Top Three Reports in Biblical Archaeology – March 2023

In the news this past moth were two legitimate discoveries and one that was quickly declared not authentic. Here were the top three reports in biblical archaeology in March 2023.

3. Recently Discovered Hidden Chamber Photographed in the Great Pyramid at Giza

A photograph of the hidden chamber in the Great Pyramid of Giza. Photo: Technical University Munich

Scientists from the Technical University of Munich have conclusively demonstrated the existence of a hidden chamber in the Great Pyramid in Egypt, which was constructed for Khufu (Greek: Cheops) around 4,500 years ago. In 2016, scans suggested that a hidden chamber existed near the chevron blocks above the entrance. Recently, the team from Munich was able to use a crack between two blocks to insert a tube. This allowed them to run an endoscopic camera through and photograph the chamber. The photos revealed a room that was larger than anticipated, exceeding the original estimate of five meters in length. There was no evidence of human presence in the room, and the researchers believe it is the first time humans have seen the inside of this chamber since the pyramid was constructed. The purpose of the chamber is not yet known, nor what lies behind the back wall of the room. According to a literal understanding of biblical chronology, the Great Pyramid of Khufu had been standing for hundreds of years by the time Abraham went to Egypt (Gn 12:10).


2. Oldest Bronze Fishhook Unearthed at Ashkelon

An ancient bronze fishhook discovered at Ashkelon. Photo: Emil Alajem / Israel Antiquities Authority

The discovery of one of the world’s oldest metal fishhooks was recently announced by the Israel Antiquities Authority. The bronze hook is overly large, measuring 2.6 inches (6.5 cm) long by 1.6 inches (4 cm) wide. The discovery was made in 2018 during preparations for the construction of a new neighborhood at Ashkelon. The hook was unearthed in the remains of a Chalcolithic house, allowing archaeologists to positively date the artifact. Given its size, the hook is believed to have been used by ancient fishermen in the coastal villae to fish for sharks and/or other large fish. The artifact will be put on display for the first time at the upcoming 48th Archaeological Congress in Israel. In the Bible fishing is most often associated with the disciples in the New Testament. However, fishing is alluded to in the Old Testament as well, both with the use of nets (Ez 47:10) and fishhooks (Am 4:2).


1. Potsherd Inscribed with the Name of Darius I Found at Lachish Is Not Authentic

This potsherd, inscribed with the name of the Persian king, is a modern inscription on an ancient piece of pottery from Lachish. Photo: Yoli Schwartz / Israel Antiquities Authority

A hiker exploring at Tel Lachish National Park discovered a 2,500-year-old potsherd inscribed with the name of the Persian king Darius I. The Aramaic inscription read, “Year 24 of Darius,” which dated it to 498 BC, when Judah was under Persian control in the region known as “Beyond the River” (Ezra 4:20). The artifact was initially authenticated by the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) and announced with great fanfare. However, a couple days later, the officials with the IAA walked back the claim and declared that the artifact was not authentic. After the initial news reports, an Aramaic expert who had participated in excavations at Lachish in August 2022 contacted the IAA to inform them that she had made the inscription on a potsherd to demonstrate to her students how this was done in the past. Unfortunately, she had accidentally left it at the site, where it was found by the hiker. The IAA regrets the mistake and will be instituting new policies and procedures for archaeological excavations in Israel to avoid this type of situation in the future.



Stay Up-To-Date

Get the latest BREAKING NEWS in biblical archaeology each week here


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s