Herod’s Lost Tomb

The National Geographic Channel will premier Herod’s Lost Tomb, Sunday November 23, 9 PM ET. Check local listing.

Skyview of the HerodiumHerod’s bloody reputation has always hidden another side of one of the Bible’s greatest villains – an architectural mastermind of breathtaking proportions. An Israeli archaeologist claims to have found Herod’s most intimate creation of all – his tomb.

I recommend watching this program but remember just because something is on  TV , even a well-crafted NG documentary, does not mean 100% accuracy or truth. For every archaeological announcement, there are often a slue of alternative interpretations.

I visited the Herodium in 2007 and saw first-hand the excavation site on the steep slopes under the direction of Ehud Netzer.

For more info:



http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2008/12/herod/mueller-text  Herod, National Geographic Magazine

http://hunews.huji.ac.il/articles.asp?cat=6&artID=935  More on Herod from Hebrew University News

http://dsc.discovery.com/news/2008/11/20/king-herod-tomb-print.html  Herod may have been buried among paintings, Discovery News

Published in: on November 12, 2008 at 5:35 pm  Comments Off on Herod’s Lost Tomb  

118th pyramid unearthed in Egypt

Mideast Egypt New PyramidArchaeologists have discovered a new pyramid under the sands of Saqqara. The discovery is part of the sprawling necropolis and burial site of the rulers of ancient Memphis, the capital of Egypt‘s Old Kingdom, about 12 miles south of Giza.

The 4,300-year-old monument most likely belonged to the queen mother, Sesheshet, who is thought to have played a significant role in establishing the 6th Dynasty and uniting two branches of the feuding royal family. Her son, Teti, ruled for about a dozen years

The find is important because it adds to the understanding of the 6th Dynasty, which reigned from 2,322 B.C. to 2,151 B.C. It was the last dynasty of the Old Kingdom, which spanned the third millennium B.C. and whose achievements are considered the first peak of pharaonic civilization.

Saqqara is most famous for the Step Pyramid of King Djoser, built in the 27th century B.C.

Excavations have been going on here for about 150 years, uncovering a vast Old Kingdom necropolis of pyramids, tombs and funerary complexes, as well as tombs dating from the New Kingdom about 1,000 years later.

So what do I think about this recent discovery?

Here are just a few tidal thoughts that washed ashore in my mind:

·        Much more needs to be done; at Saqqara alone, only 1/3rd of the necropolis has been excavated, over all, only 5-8% of identified Egyptian sites have had excavations,

·        Shrinking budgets and waning interest for mounting excavations, not only in Egypt but also in Israel, the entire ancient Near East, and the Eastern Mediterranean is alarming. Sadly, there is little “taste” or enthusiasm for archaeology (biblical archaeology) even within the believing faith communities,

·        After discovery comes the hard work (often taking years) of analysis and interpretation, too few young people are considering fields of study that could aid the ever-improving science of archeology.

·        Our current picture of the life and times of the peoples, cultures, nations and empires (about which we read in the Scriptures) is informed by such a very small percentage of the artifacts that are no doubt buried just beneath the sands. We need to continue to support the exploration and discovery of ancient sites as part of our duty to be truth-seekers. We ought to support biblical archaeologist, their excavation projects and on-going research, analysis and publication of findings by both our money and muscle.




Published in: on November 12, 2008 at 2:47 pm  Comments Off on 118th pyramid unearthed in Egypt