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.

3500-Year-Old Egyptian Scarab Discovered In Galilee posted by Bryan Windle

An Israeli man and his family were out for a hike at the Horns of Hattin in the Galilee when he spotted a small white object with engravings on it. He quickly handed it over to the Israel Antiquities Authority. It has been identified as a 3500-year-old Egyptian scarab with a carving of Pharaoh Thutmose III sitting on his throne, along with a cartouche of his name in hieroglyphics. The amulet is a seal, which was likely used to stamp objects such as pottery or papyri.
 
Off-site Links:
- http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Israeli-hiker-discovers-3500-year-old-Egyptian-seal-in-Galilee-443605
- http://www.timesofisrael.com/hiker-discovers-3500-year-old-egyptian-antiquity-in-galilee/
- http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.701007

Matching Gift Opportunity for ABR Dig posted by Bryan Windle

ABR has received a $10,000 matching gift pledge for its archaeological dig at Khirbet el-Maqatir

Kirbet el-Maqatir 2016 group

The Lord continues to miraculously bless the excavations at Joshua’s Ai in Israel! An anonymous donor has come forward with an offer to match every gift to the Khirbet el-Maqatir Excavations, dollar-for-dollar, through the end of March 2016, up to $10,000!  Gifts of any size will be a vital part of our continuing to excavate in Israel and demonstrate how archaeology supports the reliability of the Bible.

Please prayerfully consider making a donation today so we might receive the full blessing of this matching gift pledge. Donate towards the Khirbet el-Maqatir excavations using the link below. Type "Matching Gift Campaign" into the Special Instructions field.
 
Link: 
https://www.biblearchaeology.org/support/supportform.aspx?action=donate

1700-Year-Old Inscriptions Unearthed in Galilee posted by Bryan Windle

A group of 1,700-year-old tombstones was recently discovered in the ancient city of Tzipori (commonly known by its ancient Greek name, Sepphoris), near Galilee. The stone slabs are inscribed in Greek and Aramaic with the names of various rabbis. Tzipori grew to be a prominent Jewish city after the temple was destroyed. It was there that Rabbi Yehuda Hanasi compiled the Mishna, a record of Jewish oral tradition. This discovery will help archaeologists to understand the culture and daily life of the Jewish people at that time.

Off-site Links:
- http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/1700-year-old-inscriptions-linked-to-rabbis-unearthed-in-Galilee-442924
- http://www.haaretz.com/jewish/archaeology/1.699872
- http://virtualjerusalem.com/news.php?Itemid=19546

Faulkner University Hosting Khirbet el-Maqatir Exhibit posted by Bryan Windle

Kearley exhibit banner

Buried for thousands of years, the remains of two biblical cities, one on top of the other, have recently been unearthed, shedding light on the ancient world of Scripture. Now you can see these findings firsthand in the exhibit, "Khirbet el-Maqatir: History of a Biblical Site." Over 60 artifacts will be on display throughout 2016 at Faulkner University in Montgomery, AL, including lamps, storage pots, a mortar and pestle, sling stones, coins, and many other items of historical significance.
 
At Khirbet el-Maqatir archaeologists have discovered the probable remains of the city of Ai, which Joshua conquered (Joshua 7-8). From 1995-2000 and 2009-present, the Associates for Biblical Research (ABR) have collected geographic, historical, and archaeological evidence that matches the biblical criteria for Joshua's Ai. These discoveries include a Late Bronze I city gate and wall system, large amounts of pottery from the time of Joshua, remains from the Judges period, evidence of destruction by fire, and a rare 15th century BC Egyptian scarab (named Christianity Today's top biblical archaeological find of 2013).
 
Recent excavations have also revealed the remains of a city from the time of Jesus (in the ancient world, cities were often rebuilt on the foundations of other cities that had been destroyed). In addition to first-century pottery and coins, the fortification system suggests the site was not just a settlement or village, but a small city. It may, in fact, be the city of Ephraim mentioned in John 11:53-54.
 
At Khirbet el-Maqatir, ABR is digging Joshua's Ai and searching for Jesus' Ephraim. The exhibit focuses on two millennia of human history at the site, and helps us understand the people who lived there between 3500 and 1500 years ago.
 
"Khirbet el-Maqatir: History of a Biblical Site" will run through December 2016 at Faulkner University, and the artifacts will be in the F. Furman Kearley Library. The grand opening of the exhibit will be during the university's annual Faulkner Lectures, Feb. 28 – March 3, 2016. All artifacts in the exhibit are on loan from the Civil Administration of Judea and Samaria.

Read Faulkner University's announcement here:
https://www.faulkner.edu/2016/01/faulkner-university-announces-archaeological-exhibit/

Learn more about Khirbet el-Maqatir here:
http://www.biblearchaeology.org/page/Khirbet-el-Maqatir-Excavation-Reports.aspx

Multiple New Testament Manuscripts Discovered posted by Bryan Windle

Staff from the Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts (CSNTM) have discovered as many as 17 New Testament manuscripts at the National Library of Greece. While some were known to those at the library, these manuscripts had not been officially catalogued by the Institute for New Testament Textual Research (INTF) -- the official cataloging house of all Greek New Testament manuscripts. The oldest one discovered dates from the seventh century. Since 2002, CSNTM staff have discovered more than 90 New Testament manuscripts with more than 20,000 pages of text.
 
Off-site Links:
- http://csntm.org/Blog/Archive/2016/1/26/NewManuscriptDiscoveriesAthens
- http://danielbwallace.com/2016/01/27/new-manuscript-discoveries-in-athens/

Possible Pilgrimage Road to Jerusalem Identified posted by Bryan Windle

For hundreds of years, in both Old and New Testament times, Jewish people would make their way to Jerusalem for numerous festivals. Until the temple was destroyed in 70 AD, the average Jewish person would travel to Jerusalem at least three times per year. An ancient road near Beit Horon may have been one of the "pilgrim roads" they traveled. The road is about 10 miles northwest of Jerusalem and is comprised of steps cut right out of the rock, measuring 5.5 feet in width. A Roman imperial road is also nearby; both roads lead to Jerusalem.

Off-site Link:
- http://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/ancient-cultures/ancient-israel/jerusalem-pilgrimage-road-identified/

Ancient Greek City of Knossos Larger Than Previously Thought posted by Bryan Windle

Recent excavations at the ruins of Knossos on the island of Crete, Greece have revealed that the ancient city was significantly larger than previously thought. Archaeologists believed the city had suffered decline beginning around 1200 BC. The findings suggest this was not the case, and that Knossos had instead prospered. Many Iron Age ceramics and artifacts were discovered both in dwellings and in cemeteries, which showed its imports came from Cyprus, Greece, Iran, Italy, Egypt, and Sardinia. The island of Crete is the destination of the Apostle Paul's letter to Titus, whom he had left there to "straighten out what was left unfinished and appoint elders in every town" (Titus 1:5).
 
Off-site Links:
- http://greece.greekreporter.com/2016/01/07/ancient-greek-city-of-knossos-was-larger-than-previously-thought/
- http://www.newhistorian.com/ancient-city-of-knossos-three-times-bigger-than-thought/5743/

3400-Year-Old Canaanite Citadel Unearthed in Israel posted by Bryan Windle

The remains of an ancient Canaanite citadel were recently discovered in the coastal city of Nahariya at the site of a planned residential high-rise building. "It seems that the citadel that we uncovered was used as an administrative center that served the mariners who sailed along the Mediterranean coast 3,400 years ago," say the excavation directors, on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority. Numerous artifacts were discovered in its rooms, including ceramic figurines, bronze weapons and imported pottery vessels. Part of the citadel will remain intact and be incorporated into the design of the basement level of the building, there to be enjoyed by residents and visitors.

Off-site Links:
- http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Remains-of-3400-year-old-Canaanite-citadel-unearthed-in-Nahariya-439609
- http://www.jewishpress.com/news/theres-a-3400-year-old-canaanite-citadel-in-my-basement/2016/01/06/

Corinth's Ancient Harbor Excavated posted by Bryan Windle

For over 1000 years, the city of Corinth derived most of its wealth from the maritime trade that passed through its two harbors. It remained one of the most prosperous and powerful cities of the Greek, Roman and Byzantine periods, earning her the nickname "Wealthy Corinth." A group of Greek and Danish archaeologists have conducted underwater excavations of the submerged Lechaion harbor. Hopefully the Lechaion Harbor Project will lead to a better understanding of how Corinth grew into the significant city it was.
 
Off-site Links:
- http://www.heritagedaily.com/2015/12/greek-and-danish-archaeologists-excavate-the-ancient-greek-harbour-town-lechaion/108880
- http://greece.greekreporter.com/2014/10/31/ancient-greek-port-revealed-near-corinth-peloponnese/

Top Biblical Archaeological Discoveries of 2015 posted by Bryan Windle

Each year archaeologists uncover more and more artifacts that confirm the reliability of the Bible. 2015 was no exception! From a clay seal of King Hezekiah, to the long-lost fortress of Akra, discovery after discovery shed light on the world of the Old and New Testaments. Some finds generated sensational headlines (was Jesus' house in Nazareth discovered?), while others, like ABR's discovery of a third Egyptian scarab at Khirbet el-Maqatir, added quietly to the growing knowledge of biblical geography. What were the top finds in biblical archaeology in 2015? Check out these lists. Do you agree?
 
Off-site Links:
- http://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/news/top-10-biblical-archaeology-discoveries-in-2015/
- http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2015/december-web-only/biblical-archaeologys-top-ten-discoveries-of-2015.html

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