Madâin Sâlih Becomes First Saudi World Heritage Site

Right here. Notice the mention of the 1972 antiquities law noted on the sign on the fence protecting Jebel Maqla (sometimes incorrectly called Jebel al-Lawz) in the UNESCO description of Madâin Sâlih. I mention this law on AJaL in Section 5 under the subsection “Saudi Fence”. Numerous photographs of the tombs of Madain Salih may be found on Google Earth when checking the Panoramio feature. Madain Salih is the same as Hegra, just to the North of Biblical Dedan/modern al-Ula. Hegra was integrated into the Roman Empire after the creation of the Roman province of Arabia Petraea, as shown by a Latin inscription found at the site.

Gordon Franz Sends Me 2003 Article On Wyatt Excavations

The article’s existence has only been acknowledged here on the web. It is about the Wyatt Archaeological Research excavations at Zedekiah’s Cave in 2003 and also recounts the Israeli side of the story of the Wyatt excavations during Wyatt’s lifetime. Perhaps the most notable account in that article is Dan Bahat’s, where he recounts how he reassured the warden of the Garden Tomb to continue allowing Wyatt to excavate as long as Wyatt would not misrepresent the finds from his excavation area. Needless to say, Wyatt did misrepresent the finds of his excavation. The article also points out Wyatt’s lack of an excavation license, already noted by the Standishes.

Gordon Franz Debunks Miles Jones on ‘Yahweh Inscription’

Back in mid-2011, I found out that the mis-translator of the so-called “YHWH Inscription”, a forged rock inscription claimed by the Caldwells and Cornukites to have been found at Jebel al-Lawz, was a certain Miles Jones. Today, Gordon Franz has responded to Jones’ tomfoolery on his blog. Note that I consulted the same Dr. Michael Macdonald of Oxford as did Franz on the matter of the “menorah” found in Madyan/Midian by Sung Hak Kim as soon as I heard of Miles Jones. I published the main points he made on AJaL and do publish his email to me here:

Dear Sir,

Thank you for your message.

The supposed “menorah” is in fact the letter “dh” (pronounced like the “th” in “this”) preceded by the letter “w” which has been taken to be the “base” of the supposed menorah, though as you can see when you look closely the two are not joined. The inscription is in the Ancient North Arabian dialect and script known as Hismaic which was in use in southern Jordan and North West Arabia between the last century BC and the fourth century AD. The graffito reads: w dhkrt lt ’l’n mr—- [the rest of the text is cut off by the edge of the photograph] and means “May [the goddess] Lat be mindful of ’l’n —-“. This prayer to the pagan deity Lat is extremely common in this type of graffito.

I hope that this is helpful,

with best wishes,

Michael Macdonald.

Worked Butt Off Trying To Correctly Overlay the Hadashot Plans of the Wyatt Excavation Area

Alright, kids! It’s that time of year again: the time to review and update Saga and try to understand every possible detail of the Wyatt excavation area! Obviously, I’ll be making a YouTube video based on Saga next week.

Update as of November 2: I did not expect my increase in workload throughout September. The video will come at an unscheduled date.

And the Zedekiah’s Cave Finds Begin To Surface…

Right here. First, see this post on Ron Wyatt’s non-discovery of the Ark of the Covenant. Remember this period of the WAR website? Note the amusing misstatement regarding a composite Richard Rives/Ron Wyatt:

One pastor from Tennessee (Richard Rives?) claims to have found the secret passageway through which Zedekiah fled the Babylonians and made it to the steppes of Jericho (Wyatt suspected of such a passageway, but it was for Jeremiah, not Zedekiah). He (Wyatt) also claims to have found the Ark of the Covenant and the menorah, but the moment they tried to photograph their discovery the items went up in flames thanks to the “holy spirit.”(actually, the Wyattists say the photos were just made blurry)

The pastor and his ilk may continue to indulge themselves in fantasies, but they are extremely generous with the money they contribute to help fund the excavations. The antiquities authority has used these funds to extract more archaeological information, something it has not been able to do with previous sources of funding. Zelinger’s excavations have yielded significant findings, like coins that were used during the days of the Second Jewish Revolt in the year 132 C.E., pottery fragments and rings, as well as items that legally cannot be considered “antiquities” but that do shed light on the builders of those days as well as on the cave.

See here for the old excavation report. The quarry appears to have first been used in the Iron Age II, then the Hasmonean period, then (apparently) Herodian, then Byzantine, then Early Islamic, then Mamluk.

Yosef Garfinkel Says Horseshit

“Various suggestions that completely deny the biblical tradition regarding King David and argue that he was a mythological figure, or just a leader of a small tribe, are now shown to be wrong,” he said in today’s news release.

Needless to say, this is absolute balderdash. The finds at Qeiyafa do not have any known direct connection with Jerusalem or King David.

Sigh.

This settles it. After I’m done working on the Ron Wyatt&the Cities of the Plain YouTube video (expect it to appear Sunday), expect to see a video in late May debunking the terrible trio of United Monarchy Ap-chaeologists (T. Levy, E. Mazar, Y. Garfinkel). I can say no more than Tom Verenna (who now has the best post on parallels to other shrines).