Here we are at the end of another year, and it’s safe to say that everyone is ok to see 2020 go and hope for better days in 2021. While 2020 was definitely difficult for our families, Immanuel Tours, Israel and the whole world. However, even in the midst of such difficulty and reduced archeological exploration, there were still new biblical archeology discoveries in 2020 made that continue to validate the Biblical account of Israel’s history, even with the cancellation of most scheduled excavations.
Here are some of the most amazing biblical archeology discoveries made in 2020:
A Mikveh in the Garden of Gethsemane
While the Bible has of course maintained that there had been an active olive tree grove and garden in the location, there was little evidence of actual activity in the spot. There are trees, but some argued that perhaps they were planted after the fact to validate the area.
However, now a mikveh, the traditional ritual bath dating back to the 2nd temple has been found in the vicinity, indicating that there was an olive garden there at the base of the Mount of Olives and the mikveh was used to become ritually clean before picking the olives that were used for the oil in temple worship.
This is one of the biggest biblical archeology discoveries this year!
A Royal Palace
A well-preserved palace was discovered in the Jezreel Valley that likely served kings such as King Ahab who is documented in 1 Kings. This was likely used as an administrative site as a signs of a system of food distribution were found.
Church in Banias
A church has been located in Banias that was built in the 4th century and pilgrims left evidence of their visit to the location where Peter confessed his belief in Jesus’ deity (Matthew 16:13-20). The Bible and most people today refer to the area as Caesarea Philippi. The area was a center for cultic worship of the “god”, Pan. The found church was built upon an old shrine to Pan, which was common practice in the day. An alter to Pan was actually used as a building block.
Capitals Perhaps from David’s Palace
The City of David has long been a treasure trove of finds and continues to be so. This is where it is believed the palace of King David stood and proof continues to validate this thought. in 2020, beautiful capitals, the top of the columns were discovered to cheering and applause in an excavation. They have been dated to the First Temple period, and are very elaborate which means there is a good chance they were looked upon my King David himself. Amazing!
The Throne Room Where Salome Danced
In Mark 6:21-29 and Matthew 14:3-11 the account of the death of John the Baptist by beheading is told, one which includes Herod Antipas’ birthday and a young girl, the daughter of Herodias, the sister-in-law and mistress of Herod, who requested John’s head on a platter after dancing for Herod and earning his favor.
Now they believe they have found the throne room where this actually happened. The Fortress at Machaerus in the area around the Dead Sea, located in Jordan has long been a site of research but new excavations have revealed what they believe is the throne room. Plans are now underway to reconstruct the infamous room. Many of our groups do pass over into Jordan to see sites such as Petra and Mt Nebo, so perhaps this will be added to future tours as well!
Israel’s historical knowledge and sites are always changing and being discovered with new biblical archeology discoveries, so if you haven’t been to Israel lately, you haven’t been to Israel! Contact our Tour Operators today to plan your tour for 2021, 2022, or 2023!