It has been an interesting year (or so) for archaeology in the Holy Land. The minimalists must be quite depressed. 😦
I will list only three major stories that are quite supportive (to say the least) of the Biblical record with its description of the Davidic and Solomonic times:
1) The excavations at Khirbet Qeiyafa of Yosef Garfinkel from Hebrew University.
2) The excavations of Thomas Levy (from my good old school UCSD) in Jordan at Khirbat en-Nahas (which I visited last year – photos later).
3) And the latest on a possible Solomonic temple in Jerusalem is found here.
As it could be expected – there are plenty of archaeologists who question the conclusions of these excavators and are cautious to make any connections with the Biblical record. This is not surprising, and final conclusions are still to be drawn.
However – one cannot help but think that ‘minimalists’ have not had a good year.
Once again – lack of evidence is NOT evidence of absence!
The great British Orientalist Donald Wiseman was called home. He played a very important role in the early development of the Tyndale House and had great contributions to biblical scholarship and the study of the ancient Near East. [This information was obtained from Tyndale House]
Here is a photo of Professor Wiseman from ancient Nimrud:
Left to right: Donald Wiseman stands next to his good friend
Agatha Christie, her husband Max Mallowan, and Neville Chittick,
while carrying out archaeological excavation at Nimrud.
There are many things I did not know about Professor Wiseman. Thus, I had no idea that he was a recipient of the USA Bronze Star Medal for his valor in World War II… Read the tribute below and become wiser/better! (more…)
Last weekend (on Saturday) I had the great privilege to go on a great trip to Wadi Faynan in Jordan. The trip was supposed to include a couple of friends living in Jordan, one from US and one from UK, but both fluent in Arabic. Unfortunately, our friend (Chris Dawson) from UK could not make it, so only two of us drove by the ‘Cities of the Plain’ east of the Dead Sea to our destination (about 3 hrs).
When we got close to Wadi Faynan we stopped in an Arab village and Mark (the friend from US married to a Jordanian) started to negotiate for a truck to take us to Khirbat en-Nahas and a few other places. After about 1 hour of searching and negotiations we found just the right person and truck (a Toyota 4×4) to take us there. Our rental, given the difficult terrain, had no chance to make it that far.
As some of you know, I excavated several years in the Holy Land. I didn’t find much ( 😦 ), but I learned some and I (mostly) enjoyed the experience. One could say that archaeology is a past love of mine. I am still interested and mildly attracted to archaeology – but I certainly lost “that loving feeling.”
In any case- there are still many who seem to be in love with this discipline and who still dig in “God’s country.” Some of the diggers have found a treasure from the Second Temple period close to Jerusalem (at Ramat Rahel).
For a very interesting video presentation of this see here. I am still waiting for the ark, or the library at Hazor 🙂