Daily Archives: March 23, 2009

A visit to the Siegfried H. Horn Museum

Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan, has long been associated with archaeological work, especially in Jordan. This work is carried out under the name of the Institute of Archaeology.

The interesting history of the Siegfried H. Horn Museum may be read here. The name of Siegfried H. Horn is well known to anyone who had read about biblical archaeology in modern times.

Last week I was at Valparaiso, Indiana, presenting a series of lessons on Bible History and Archaeology. I had long wanted to visit the Horn Archaeological Museum. When we learned that we were slightly more than an hour away, Mark Russell, Steve Wolfgang and I made the trip one morning. The Museum is hopeful of moving into a new facility as soon as the project can be funded. At this time the small museum is open only on Saturday afternoon, but they will open by appointment, as they did for us.

The Siegfried H. Horn Archaeological Museum houses over 8,500 artifacts, but only a small portion of those are on display. There are replicas of a few famous artifacts such as the Black Obelisk of Shalmannessar II and the Moabite Stone

There are significant original pieces from most areas of the Bible world with Mesopotamia and Transjordan being featured. There is a mummified Ibis from Egypt. The Egyptian god Thoth was portrayed with the head of an Ibis. I never see representations of these gods without thinking of Paul’s description of the Roman world prior to the coming of Christ.

Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. (Romans 1:22-23 ESV)

Mummfied Ibis from Egypt. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Mummified Ibis from Egypt. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

In the main exhibit hall there is a life-size Bedouin tent. This makes a good background for explaining patriarchal life.

Authentic Bedouin Tent at Horn Museum. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Authentic Bedouin Tent at Horn Museum. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God. (Hebrews 11:8-10 ESV)

Two other things should be mentioned. There are some wonderful models. One that impressed me was of the Roman rolling-stone tomb at Heshbon. The murals covering biblical and modern church history are impressive.

I recommend that anyone traveling in the vicinity of Berrien Springs, or those living within driving distance, take advantage of this opportunity to visit. Bible class teachers would do well to become familiar with this Museum and arrange for their students to see it.

Our thanks to Jody Washburn, an Administrative Assistant at the Institute of Archaeology, for her help in making our visit pleasant.