Lost Treasures of the Bible: Understanding the Bible through Archaeological Artifacts in World Museums

Lost Treasures of the Bible: Understanding the Bible through Archaeological Artifacts in World Museums

Lost Treasures of the Bible: Understanding the Bible through Archaeological Artifacts in World Museums

Lost Treasures of the Bible: Understanding the Bible through Archaeological Artifacts in World Museums

Synopsis

Lost Treasures of the Bible contains detailed descriptions and photographs of biblically significant archaeological objects housed in over twenty-five museums worldwide. This selection of more than one hundred artifacts -- many of them relatively unknown -- illuminates the history, culture, and practices of the biblical world as a whole. Each entry also outlines that particular object's relevance for understanding the Bible.

To assemble this amazing collection, Clyde Fant and Mitchell Reddish themselves traveled to each of these museums throughout the world. Their photographs, descriptions, and histories of the various artifacts enable readers to appreciate these significant objects to an extent not usually enjoyed by even the most experienced museum visitors.

For travelers visiting such famous museums as the Louvre in Paris, the British Museum, or the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, this volume will be an indispensable companion. Each artifact is located not only as to its museum site but also by its specific identification number, which is particularly valuable for smaller and lesser-known objects -- true "lost treasures."

Fant and Reddish's Lost Treasures of the Bible will serve as an informative, accessible guide to globe-trotters and armchair travelers alike.

Excerpt

Archaeology has experienced many instances of forged objects in its history and many more claims of such fraud. Unfortunately, the field known historically as “biblical” archaeology seems to have had more than its share of these controversies. The very nature of objects important to the faith of a religion leads to increased controversy, as well as the temptation for some unscrupulous individuals to forge such items for the market. These controversial “finds” are rarely those artifacts that are unearthed on a dig at a biblical site, but rather they are anonymous objects from unknown provenances “discovered” on the antiquities market.

Recently the world of biblical research has experienced one of the most dramatic and extensive charges of fraud in its history. At the center of this controversy are three items, with numerous others on the periphery of the charges: an ossuary claimed to be the burial box of James, the brother of Jesus; a tiny ivory pomegranate, perhaps part of a ceremonial scepter, believed to date to the first temple of Israel; and a bulla, or clay seal, alleged to contained the name of Baruch (Berechiah), secretary of the prophet Jeremiah.

The James Ossuary

During the first century C.E., it was the custom of wealthy Jews in Palestine to bury their dead in a cave for one year, then remove the bones and place them in an ossuary (burial box). Many such ossuaries have been found, both with and without descriptions. At a press conference held in October of 2002, the discovery of an ossuary bearing the inscription “James son of Joseph, brother of Jesus” was announced. This object was first examined by André Lemaire of the Sorbonne University in Paris, in the home of a private collector, Oded Golan, an Israeli engineer who lived in Tel Aviv. He claimed to have obtained it from an Arab antiquities dealer in Jerusalem some fifteen years earlier but to have been unaware of its significance. Initial reports by experts, though not . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.