Free Archeology Course 001

Arch001

Free Archeology Course 001
(Introduction To Archeology)

Archaeology is the science that studies human cultures through the recovery, documentation, analysis and interpretation of material remains and environmental data, including architecture, artifacts, features, biofacts, and landscapes. Because archaeology’s aim is to understand mankind, it is a humanistic endeavor.

About These Free Biblical Archeology Courses

These totally free online correspondence courses in bible, apologetics, and biblical archeology are offered as a service by the Trinity Graduate School of Apologetics and Theology. Trinity offers several graduate programs in bible and theology totally tuition-free. Check TRINITY if you are interested.

The free biblical archeology courses offered to you on this site are for your personal study and enrichment. Many of these courses will contain an exam or test at the end. Once you work on them, show your answers to either your pastor or to your spiritual mentor. You need not send them to us because these are meant for self-study only.

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Biblical Archeology, Free Course 5

Biblical Archeology, Free Course 5
Important Inscriptions (Contd…)

SargonSmallInscriptions 3: While it is useful to discover artifacts, greater still is the discovery of inscriptions because they furnish information in a special way. We continue to study archeological inscriptions that we started in the previous course. As we said before, one good inscription is often better than a thousand artifacts because artifacts need interpretation before they can be assimilated into the history of that nation, but inscriptions ARE often histroy itself. They proved a good amount of background material which is then used to place everything else in perspective.

Here are the lessons from the next course on inscriptions related to biblical archeology:

..How These Free Biblical Archeology Courses Work

Please remember that these free non-degree Bible courses are not part of Trinity School graduate program. Rather, they are offered to those who would love to study without joining Trinity full time. However, if you are interested in a graduate level Master of Biblical Archeology (no tuition, no residency requirement) then please check TRINITY.

You will see an exam at the end of most courses. That is for your self-study. Do not send them to us. Rather, discuss the answers with your pastor or a Christian leader. These free bible courses are provided totally free to you as a service of Trinity Graduate School for Apologetics and Theology. You do not have to join Trinity to study them. A large number of these free bible courses are given on this site. Please go back to the home-page to see these courses. Take advantage of this opportunity to study theology totally free. Do bookmark this site and be sure to study all those theology correspondence courses.

There are also a large number of free seminary level ebooks on this site. You can access them from the home page. Be sure to download them. They are offered totally free to you as part of our “A Bible School/Seminary In Every Home” project. We keep adding new books here every month, so do take advantage of this offer.

If, however, your interest is in graduate level course then you need to apply for enrolment into appropriate course. For doing so you need to go to the home page, find the graduate course of your choice [bachelors, masters, doctoral program] and should then send an online initial application. The syllabus/textbooks of those courses are totally different from the material presented here for non-degree self-study courses.

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Graduate Course

We are confident that you enjoyed studying the free courses on this website. These are non-degree or non-graduate courses for your personal enrichment. However, if you are interested in graduate level programs, we have a number of them.

We offer distance programs at bachelors, masters and doctoral level. There is NO tuition fees for any of these programs. Students from developed countries pay a small one-time graduation fees (for these 30 to 60 credit courses) that is less than what they pay  for a single credit hour in a regular colleges. What is more, all textbooks are supplied via downloads and there is nothing to buy. There is a community of students and teachers on our website where plenty of help and guidance is available.

We have a full-fledged Master of Biblical Archeology program there. Doctoral programs in archeology are available via the Thesis-only option.

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Biblical Archeology, Free Course 4

Inscriptions 2: while it is useful to discover artifacts, greater still is the discovery of inscriptions because they furnish information in a special way. We continue to study archeological inscriptions that we started in the previous course.

About These Free Biblical Archeology Courses

These totally free online correspondence courses in bible, apologetics, and biblical archeology are offered as a service by the Trinity Graduate School of Apologetics and Theology. Trinity offers several graduate programs in bible and theology totally tuition-free. Check TRINITY if you are interested.

The free biblical archeology courses offered to you on this site are for your personal study and enrichment. Many of these courses will contain an exam or test at the end. Once you work on them, show your answers to either your pastor or to your spiritual mentor. You need not send them to us because these are meant for self-study only.

..

If You Are Looking For More Totally Free Non-graduate
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Biblical Archeology Free Bible Seminary Course 4

Biblical Archeology Course 4, Lesson 5

Biblical Archeology Course 4, Lesson 5
Cylinder of Nabonidus

The Nabonidus Cylinder from Sippar is a long text in which king Nabonidus of Babylonia (556-539 BC) describes how he repaired three temples: the sanctuary of the moon god Sin in Harran, the sanctuary of the warrior goddess Anunitu in Sippar, and the temple of Šamaš in Sippar.

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The Nabonidus Cylinder

One copy was excavated in Babylon, in the royal palace, and is now in Berlin. Another copy is in the British Museum in London. The text was written after Nabonidus’ return from Arabia in his thirteenth regnal year, but before war broke out with the Persian king Cyrus the Great, who is mentioned as an instrument of the gods.

The Nabonidus Cylinder contains echoes from earlier foundation texts, and develops the same themes as later ones, like the better-known Cyrus Cylinder: a lengthy titulary, a story about an angry god who has abandoned his shrine, who is reconciled with his people, orders a king to restore the temple, and a king who piously increases the daily offerings. Prayers are also included. [GFDL Document and Copyright]

Biblical Archeology Course 4, Lesson 4

Biblical Archeology Course 4, Lesson 4
Ekron Inscription

The city of Ekron (Hebrew: עֶקְרוֹן‎ ʿeqrōn, also transliterated Accaron) was one of the five cities of the famed Philistine ‘pentapolis,’ located in southwestern Canaan.

During the Iron Age, Ekron was a border city on the frontier contested between Philistia and the kingdom of Judah. Located at a site now known as Tel Mikne (or Tel Miqne), its identification with the Biblical city was possible due to its presence in the small Palestinian village of Akir, whose name is thought to be derived from the ancient name. Akir was among hundreds of villages destroyed and depopulated in the 1948 Israeli-Arab War).

Ekron lies 35 kilometers west of Jerusalem, and 18 kilometers north of Gath, on the western edge of the inner coastal plain. Excavations in 1981-1996 at the low square tel have made Ekron one of the best documented Philistine sites.

Ekron was a settlement of the indigenous Canaanites. The Canaanite city had shrunk in the years before its main public building burned in the thirteenth century BCE; it was refounded by Philistines at the beginning of the Iron Age, ca 1200s BCE.

Ekron is mentioned in the Book of Joshua 13:2-3:

“This is the land that still remains: all the regions of the Philistines and all those of the Geshurites from Shihor, which is east of Egypt, northward to the boundary of Ekron.”

Joshua 3:13 counts it the border city of the Philistines and seat of one of the five Philistine city lords, and Joshua 15:11 mentions Ekron’s satellite towns and villages. The city was reassigned afterwards to the tribe of Dan (Joshua 19:43), but came again into the full possession of the Philistines. It was the last place to which the Philistines carried the ark before they sent it back to Israel (1 Samuel 5:10; 6:1-8).

There was here a noted sanctuary of Baal. The Baal who was worshipped was called Baal Zebul, which some scholars connect with Beelzebub, known from the Hebrew Bible: (2 Kings 1:2):

Ahaziah fell through the lattice in his upper chamber at Samaria and was injured. So he sent messengers whom he instructed: “Go inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron, whether I shall recover from this injury.” (JPS translation)

Non-Hebrew sources also refer to Ekron. The siege of Ekron in 712 BCE is depicted on one of Sargon II’s wall reliefs in his palace at Khorsabad, which names the city. Ekron revolted against Sennacherib and expelled Padi, his governor, who was sent to Hezekiah, at Jerusalem, for safe-keeping. Sennacherib marched against Ekron and the Ekronites called upon the aid of the king of Mutsri. Sennacherib turned aside to defeat this army, which he did at Eltekeh, and then returned and took the city by storm, put to death the leaders of the revolt and carried their adherents into captivity. This campaign led to the famous attack of Sennacherib on Hezekiah and Jerusalem, in which Sennacherib compelled Hezekiah to restore Padi, who was reinstated as governor at Ekron.

Excavations in the temple complex at Tel Miqne in 1996 recovered a significant artifact for the corpus of Biblical archaeology, a dedicatory inscription of the seventh-century king of Ekron ‘Akish. The inscription not only securely identifies the site, it gives a brief king-list of rulers of Ekron, fathers to sons: Ya’ir, Ada, Yasid, Padi, ‘Akish.

Of more than local interest is the recipient of the inscription, ‘Akish’s divine “Lady. May she bless him, and guard him, and prolong his days, and bless his land.” The name or title of the Lady of Ekron is Ptgyh or Ptnyh. Aaron Demsky (Demsky 1997) reads the name asPtnyh and relates it to the title Potnia (“Mistress”) that was applied to the Great Goddess of the Aegean, in her various local manifestations, which include Mycenaean sites. A much earlier representation of the Lady of Ekron, perhaps thirteenth century BCE offers her left breast.

Ashdod and Ekron survived to become powerful city-states dominated by Assyria in the seventh century BCE. The city may have been destroyed by the Neo-Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzer II around 603 BCE, but it is mentioned, as “Accaron”, as late as 1 Maccabees 10:89. [GFDL Document and Copyright]

Biblical Archeology Course 4, Lesson 2

Biblical Archeology Course 4, Lesson 2
Merneptah Stele

Also known as the Israel Stele or Victory Stele of Merneptah, it  is the reverse of a large granite stele originally erected by the Ancient Egyptian king Amenhotep III, but later inscribed by Merneptah who ruled Egypt from 1213 to 1203 BC. The black granite stela primarily commemorates a victory in a campaign against the Libu and Meshwesh Libyans and their Sea People allies, but its final two lines refer to a prior military campaign in Canaan in which Merneptah states that he defeated Ashkelon, Gezer, Yanoam and Israel among others. The stele was discovered in the first court of Merneptah’s mortuary temple at Thebes by Flinders Petrie in 1896. Petrie remarked “This stele will be better known in the world than anything else I have found”  and is now in the collection of the Egyptian Museum at Cairo; a fragmentary copy of the stele was also found at Karnak. It stands some ten feet tall, and its text is mainly a prose report with a poetic finish, mirroring other Egyptian New Kingdom stelae of the time. The stela is dated to Year 5, 3rd month of Shemu (summer), day 3 (c.1209/1208 BC), and begins with a laudatory recital of Merneptah’s achievements in battle.

450px-Israel_segment

Merenptah Stele (Israel Stele): the photograph showing the part of the inscription where it says foreign nation Ysyrial (line 27)

The stele has gained much notoriety and fame for being the only Ancient Egyptian document generally accepted as mentioning “Isrir” or “Israel”. It is also, by far, the earliest known attestation of Israel. For this reason, many scholars refer to it as the “Israel stele”. This title is somewhat misleading because the stele is clearly not concerned about Israel— in fact, it mentions Israel only in passing. There is only one line about Israel: “Israel is wasted, bare of seed” or “Israel lies waste, its seed no longer exists” and very little about the region of Canaan. Israel is simply grouped together with three other defeated states in Canaan (Gezer, Yanoam and Ashkelon) in the stele. Merneptah inserts just a single stanza to the Canaanite campaigns but multiple stanzas to his defeat of the Libyans. The line referring to Merneptah’s Canaanite campaign reads: Canaan is captive with all woe. Ashkelon is conquered, Gezer seized, Yanoam made nonexistent; Israel is wasted, bare of seed.

Merneptah’s campaign: There is disagreement among anti-Bible thinkrs over whether or not Merneptah did actually campaign in Canaan and did not merely recount what was there, similar to later Assyrian documents which never contained the admission that Assyria had lost in battle. The argue that, as a stela by Merneptah’s predecessor Ramesses II about the Battle of Kadesh indicates firm control of the Levant, making it strange that Merneptah had to reconquer it -– unless Merneptah had faced a revolt in this region that he felt compelled to crush in order to exert’s Egypt’s authority over Canaan. In this case, Merneptah’s control over Canaan was precarious at best. However, disclaiming historical documents that support the Bible has become fashionable among radical scholars, and their biased opinions should not be taken seriously.

Mention of Israel:  The stela does make clear that Israel, at this stage, refers to a people since a hieroglyphic determinative for “country” is absent regarding Israel. The next non-Biblical source about Israel, detailing a campaign against Moab by Omri, appears some 300 years later in the Mesha Stele.  Regardless, the stele is an important source for Israelite history simply because it is the first official record in history of an “Israel”, even if this record does not explain much.

An explanation offered by Michael G. Hasel, director of the Institute of Archaeology at Southern Adventist University, is that Israel was already a well established political force in Canaan in the late 13th century BCE:

“Israel functioned as an agriculturally based or sedentary socioethnic entity in the late 13th century BCE one that is significant enough to be included in the military campaign against political powers in Canaan. While the Merneptah stela does not give any indication of the actual social structure of the people of Israel, it does indicate that Israel was a significant socioethnic entity that needed to be reckoned with.”

Archeology, Free Course 4

imageArchaeological theory covers the debates over the practice of archaeology and the interpretation of archaeological results. There is no single theory of archaeology, and even definitions are disputed. Until the mid-20th century and the introduction of technology, there was a general consensus that archaeology was closely related to both history and anthropology. Since then, elements of other disciplines such as geology, physics, chemistry, biology, metallurgy, engineering, medicine, etc, have found an overlap, resulting in a need to revisit the fundamental ideas behind archaeology.

Here is your free course material on archeology 4:

About These Free Biblical Archeology Courses

These totally free online correspondence courses in bible, apologetics, and biblical archeology are offered as a service by the Trinity Graduate School of Apologetics and Theology. Trinity offers several graduate programs in bible and theology totally tuition-free. Check TRINITY if you are interested.

The free biblical archeology courses offered to you on this site are for your personal study and enrichment. Many of these courses will contain an exam or test at the end. Once you work on them, show your answers to either your pastor or to your spiritual mentor. You need not send them to us because these are meant for self-study only.

..

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Biblical Archeology Free Online Course 4, Lesson 1

Biblical Archeology Free Online Course 4, Lesson 1
The Mesha Stele

The Mesha Stele (popularized in the 19th century as the “Moabite Stone”) is a black basalt stone, bearing an inscription by the 9th century BC Moabite King Mesha, discovered in 1868 at Dhiban (biblical “Dibon,” capital of Moab). The inscription of 34 lines is written in the Moabite language. It is the most extensive inscription ever recovered that refers to ancient Israel. It was set up by Mesha, about 850 BC, as a record and memorial of his victories in his revolt against the Kingdom of Israel, undertaken after the death of his overlord, Ahab.

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1891 photograph of the 9th century BC Mesha Stele, inscribed in the Moabite language by king Mesha of Moab

The stone is 124 cm high and 71 cm wide and deep, and rounded at the top. It was discovered at the ancient Dibon now Dhiban, Jordan, in August 1868, by Rev. F. A. Klein, a German missionary in Jerusalem. “The Arabs of the neighborhood, dreading the loss of such a talisman, broke the stone into pieces; but a squeeze had already been obtained by Charles Simon Clermont-Ganneau, and most of the fragments were recovered and pieced together by him”.[1] A squeeze is a papier-mâché impression. The squeeze (which has never been published) and the reassembled stele (which has been published in many books and encyclopedias) are now in the Louvre Museum.
Contents

The stele, which measures 44″x27″[1], describes:

   1. How Moab was conquered by Omri, King of Israel, as the result of the anger of the god Chemosh. Mesha’s victories over Omri’s son (not mentioned by name), over the men of Gad at Ataroth, and at Nebo and Jehaz;
2. His public buildings, restoring the fortifications of his strong places and building a palace and reservoirs for water; and
3. His wars against the Horonaim.

This inscription can be interpreted as supplementing and corroborating the history of King Mesha recorded in 2 Kings 3:4-27, thereby earning it a prominent place in the corpus of Biblical archaeology. However there are significant differences. In the Bible it is Ahab, Omri’s son, who conquers Moab, and the rebellion is against Ahab’s son Jehoram. Further, in the Bible, it is not Chemosh who gives victory to Mesha but Jahweh who gives victory to Jehoram. Israel withdraws, according to the Book of Kings, only because they are disconcerted when they see Mesha sacrifice his son.

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(Omri king of Israel) explicitly mentioned on the stele. Click on picture to enlarge it

With the exception of a very few variations, such as -in for -im in plurals, the Moabite language of the inscription shares much in common with an early form of Hebrew, known as Biblical Hebrew.[2] The language of ninth century BC Moabite inscriptions is an offshoot of the Canaanite language commonly in use between the fourteenth to eighth centuries BC in Syria-Palestine.[2] The form of the letters here used supplies very important and interesting information regarding the history of the formation of the alphabet, as well as, incidentally, the arts of civilized life of those times in the land of Moab. This ancient monument, recording the heroic struggles of King Mesha with Omri and Ahab, was erected about 850 BC. Here “we have the identical slab on which the workmen of the old world carved the history of their own times, and from which the eye of their contemporaries read thousands of years ago the record of events of which they themselves had been the witnesses.”

In 1994, after examining both the Mesha Stele and the paper squeeze of it in the Louvre Museum, the French scholar André Lemaire reported that line 31 of the Mesha Stele bears the phrase “the house of David” (in Biblical Archaeology Review [May/June 1994], pp. 30-37). Lemaire had to supply one destroyed letter, the first “D” in “[D]avid,” to decode the wording. The complete sentence in the latter part of line 31 would then read, “As for Horonen, there lived in it the house of [D]avid,” וחורננ. ישב. בה. בת[ד]וד. (Note: square brackets [ ] enclose letters or words that have been supplied where letters were destroyed or were on fragments that are still missing.) Most scholars find that no other letter supplied there yields a reading that makes sense. Baruch Margalit attempted to supply a different letter there: “m,” along with several other letters in places after that. The reading that resulted was “Now Horoneyn was occupied at the en[d] of [my pre]decessor['s reign] by [Edom]ites.”[3] However, Margalit’s reading has failed to attract any significant support in scholarly publications.

In 2001, another French scholar, Pierre Bordreuil, reported (in an essay in French) that he and a few other scholars could not confirm Lemaire’s reading of “the house of David” in line 31 of the stele.[4]

Whereas the later mention of the “House of David” on a Tel Dan stele fragment was written by an Aramaean enemy king, this inscription comes from a Moabite enemy of Israel, also boasting of a victory. If Lemaire is right, there are now two early references to David’s dynasty, one in the Mesha Stele (mid-9th century) and the other in the Tel Dan Stele (mid-9th to mid-8th century).[5][6]

The identifications of the biblical Mesha, king of Moab, and of the biblical Omri, king of the northern kingdom of Israel, in the Mesha stele are generally accepted by the scholarly community, especially because what is said about them in the narrative of the Mesha stele agrees well with the narrative in the biblical books of Kings and Chronicles.

The identification of David in the Mesha stele, however, needs more investigation. This is partly from the fragmentary state of line 31 of the Mesha stele and partly from a tendency since the 1990s, largely among European scholars, to question or dismiss the historical reliability of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament). In Europe, P. R. Davies, Thomas L. Thompson, and Niels P. Lemche show a strong tendency to reject biblical historicity and are highly prejudiced against anything that shows the reliability of the Bible, whereas André Lemaire, K. A. Kitchen, Jens Bruun Kofoed, and other European scholars are exceptions to this tendency. Many scholars lean in one direction or the other but actually occupy the middle ground. In general, North American and Israeli scholars tend to be more willing to accept the identification of the biblical King David in the Mesha stele. The controversy over whether ancient inscriptions confirm the existence of the King David mentioned in the Bible usually focuses less on the Mesha stele and more on the Tel Dan stele.

The Stele is also significant in that it mentions the Hebrew name of God – YHWH. It is thought to be the earliest known reference to the sacred name in any artifact.

 

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Biblical Archeology Free Online Course 4, Lesson 1
The Mesha Stele

Biblical Archeology, Free Course 3

imageArcheology depends upon artifacts discovered from the ancient worlds for its task of reconstruction. It must never be forgotten that "reconstruction" is needed because in the present one know either very little, or even nothing at all, about the details of the ancient civilizations that one wishes to study. This was more so in the early stages of archeology when almost nothing was known about the ancient civilization, except what was known from the Bible or from secondary sources. However, the discovery of artifacts becomes a thousand times more useful if associated inscriptions are found. The reasons plus some of the key inscriptions discovered in relation to Biblical Archeology are explained in this free course.

Here are your free lessons:

About These Free Biblical Archeology Courses

These totally free online correspondence courses in bible, apologetics, and biblical archeology are offered as a service by the Trinity Graduate School of Apologetics and Theology. Trinity offers several graduate programs in bible and theology totally tuition-free. Check TRINITY if you are interested.

The free biblical archeology courses offered to you on this site are for your personal study and enrichment. Many of these courses will contain an exam or test at the end. Once you work on them, show your answers to either your pastor or to your spiritual mentor. You need not send them to us because these are meant for self-study only.

..

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Online Courses, Then Please Visit:

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