#1608

2018-03-07

Governor of the City Seal

With Clyde Billington

Reviewing archaeology news reported in the latest issue of ARTIFAX, we cover a seal impression (bulla) which has the inscription, "Governor of the City." This conforms to two separate scriptural mentions of the Governor of the City of Jerusalem. This seal impression was found by Israel Antiquities Authority archaeologists working in the western wall plaza area, near the Temple Mount. Also in this program, we discuss several reports from Egypt, including a new investigation of King Tut's tomb and the discovery of a void inside of the great pyramid. And finally, a few words about the great work done by Andrews University archaeologists over the past 50 years at the site of Tall Hisban in Jordan.

tags: Jerusalem Heshbon King Tut Western Wall Governor of the City Tall Hisban Andrews University

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#1607

2018-03-01

Signature of Isaiah

With Clyde Billington

We report the announcement of the discovery of a seal impression (bulla) that’s being connected to the prophet Isaiah, who wrote the book of Isaiah in the Old Testament. The seal impression was dug up in 2009 in excavations at the Ophel, near the Temple Mount by archaeologist Eilat Mazar. The name on the bulla is clearly Isaiah, in Hebrew characters. In the lower register, it could say prophet but the word is incomplete. But this bulla was found just a few feet from another bulla of Hezekiah, King of Judah. And Hezekiah and Isaiah are linked in the same verse in the Bible 15 times. So Bible scholars will be debating about this bulla for years to come.

tags: Jerusalem Ophel Eilat Mazar Bulla Hezekiah Isaiah

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#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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