Khirbet Qeiyafa on TV next week

Khirbet Qeiyafa is coming U.S. television next Tuesday, November 23rd. I was on site during filming by National Geographic in 2009. We are part of this upcoming NOVA program.

Countless treasure-seekers have set off in search of King Solomon’s mines, trekking through burning deserts and scaling the forbidding mountains of Africa and the Levant, inspired by the Bible’s account of splendid temples and palaces adorned in glittering gold and copper. Yet to date, the evidence that has claimed to support the existence of Solomon and other early kings in the Bible has been highly controversial. In fact, so little physical evidence of the kings who ruled Israel and Edom has been found that many contend that they are no more real than King Arthur. In the summer of 2010, NOVA and National Geographic embarked on two cutting-edge field investigations that illuminate the legend of Solomon and reveal the source of the great wealth that powered the first mighty biblical kingdoms. These groundbreaking expeditions expose important new clues buried in the pockmarked desert of Jordan, including ancient remnants of an industrial-scale copper mine and a 3,000-year-old message with the words “slave,” “king,” and “judge.

The last part of the summary is a reference to the Khirbet Qeiyafa inscription discovered in 2008. I do not know how the producers will treat the site or the inscription. Many programs on biblically-related archaeology are skewed or give disproportionate attention to fringe theories. Hopefully our excavation and the subject at large will be treated fairly.

With any luck I may have survived the editing process. Perhaps I’ll appear in some shots.

A National Geographic crew filming at Khirbet Qeiyafa in August, 2009. (Photo by Luke Chandler)

Read all about it and stay tuned. The episode should air more than once on TV. If it’s any good, you can even order the DVD. (The DVD cover includes a bluish high-tech scan of the Qeiyafa inscription.)

About LukeChandler

Luke holds an M.A. in Ancient and Classical History and has been an adjunct professor at Florida College in Temple Terrace, Florida. Luke and his wife Melanie have five children. He serves as a minister with the North Terrace Church of Christ and has participated in multiple archaeological excavations in Israel. Luke leads informative, meaningful tours to Europe and the Bible Lands.
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2 Responses to Khirbet Qeiyafa on TV next week

  1. afrankangle says:

    My initial reading of this took me in another direction. By focusing on “National Geographic”, I assumed this would be on the National Geographic Channel … nope … it’s on PBS.

    Thanks for the tip, thus hopefully I will remember to record … after all, gotta see if you made the cut.

  2. lukechandler says:

    If they’re going for good-looking, I’m in trouble (and probably on the editing room floor). If you happen to see a shot of a worker with a red shirt and a reddish beard then I have finally achieved my dream of television stardom, even if my role is not credited onscreen.

    By the way, I just confirmed our excavation’s existence in next month’s “National Geographic” magazine cover story. You can read most/all of it online at their website:

    I’ll post on it today or tomorrow.

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