Turkish excavations in Kosovo recently exposed a baptistery from the 6th century C.E. in the ancient city of Ulpiana. The original Roman city was destroyed in the fifth century C.E., and excavation work has exposed a city reconstructed under the reign of the Byzantine emperor Justinian. The rare discovery of the baptistery sheds light on the early Christian heritage of Europe’s youngest nation, and holds additional significance for the state of Turkish archaeology. The team from Istanbul’s Mimar Sinan University is the first Turkish-run excavation abroad in Europe, and the 2012 season was the first of a five-year excavation at the site. In a Hurriyet Daily News article, excavation director Haluk Çetinkaya explained the significance of the dig. “In the past, Turkey was a country where European archaeologists carried out excavations. Now everyone appreciates our work in this field, and now [Kosovo has] invited us to their country.”
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- Archaeology Today
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Robert Littman and Jay Silverstein
Explore an Egyptian excavation. Meet Kufti archaeologists, explore ancient streets and the mudbricks that shaped them and dive into the port of Alexandria.
Biblical Archaeology Society Staff
Chiseled on the forehead of this marble Aphrodite, a first-century A.D. copy of a fourth-century B.C. statue by Praxiteles, is a cross. The cross was likely carved by Christians, who had also damaged the goddess’s face to “close” the eyes and “silence” the mouth. More than just an act of vandalism, Christians may have reused such statues as stand-ins for saints or even the Virgin.
Enjoy book reviews by top scholars on wide-ranging topics in religion, archaeology and Biblical studies.
Reviews by William G. Dever and Aaron Burke
The Forgotten Kingdom by Israel Finkelstein traces the development of the northern kingdom of Israel to an earlier time associated with the reign of King Saul. The award-winning work is critically and independently reviewed by William G. Dever and Aaron Burke.