Top 10 Biblical Archaeology Discoveries in 2014

Check out the archaeological finds that thrilled us this past year

The so-called Ark Tablet, an Old Babylonian (1900-1700 B.C.E.) account of the flood, was translated by British Museum scholar Irving Finkel.

The so-called Ark Tablet, an Old Babylonian (1900-1700 B.C.E.) account of the flood, was translated by British Museum scholar Irving Finkel.

From the translation of a Babylonian “Ark Tablet” to the resurfacing of a skeleton from Ur in a museum basement, 2014 was a year full of exciting Biblical archaeology discoveries and new interpretations. As we ring in the New Year, let’s take a look back at the top 10 finds that thrilled us in 2014.

**The stories below are listed in no particular order and are free to read in Bible History Daily**

The Animals Went in Two by Two, According to Babylonian Ark Tablet
An Old Babylonian flood tablet translated by British Museum scholar Irving Finkel describes how to build a circular ark.

Qumran Phylacteries Reveal Nine New Dead Sea Scrolls
Yonatan Adler’s work revealed new phylacteries containing unopened tefillin Dead Sea Scrolls texts, confirming a continuity of Jewish practice over the past two millennia.

Canaanite Fortress Discovered in the City of David
An enormous 18th-century B.C.E. structure that isolates and protects the Gihon Spring is believed to be the fortress described in the Book of Samuel that King David later conquered.

Huqoq 2014: Update from the Field
Huqoq excavation director Jodi Magness and mosaics specialist Karen Britt discuss a new mosaic that might depict the legendary meeting between Alexander the Great and the Jewish high priest.

Monumental Entryway to King Herod’s Palace at Herodium Excavated
Archaeologists excavating at Herodium National Park uncovered a massive corridor to King Herod’s hilltop palace-fortress.

Coins Celebrating the Great Revolt Against the Romans Unearthed near Jerusalem
Excavations near Jerusalem uncovered a rare hoard of coins dating to the fourth year of the Great Revolt against the Romans (69/70 C.E.).

Oldest Metal Object from the Southern Levant Discovered
The discovery of a 7,000-year-old copper awl at Tel Tsaf suggests that metal was used in the southern Levant several hundred years earlier than previously thought.

Early Bronze Age: Megiddo’s Great Temple and the Birth of Urban Culture in the Levant
Megiddo’s Great Temple is a structure that, according to its excavators, “has proven to be the most monumental single edifice so far uncovered in the EB I Levant and ranks among the largest structures of its time in the Near East.”

Skilled Craftsmen, Not Slaves, Smelted Copper at Timna
Scholars suggest that ancient metalworkers in the Timna Valley were not slaves, as popularly believed, but highly skilled craftsmen.

6,500-Year-Old Ur Skeleton Resurfaces in Penn Museum
A skeleton unearthed from an Ubaid-period (5500–4000 B.C.E.) grave at Ur was recently rediscovered in the basement of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.

Our free eBook Ten Top Biblical Archaeology Discoveries brings together the exciting worlds of archaeology and the Bible! Learn the fascinating insights gained from artifacts and ruins, like the Pool of Siloam in Jerusalem, where the Gospel of John says Jesus miraculously restored the sight of the blind man, and the Tel Dan inscription—the first historical evidence of King David outside the Bible.

Encore! Take a look at more stories that made a splash in 2014:

LBA coffin Jezreel detail

Detail of a 3,300-year-old anthropoid coffin with Egyptianizing features from Tel Shadud. Photo: Clara Amit, courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority.

Elite Canaanite Burial Discovered in the Jezreel Valley

The Philistines in Jordan

Childhood in Roman Egypt

Johnny Applesea: New studies suggest Neolithic farmers sailed to Europe

Zeugma Excavations Reveal New Mosaics

Rare Inscription Dedicated to Hadrian Found in Jerusalem

Prehistoric Parasite Bloomed with Mesopotamian Farming

Camel Domestication History Challenges Biblical Narrative

2,800-Year-Old Farmhouse Discovered in Israel

Judaea Capta Coin Uncovered in Bethsaida Excavations

1,600-Year-Old Bracelet Stamped with Menorah Motifs Uncovered in Dig

Unraveling Mummy Mysteries at Tulane

Ancient Chisel Unearthed at the Western Wall

Hanging Gardens of Babylon … in Assyrian Nineveh

Cats in Ancient Egypt

The Fourth-Century Earthquake that Rocked Galilee

Want more? Check out the top archaeological discoveries in 2012, 2013 and 2015.

Think we’ve missed something or want to offer your own top 10 list? Share your thoughts in the discussion section below!

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  • Agent76 says


    PARIS (AP) — An ancient relic that many Christians revere as Jesus Christ’s “Crown of Thorns” has made a special public appearance at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.

    The crown — a circular band of branches encased in a gilded, golden tube — is being displayed for three days to mark the 800th anniversary of the birthday and christening of King Louis IX of France, who acquired it in 1239. The relic was first mentioned by Jerusalem pilgrims in the 5th century and was transferred to Constantinople in the 10th century.

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