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Archaeological Discoveries and the Bible
Fallen Empires researches significant discoveries from ancient empires.
What is Archaeology?
Archaeology is a science that examines the ancient world by recovering and evaluating the remains that are left behind.
Some of the remains that archaeologists might find are things like written documents, cylinder seals, coins, pottery, sculpture, tools, weapons, jewelry, objects of art, religious objects, inscriptions on things like clay tablets or stone bas-reliefs, or monuments. Sometimes archaeologists excavate buildings, or palaces, and even sunken ships. Sometimes entire cities or portions of cities have been uncovered. There are other clues to the past that provide great significance for a trained archaeologist. For example: botanical remains and flora, and wood. Roads, walls, and any other architecture, or earthworks, and even human and animal remains can give an archaeologist insight into the past. Modern technology has helped greatly in examining and understanding the ancient world. From the microscope, to aerial photography, to skin diving equipment, archaeology is becoming more and more advanced.
Finding a buried treasure is just the beginning for the archaeologist. Everything becomes a very long and difficult task. The excavation and preservation of the find is done with great care so that absolutely nothing is overlooked or destroyed. Something that comes from the ancient world is extremely fragile and can be broken very easily. A good archaeologist many times will use a spoon and toothbrush rather than a pick and a spade. A pick can easily break an important object and once the damage is done it cannot be reversed. The first step in discovering an object from the ancient world is to photograph it immediately. Next the archaeologist documents the exact location of the find. If the object appears to be broken there is an investigation for the missing pieces. The greater the discovery the more time it takes and the more money it costs to document, examine, and protect the artifact.
Archaeology and History
Archaeological discoveries are extremely valuable to students of history. Archaeology provides a clearer picture of how it really was in the ancient world. How people really lived and what things really looked like. For example a coin with an image and inscription can reveal much about the person on the coin. A decorative column capital can reveal much about the building and the builders. Limestone bas-reliefs were the photography of the day, and they revealed much about events that took place in time.
The Bible is the only document ever written that is completely accurate. Every archaeological discovery that describes people, places, or events mentioned in the Bible has pointed to the accuracy of the biblical record. In fact many archaeologists have become believers in the Bible because of its accuracy."
"The Bible is no mere book, but a Living Creature, with a power that conquers all that oppose it." - Napoléon Bonaparte
Archaeology Discoveries and the Ancient Biblical World
The Black Obelisk. In the 1840's a British man named Austen Henry Layard had a desire to travel to the Middle East and dig around some of the strange looking mounds near the City of Mosul. He had heard many tales about things being found in these mounds. He was looking for any trace of evidence that would lead him to the lost city of Nineveh, the capital of the ancient Assyrian Empire. Little did he know that one of his discoveries would turn Europe upside down with excitement. He discovered a black limestone monument which is known today as The Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III. This discovery brought a new authenticity and historicity to some of the stories in the Bible. It also gained him the support of the British Museum, and all the finances he needed to continue his excavations, and become known as "The Father of Assyriology."
The Pilate Inscription. It wasn't long ago when many scholars were questioning the actual existence of a Roman Governor with the name of Pontius Pilate, the procurator who ordered Jesus' crucifixion. In June 1961 Italian archaeologists led by Dr. Frova were excavating an ancient Roman amphitheatre near Caesarea-on-the-Sea (Maritima) and uncovered this interesting limestone block. On the worn face is a monumental inscription which is part of a larger dedication to Tiberius Caesar which clearly says that it was from "Pontius Pilate, Prefect of Judea."
The Megiddo Seal Bearing King Jeroboam's Name. It is very interesting that the Jasper Seal, found at Tel Megiddo bearing the name of King Jeroboam who ruled in the Northern Kingdom of Israel, would contain the symbol for their rival, the Southern Kingdom of Judah. But in examining all of the circumstances involved and seeing what the Bible says it is no wonder that the prosperous and victorious Northern Kingdom of Israel would boast with a symbol of their enemy.
The Tomb of Cyrus the Great. An inscription on the tomb of the great Persian monarch read: "O man, whoever you are and wherever you come from, for I know that you will come--I am Cyrus, son of Cambyses, who founded the Empire of the Persians and was king of the East. Do not grudge me this spot of earth which covers my body." - Cyrus". Is it true that Isaiah the Hebrew prophet mention Cyrus by name almost 200 years before he was born?
Sennacherib's Hexagonal Prism. This amazing discovery excavated in Nineveh in the 1830 records the Assyrian king Sennacherib's 8th campaign, which includes his siege of Jerusalem during the reign of "Hezekiah the Judahite" in 701 BC. There are 500 lines of writing in the Akkadian language on this magnificent clay prism. Is the story true that it was purchased by an American from an antiquities dealer in Baghdad?
Coming Soon The Ishtar Gate of Babylon. During the last days of the southern kingdom of Judah the Jews were taken captive to a distant land called Babylon at the latter part of the 6th century BC. They passed through a beautiful entrance gate made of mud brick masonry and glazed skin which stood 47 feet tall, commonly referred to as the Ishtar Gate since its discovery at the turn of the 20th century near modern Baghdad, Iraq. The tall gate was dedicated to the gods by Nebuchadnezzar King of Babylonia who reigned from 605—562 BC). Is it true that Hitler had it transported to Berlin? Where is the Ishtar Gate now?
[Next] The Remains of Solomon's Temple
The Bible mentions many things about people, places and events that happened in history. The Bible also gives an accurate chronology of those people, places and events. What is amazing is that modern archaeology has confirmed that the Bible has never made one error, or given any clear contradictions in all of its text in matters of historical fact. The paintings and illustrations below of archaeological discoveries and ruins illustrate this emphatically.
Paintings By Bjanikka Ben, Maliyah Weston, and Galina Nelson
(More to come)
Illustrated Bible History A growing database of images and sketches of the ancient world.
Bible Maps A growing database of maps for study and teaching.
Reconstructions Sketches of ancient cities & monuments from archaeology.
The Popular Handbook of Archaeology and the Bible by Holden and Geisler. 352 Pages, 2012
The Story of the Bible