#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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#1443

2014-08-27

The Stone Rejected by the Builders, and Counting with Tokens

With Clyde Billington

Discussing some of the items in the archaeology news digests in the latest issue of ARTIFAX magazine, Professor Clyde Billington and I discuss the discovery of the Stone Rejected by the Builders in the western wall of the Temple Mount, the stone mentioned by Jesus in Matthew 21:42, quoting Psalm 118:22-23. We also report on the discovery of counting tokens used several millenia after writing and record keeping supposedly transitioned from the use of tokens to cuneiform. The story of the invention of writing is intertwined with the biblical story and the history of Christianity.

tags: Western Wall Herodian stones Cuneiform writing

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#1382

2013-05-15

Josephus, part 3

With Prof. Steve Mason

Steve Mason, a professor of history at York University in Toronto, gave us some insights into the ancient historian Josephus, in this August, 2000 interview. Josephus was a prolific writer and his writings offer many insights into the world of first century Judaism. In part 3 of this 3-part conversation, some comments about parallels in the accounts of Luke and Josephus.

tags: Josephus Luke Acts

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