Current Events Articles: December 2015

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?
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Hebrew Inscription Found Near Sea of Gallilee posted by Bryan Windle

A 1500-year-old slab of marble bearing Hebrew text has been discovered on the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee. A drop in the water level exposed the inscribed rock near a site where fragments from a Byzantine-era pier had earlier been found underwater. It is evidence that a Jewish or Christian community may have been located in that area around 500 AD. Some have tried to use the discovery to bolster the claim that this was the site of Jesus' "miracle of the swine," but this is unlikely, as that miracle was performed in a predominately Gentile area (they herded pigs!).

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Scholarship Winner Discusses Dig At Khirbet el-Maqatir posted by Bryan Windle

Matthew Glassman, winner of one of 19 dig scholarships from the Biblical Archaeological Society in 2015, recently described his experience in the field. Matthew joined the Associates for Biblical Research (ABR) for their excavation at Khirbet el-Maqatir, the probable site of the biblical city of Ai mentioned in Joshua 7-8. While serving as an Assistant Square Supervisor, Matthew's focus was to uncover the remains of a Late Bronze Age city wall, and to identify the outer face of it. Some of the discoveries from the dig this season include Hellenistic and Roman era coins, Late Bronze potsherds, an intricate complex of cisterns, a third Egyptian scarab (similar to the ones found in 2013 and 2014), and two small stone weights with inscriptions. Matthew's description of his experience gives an accurate glimpse of what archaeological field work is really like.

Off-site Link: Biblical Archaeological Society -

Ancient Inscription Discovered at Lachish posted by Bryan Windle

A 12th century potsherd containing Canaanite text was recently unearthed in ruins of a temple at the biblical site of Lachish. It's the first Late Bronze Age Canaanite inscription discovered in over 30 years, and contains the oldest precursor to the letter "S" ever found. The discovery will provide important information about the development of the alphabet. In the Bible, Lachish grew to be an important fortified city of the Israelite monarchy before being besieged by Sennacherib's army in 701 BC, an event alluded to in 2 Kings 18:13-14 and Isaiah 36:2. 
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-The Times of Israel: -

King Hezekiah's Seal Recently Found posted by Bryan Windle

A 2700-year old "bulla" or clay seal, bearing the inscription "Hezekiah [son of] Ahaz, king of Judah," was recently discovered in Jerusalem. While other seals purported to belong to King Hezekiah have surfaced on the antiquities market, this is the first bulla of an Israelite or Judean king that has been unearthed in an actual archaeological excavation. The bulla preserves an impression of papyrus fibers on the back, which suggests the seal once enclosed a document perhaps signed by the king himself.

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-The Hebrew University of Jerusalem -

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