Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Biblical-Era Artifacts on Display in Pennsylvania

The Lebanon Daily News runs a story on the Alan and Muriel Pense Biblical Archaeology Museum at the Evangelical Seminary. The collection was curated for many years by David Dorsey and is now under the direction of his son-in-law Phillip Bollinger. From the LDN:

The museum has a collection of small, bowl-shaped olive-oil lamps made from clay, through more elaborate closed lamps of metal. The lamps date from the earliest periods of Canaan's history, including the Neolithic and Chalcolithic eras to the early Bronze Age, or sometime before 3200 B.C. to 2200 B.C.

"It helps people to see how styles change over time," he said, and added, "When you're digging at an excavation, that's one of the things that helps you date what you're finding."

Other items in the collection include various types of clay storage jars, which were probably used for water, wine or grain.

"These were the kitchen cabinets of the Old and New Testament periods," Sarah [Dorsey] Bollinger added. "The strength of our collection is in what everyday life was like. We don't have lots of extraordinary or exceptional types of things. We do have a lot to do with writing."

[…]

The museum is divided into two rooms, one for the Old Testament and one for the New Testament. In the hallways between the two rooms there are many artifacts to see as well.

One of the oldest pieces in the collection is a tiny arrowhead that dates to the sixth century B.C.

"It's a flint arrowhead from Jericho; it's 8,000 years old," Phillip Bollinger said. "Probably used for hunting very small game."

Other interesting objects include a 4,000-year-old milk churn, make-up containers made of bone or metal, garment holders, jar handles with King Hezekiah's seal, as well as weapons such as slingshots of the type that David used to slay Goliath.

The full article includes a slideshow and video. The official website is here. For other museums in the U.S. with artifacts related to the biblical world, see our list here.

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