Monthly Archives: June 2010

“I believe we have found Ai…”

“I believe we have found Ai…” These are the words of Dr. Bryant Wood regarding the excavation at Khirbet el-Maqatir, a few miles east of the West Bank town of Ramallah.

You will be able to see this video clip and another one describing the activities of a day at a dig on the ABR blog here.

Many scholars have long said that the Bible is wrong in saying that Ai was destroyed by Joshua and the Israelites. Other scholars, associated with the Associates for Biblical Research have been suggesting for several decades that the current location of Ai is incorrect. Now Dr. Wood and his team are able to conduct excavations at an alternative site. Good reading. Take it seriously.

Read Joshua 8 for the biblical account of the capture of Ai.

Posted from AA 1086 over Wyoming.

Go Southeast, Old Man!

The mountains and lakes of the Northwest are a pleasure to behold. A friend took me for a cruise on Lake Washington where he pointed out the houses of the rich and famous of the business, sports, and entertainment world.

Seattle. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Seattle. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

I enjoyed speaking to appreciative audiences at the Kirkland Church of Christ Sunday and Monday evenings. The illustrated lessons included discussions of Bible history, archaeology, and the Bible world. Quite a few friends from the past were present.

Thanks to those of you who check the blog regularly. Hopefully by the first of the week I can get back to posting some photos of the Bible world.

Moving on to the Northwest

Stop blogging? Not yet. We just had an extremely busy week in San Jose. Now I am on my way to the Seattle area where I will be speaking for a couple of days.

Excitement in Silcon Valley

This evening (Wednesday, June 23) at the Miller Avenue lectures in San Jose I saw three new iPhone 4’s. There may have been more. Living in the Silicon Valley has its advantages, you know. Some people get this new toys early.

iPhone 4 in San Jose - June 22, 2010

iPhone 4 in San Jose - June 23, 2010

You can see from the smudges that the phones have been handled by a group of admiring friends.

There is a lot of excitement at the Miller Avenue Church of Christ lectures this year, too. Don Truex is speaking twice each day on some practical bible themes. I am presenting illustrated lectures each morning on Exploring the Bible World. In the evening the presentation are on Bible History and Archaeology. There is an additional speaker each morning.

This is why the posts have been sparse this week. Add to the lectures, some social appointments, reviewing the lessons, a little nap in the afternoon, and there is not much time left to blog.

Radar Imaging Detects Hyksos Town in Nile Delta

Rossella Lorenzi reports on the use of radar imaging to discover a Hyksos town buried under the modern Egyptian town at the site of Tell el-Daba.

Radar imaging in Egypt’s Nile Delta has unveiled the outlines of a buried city that was the stronghold of foreign occupiers some 3,500 years ago, Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities announced Monday.

Discovered by a team of Austrian archaeologists in Tell el-Daba in the northeastern Nile Delta, the ruins belong to the southern suburban quarters of Avaris, the capital of the Hyksos kings who formed Egypt’s 15th dynasty.

Known as the “rulers of foreign countries” (probably of Asiatic roots),  the Hyksos infiltrated Egypt and came to dominate the Nile valley for over a century during the Second Intermediate Period (1664-1569 B.C.).

The article continues to mention the importance of the Hyksos to the trade in the Ancient Near East and the Mediterranean world.

The technique used in this discovery is explained.

Using a combination of geophysical survey and excavation techniques, the Austrian archaeologists led by Irene Forstner-Müller investigated approximately 2.6 square kilometers (1 square mile) of the ancient buried city.

The resulting computer-generated images showed a very detailed layout, complete with houses, streets, cemeteries and palaces.

The team has also identified temples where the Hyksos worshipped the god Seth, a possible harbor area and a series of pits of different sizes whose function has not yet been determined.

Avaris was then captured by King Ahmose I (ruled about 1570-1546 B.C.), who ended the Hyksos rule and founded the glorious 18th dynasty, which included pharaohs such as Hatshepsut, Amenhotep III, Akhenaten and Tutankhamun.

Color satellite image with radar imaging in monochrome showing the outlines of streets, houses and temples buried under the modern town of Tel al-Daba. Courtesy of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA).

The eastern portion of the Nile Delta is known as the Land of Goshen in the Bible. This was the home of the Israelites for many years.

Joseph went and told Pharaoh, “My father and brothers, with their flocks and herds and everything they own, have come from the land of Canaan and are now in Goshen.” (Genesis 47:1 NAS)

The article may be read in its entirety here in Discovery News.

We have mentioned other discoveries at Tell el-Daba, and the work of the Austrian archaeologists here and other places which you may locate by placing the word Goshen in the search box.

HT: Brooks Cochran

Tel Kassis discovery featured in videos

A few days ago we reported on the discovery of a cache of pottery dating back to about 1500 B.C. here and here. The Media Line has made available an interesting 3:33 minute video about the discovery and the artifacts here.

Another shorter video has been made available at Euronews here.

HT: Joseph I. Lauer

Excavation begins today at Tel Rehov

Tel Rehov is located in the Jordan Valley a few miles south of Beth-Shean. The excavation web site describes the tell as one of the largest in the Holy Land. Previous excavations since 1997 reveal that the site was occupied during the Late Bronze Age and Iron Age I. The site is not named in the Bible. The suggestion has been made that it may have remained one of the cities not conquered by the Israelites — like the ones mentioned here:

Yet the people of Manasseh could not take possession of those cities, but the Canaanites persisted in dwelling in that land. Now when the people of Israel grew strong, they put the Canaanites to forced labor, but did not utterly drive them out. (Joshua 17:12-13 ESV)

Rehov is mentioned in Egyptian writings from the time of Pharaoh Shishak, the ruler who invaded Israel during the reign of King Rehoboam about 925 B.C. (1 Kings 14:25).

Last month, while traveling in Israel, I saw that the tell had already been burned off. This is frequently done prior to a dig to help clear it of excess growth. There is always a lot of clean up work that goes on the first few days of a dig.

Tel Rehov. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Tel Rehov with the Jordan Valley in the distance. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

The most exciting discovery that has come from the excavation of Tel Rehov is “the industrial apiary — the only ancient beehives ever discovered in archaeological excavations.”

Tel Rehov. Beehives excavated in 2007.

Beehives Discovered at Tel Rehov in 2007. Archaeologist Amichai Mazar. Photo: Copyright - The Beth-Valley Archaeological Project, Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Read more about the excavation, and hopefully keep up with the current dig, at the web site of the Beth-Shean Valley Archaeological Project here.