Cliché as it may be, biblical archaeologists do imagine themselves as Indiana Jones standins, discovering relics so powerful that they melt the faces off Nazi soldiers.
The reality of archaeological work isn’t so glamorous–it is hot, dry, heavy, tedious work, and for every 500 pieces of broken pottery uncovered, there might be one object of interest. While the search for the ark of the covenant continues here in the real world, everyday discoveries help readers to understand the cultures that produced the Bible’s otherwise-untranslatable or unimaginable imagery.
Ever wondered what the golden calf looked like (Exodus 32)? A similar one was found in Ashkelon. What about those “five-sided doorposts” leading to the holy of holies in Solomon’s temple (1 Kings 6:31)? A shrine at Qeiyafa has the answer. No evil armies were burned alive in the discovery of those real-life artifacts, but they do make understanding Scripture easier and more fun!
When you imagine an archaeological site, do you see white tents, pith helmets, and sand dunes? Is the dig director a middle-aged man with a thick British accent, bossing around his local workers and charging into newly opened tombs with abandon? That image isn’t too far from the truth of the late-19th- and early-20th-century excavations that sought to find ancient, beautiful objects for national museums and personal collections…
Copper the basset hound travels the world with his friend, Amanda, while she digs on archaeological sites. On this trip to Bethlehem, the ancient city where Jesus was born, this adventurous dog follows his nose to an ancient stone manger. There he meets a new friend who tells him all about life in first-century Judaea and the night a special baby was born in the house Amanda’s excavating.
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Join Copper as he learns the history of the first Christmas!