Archeologists have discovered an amazingly well preserved tomb in Guatemala fill of all kinds of intriguing things.
Like, of course, bowls of human fingers and teeth, small 'bells' of shell with, probably, dog canines as clappers, and what is probably a ritual knife stained with a red organic substance. As one scientist says, "it doesn't take too much imagination to think that this is blood."
Israeli archaeologists think they've discovered King Herod's tomb. (The original article has video and a map.)
Herod, elected "King of the Jews" by the Roman Senate, was a prolific builder. He expanded the Jewish Second Temple in Jerusalem. But he's also, according to the New Testament, the king who ordered the slaying of all infants in Bethlehem.
No skeletons or other remains have been found, but the archaeologists did uncover a sarcophagus--smashed to pieces by ancient vandals. The scientists think that Jewish rebels--in an act of symbolic vengeance against the Roman rulers they came to hate--probably destroyed the tomb some 70 years after Herod's death.
Check out the May "Object of the Month"--it's a Roman glass bottle found in Caesarea Maritimas, in Israel. (You can see photos of the ruins, and a map.) Caesaria was one of several cities built by King Herod
If you think the Da Vinci Code was controversial, wait until you learn about "The Lost Tomb of Jesus". Combining the popularity of CSI and NUMB3RS, Academy Award winner James Cameron has put together a documentary about a family crypt possibly containing the bones of Jesus. Ten ossuaries (stone boxes) were labeled with the names of Jesus and those believed to refer to his mother, father, brothers, wife, and son. Amos Kloner estimated that the tomb contained 35 bodies. (Antiquot,Jerusalem, Vol. 29, pp. 22)
Faith does not require evidence. If you wish to review the evidence, though, you can start by going to http://www.discovery.com/tomb. Discovery also has a web site with flash navigation to maps, family trees, videos, etc. Be sure to click on "Download Documents" found by choosing "explore tomb" then "enter the tomb". The link is the middle one at the bottom (pdf). There is a discussion forum, too.
Please use our comments box to discuss this event as it unfolds. I find I can learn about critical thinking and scientific methods by listening in.
March 28, 1980
Talpiot, Jerusalem Construction work uncovers untouched tomb.
March 28- April 14
Israeli Antiquities Authority excavate tomb. Site survey and mapmade by Shimon Gibson
"A Tomb with Inscribed Ossuaries in the East Talpiot" published by Amos Kloner
Simcha Jacobovici researches "James son of Joseph, broher of Jesus" ossuary
Jacobovici meets Kloner and learns of "Jesus son of Joseph" ossuary
June 18, 2003
"James" ossuary declared a forgery by Israel Antiquities Authority
Jacobovici discovers futher information about other ossuaries related to New Testament
March 21, 2005
James Cameron discusses financing a film
September 15-16, 2006
Robotic cameras lowered down "breathing pipes" capture images of a different tomb - one that has not been excavated and still holds numerous ossuaries.