For those of you interested in biblical archaeology, here are few things to whet your appetite.
– “Why Biblical Scholars Should Participate in at Least One Dig” This is a nice article by John Byron, a Biblical Studies Professor. I agree with his conclusions and would extend the title to cover preachers, teachers and students of the Bible in general. His assertion that working a dig is like working construction seems a bit strong to me. (I’ve worked many 1-week summer camps that wore me out faster than a 2 or 3-week dig.) He makes nice points about the “insular” effect that can come from only studying the Bible in an office and the benefit of developing new skills to examine the biblical text. And there is the added plus of learning how to better critique some of those rather silly cable documentaries that confuse people’s perceptions of the Bible and its times. (HT: Todd Bolen)
– PaleoJudaica comments on recently-announced test results for the lead codices that are purported to offer insights on early Christianity. A number of specialist bloggers have discovered fakery and fraud throughout the lead books’ inscriptions, but the Jordanian government is claiming “encouraging” results from authenticity tests. Jim DaVila breaks down the authenticity announcement and notes a few problems with the results. In a nutshell: fake inscriptions on looted ancient lead plates.
– Yesterday, I read this item on Arutz Sheva about a gang of archaeological looters that was recently caught in the act and arrested. This may be the group that has been hitting sites around “the Elah Valley near Beit Shemesh” for some time. Khirbet Qeiyafa, the site where I dig, is located in this general area.
Still trying to catch up on a number of things before heading to the Khirbet Qeiyafa dig in 2-1/2 weeks, so posting has been slow.