Zwinglius Redivivus

Archive for the ‘Archaeology’ Category

‘Herod’s Tomb’ at Herodium? Probably Not

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The evidence mustered in this Bible and Interpretation Essay is very persuasive. Or it at least raises some questions I’d love to see answered.

[There] are major considerations that speak against the identification of the mausoleum as Herod’s final resting place. The tomb has not been uncovered so far; the mausoleum is not Herod’s! Its remains might have entirely disappeared. It might have been on the top story of the eastern tower of Upper Herodium, or it may be still hidden in the depth of the hill that was given a conical shape (“breast-like” according to Flavius Josephus), by pouring on its slopes an artificial fill.

That’s the end of the piece.

Written by Jim

September 17, 2014 at 20:36

Posted in Archaeology

The IAA Is Launching an Online ‘Museum’

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The Jerusalem Post reports

The Israel Antiquities Authority announced on Tuesday that it is joining forces with the Rockefeller Museum, Israel Museum, and Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Library to create an “Internet archeological museum accessible at the touch of a button.” In a statement, the IAA said the site will feature some 2,500 rare artifacts, representing “the most important archaeological collections in the Middle East.”  The site, located at, also offers a selection of published antiquities from the collections of the National Treasures, and is updated regularly with new artifacts, the IAA said.  The antiquities on the site are arranged both chronologically and typologically, according to the type of artifact, the IAA said. “This is a big project for the Israel Antiquities Authority… to provide free access to the archaeological treasures from any screen connected to the Internet,” the organization said.

It’s worth checking out.  I’m adding a link under ‘useful sites’.

Written by Jim

September 9, 2014 at 18:37

Posted in Archaeology

A Fascinating Discovery: A First Century Tomb

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Antonio has all the news along with some great photos.  Amazing stuff.

Written by Jim

September 8, 2014 at 15:20

Posted in Archaeology

האמת איננה נר לרגליו – A Note on the Recent Examination of the ‘Ivory Pomegranate’ by Yardeni and the Strange Silence of Shanks

pomegranate1That little phrase in the title above in Hebrew is a proverbial legal saying meaning ‘truth is not the lamp leading his way’.  And it may well apply to the very strange silence of late of Hershel Shanks concerning the Ivory Pomegranate.

You see, for a very long time Shanks has insisted that the Pomegranate was a legitimately ancient artifact with a legitimately ancient inscription.  He has seen to it that the pages of BAR have been festooned with stories about it for years.

But lately he hasn’t had much to say about it.  Especially since Ada Yardeni examined it and found it to be inauthentic. You see, dear reader, about two months month ago Hershel Shanks demanded that the Israel Museum allow Ada Yardeni to re-examine the ivory pomegranate, hoping of course that she would confirm that on epigraphic grounds the inscription on it is authentic and accords well with the epigraphy/paleography of 8th century BCE Judah.

Yardeni was in fact allowed by the museum to examine the pomegranate, which she did about two or three weeks ago. Her conclusion was that the inscription was not authentic for several reasons that Yuval Goren had also suggested in his earlier article.

So why hasn’t Shanks ‘broken the news’ to the readers of BAR?  Maybe he will, one day. In the meantime his complete silence is all but golden.

Written by Jim

September 3, 2014 at 14:33

Posted in Archaeology

A Colloquium on the Qeiyafa Ostracon

qeiyafaLa Société Suisse pour l’Etude du Proche-Orient Ancien (SGOA) organise un colloque autour du site de Khirbet Qeiyafa dans la Shephelah (Israël), à l’Université de Berne, le 6 septembre prochain.

Les responsables des fouilles ainsi que les meilleurs épigraphistes seront au rendez-vous. Ce site archéologique a notamment mis au jour un ostracon (un morceau de poterie) sur lequel on a déchiffré une inscription que certains considèrent comme étant l’une des plus anciennes inscriptions en “paléo-hébreu” connues à ce jour.

Cette inscription est très difficile à déchiffrer et le débat autour de sa lecture est tout à fait passionnant.

Infos et réservations ici !

Via Antony Perrot.

Written by Jim

September 2, 2014 at 17:16

Christians and their Magic Amulets

The BBC reports

_77319362_papyrusA 1,500-year-old papyrus charm thought to be “the first ever found to refer to the Last Supper and use magic in the Christian context” has been discovered in the vaults of a Manchester library.  The fragment was found at the University of Manchester’s John Rylands Library by researcher Dr Roberta Mazza.  Dr Mazza said it was an “incredibly rare example of the Bible becoming meaningful to ordinary people”.  She said it would have been put in a locket to protect wearers from danger.  The document, written in Greek, has been held by the library since 1901, but was largely ignored until Dr Mazza came across it.

When all the facts are published, Roberta will let us know.  Till then, the BBC story will have to suffice.  Until, that is, Simcha makes a documentary about it being the very amulet Christ wore at the Supper on Masada before he and the disciples all committed suicide.  Or something like that.

Written by Jim

September 2, 2014 at 10:41

Posted in Archaeology

Eric Cline on C-Span

For the Book Festival.

Eric Cline talked about his book, 1177 B.C.: The Year Civilization Collapsed.  He spoke in the Science Pavilion of the 2014 National Book Festival, which was held August 30 by the Library of Congress at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.


Written by Jim

August 30, 2014 at 17:57

Posted in Archaeology


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