A number of significant archaeological discoveries were made in the past year which hold particular significance for biblical history. Here are the top 10, according to Christianity Today.
1. Ancient papyrus which mentions Jerusalem
A papyrus dating back to the seventh century B.C. was found by robbers in a cave in the Judean desert. The inscription on the papyrus reads, “From the king’s maidservant, from Na’arat, jars of wine, to Jerusalem.” Only one other papyrus document from this time period is extant, although scholars speculate that since this papyrus was obtained by thieves, it could be a forgery.
2. An ancient glass production facility
The discovery of this ancient glass factory provides more proof that Judea was a center for glass manufacturing in the ancient world. It was found at the foot of Mt. Carmel.
3. Metal objects from an ancient sunken ship
The ship sunk while carrying the metal objects to be recycled, providing a rarely seen treasure trove for historians and archaeologists. The ship was discovered by scuba divers and had been lying on the floor of the sea for 1,600 years.
4. Solomon’s Palace at Gezer
Although this ancient palace does not have any direct connection to Solomon, it is from the same era--the 10th century B.C. Solomon reportedly rebuilt the city of Gezer where the palace resides. Gezer had been burned by the Egyptian pharaoh.
5. Hundreds of Roman writing tablets
Roman writing tablets were found in the far reaches of the Roman Empire; namely, in London. The oldest were dated to A.D. 57. More than 400 of these tablets were found. The Bible makes mention of such tablets when it talks about Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist, writing on one in Luke 1:63.
6. Floor Designs from the Temple Mount
The designs on the tile floors of the Jewish Temple built by King Herod had to be uncovered through the Temple Mount Sifting Project since they were covered in illegally excavated dirt. Seven different designs have been recreated thus far.
To read about the last four discoveries, click here.
Publication date: December 29, 2016