Current Events Articles: December 2017

Drones Used to Discover Possible 2200-Year-Old Idumean Temple posted by Bryan Windle

Archaeologists excavating near Lachish recently discovered a 2200-year-old Idumean structure using drones. The aerial images led the team to the remains of a Hellenistic-era structure which they have identified as likely being a temple or a palace. Numerous cultic objects were found, including a stone incense burner in the shape of an altar with carvings of two bulls between temple pillars. Other artifacts, such as painted bowls, juglets and oil lamps, were also recovered. It appears the Idumean structure was deliberately destroyed, likely during the Hasmonean conquest of that area ca. 112 BC. The Idumeans were the descendants of the Edomites in the Old Testament. Perhaps the most famous Idumean in Scripture was Herod the Great.

Off-site Links:

- https://www.timesofisrael.com/drone-survey-reveals-ancient-temple-at-israeli-military-grounds/
- https://www.haaretz.com/archaeology/1.825907

New Test Results from Tomb of Jesus Confirm History of the Site posted by Bryan Windle

New test results from the purported tomb of Jesus at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre appear to confirm the traditional history of the site. Accounts describe Constantine's order to raze a Roman temple that had been built over the tomb of Jesus and to enshrine the limestone tomb discovered beneath. Until now, however, the earliest archaeological evidence found in the tomb complex dated from the Crusader period, only 1000 years ago. In October 2016, when the tomb was opened for the first time in centuries [linked here], mortar samples from different locations in the Edicule were sent away for testing. Mortar taken from between the limestone burial bed and the marble slab that covered it dated to approximately 345 AD, and a sample from the southern wall of the cave dated to 335 AD. This confirms historical accounts that the tomb was enshrined sometime in the first half of the 4th Century AD during Constantine's reign. Another mortar sample obtained from the tomb entrance dated to the 11th century, confirming the record of the Edicule being rebuilt after it was destroyed in 1009. A further sample taken from the wall of the cave dated to 1570, consistent with a known 16th-century restoration. The mortar was dated using a technique known as optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) that calculates the last time the quartz sediment was exposed to light. The tests were conducted independently at two separate labs.

Off-site Links:

- https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/11/jesus-tomb-archaeology-jerusalem-christianity-rome/
- https://www.christianpost.com/news/tomb-of-christ-first-ever-testing-confirms-age-backs-belief-it-is-the-real-burial-site-of-jesus-208280/
- https://www.timesofisrael.com/new-tests-at-jesus-presumed-tomb-back-traditional-beliefs/

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