Current Events Articles: October 2018

Tests Show Some Dead Sea Scroll Fragments are Forgeries posted by Bryan Windle

The Museum of the Bible announced that tests done by Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und -prüfung (BAM) in Germany on five of its purported Dead Sea Scroll (DSS) fragments showed that they exhibited "characteristics inconsistent with ancient origin." BAM submitted the group of fragments to a battery of tests, including 3D digital microscopy, scanning X-ray fluorescence (XRF) and energy-dispersive x-ray spectroscopy (EDX) material analysis of the ink, sediment layers and chemical nature of the sediment. These five fragments, along with two others which came from the same batch and are also assumed to be forgeries, will no longer be displayed. The museum is not releasing the full report because modern forgers could use the information contained in it to make more authentic-looking forgeries. The museum has nine other purported DSS fragments in its collection that will be tested. Jeffrey Kloha, the chief curatorial officer for Museum of the Bible, said in a statement, "Though we had hoped the testing would render different results, this is an opportunity to educate the public on the importance of verifying the authenticity of rare biblical artifacts, the elaborate testing process undertaken and our commitment to transparency."

Off-site Links:

- https://www.museumofthebible.org/press/press-releases/museum-of-the-bible-releases-research-findings-on-fragments-in-its-dead-sea-scrolls-collection
- https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/23/arts/design/bible-museum-fake-scrolls-dead-sea.html
- https://www.timesofisrael.com/five-proven-dead-sea-scroll-forgeries-only-the-tip-of-the-iceberg-says-scholar/

New Study: Significant Fish Trade Between Egypt and Canaan in the Late Bronze Age posted by Bryan Windle

A new study analyzing fish teeth points to an extensive trade in fish between Egypt and Canaan some 3500 years ago. The researchers studied 100 teeth from the gilthead sea bream found at 12 different archaeological sites in the southern Levant (modern-day Israel). By analyzing the content of oxygen isotopes in the tooth enamel of the sea bream, they were able to determine the salinity of the water from which the fish came. The results showed that ¾ of the fish came from water that had a higher salt ratio than is normally found in the Mediterranean Sea. Researchers believe the fish were caught in hypersaline water of the Bardawil Lagoon on the northern Sinai coast, and then were transported from Egypt into Canaan by both land and sea. The study demonstrates that from the Late Bronze Age through to the Byzantine Period there was a significant trade in fish between Egypt and the southern Levant.

Off-site Links:

- http://www.uni-mainz.de/presse/aktuell/6256_ENG_HTML.php
- https://phys.org/news/2018-10-extensive-fish-egypt-canaan-years.html

Oldest Hebrew Inscription of "Jerusalem" Found posted by Bryan Windle

A 2100-year-old inscription on a stone column drum with the full spelling of the modern Hebrew word for Jerusalem was recently discovered. The stone column was unearthed in a pottery production site where cooking vessels were manufactured, that operated from the Hasmonean period to the Roman era. The inscription reads, "Hananiah, son of Dodalos, of Jerusalem." This is the first stone inscription ever found with the word "Yerushalayim" spelled in full, rather than in shorthand as it usually appears. The column would have originally been part of a Jewish structure, likely belonging to Hananiah, son of Dodalos. It was discovered in secondary use as part of a workshop used by the Tenth Roman Legion, which had taken over the area before they destroyed Jerusalem in 70 AD. The inscription is now being displayed in the Israel Museum as part of an exhibit on Second Temple-era artifacts. From a biblical point of view, the word "Yerushalayim" is spelled in this rare, long form five times in the Old Testament (Jer 26:18, Est 2:6, 2 Chr 25:1, 2 Chr 32:9, and 2 Chr 25:1). This discovery confirms that the modern full spelling was used in ancient times, just as it is in the Bible.

Off-site Links:

- http://mfa.gov.il/MFA/IsraelExperience/History/Pages/Second-Temple-Period-stone-inscription-found-9-October-20181009-6325.aspx
- https://www.timesofisrael.com/earliest-known-stone-carving-of-hebrew-word-jerusalem-found-near-city-entrance/
- https://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/2000-year-old-Roman-find-reveals-usage-of-the-name-Jerusalem-in-Hebrew-568973

Archaeologists Discover Tomb of Fifth Dynasty Egyptian Official posted by Bryan Windle

The tomb of a prominent official in the Egyptian Court of the Fifth Dynasty was discovered in Abusir, just north of the Saqqara region in Giza. Archaeologists unearthed a large limestone and mud brick tomb with the name of the owner and his titles engraved on the walls. The official named "Ka Ir Is" was known as the "Supervisor of the King's affairs," "¬ĚSecret Keeper of the Morning House," and "His Master's Beloved." A large pink granite statue of the tomb's owner was also discovered which portrays him seated on a small chair inscribed with his name and titles, and wearing a wig. According to biblical chronology, the tomb itself predates Abraham's visit to Egypt (Gn 12:10) by a several hundred years.

Off-site Links:

- https://luxortimesmagazine.blogspot.com/2018/10/czech-archaeologists-discover-keeper-of.html
- https://aawsat.com/english/home/article/1414846/ancient-egyptian-tomb-%E2%80%98morning-secret-keeper%E2%80%99-uncovered-aswan
- https://www.egyptindependent.com/huge-tomb-from-fifth-dynasty-discovered-in-giza/

Mt. Zion Excavations Unearth First-Century Mansion and Ancient Road posted by Bryan Windle

Archaeologists digging at Mount Zion have uncovered the remains of a priestly mansion dating to the first century AD, as well as an adjacent structure that dates from the Hasmonean era (late first century BC). The rooms of the mansion were well-preserved with ceilings despite the fact that it had been destroyed when the Romans took Jerusalem in 70 AD. Another important find was the discovery of an ancient road dating to the Byzantine era, if not earlier. The paved street had a central drain and may be a continuation of the famous Cardo Maximus street which extended across Mt. Zion. Various coins, pottery sherds, and other artifacts were discovered which helped date the various strata excavated.

Off-site Link:

- https://jamestabor.com/a-short-report-on-our-2018-excavations-at-mt-zion-in-jerusalem/

Volunteer in 2016 Support Associates For Biblical Research with every purchase on Amazon Smile. Bible and Spade magazine Become a Member Make a Donation to ABR
Associates for Biblical Research
  • PO Box 144, Akron, PA 17501
  • Phone: +1 717-859-3443
  • Toll Free: 1-800-430-0008
Friend ABR on Facebook.com Join us on Twitter Join us on Twitter