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.

Ancient Shipyard Discovered in Egypt posted by Bryan Windle

An ancient shipyard was recently unearthed at Tell Abu Saifi, located just east of the Suez Canal in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula. A limestone structure containing two dry docks for the construction and maintenance of ancient ships was excavated. The remains of wooden beams, bronze and iron nails, fish bones and clay pots were found inside the shipyard. Most of the structure's limestone blocks had been removed from their original positions for secondary use after the port was abandoned when the branch of the Nile that it was located on dried up. The shipyard was in use through the Ptolemaic and Roman eras. Egyptian ships are mentioned numerous times in the Bible (Is 18:2; 30:9), with perhaps the most famous being the Alexandrian ship that was transporting the apostle Paul to Rome when it sank near the island of Malta in Acts 27.

Off-site Links:
- http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/9/41/325517/Heritage/GrecoRoman/Ancient-workshop-for-construction-of-boats-uncover.aspx
- http://luxortimes.com/2019/02/roman-shipyard-discovered-in-egypt/
- https://www.apnews.com/a2ed0e843f0f4cf6b06e60139259feaa

ABR to Honor Dr. Bryant Wood at 2019 Friends of ABR Banquet posted by Bryan Windle

The Associates for Biblical Research are pleased to announce the details of this year's Friends of ABR Fundraising Banquet, to be held on Thursday, April 25, 2019 at Shady Maple Smorgasbord, 129 Toddy Dr., East Earl, PA. The doors open at 6pm and the banquet begins at 6:30pm. The keynote speaker will be Dr. Peter Teague, President of Lancaster Bible College. This year's banquet will have a very special focus as ABR honors the life and ministry of Dr. Bryant Wood, who has served with the Associates for Biblical Research since 1986. Dr. Wood's amazing career in archaeology, research, writing and teaching has profoundly impacted the Church, from the vaunted halls of academia to the pews of churches around the world.

So, mark your calendars now and join us for an evening full of encouragement and inspiration! The registration deadline is Tuesday, April 18, 2019 by 12:00 noon.

Link to Purchase Tickets:
https://www.biblearchaeology.org/support/banquettickets.aspx

More Details:
http://www.biblearchaeology.org/outreach/event.aspx?id=342

Coin of Herod Agrippa Discovered Near Shiloh posted by Bryan Windle

While on a class trip to the Shiloh Valley, an Israeli boy found a coin minted by King Herod Agrippa I, grandson of Herod the Great. The 2000-year-old coin features three stalks of grain on one side, and the royal canopy along with Agrippa's name on the reverse side. In the book of Acts, it is Herod Agrippa who put James to death and imprisoned Peter.

ABR's Director of Excavations at Shiloh, Scott Stripling, released the following statement about the find:

Shiloh boasts a rich numismatic corpus, as evidenced by this find. The ABR excavation at Shiloh has yielded almost 200 coins, including this exact coin of Agrippa I. Dated to the sixth year of the reign of Agrippa I (AD 41/42), this coin provides a direct connection to the end of the Second Temple period. Agrippa I was close friends with Emperor Claudius, and this coin was minted in the first year of Claudius' reign. Agrippa's title on the obverse (front) of the coin is BASILEUS, the Greek word for "king." Three ears of barley adorn the coin's reverse. In AD 44 Agrippa I suffered a gruesome death as recorded in Acts 12:23 and Josephus (Antiquities 19.8.2).

Off-site Links:
- https://christiannews.net/2019/02/07/israeli-boy-on-school-trip-finds-ancient-coin-marked-with-inscription-king-agrippa-leader-who-killed-james-jailed-peter/
- https://www.timesofisrael.com/kid-on-school-trip-unearths-second-temple-era-coin-in-west-bank-stream/
- https://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Rare-coin-from-Second-Temple-period-discovered-in-West-Bank-578791

New Trilingual Inscription from the Persian Period Found posted by Bryan Windle

A previously unknown inscription that had been covered by dirt and lichen for well over 2000 years was recently discovered at Naqsh-e Rustam in Iran. Naqsh-e Rustam is a necropolis near the ancient Persian capital of Persepolis that houses the tombs of Darius I (the Great), Xerxes I, Artaxerxes I, and Darius II. The newly uncovered inscription is trilingual, written in the Persian, Elamite, and Babylonian languages. It was discovered on the hill around the tomb of King Darius, and seems to reference a high-ranking Achaemenid official who was unknown to history. The inscription is of great interest to linguists, as it adds new verbs to all three ancient languages. In the Bible, King Darius is the Persian ruler who, after searching the archives of King Cyrus, authorized the reconstruction of the temple in Jerusalem to proceed, providing the supplies and funds needed (Ezra 4:24-6:15).

Off-site Links:

- http://www.iran-daily.com/News/238115.html
- https://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.com/2019/01/new-trilingual-inscription-discovered.html

Over 40 Mummies Discovered in Egyptian Tombs posted by Bryan Windle

Egypt has announced the discovery of more than 40 mummies in a maze of four burial chambers in the Tuna El-Gebel necropolis near Minya, Egypt. The remains of men, women and 12 children were found, some wrapped in linen and others in stone or wooden sarcophagi. A few of them still had the remnants of colored cartonnage near them. Officials from the Supreme Council of Antiquities believe that the tombs are likely a familial grave for upper-class individuals based on the mummification method. Writing on papyri and ostraca discovered in the tombs suggests the earliest of these date to the Ptolemaic era. In the Bible, Daniel prophesied about the Egyptian Ptolemaic "Kings of the South" (Dn 11) hundreds of years before they came to power.

Off-site Links:

- http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/9/40/324859/Heritage/Ancient-Egypt/Egypts-first-antiquities-discovery-of--Mummyfilled.aspx
- https://www.haaretz.com/archaeology/MAGAZINE-in-photos-egypt-unveils-pharaonic-tomb-with-50-mummies-1.6898362
- https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-47103114

Iron-Age Horse Figurine Discovered Near Beit She'an posted by Bryan Windle

Heavy rains in northern Israel unearthed a clay figurine of a horse's head, which was discovered by a mother and her two daughters out searching for mushrooms. The lady just happened to work for the Israel Antiquities Authority, and immediately recognized its significance. The horse figurine was found in Kfar Ruppin in the Beit She'an Valley, and dates to the Iron Age II (ninth to seventh centuries BC). A broken hand can be seen on the horse's neck as well as the harness, and the remains of red paint on the mane can be detected. A second horse figurine dating to the Hellenistic era was also discovered near Tel Akko by another hiker. Biblically, Beit She'an is best known for being where the Philistines impaled the bodies of King Saul and his sons on the city wall. The Bible also describes horses in Iron Age Israel, with King Solomon importing them from Egypt and trading them to the kings of the Hittites and the kings of Syria (1 Kgs 10:29).

Off-site Links:
- https://www.timesofisrael.com/driving-rain-uncovers-2-rare-horse-statues-in-north-of-israel/
- https://www.jewishpress.com/news/archaeology-news/heavy-rains-unearth-ancient-horse-figurines-in-northern-israel/2019/01/22/
- http://thejewishvoice.com/2019/01/23/israels-heavy-rains-reveal-ancient-horse-figurines

Geological Study Confirms Earthquake Mentioned by Amos posted by Bryan Windle

A new article published in the journal Tectonophysics details evidence of a significant earthquake in Israel in the middle of the eighth century B.C., as described by the prophet Amos. Researchers took core samples from Ein Gedi, as well as layered sediment samples from Ein Feshkha and Nahal Tze’elim and used carbon-14 to date the organic matter in the deformed layers. Their analysis documented 11 earthquakes in Israel during the Bronze and Iron ages, including two in the eighth century B.C. While there is archaeological evidence for an earthquake in the days of Amos at numerous sites (Hazor, Deir 'Alla, Gezer, Lachish, Gath, Tell Judeideh, and 'En Haseva), this is the first time paleoseismic evidence dating to this period has been discovered. The book of Amos begins with the words, "The words of Amos, who was among the shepherds of Tekoa, which he saw concerning Israel in the days of Uzziah king of Judah and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel, two years before the earthquake" (Am 1:1). The prophet Zechariah also refers to "the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah" (Zec 14:5). Amos and Zechariah were likely both referring to the larger of the two earthquakes in the eighth century.


Off-site Links:
- https://www.haaretz.com/archaeology/.premium.MAGAZINE-fact-checking-the-book-of-amos-there-was-a-huge-quake-in-eighth-century-b-c-e-1.6807298
- https://patternsofevidence.com/2019/01/20/biblical-quake-confirmed/

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/

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