BIBLICAL ARCHAEOLOGY REVIEW
The BAR Companion: March 3, 2010
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HOW THE ALPHABET WAS BORN FROM HIEROGLYPHICS
A new theory on the origins of the alphabet


Almost 4,000 years ago, laborers sent by the Egyptian Pharaoh toiled to extract highly prized turquoise from quarries deep in the Sinai desert. In studying the numerous inscriptions they left behind, Hebrew University of Jerusalem professor Orly Goldwasser believes that something extraordinary took place here, and that illiterate Canaanite laborers were responsible for one of the most significant inventions in human history. Read more.

 

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SOLOMON’S KINGDOM
A new discovery may shed light on an old debate

A recent discovery in Jerusalem has kicked off a firestorm of debate regarding the kingdom of King Solomon. An ancient wall uncovered by Eilat Mazar of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem could drastically change the way we understand the Biblical account of the reigns of Kings David and Solomon. BAR‘s Managing Web Editor Sarah Yeomans speaks with St. Louis-based radio station Issues, etc. about the startling discovery and its considerable implications. Read more.

Listen to Sarah’s radio interview.

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DIG OF THE WEEK
Tel Madaba: Magnificent Mosaics


The ancient settlement of Madaba has a rich and complex history that is documented in the Bible, the Mesha Inscription and a wealth of later classical sources, all of which attest to Madaba’s prominent role in the history of the region. Surrounding the tell, but primarily to the north, are the remains of the classical town, represented most notably by the churches and mosaic pavements that have brought Madaba such fame, including the legendary Map of Madaba mosaic. Read more.

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BREAKING NEWS
Check out the latest news in Biblical archaeology and related topics–updated
daily

This week in the news, a startling discovery in Jerusalem could shed new light on King Solomon’s kingdom. Meanwhile, scholars working in Iraq study the archaeological potential of Ur while excavations on Knossos reveal what may be the oldest farm houses in Europe. In Egypt, a massive granite image of an ancient pharaoh is revealed. Read more.

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EVENT WATCH
Piecing Together the Past: Ancient Fragments of the Song of the Sea


Separated by both oceans and centuries, two ancient fragments of the Song of the Sea–the song sung by the Israelites after escaping slavery in Egypt–have finally been reunited. Following an extraordinary rediscovery, the two united fragments are on display for the first time at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, and study of the texts is shedding light on an enigmatic period in history known as the "Silent Period." Additional ancient documents will also be exhibited, including a fragment of the Book of Exodus from the late first century B.C.E. that was found in Qumran. Read more.

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BUILD-A-BOOKSHSELF BUNDLE
5 BAS Books, $29.95

During our Spring Blowout Sale, take advantage of this special book offer. The BUILD-A-BOOKSHSELF BUNDLE groups together five popular BAS books: Abraham and Family, Jesus: The Last Day, Crusaders in the Holy Land, The Search for Jesus and Feminist Approaches to the Bible for the limited-time price of $29.95. This special offer is only good during the Spring Blowout Sale, which ends April 30, 2010. Read more.

View all sale items.

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FROM PETRA TO PALMYRA
Visiting Syria, Jordan and Antioch

What sets our upcoming tour of Syria, Jordan and Antioch apart from the rest?

Any tour of this region is likely to include the magnificent rock-cut city of Petra, and Palmyra, one of the world’s greatest historical sites. And of course, our tour includes these important stops. But, no other tour brings you these must-see stops in combination with the fascinating sites listed below:

  • Antioch (Turkey): A center of early gentile Christianity, Antioch once rivaled Alexandria as a major Near Eastern city. While in Antioch, you will visit the famous Mosaic Museum and the Church of St. Paul.
  • Um Quis (Jordan): With views of the Golan Heights and the Sea of Galilee (Lake Tiberias), this is the site of the ancient Greco-Roman town of Gadara. According to the Bible, this Decapolis city in Jordan is where Jesus cast out the devil from two men into a herd of pigs (Matthew 8:28-34).
  • Al Bara and Serjilla (Syria): These two sites along a trade route between Antioch and Apamea flourished with wine and olive oil production. They are among the most important of the famous 700 "lost cities" in Syria.

These are only the highlights of this extensive 16-day tour that will take place October 21 – November 5, 2010. Read more.

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CARTOON CAPTION CONTEST
Submit a
caption

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, 2010. Read more.

CONTENTS

Alphabet from Heiroglyphics
Solomon’s Kingdom
Dig of the Week
Breaking News
Event Watch
Build a Bookshelf Bundle
Jordan, Syria, Antioch Tour
Cartoon Caption Contest

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