THE PALACE OF SOLOMON’S DAUGHTER?
Making connections between historical figures of the Bible and archaeological sites is fraught with politics
In BAR‘s First Person, Hershel Shanks takes a closer look at the difficulties archaeologists face when attributing a monument or building to a Biblical figure. Shanks uses several important excavations in Israel as examples, including the site of Tel Dor on the Mediterranean coast of Israel and the "Palace of King David" in Jerusalem. While he contends that the public is entitled to educated speculation and theories, he observes that archaeologists are often reluctant to do so, particularly when Biblical connections are on the table as possibilities.
Read Hershel Shanks’s commentary on speculation in Biblical archaeology
John Merrill reviews Judith Harris’s new book on Pompeii
What, you might reasonably ask, does a book about the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 C.E. have to do with Biblical archaeology? Well, stay tuned, the answer may surprise you. Author Judith Harris is a frequent commentator on Italian culture and a former contributing editor to the BAS publication Archaeology Odyssey. In a famous, cataclysmic eruption, Vesuvius spewed some 10 billion tons of volcanic material to a height of nearly 10 miles. The resulting cloud of super-heated detritus then settled back to earth, covering a swath of the coast of the Bay of Naples to a depth averaging more than 40 feet.
Learn what the eruption of Vesuvius has to do with Biblical archaeology
Check the latest news in Biblical archaeology and
related topics–updated daily
Reports from Iraq this week show that urban sprawl in Mosul is quickly covering the remains of ancient Ninevah that lie buried beneath the city, proving that modern development is an even greater threat to the antiquities here than looting. Meanwhile, a New York City attorney and son of well-known Dead Sea Scroll scholar Norman Golb is arrested on charges of identity theft and aggravated harassment for impersonating scholarly opponents of his father’s theories. Archaeologists have found new skeletal evidence in Kazakhstan that the domestication of horses first occurred here around 3500 B.C.–a millennium earlier than was previously thought, and a bus station in Jerusalem is now offering Torah portions instead of chips and candy bars in one of their vending machines.
Read more Breaking News
IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF PAUL IN TURKEY
with scholar-guide Mark Wilson
Explore the culture, archaeology and stunning monuments of the Other Holy Land
September 21-October 3, 2009
After Israel, Turkey has more Biblical sites than any other country. Many people are unaware of Turkey’s unique role in the Bible because this strategic peninsula–bounded by the Mediterranean, Aegean and Black Seas–is usually called Asia Minor or Anatolia. Turkey is especially important in understanding the background of the New Testament because approximately two-thirds of its books were written either to or from churches in Turkey. The three major apostles–Peter, Paul and John–either ministered or lived in Turkey.
Your guide is scholar Mark Wilson, the director of the Asia Minor Research Center in Izmir, Turkey. Dr Wilson, who has served as a consultant for "The First Christians" in the History Channel’s "Lost Worlds" series, is currently Visiting Professor of Early Christianity at Regent University and leads field studies in Turkey for several universities and seminaries. His expertise will illuminate the ancient sites and rich history of this legendary land.
View pricing and complete itinerary and reserve your spot
CARTOON CAPTION CONTEST
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Write a caption for this cartoon! The author of the best caption will receive a BAS T-shirt, a Dead Sea Scroll mug and three complimentary subscriptions to give BAR to friends.
Runners-up will receive a BAS T-shirt and two complimentary subscriptions. The deadline for captions is April 15, 2009.
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