#1686

2019-11-12

Hippos Sussita Mosaics

With Clyde Billington

Hippos/Sussita, one of the New Testament cities of the decapolis, is the home to at least a half dozen Byzantine churches which have been, or are being, excavated. The latest report from these excavations concerned beautiful mosaics found in one of the churches. The mosaics, among other things, portray Jesus and the feeding of the 5,000, which occurred (somewhere) nearby. We discuss this discovery and others that have been reported in the latest issue of ARTIFAX, our biblical archaeology news magazine, including a beautiful staircase at Hazor which is believed to lead to a plaza and a palace. Then there's the Goliath Wall at Gath, a massive city wall from the time of David and Goliath that is twice as thick as the later walls that were excavated on top of it. And finally, year-round excavations have begun at Assos, a city along the coast of western Turkey that was visited by the Apostle Paul (Acts 20:13). Archaeologists have been working here for 38 years, but are now picking up the pace, to make the site more interesting to visitors.

tags: Gath Mosaics Hippos Sussita Byzantine Churches Hazor Goliath Feeding 5000 Wal Assos staircase

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#1678

2019-09-19

A Visit to Susa, part 2

With Todd Bolen

Susa is one of the four capital cities of the Persian empire, and where the stories of Esther, Mordecai, Nehemiah, and Daniel all intersect, in the Hebrew Bible. It’s a long way from Israel, and not an easy place to visit in these modern times. Ancient Persia is the modern nation of Iran. But Todd Bolen of Bibleplaces.com visited Iran a few months ago, and Susa was one of the main places he wanted to see. So we talked about his visit to Susa, as well as Pasargardae, Persepolis, and the Behistun inscription.

tags: Persia Daniel Susa Pasargadae Esther Mordechai Nehemiah Iran Persepolis Behistun

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#1570

2017-05-26

Dead Sea Scroll Fragments & the Hippos Theater

With Clyde Billington

There are a number of unpublished Dead Sea Scroll fragments in the possession of U.S. institutions. We discuss the significance and meaning of this situation, and whether they will be published soon. This story is one of the news digest items from the latest issue of ARTIFAX magazine. The discovery of a large theater, apparently used for cultic worship, at the decapolis city of Hippos/Sussita is another news development reported in ARTIFAX. We discuss these stories and others from the latest issue.

tags: Dead Sea Scrolls Decapolis Roman theater Hippos/Sussita

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#1513

2016-02-17

Remembering Yoram Tsafrir

With Yoram Tsafrir

During a visit to Israel in 2001 I had a chance to talk with archaeologist Yoram Tsafrir at Hebrew University about his excavations at Tel Betshean. Tel Betshean is one of the most interesting stops on our tours: a Roman city — one of the cities of the decapolis in Jesus’ time, when it was known as Scythopolis. It sits in the shadow of a large tel upon which sat the Old Testament city of Betshean, the walls upon which the bodies of Saul and Jonathan were hung upon after their defeat by the Philistines. Yoram Tsafrir died last November, he was 77. We present this interview from our archives in his memory.

tags: Philistines Decapolis Betshean Scythopolis

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#1496

2015-09-15

Goliath's Gath 2015, part 2

With Aren Maier

The area along the ancient border between the Israelites and the Philistines is one of the areas of particular interest in the field of biblical archaeology right now, and one of the largest sites of the more than half dozen currently under excavation is Tel es-Safi/Gath. Gath was not only the home of Goliath and his giant kin, but also the largest of the cities of the Philistine pentapolis. We first talked with Arean Maier when he was beginning this excavation two decades ago, and it was time for an update on the latest discoveries, including a giant gate from the time of David and Goliath.

tags: Gath Philistines Aren Maier Goliath

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