#1638

2018-12-04

Jezreel Valley Regional Project Update

With Matthew Adams

In the flat farm fields between the archaeological tel of Megiddo and the Megiddo prison a mile away lie the remains for the only major Roman Legion base known in the eastern Roman empire. Inside the prison itself, archaeologists have discovered the remains of a second century Christian prayer house, one of the earliest known Christian worship buildings. Matthew Adams, director of the Albright Institute in Jerusalem, fills us in on the latest details of the excavations that are part of the Jezreel Valley Project, and what will be happening when the prison is decommissioned and moved, by order of the Israel Supreme Court.

tags: Megiddo Roman Legion Legio prison Prayer house

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#1637

2018-11-27

The Church of Nicea and Maresha Seal Impressions

With Clyde Billington

A church has been discovered at the site of the Council of Nicea, a critical meeting in A.D. 325 that shaped the history of the Christian church. And it's ten feet under water. That's one of the stories from the news digest in the latest issue of ARTIFAX. We also discuss some Hellenistic seal impressions found in an underground chamber at Maresha, a Hellenistic gold item found at the Givati Car Park excavation in Jerusalem, and the discovery of a first century tomb in Jordan filled with cartoons. That is, drawings on the wall, and some have captions in ancient Aramaic.

tags: Turkey Aramaic bullae Archaeology Nicea Meresha cartoons

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#1636

2018-11-22

Beit Lehi, Jordan Valley Camps, and Jerusalem Cable Car

With Clyde Billington

More news items from the Autumn issue of ARTIFAX, starting with the excavation at Beit Lehi, "the house of the jawbone." Lots of inscriptions in caves at this site, 60 miles SW of Jerusalem, lots of Hellenistic remains, a Byzantine church and one of the earliest Muslim mosques in Israel. Excavations of stone structures in the Jordan Valley, first identified by Adam Zertal, now continuing under a new archaeological team. Zertal suggested that these structures may have been corrals for early Israelites, who lived in tents, and possible evidence for the Exodus. A cable car plan is being discussed that is generating some controversy. The cable car would cross the Hinnom Valley to Mt. Zion and end at the Dung Gate of the old city.

tags: inscriptions Church Jerusalem Mt. Zion Exodus Israelites Beit Lehi Shephelah Hellenistic period mosque Jordan Valley Cable Car Dung Gate

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#1628

2018-09-04

Masada and Tel Shimron

With Clyde Billington

Masada is the most visited national park in Israel and also one of the most important archaeological sites of Israel. In the early 1960s, when Yigael Yadin excavated Masada, it was the first time crowdsourcing was used in archaeology. Yadin invited volunteers to come and work with him, and they did. And ever since, volunteers have been a key component in the institutional archaeological excavations which take place, mostly in the summer, every year. Masada still has secrets to divulge to excavators even now more than a half century later and some of them are reported in the latest issue of Biblical Archaeology Review. Professor Billington and I discuss this report. We also review another article which describes the beginning of a new excavation in the Jezreel Valley, Tel Shimron. This is an ancient city which at times in history apparently outshone it's neighbor across the valley, Tel Megiddo. It will be interesting to see what this excavation reveals in the years ahead.

tags: Herod Masada Yigael Yadin Tel Shimron Garden

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#1625

2018-08-18

Jonah's Whale and Mosaic Discoveries

With Clyde Billington

Reviewing some of the recent news reported in the summer issue of ARTIFAX magazine, we take a look at some mosaic stories. Once again this summer, another mosaic image is released from the Huqoq synagogue excavation in the Galilee: a picture of the two Israelite spies returning from Canaan with a large cluster of grapes. We also mention the recent discovery of another beautiful mosaic on the property that is being excavated in preparation for the construction of a mosaic museum at Lod. And the excavation of St. Hilarion’s Monastery in Gaza, the oldest monastery in the region, will include mosaic remains. We also discover archaeologists have found evidence that certain types of whales, which fit the story of Jonah, once actually were found in the Mediterranean, contrary to popular belief. The story comes from an excavation of Roman ruins at Gibralter.

tags: Huqoq Gaza Jonah Romans Canaan Mosaic spies grapes Lod Museum St. Hilarion monastery whales Gibralter

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