Three Important Biblical Archaeological Discoveries in 2022

January 05, 2023
Ivory inlays found in Jerusalem

Archeologists in the Holy Land made many discoveries in 2022 and some of them are very interesting, because they demonstrate or confirm some of the facts related in the Holy Bible.

The Maccabean Revolt

Evidence of a pivotal moment in the history of the Jewish people has been discovered in the Judean Desert: a rare wooden box containing a small hoard of 15 silver tetradrachma coins, dating from the days before the Maccabean revolt.

The box was hidden in the Muraba'at cave around 2,200 years ago and was discovered during excavations carried out last May.

Highlighting the unique nature of the find, Dr. Eitan Klein said it was “the first clear archaeological evidence that the Judean Desert caves were used as an area of activity for Jewish rebels or refugees in the days before the Maccabean revolt, or at the beginning of it.”

The Maccabean Revolt, waged against the Seleucid Empire and the influence their Hellenistic way of life was having on Jewish life, lasted from 160 to 167 BC, but is considered to have officially ended in 134 BC when the Maccabees gained their independence.

Fragments of Ivory Dating from the Iron Age

In September 2022, the Israel Antiquities Authority went public with its discovery of ivory fragments in the City of David, Jerusalem, which “apparently were inlayed in a couch-chair placed in a palace structure.”

According to the archaeologists in charge of the file, it is an “extraordinary” discovery since it is “a set of ivory plaques from the First Temple period, among the few found in the world, and the first of its kind found in Jerusalem.”

They also explain that ivory “was considered one of the most expensive commodities in the ancient world, even more so than gold.”

This discovery shows the importance of Jerusalem at the time described, and confirms certain biblical passages which describe the use of inlaid ivory, such as 1 Kings 10:18 which tells of the King Solomon having constructed a large throne in ivory and covered with gold.

St. Peter’s House

An inscription found at an excavation near the Sea of Galilee strengthens beliefs that the site was a church built over the home of St. Peter and his brother St. Andrew, two of Christ's first disciples, archaeologists said.

Researchers believe the building is the lost Byzantine-era Church of the Apostles, located in the biblical village of Bethsaida.

“Archaeologists from the Kinneret Institute for Galilee Archeology at Kinneret College and Nyack College, led by Professors Mordechai Aviam and Steven Notley, said Wednesday [August 10, 2022] that the inscription in a mosaic floor uses a common term for Peter, strengthening their theory that they have correctly identified the location.”