Biblical Archaeology Review, March/April 2017
Laodicea was a wealthy city in western Turkey that flourished for centuries. The Book of Revelation calls the Laodicean church “lukewarm”—neither hot nor cold. Recent excavations at the site suggest why.
A third-century portrait of a woman drawing water from a well was uncovered at a church in Dura-Europos, Syria. While this was originally interpreted as the Biblical scene of the Samaritan woman who speaks with Jesus, further analysis suggests that it portrays the Annunciation—making this painting the earliest depiction of the Virgin Mary. But there are other candidates.
A banqueting complex was recently identified just beside the Temple Mount. Dating to the time of King Herod, it projects the splendor and comfort enjoyed by royal guests. With its two dining halls and a fountain room in between, this composite triclinium is probably the most splendid Herodian building that has survived the 70 C.E. Roman destruction of Jerusalem.
Biblical Hazor was the largest and most important royal city in the southern Levant in the second millennium B.C.E. Its continuing exploration has brought to light impressive architecture and unique objects. But, one major discovery remains elusive: Where are Hazor’s cuneiform archives?