#1562

2017-03-14

Dead Sea Scrolls & the Sinai Inscription

With Clyde Billington

Catching up with some of the archaeology stories in the news digests of the latest issue of our ARTIFAX magazine, co-editor Clyde Billington and I discuss some new Dead Sea Scrolls fragments that have been found. That is, they were found in some caves along the western shore of the Dead Sea but not at Qumran, rather further south near Masada, along Wadi Tze’elim. Another discovery in the same cave (known as the Cave of the Skulls) is the Jerusalem Papyrus, which was one of our Top Ten biblical archaeology stories of 2016. This papyrus contains what appears to be the oldest mention of Jerusalem in the Hebrew language, dating to the 7th century B.C. And finally, we discuss the recent proposition put forth by Douglas Petrovich, that the alphabetic Canaanite inscriptions from Wadi el-Hol in Egypt and Serabit el-Khadem in the Sinai were actually written by ancient Hebrews.

tags: Dead Sea Scrolls Alphabetic Cave of the Skulls Jerusalem Papyrus Serabit el-Khadem Sinai Inscriptions Wadi el-Hol Wadi Tze'elim

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#1554

2017-01-19

The Library at Herculaneum

With Brent Seales

Professor Seales first got our attention a year and a half ago with the news that he had virtually unrolled a carbonized scroll of Leviticus, excavated in 1970 from a burned synagogue on the Dead Sea shore at Engedi. At the time he took up the Leviticus scroll professor Seales had been at somewhat of a dead end on his efforts to read scrolls from the Villa of the Papyri, excavated a century and a half ago from Herculaneum. The ink on the scrolls was indistinguishable from the burned black papyri. But now professor Seales believes he's found the solution to that problem, and it may well be that this ancient library, destroyed by the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in A.D. 79, is once again going to be available to interested readers.

tags: Writing Carbonized papyrus Technology Herculaneum Mt. Vesuvius Scrolls

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#1545

2016-09-25

Reading Carbonized Texts 2016

With Brent Seales

One year later, we bring our listeners up to date on the latest from University of Kentucky Computer Science professor Brent Seales and his computer program for virtually opening unopenable ancient texts. Further work has been done on the carbonized scroll from Engedi that we discussed a year ago, revealing its total contents are the first two chapters of the Old Testament book of Leviticus. New dating, based on the form of the letters in the text, reveals that this book is as old as the Dead Sea Scrolls.

tags: Writing Bible Carbonized papyrus Technology

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#1542

2016-09-07

Jerusalem's Garbage and Ancient Writing

With Clyde Billington

News digest items from the latest issue of ARTIFAX magazine covered in this week’s program with ARTIFAX co-editor Clyde Billington, including: The discovery of the garbage dump from first century Jerusalem A cache of first century writing tablets from London, at the other end of the Roman Empire An abecedary (alphabet listing) from 15th century BC Egypt, the time of Moses And conclusive evidence that the ancient Coptic papyrus fragment that mentions the wife of Jesus is actually a forgery

tags: Jerusalem Jesus wife First century Garbage Writing Tablets Egyptian abecedary

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#1498

2015-10-20

Reviving Carbonized Texts, part 2

With Brent Seales

More from Brent Seales, of the University of Kentucky, on how he is able to virtually unroll carbonized texts of antiquity and read them through computerized tomography. In this program he talks about how he was able to read the first eight verses of the Book of Leviticus, from a cargonized text discovered 45 years ago in the burnt ruins of a synagogue at Engedi.

tags: Dead Sea Scrolls Brent Seales Carbonized papyrus CT scans Ein Gedi Leviticus University of Kentucky

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