#1596

2017-11-16

Jerusalem's Roman Theater

With Clyde Billington

More stories from the news digest of the Autumn issue of ARTIFAX magazine, including the cover story on the discovery of the first Roman theater ever found in Jerusalem. Although Josephus mentions a Roman theater in Jerusalem in the first century, this new discovery is apparently not that theater, for reasons discussed on the program. This is a very small theater and may have been used for governing purposes, rather than entertainment. Other topics discussed on this program include the discovery of a Byzantine era mosaic at the Damascus Gate with a connection to the famous Nea Church built by the Emperor Justinian, and the discovery of bullae (clay seal impressions) from the First Temple Period.

tags: Jerusalem Damascus Gate Byzantine Western Wall Roman theater bullae Odeon Bouletarion Mosaic Nea Church Constantine Justinian First Temple Period

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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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#1528

2016-06-01

Proverbs 31 Woman and Ancient Fabric

With Clyde Billington

The 2600-year old seal of a woman of Jerusalem was recently found in the Givati Car Park archaeological excavation, which prompted the first part of the discussion on this program. We also discussed ancient fabrics and ancient seeds found in another excavation at Timna, and what they may be able to tell us about life in biblical times. Our final item was a comparative test of survey archaeology methods: walking the field vs. satellite archaeology.

tags: Seal Survey Archaeology fabric seeds

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#1515

2016-03-01

Hezekiah's Seal and Iron-Age Farmhouse

With Clyde Billington

In this program we take a look at some of the news digest items from the Winter issue of ARTIFAX magazine that has just been published. The news items involve the discovery of a seal impression from King Hezekiah’s official seal (pictured), as well as the discovery of an Iron Age Farmhouse and a Byzantine monastery at Rosh Ha-‘Ayin (near Tel Aphek where I volunteered on an excavation in 1978), and the discovery of a Canaanite citadel at Nahariya, on the coast north of Akko.

tags: Canaanites Hezekiah Aphek Farmhouse

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