Current Events Articles: January 2019

2000-Year-Old Ring Discovered in Ancient Mikveh in Jerusalem posted by Bryan Windle

Israeli archaeologists at the City of David Sifting Project recently discovered a 2000-year-old ring in dirt that had been excavated from an ancient mikveh (ritual bath) along the Pilgrim Way. The ancient roadway runs from the Pool of Siloam up to the Temple Mount, and is thought to have been one of the main streets pilgrims took as they approached the Temple. Archaeologists have been excavating the ancient road in the City of David National Park for the past seven years. The recently-discovered ring is corroded, although its blue stone still shines. Archaeologists believe a worshiper on his way to the Temple likely lost the ring during his ritual purification in the mikveh. The ring then sat, undisturbed at the bottom of the bath, until its recent discovery.

Off-site Links:
- https://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Culture/Two-thousand-year-old-ring-found-in-the-City-of-David-575179
- https://www.timesofisrael.com/misplaced-2000-year-old-ring-discovered-in-jerusalems-city-of-david/

Climbers and Archaeologists Survey Nabonidus Inscription in Sela, Jordan posted by Bryan Windle

A team consisting of elite climbers and archaeologists recently surveyed the ancient Edomite mountaintop fortress of Sela. Included in the mission was a 90-meter climb to measure and photograph a sixth-century BC relief and inscription, believed to have been commissioned by the Babylonian king, Nabonidus. The 30-line cuneiform inscription beside the image of Nabonidus has previously proved difficult to translate because of its worn state. Perhaps the new photographs of the relief will lead to a translation of the inscription. The team also surveyed the top of the promontory as well as the valley below and discovered 87 pottery sherds, including 43 rims, 23 handles and 17 body sherds, the earliest of which dated to the Iron Age IIc. In the Bible, Daniel lived through Nabonidus' reign in Babylon and read the writing on the wall for his son and co-regent Belshazzar (Dan. 5) on the night that the Babylonian empire fell to the Medes and Persians.

Off-site Links:
- http://www.jordantimes.com/news/local/archaeologists-explore-history-mysterious-mountain-stronghold-%E2%80%98sela%E2%80%99-southwest-jordan
- https://elpais.com/ccaa/2019/01/01/catalunya/1546374933_558472.html

Top Ten Discoveries in Biblical Archaeology in 2018 posted by Bryan Windle

Every year hundreds of archaeologists are involved in excavations in the lands of the Bible. Each year brings more knowledge about the background to the biblical text and a growing collection of artifacts that confirm the historicity of Scripture. Some of this year's discoveries, such as the "Governor of Jerusalem" seal, confirmed specific biblical details, while others, such as the discovery of a "Governor's residency" at Tel 'Eton more generally support the biblical narrative of a united monarchy. The discovery of a ceramic pomegranate during ABR's 2018 excavations at Shiloh made the top ten in both lists. Here are the top finds in biblical archaeology in 2018, as chosen by a couple of websites. Do you agree or disagree? What finds would be on your own top ten list?

Off-site Links:
- https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2018/december/biblical-archaeology-top-10-discoveries-2018-israel.html
- https://bryanwindle.wordpress.com/2018/12/26/top-ten-discoveries-in-biblical-archaeology-in-2018/

New Article Traces Provenance of "Nazareth Inscription" posted by Bryan Windle

In 1925 Wilhelm Froehner died, leaving behind a collection of more than 3400 ancient artifacts, the most famous of which was the "Nazareth Inscription." Froehner's inventory notes for this Inscription merely state: "This marble was sent from Nazareth in 1878." A new article traces the provenance of this artifact to provide an answer as to how it came into Froehner's possession. The "Nazareth Inscription" is a marble tablet with a Greek inscription, an edict of an unnamed Caesar, declaring the stealing of bodies from tombs to be a capital offense. Given the mid-first century AD date of the artifact, many scholars believe it is a response to the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth and the rumour that had been deliberately started that the disciples had stolen his body (Matt. 28:13).

Off-site Link:
- https://lareviewofbooks.org/article/the-emperor-and-the-empty-tomb-an-ancient-inscription-an-eccentric-scholar-and-the-human-need-to-touch-the-past/

More about the Nazareth Inscription:
- http://www.biblearchaeology.org/post/2009/07/22/The-Nazareth-Inscription-Proof-of-the-Resurrection-of-Christ.aspx

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