.” The identity of this martyr is not yet know. Also at Beth Shemesh, a large rock table has been excavated, which some believe may be connected to the story of the return of the Ark of the Covenant to the Israelites in I Samuel 6. And finally, we discuss the discovery of garum vats, a production facility for what some have called, “The Ketchup of the First Century.”

tags: Ethiopia Aksum Sudan Beth Shemesh Glorious Martyr Garum

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#1686

2019-11-12

Hippos Sussita Mosaics

With Clyde Billington

Hippos/Sussita, one of the New Testament cities of the decapolis, is the home to at least a half dozen Byzantine churches which have been, or are being, excavated. The latest report from these excavations concerned beautiful mosaics found in one of the churches. The mosaics, among other things, portray Jesus and the feeding of the 5,000, which occurred (somewhere) nearby. We discuss this discovery and others that have been reported in the latest issue of ARTIFAX, our biblical archaeology news magazine, including a beautiful staircase at Hazor which is believed to lead to a plaza and a palace. Then there's the Goliath Wall at Gath, a massive city wall from the time of David and Goliath that is twice as thick as the later walls that were excavated on top of it. And finally, year-round excavations have begun at Assos, a city along the coast of western Turkey that was visited by the Apostle Paul (Acts 20:13). Archaeologists have been working here for 38 years, but are now picking up the pace, to make the site more interesting to visitors.

tags: Gath Mosaics Hippos Sussita Byzantine Churches Hazor Goliath Feeding 5000 Wal Assos staircase

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#1672

2019-08-08

Ziklag, Huqoq, and First Century Fast Food

With Clyde Billington

More news items to discuss from the many news reports in the summer issue of ARTIFAX, the biblical archaeology news magazine. Ziklag, a city associated with King David, has been tentatively identified at a dozen different locations in Israel but now finally we have the correct location, says archaeology Yosef Garfinkel. (Other archaeologists are not so sure.) More mosaic discoveries in this summer's excavations at Huqoq, at the site of a fifth century synagogue overlooking the Sea of Galilee. The mosaics depict the Exodus spring of Elim, and the four beasts of Daniel 7. We also discuss a photo from professsor Carl Rasmussen, showing a first century thermopolia, a fast food establishment excavated at Pompeii. In the first century this is where people got their food because they didn't have kitchens in their high rise apartments.

tags: Huqoq David Garfinkel Mosaic Ziklag Elim Daniel fast food thermopolia

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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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#1625

2018-08-18

Jonah's Whale and Mosaic Discoveries

With Clyde Billington

Reviewing some of the recent news reported in the summer issue of ARTIFAX magazine, we take a look at some mosaic stories. Once again this summer, another mosaic image is released from the Huqoq synagogue excavation in the Galilee: a picture of the two Israelite spies returning from Canaan with a large cluster of grapes. We also mention the recent discovery of another beautiful mosaic on the property that is being excavated in preparation for the construction of a mosaic museum at Lod. And the excavation of St. Hilarion’s Monastery in Gaza, the oldest monastery in the region, will include mosaic remains. We also discover archaeologists have found evidence that certain types of whales, which fit the story of Jonah, once actually were found in the Mediterranean, contrary to popular belief. The story comes from an excavation of Roman ruins at Gibralter.

tags: Huqoq Gaza Jonah Romans Canaan Mosaic spies grapes Lod Museum St. Hilarion monastery whales Gibralter

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