Wednesday, December 5, 2007

News Links: Biblical Archaeology in the News

On National Geographic's website, Eilat Mazar identifies a ruin in Jerusalem as the Wall of Nehemiah.  She points to pottery shards and other artifacts to date the structure, and the biblical record to confirm the identity.  Not everybody agrees, as the article points out, but it's an interesting theory.  For a weak Hanukkah-Nehemiah tie-in, see Faithhacker.

Yahoo News reports that archeologists have found a palace thought to belong to Queen Helena of Mesopotamia.  She lived in modern-day Iraq and converted to Judaism in the 1st century C.E.  After her conversion, she moved to Jerusalem, and, the theory goes, built a palace that the Romans destroyed when they took Jerusalem in 70 C.E.  For a neat Hanukkah tie-in, all this would have been happening right at the time Hanukkah celebrations were first becoming popular.

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