Eilat Mazar, a nonreligious archaeologist who dug with a spade in one hand and a Bible in the other, died on Tuesday, May 25, at the age of 64.
According to Christianity Today, Mazar uncovered the ruins of a palace considered to belong to King David, a gate connected with King Solomon, a wall thought to have been erected by Nehemiah, two clay seals that name the captors of the prophet Jeremiah, seals that name King Hezekiah, and a seal that may have belonged to the prophet Isaiah, all during her five decades digging in the Holy Land.
Mazar, dubbed the "Queen of Jerusalem archaeology," took the Bible seriously as a historical text and argued with academics who believed that paying too much attention to Scripture was unscientific, CBN News reports. She began going on digs at the age of 11 under the supervision of her famed archaeologist grandfather, Benjamin Mazar. Mazar stated that she was not religious but would pore over the Bible, reading it again and over because "it contains within it descriptions of genuine historical reality."
Mazar would literally take directions from the sacred book at times. "I [can't] believe these archaeologists who ignore the Bible," Mazar told Christianity Today. "To ignore the written sources, especially the Bible – I don't believe any serious scholar anywhere would do this. It doesn't make any sense."
Mazar specialized in the Phoenician culture of Israel's northern coastal plain and oversaw excavations in the City of David and the southern wall of the Temple Mount. Mazar discovered a cache of gold coins and a rare Byzantine medallion with a menorah carved onto it in 2013. Mazar was interviewed several times by CBN News about her findings. She frequently made a direct link between her archaeological discoveries and the Biblical record.
She is also featured in the new CBN Documentary film "Written in Stone: The House of David." Mazar is survived by her daughter and three sons.
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John Paluska has been a contributor for Christian Headlines since 2016 and is the founder of The Washington Gazette, a news outlet he relaunched in 2019 as a response to the constant distribution of fake news.