23
Jul
07

BAR Highlights: 7/23/07

The most recent archaeological developments throughout the world, as collected by Biblical Archaeology Review:

New Mycenaean Grave
A rare Mycenaean grave dating to approximately 1,200 B.C.E. has been uncovered in southern Greece. In addition to one body curled in the fetal position, archaeologists found a knife, pottery and metal weapons.

Papal Dungeon Re-Opens

The dungeon below the papal fortress of Castel Sant’Angelo in Rome will be open through August 26 as part of the summer festival that takes place at the fortress. The dungeon, constructed in 1503 by Pope Alexander VI, was an addition to the castle, which originally functioned as a monumental tomb for the emperor Hadrian.

New Wonder Needs Help
Petra, one of the new seven wonders of the world, has scholars wondering if it will be able to keep up appearances in the future. The number of tourists to the site is expected to double due to the new honor, but experts question Petra’s facilities, visitor accommodations and fundamental infrastructure.

Mummy Testing

A CT scan has proven that an Egyptian mummy was not King Tuthmosis I, as had been previously thought, and now 40 royal mummies at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo will undergo CT scanning and DNA testing to confirm their identities.

“Israeli and Palestinian authorities are failing to protect the Temple Mount.”

In The Wall Street Journal dated July 18, 2007, Hershel Shanks, editor of Biblical Archaeology Review, has written an editorial piece about the Waqf’s digging on the Temple Mount. The Waqf, the Muslim administrative body responsible for overseeing the site, is doing some of the digging with mechanical equipment in order to install electric and telephone lines. Although this excavation has been approved by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, it contradicts the excavation procedures required everywhere else in Israel.

Biblical Confirmation

The existence of a significant Biblical figure has been confirmed through the translation of a cuneiform inscription on a small tablet from 595 B.C.E. Assyriologist Michael Jursa came across a somewhat-familiar name, Nabusharrussu-ukin, during his translation of the tablet. He then checked Jeremiah 39, where he found mention of Nebo-Sarsekim, a different spelling of the same name. The tablet, from the tenth year of Nebuchadnezzar II’s reign, indicates that the person in question was the king’s “chief eunuch,” a detail that matches closely with the Biblical text. See also the article in the New York Sun.

Return to Writer

Jerusalem mayor Uri Lupolianski is asking that Turkey return the 2,700-year-old Siloam inscription to Jerusalem. The inscription, uncovered in Hezekiah’s tunnel, was taken to Istanbul by Ottoman rulers in 1880.

Lascaux on the Nile

Drawings and etchings 15,000 years old have been discovered in the village of Qurta in southern Egypt, 400 miles south of Cairo. Expedition leader Dirk Huyge likens the illustrations to those found in the Lascaux caves in France.

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