Destroy All Their Idols: A Ram’s Head From Joshua Ai -- By: Brian N. Peterson

Journal: Bible and Spade (Second Run)
Volume: BSPADE 28:2 (Spring 2015)
Article: Destroy All Their Idols: A Ram’s Head From Joshua Ai
Author: Brian N. Peterson


Destroy All Their Idols: A Ram’s Head From Joshua Ai

Brian N. Peterson

As a member of the ABR archaeological team, the last day of our dig seasons has been particularly fruitful for me as a budding archaeologist. This certainly has been the case in the last two years of my work at Khirbet el-Maqatir. The now-famous Amenhotep II scarab—named the #1 archaeological discovery of 2013 by Christianity Today—was found in my square (P21) by Destry Jackson on the last day of the 2013 dig. Yet, without us really realizing it, this past year may have had nearly as important a discovery on our last day.

The 2014 dig started out with a bang. On day two, one of my Lee students, Bradley LaChapell, discovered our second scarab dating to the Hyksos period (c. 16th century BC). He picked it out of the sift from P20, one of three squares my team was assigned to excavate this past season. The excitement generated by this discovery pushed us forward with anticipation for the rest of the dig. From that point onward, my team of devoted diggers sifted every guffa of dirt that came out of our squares, searching for any valuable artifacts. While my team was blessed

Michael Luddeni

Lee University students Madison Vaught and Bradley LaChapell. Madison found the ram’s head while sifting on the last day; Brad found our second scarab on day two of the dig

to discover the second scarab, certainly a significant find, perhaps we overlooked the importance of a key artifact that was, again, discovered on the last day of the 2014 dig.

Madison Vaught (who just happens also to be my TA at Lee University) spent almost an entire month in Israel as part of our Lee Israel Tour and Archaeological Team. On Friday, May 30, 2014, the last day of the 2014 dig season, she handed me a piece of shaped/worked, corroded metal that appeared to be a head of some sort of a zoomorphic (animal-shaped) figure. Madison and Bradley (see above) had been meticulously sifting material out of squares P20, 21 and 22 for most of the two weeks of the dig. Their devotion to this type of detail had yielded the Hyksos scarab, coins, and now this strange piece of metal shaped like a falcon or a ram’s head. While at the time we were not sure what importance the discovery would have to our dig, I am now convinced, after having it professionally cleaned, that it may be just as significant in proving the accuracy of the biblical account of the destruction of Ai, as was the Amenhotep II scarab, if not more so. Let me explain.

Our ABR conservator, Orna Cohen (who also did the conservator work on t...

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