Stories tagged biblical archaeology

Dead Sea Scrolls: Little scraps of the Dead Sea Scrolls are now being sold, creating new controversies in the Middle East.
Dead Sea Scrolls: Little scraps of the Dead Sea Scrolls are now being sold, creating new controversies in the Middle East.Courtesy unknown
Several years ago the Science Museum of Minnesota hosting a very popular exhibit of the Dead Sea Scrolls. The scrolls are back in the news again with recent developments of scroll scraps now being up for sale on the open market. Most of these pieces are smaller than a postage stamp and contain no writing of the ancient Hebrew texts.

Here's a link to our Science Buzz pages exploring the current science being used to learn more about the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Work at an archaeological dig in Jerusalem provides evidence that the technology and construction methods described in the Old Testament stories of Kings David and Solomon existed. The excavations found walls and fortifications just outside the walls of Jerusalem's Old City and are dated to being around 3,000 years old. More details can be found here.


Notice what they're all *not* looking at?
Notice what they're all *not* looking at?Courtesy Wikimedia Commons
If you’re into biblical archaeology, you might be interested to know that the patriarch of the Orthodox church of Ethiopia is claiming that they have the original Ark of the Covenant, and will be revealing it today.

If the man with the whip taught me anything, it’s that watching the ghostly things that come out of the Ark of the Covenant makes your face melt and your head explode. In fact, he taught me lots of stuff, like not to trust Austrian women, and that it’s okay to destroy archaeological sites if you do it in an awesome way, and that shooting people is easy and fun. But he also taught me about the face-melting thing.

I don’t know about y’all, but I don’t feel like having my face melt and my head explode, so I’m treating the supposed unveiling of the Ark of the Covenant with skepticism and caution.

Apparently the Ethiopian Orthodox Church keeps an ark replica in each of its churches. But I guess they have the real one too? And they plan to open a museum to display it. So that’s sort of interesting.

I wonder how the Ark has held up over the last 3000 years? It’s supposed to be made of acacia wood and gold, although images of the Ark depict it being carried by just two or four people. Considering how it’s also supposed to be full of broken stone tablets, I’m guessing it’s mostly made of wood to cut down on its weight (it was carried around a lot), and I think wood can get a little crumbly after a few millennia.

It’d be interesting to do some archaeological analysis on the box. I have the feeling, though, that the church wouldn’t be very enthusiastic about lots of radiocarbon dating being done on the Ark, genuine or otherwise. I guess to true test of veracity will be whether or not it electrocutes and melts everyone coming to see it.

PS—The only story I could find for this was on WorldNetDaily, which I'm not convinced is all that great a source. So take it with a grain of salt. I just thought it was interesting. (Face-melting, you know?)