Category Archives: Archaeology

Dig At Megiddo this Season


More Evidence That Israel Was Little More Than An Egyptian Outpost

Egyptian artifacts are found in virtually every occupation layer of Israel, indicating that Egypt was present for most of Israel’s ancient history.  More proof has come to light today:

A man our for an excursion with his family discovered a 3,500-year-old seal while hiking at the Horns of Hattin in the Lower Galilee, the Antiquities Authority announced on Tuesday.  While walking with his children, the farmer from Kfar Hittim spotted the engraved, beetle shaped object and called the Antiquities Authority in order to learn what was written upon it.

Dr. Dafna Ben-Tor, curator of Ancient Egypt at the Israel Museum, identified the seal as a scarab amulet from the New Kingdom, the period stretching from the 16th-11th centuries BCE.  According to Ben-Tor, the amulet shows “shows King Pharaoh Thutmose III seated on the throne” alongside the monarch’s name, she said.

It was Thutmose, who ruled Egypt from 1379-1425 BCE, expanded his empire to encompass the land of Canaan, defeating a Canaanite army in Megiddo which is memorialized in huge bas-reliefs on the walls of Karnak temple in Egypt.

As evidence continues to be unearthed it becomes more and more clear that Israel was merely an Egyptian buffer zone for its entire ‘biblical’ history.  During some periods Egypt let it be and it exercised a little autonomy but in other periods Egypt clearly dominated (when in its best interest it felt the need to do so).  But Egyptian power always hovered, like the Sword of Damocles, over the populace.

Identify the Mystery Objects

At the Palestine Exploration Fund.

Take a Tour of Megiddo

Some good stuff here.

Recently we had a field trip to Megiddo, the site of the last battle between the forces of heaven and the forces of evil.

While going on a tour of literal Armageddon is pretty cool in and of itself, this tour was special because we went with Prof. Israel Finkelstein, the man in charge of the excavations there. This gave us an insider’s, detailed look at the site, the finds, and stories of the excavations, following the seminar we had recently taken about Megiddo, with Prof. Finkelstein.


Satellite Images for the Sea of Galilee Project

The PEF Blog has this today:

The Sea of Galilee Project is an archaeological analysis of the Roman-period and Byzantine landscape surrounding the Sea of Galilee. It involves both new survey and new analysis of data derived from earlier work by other scholars. The Project has been supported by the Palestine Exploration Fund (PEF) through two grants.


The expansion of Judah in II Chronicles: Territorial legitimation for the Hasmoneans?

finkelsteinThat’s the title of a new essay by Israel Finkelstein in ZAW which begins.

The Land of Israel and territorial gains and losses are major themes in Chronicles. The period of David and Solomon is conceived as the ideal rule of Jerusalem over the entire area inhabited by the Hebrews. After the »division« of the monarchy, II Chronicles pays much attention to the gradual territorial growth of Judah, aimed at restoring Jerusalem’s rule over the entire Land of Israel. This expansion – undertaken during the reign of a few monarchs – is described in several sections that do not appear in The Books of Kings.

Get yourself a copy.

Khaled al-Asaad: Archaeologist of the Year

thePipeLine names Khaled al-Asaad its first “Archaeologist of the Year” and launches “write in” campaign to have Mr Al-Asaad nominated for similar awards worldwide.

thePipeLine exists to try to expose anyone who damages our shared past out of ignorance, malice or the pursuit of commercial profit, and to name and shame the charlatans and purveyors of pseudo history in the Media.

That means we do not really go in for the annual round of merit awards. Particularly as they are often defined in terms of “Buggin’s turn”, that is the idea that anyone who hangs around long enough, or makes a big enough donation to the awarding body or its friends, gets an award.

However, as 2015 turns into 2016 we have been forced to make an exception.

There can only be one Archaeologist of the Year for 2015, Khaled al-Asaad, the eighty one year old former custodian of the Syrian city of Palmyra who was murdered in the most brutal and humiliating fashion by Daish/ISIL on 18 August 2015; apparently after refusing to reveal where antiquities from the UNESCO World Heritage Site had been taken.

I heartily agree.  Visit the post, and spread the word.


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