#1563

2017-03-22

Hyrcanus Inscription and The Thinker

With Clyde Billington

More stories from the news digests of the latest issue of ARTIFAX magazine, including inscriptions that name a newly discovered Roman governor of ancient Judea, and that connect to the ruling family of the Hasmonean period. An inscription naming Gargilius Antiquus was found in the harbor of Dor, indicating that he was probably the governor of the Roman province of Judea when the second Jewish revolt broke out. An inscription, "Hyrcanus," was found in the massive Givati Parking Lot excavation just outside the walls of Jerusalem. It is probably one or the other John Hyrcanus, from the Hasmonean lineage of the 1st and 2nd centuries BC. "The Thinker" is the name given to the figure of a man found sitting atop a pot dating to around 1800 BC, the patriarchal period. The man is shown deep in thought. And finally mention of some of the finds from last summer's Gezer excavation

tags: Gezer Gargilius Dor Roman governor Hyrcanus Hasmonean Givati parking lot thinker pendant Bronze Age gate

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#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 Tzeā€™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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#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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#1516

2016-03-09

The Harbor of Corinth and the Fortress of Machaerus

With Clyde Billington

Archaeological work is being done underwater to study the western harbor of Corinth, Lechaion on the Corinthian Gulf. Ancient Corinth profited greatly from the maritime traffic across the isthmus from the western harbor of Lechaion to the eastern harbor of Cenchrae. The work currently underway is looking at construction dating to around 500 A.D. Authorities in Jordan have announced the reconstruction of Herod's mountaintop fortress of Machaerus, where Herod Antipas beheaded John the Baptist (as reported in Mark 6:21-29) after the dance of Salome. We discuss these two news items that were reported in the winter 2016 issue of ARTIFAX magazine.

tags: Jordan Corinth Herod Corinthians Greece Machaerus

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#1493

2015-08-27

Galilee Mosaics 2015

With Clyde Billington

015 appears to have been a fairly productive excavation year in Israel, particularly in the Galilee, where two different excavations reported major mosaic developments. In the excavations at Huqoq, overlooking the northwestern shore of the Sea of Galilee, archaeologist Jodi Magness (University of North Carolina Chapel Hill) continues to excavate a fifth century synagogue with stunning beautiful mosaics. Additional work was done this summer on a mosaic which appears to illustrate the tradition that describes a meeting between Alexander the Great and the Jewish high priest in Jerusalem. At the same we report on the University of Hartford excavation of the Orthodox Church of the Annunciation in Nazareth, which uncovered a more plain (crosses, for instance) mosaic dating about a century earlier. The mosaics are about six feet below the current floor level, and plans call for a glass window installation so visitors can see the mosaics. Additional news reported in this program, with my ARTIFAX co-editor Clyde Billington, a first century miqva discovery in the Ein Kerem area of Jerusalem (traditional home of the parents of John the Baptist) and tensions over the new carpet installation at the Dome of the Rock.

tags: Church of the Annunciation Nazareth Mosaics Huqoq Synagogue Dome of the Rock Ein Kerem miqva

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