Current Events

Keep up to date on the latest developments in the world of Biblical Archaeology and related apologetic topics. In this section, you will find links to news reports, articles and staff commentary on the most recent discoveries, reports, and controversies in Biblical Archaeology. Enjoy!

Note: The views and comments made in materials from sources outside of the Associates for Biblical Research are not necessarily those of ABR. Such materials are included only insofar as they relate to the subject of archaeology and related apologetic subjects, and are provided for your information only.

Evidence of United Monarchy Unearthed at Tel 'Eton...by Mole Rats posted by Bryan Windle

Archaeologists from Bar-Ilan University excavating at Tel 'Eton in the Hebron hills noticed that piles of dirt left by burrowing mole rats contained pottery sherds, indicating the area had once been inhabited. This led to the discovery of an ancient city at the site, including a monumental structure, which the researchers say is evidence of a United Monarchy during the time of King David and Solomon. The "governor's residency," as they have dubbed it, contains abundant evidence of destruction by the Assyrians around 701 BC, including arrowheads in the courtyard, obvious signs of conflagration, and 200 intact, abandoned pottery vessels. The structure itself was built using ashlar stones and deep foundations with quality building materials, which archaeologists suggest are evidence of a complex society and strong political administration during the construction phase. In addition, the excavators discovered a foundation deposit. Radiocarbon samples from this deposit, as well as from olive pits and coal found on the floor, indicate that the Tel 'Eton residence was first built in the late 11th or 10th century BC. This is the second such monumental structure dating to the Davidic and Solomonic eras discovered in the region (with Khirbet Qeiyafa being the first).

Off-site Links:

- https://www.haaretz.com/archaeology/.premium.MAGAZINE-molerat-archaeology-supports-united-monarchy-theory-says-new-study-1.6007916
- https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/radiocarbon/article/governors-residency-at-tel-eton-the-united-monarchy-and-the-impact-of-the-oldhouse-effect-on-largescale-archaeological-reconstructions/5CE54AE6CEE838CC0D076186A2FBACE5

Traditional Tomb of the Prophet Nahum Saved from Collapse posted by Bryan Windle

The traditional tomb of the prophet Nahum, housed inside an 800-year-old synagogue in Al-Qosh, Iraq, has been saved from destruction. The structure has been deserted since the 1950s when the Jewish population in the area fled Iraqi persecution, and has been deteriorating ever since due to the elements. Recently a US organization called ARCH – the Alliance for the Restoration of Cultural Heritage – sent a team of engineers to temporarily secure the crumbling building with scaffolding, ropes and support beams. They hope this will hold the synagogue together for at least three years while they raise the funds needed for the planned restoration project. The prophet Nahum was from the town of Elkosh (Na 1:7), which some have identified as Al-Qosh, Iraq. Other scholars believe Elkosh was a town near Capernaum (lit. "village of Nahum") or a village called Elkesi near Ramah or Elcesei in the West Bank. Writing in the seventh century BC, Nahum prophesied the fall of Assyria, which occurred in 612 BC at the hands of the Babylonians.

Off-site Links:

- https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2018/03/nahums-tomb-in-iraq-restoration-begins.html
- http://patternsofevidence.com/blog/2018/04/13/prophet-nahums-tomb-peeks-above-ground/

Greco-Roman Temple Discovered in Egypt posted by Bryan Windle

The Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities recently announced the discovery of the remains of a Greco-Roman temple 50 km east of the Siwa Oasis at a site called Al-Salam. The front portion of the temple was uncovered, including parts of the main entrance and the enclosure wall. The temple's walls, upper lintels and corner pillars displayed common Greco-Roman images, such as the egg-and-dart pattern. Archaeologists also discovered pots, coins, the head of a male statue, as well as two limestone lions. Researchers are hoping to complete the excavation of the temple next year.

Off-site Links:

- https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2018/04/greco-roman-temple-egypt-spd/
- http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/9/41/295033/Heritage/GrecoRoman/Remains-of-GraecoRoman-temple-discovered-near-Egyp.aspx
- http://luxortimesmagazine.blogspot.ca/2018/04/egyptian-archaeologists-discover-greaco.html

Trove of Rare First-Century Coins Found in Jerusalem posted by Bryan Windle

A hoard of dozens of bronze coins, as well as pottery fragments from the first century, were recently discovered in a cave where residents of Jerusalem once sought shelter during the Jewish Revolt. The cave, measuring 23 x 46 ft (7 x 14 m), had lain undisturbed for 2000 years until unearthed by Dr. Eilat Mazar in the renewed Ophel excavations south of the Temple Mount. The majority of the coins are rare, dating to the final year of the revolt (known as Year Four – 69-70 AD), and are in excellent condition, appearing to have been used very little before being hidden in the cave. They bear the symbols associated with the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles, including the four traditional plants – palm, myrtle, citron, and willow – as well as the image of a chalice. Because the cave has been undisturbed since the Second Temple era, it gives a glimpse into Jewish life during the rebellion against the Romans.

Off-site Links:

- http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Coins-symbolically-discovered-from-great-revolt-before-Passover-547128
- https://www.timesofisrael.com/rare-trove-of-bronze-jewish-revolt-coins-unearthed-near-temple-mount/

4000-Year-Old Sumerian Port Discovered in Iraq posted by Bryan Windle

Archaeologists have uncovered the remains of the oldest Sumerian harbor ever discovered in Iraq at the site of Abu Tbeirah near the ancient city of Ur. The port was discovered when researchers doing a survey of the site looked into a fox's hole and saw clay bricks. Over the past two years, they have uncovered the large brick ramparts that surrounded the docks and a basin that was connected to a canal. Archaeologists also found alabaster vases and parts of a necklace which are clearly from other civilizations, testifying to the trade that must have occurred at that time. Based on the finds, scholars are suggesting that Abu Tbeirah may have been a satellite port-town of Ur and that these Sumerian city-states stayed connected to the delta of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers for a greater period of time than originally believed. The Bible records that Abraham was born in the city of Ur (Gn 11:26-31).

Off-site Links:

- https://www.haaretz.com/archaeology/MAGAZINE-archaeologists-peek-into-fox-burrow-find-4-000-year-old-sumerian-port-1.5936818
- http://archaeologyinbulgaria.com/2018/03/21/archaeologists-discover-4000-year-old-port-ancient-sumer-mesopotamia-near-iraqs-nasiriyah/

Undisturbed 3600-Year-Old Canaanite Tomb Discovered posted by Bryan Windle

Archaeologists excavating in the ancient Canaanite city of Megiddo, located in northern Israel, have unearthed an undisturbed tomb dating to the 17th century BC. The discovery of the tomb came as a surprise when excavators noticed cracks in the stones at the site and dirt falling into an unseen chasm below. An investigation revealed it was an underground passage leading to the tomb, which was located next to the late Middle Bronze Age royal palace. Within the tomb were the remains of multiple individuals, including three that were found undisturbed. These remains belonged to a child aged 8-10 years old, a woman in her mid-30s, and a man who was between 40 and 60 years old. Their bodies were adorned with gold and silver rings, brooches, bracelets and pins. The man was found wearing a gold necklace and diadem. In light of the wealth of the artifacts, the size of the tomb, and the fact that it was located next to the royal palace, archaeologists have suggested these may be the remains of an elite or royal family. Researchers are now conducting a DNA analysis of these remains and comparing them to the results of a DNA analysis of remains found in common tombs at Megiddo.

Off-site Links:

- https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2018/03/megiddo-armageddon-dna-royal-burial-canaan-archaeology/
- http://blog.bibleplaces.com/2018/03/undisturbed-canaanite-tomb-discovered.html
- https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/3600-year-old-tomb-found-next-canaanite-palace-might-contain-remains-royal-family-180968487/

Join Us for the 2018 Friends Banquet posted by Scott Lanser MA



Dr. Scott Stripling is the keynote speaker for the 2018 ABR Friends Banquet

Dr. Scott Stripling is the Director of Excavations at Shiloh. He directed the excavations at Khirbet el-Maqatir from 2013-2016, served as Field Supervisor of the Tall el-Hammam Excavation Project in from 2005 to 2010, and as a supervisor of the Jerusalem Temple Mount Salvage Project in Jerusalem. His academic affiliation is with The Bible Seminary in Katy (Houston), Texas where he serves as the Provost. Scott is the former Department Chair of Humanities at Wharton County Junior College, he has also taught at Houston Baptist University, Belhaven University, International Bible College, and Texas Southmost College/University of Brownsville. A popular speaker and author, Stripling has served on a variety of community, education and ministry Boards and organizations, currently serving on the Board of the Near East Archaeological Society. He and his wife, Janet, have four children and two grandchildren.


Dr. Scott Stripling will present "Murder at Maqatir: The Grim Fate of Those Who Hid from the Romans." After two years of enforced secrecy, we can now tell the story of the eight human bodies discovered in a hidden chamber at the ABR's Khirbet el-Maqatir excavation. Come join us!


Plus, be the first to see ABR's new traveling exhibit, "The World of Jesus."

Sign up early to reserve your seat in advance. We are looking forward to a great night of Christian fellowship.

___________________________________________________________________________

The Banquet will take place on Thursday April 12, 2018 at:

Shady Maple Smorgasbord
129 Toddy Dr.
East Earl, PA 17519

Doors open at 6pm, and the banquet begins at 6:30 pm.

1. Tickets are $35 per person for adults and $25 for children ages 12-17 but you must pre-register.

2. Early Bird Registration: If you register before March 28th, the cost is $30 per person and $20 for children ages 12-17.

3. Registration deadline is Tuesday April 3, 2018 by 12 Noon.

4. How to Register and make payment:

a. Call the ABR office and pay for your tickets over the phone. The ABR office is open Monday through Thursday, 9-3 EST.

b. Print this Registration Form (PDF), fill out by hand, and mail to the ABR office. Associates for Biblical Research PO Box 144 Akron, PA 17501.

c. Pay and register online, click here: Banquet Tickets

5. Would you kindly consider sponsoring a table at the banquet? Table sponsorships are $300.00 each, and help to pay for the costs associated with running this important event. This way, all donations collected the night of the banquet can be used to support the ongoing work of the ABR mission. Businesses, churches, organizations, and individuals may sponsor tables; won’t you prayerfully consider a table sponsorship if this is something God would have you do?

Important Note: Table sponsorships pay for your meal, plus 7 guests. Table Sponsors must provide ABR a list of invited guests for table assignment purposes. Maximum 8 persons per table. You may sponsor additional table(s) if you would like to invite more additional guests, or purchase individual tickets.

6. Church Group Rates of 8 or more people: $25 per person.

7. If you plan to pay for a guest(s), we must have their complete information, including name, address and phone number.

8. You will be served a delicious dinner and desert, combined with a sensational message from Dr. Stripling.

9. ABR is a non-profit Christian ministry. We depend entirely upon the generosity of our constituents to fulfill our mission. We pray you will come to this wonderful event, prepared to give generously. Only a limited number of walk in seats will be available, so sign up TODAY!

Map to Shady Maple: 129 Toddy Dr. East Earl, PA 17519


10. If you are unable to attend the banquet, but would like to support this event with a gift, you may give a gift that will be designated towards the event. Please follow these instructions:

a. Click here: https://www.biblearchaeology.org/support/supportform.aspx?action=donate

a. Enter dollar amount in ONE TIME GIFT field.

b. Under SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS, type "Gift towards SCOTT STRIPLING BANQUET 2018, I am unable to attend."

c. Follow the donation page to PayPal and follow the instructions for payment.

We are looking forward to seeing you there!

Associates for Biblical Research PO Box 144 Akron, PA 17501

"Jesus Christ God" Mosaic Set to Go on Display in Israel posted by Bryan Windle

In 2005, an ancient Christian mosaic was excavated on the grounds of the Megiddo Prison in Israel. It was discovered in what is believed to be a domus ecclesiae, an early Christian house-church, in the ancient Jewish-Samaritan village of Othnay. The mosaic displays images of fish - an early Christian symbol - and three Greek inscriptions dating to 230 AD. One of the inscriptions reads, "The god-loving Akeptous has offered the table to God Jesus Christ as a memorial." Scholars believe Akeptous was a woman who donated a table to be used for the communion ceremony. Because Israel has adopted European standards for minimum space per inmate, the inmates from the Megiddo Prison are being moved to a new facility. The site is now being turned into an archaeological park and the mosaic will soon be displayed to the public. Critics of Christianity have sometimes claimed that the belief in the divinity of Jesus Christ did not arise until after the Council of Nicaea "declared" him to be God in 325 AD. The "Jesus Christ God" mosaic confirms the New Testament record that Jesus was worshiped as God by the early Christians, and it is important archaeological evidence of this belief that predates the Council of Nicaea by almost 100 years.

Off-site Links:

- https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/MAGAZINE-archaeological-park-to-be-opened-on-site-of-prison-in-northern-israel-1.5866058
- https://www.christiantoday.com/article/ancient-mosaic-describing-jesus-christ-as-god-to-be-unveiled-in-israel/126745.htm

New Technology Confirms Clay Fragments of Atrahasis Epic Are From Same Tablet posted by Bryan Windle

The famous Atrahasis Epic is a Babylonian creation story that includes an account of a flood and a man being saved in a boat. The most complete copy is recorded in cuneiform script on Ipiq-Aya's Tablet III. Two fragments of this account, housed in two different museums, have long been thought to come from the same tablet. With the larger fragment in the British Museum and the smaller fragment in a museum in Geneva, there seemed to be no way to get the two tablets in the same room to study together. Now, thanks to new technology, it has been confirmed that both fragments do indeed come from the same tablet. Researchers recently took 150 photographs of each tablet from various angles and created a detailed, digital 3-D model of each. This allowed the researchers to virtually study the terrain of each fragment, matching valleys and peaks on the joint of one tablet, with the corresponding ones on the other. Using a virtual reconstruction algorithm, a near-perfect match was made between the two surfaces, confirming that they were once part of the same tablet. It is the first time this technology has been used to virtually reconstruct a cuneiform tablet over a long distance.

Off-site Link:

- https://phys.org/news/2018-02-long-distance-reconstruction-cultural-artefact.html#jCp

Possible Seal Impression of the Prophet Isaiah Found posted by Bryan Windle

The discovery of a clay impression (called a bulla) that may have been from the Prophet Isaiah's personal seal was recently announced. The bulla was unearthed by archaeologist Eilat Mazar and her team in the Ophel excavations just south of the Temple Mount. It was in a batch of seal impressions that included the famous Hezekiah bulla (see HERE) which was discovered in 2015. The 2700-year old bulla is not fully intact, with the top and left side partially damaged. Enough of the bulla is legible to clearly read the name "Isaiah" in the middle portion and the letters "N-V-Y" - the first three letters of the Hebrew word "prophet" - below it. Unfortunately, the crucial letter aleph to complete the word "prophet" is missing. By reconstructing the missing part of the border ring, it is likely that another letter was present on the damaged portion of the seal. This fact, along with its discovery within a few feet of the Hezekiah bulla, have led many to believe this is likely the impression of the personal seal of Isaiah the prophet. In the Bible, King Hezekiah and the prophet Isaiah were more than just contemporaries, they were personally close, and their names appear together at least 14 different times (2 Kings 19-20; Is 37-39).

Off-site Links:

- https://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/people-cultures-in-the-bible/people-in-the-bible/prophet-isaiah-signature-jerusalem/
- https://www.haaretz.com/archaeology/MAGAZINE-prophet-isaiah-s-seal-mark-may-have-been-found-in-jerusalem-1.5844352
- https://www.timesofisrael.com/in-find-of-biblical-proportions-proof-of-prophet-isaiah-believed-unearthed/
- https://www.ritmeyer.com/2018/02/22/a-seal-impression-of-isaiah-the-prophet/

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