Excavation Report Instructions

You are required to report about a contemporary archaeological excavation site in a 4–5-page paper that includes the following information: the history of previous archaeological excavations, objectives of the current excavation, progress at the site, and significance of discoveries to biblical study. To begin, you must choose a site from the following list (Contact your instructor if you wish to select a site NOT on this list):

  • Ashkelon
  • Beersheva (Tel Beer Sheva)
  • Bethsaida
  • Bethshean
  • Caesarea Maritima
  • Capernaum
  • Corinth
  • Dan (Tel Dan)
  • Ephesus
  • Gezer
  • Hazor
  • Herodium (Herodian)
  • Hezekiah’s Tunnel (Jerusalem)
  • Jericho (Tell es–Sulan)
  • Lachish
  • Masada
  • Megiddo
  • Nineveh
  • Palace of David (Jerusalem)
  • Pergamum (Turkey)
  • Pool of Siloam (Jerusalem)
  • Qumran
  • Sardis (Turkey)
  • Shiloh
  • Smyrna
  • Tel Gezar
  • Tel Sheva (Beersheba)
  • Temple Mount Salvage Project
  • Warren’s Gate (Jerusalem)
  • Western Wall Tunnel (Jerusalem)

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NOTE: You CANNOT do your excavation report on the broad topic of the Temple Mount/City of David (Jerusalem). Choose ONE of the sites in Jerusalem connected with the Temple Mount such as the Temple Mount Sifting Project, Western Wall Tunnels excavations, Southern Temple Mount excavations, the archaeological park, Palace of David excavations, Givati Parking Lot excavations, Warren’s Gate, Hezekiah’s tunnel [including Gihon Spring], pool of Siloam, or Robinson’s arch, etc.

You must use publications for an overview of the previous archaeological research. Gather your information from books, Bible dictionaries, Bible encyclopedias, and the official website (if any) about the excavation. You must use at least 6 academic sources (not wikipedia). Not all sites will have an official website. Cite the website, if there is one, in your report.

Your paper must be in current Chicago-Turabian Full Note format (including footnotes and bibliography) and include a minimum of 6 sources. For assistance using Turabian visit Liberty School of Divinity Turabian Writing Guide for help.

For further instructions, see the Instructions for Written Assignments in the Additional Materials folder in Blackboard.

This assignment is due by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Monday of Module/Week 5.

BIBL 471 Biblical Archaeology

Excavation Report

CriteriaLevels of Achievement
Content 70% 105Advanced 90–100%Proficient 70–89%Developing 1–69%Not present
Introduction and thesis statement (min 4–5 pages paper). 109 to 10 points Exceptional introduction that grabs interest of reader and states background information, provocative questions, topic, thesis and all subtopics in proper order, thesis exceptionally clear, arguable, well developed, and a definitive statement.7 to 8 points Proficient introduction that states background information, provocative question, topic, thesis, and all subtopics in proper order; – thesis is a clear and arguable statement of position.1 to 6 points Adequate introduction that states topic, thesis and some of the subtopics; thesis is somewhat clear and arguable.0 points Not present
Historical background of the site (including history of previous archaeological excavations, if any). 1514 to 15 points Covered the high points of the previous excavations of the archaeological site.11 to 13 points Covered most of the previous excavations of the archaeological site.1 to 10 points Covered some of the previous excavations of the archaeological site but missed most of the important excavations.0 points Not present
Objectives of the current excavation. 1514 to 15 points Identified all the current objectives.11 to 13 points Identified most of the current objectives.1 to 10 points Identified some of the current objectives.0 points Not present
Progress at the site (from the beginning of the discovery to present excavation). 2018 to 20 points Described the evidence in detail for each site. 14 to 17 points Described the evidence in general terms for each site.1 to 13 points Described the evidence for one site but not the other site.0 points Not present
Significance of discoveries to biblical studies. 1514 to 15 points A good treatment describing the significance of the site for Biblical studies.  11 to 13 points An acceptable treatment describing the significance of the site for Biblical studies.1 to 10 points A poor treatment describing the significance of the site for Biblical studies.0 points Not present
Conclusion – personal reflection of what has been learned. 109 to 10 points Exceptional conclusion that grabs the interest of readers and provides a personal reflection what they have learned.7 to 8 points Proficient conclusion that provides a general reflection of what they have learned.1 to 6 points Provides a conclusion without providing what they have learned.0 points Not present
References 2018 to 20 points Included at least 6 academic sources.14 to 17 points Included 4-5 academic sources.1 to 13 points Included less than 4 academic sources.0 points Not present
Structure 30% 45Advanced 90–100%Proficient 70–89%Developing 1–69%Not present
Spelling and Grammar 55 points No mistakes4 points One mistake1 to 3 points More than one mistake0 points Not present
Sentence Structure: complete, clear, and concise. 109 to 10 points Sentences were complete and clear.7 to 8 points Sentences were generally complete and clear but with a few mistakes.1 to 6 points Sentences had several mistakes.0 points Not present
Title page 55 points Title page was according to Turabian.4 points Most of the information was present but was not in Turabian.1 to 3 points Most of the information was not present but was not in Turabian.0 points Not present
Citations & bibliography 2018 to 20 points Footnotes and bibliography were according to Turabian.14 to 17 points Footnotes and bibliography were according to Turabian with minor mistakes.1 to 13 points Footnotes and bibliography were not according to Turabian with many formatting mistakes.  0 points Not present
Margins & Pagination 55 points Margins & Pagination were according to Turabian.  4 points Margins & Pagination were according to Turabian but with some mistakes.1 to 3 points Margins & Pagination were according to Turabian but with several mistakes.0 points Not present

Excavation Report: Pool of Siloam (Jerusalem).

Introduction

            The Pool of Siloam, also known as Shiloh by the Hebrew, is mentioned in john 9:6-7. The pool is connected with a miracle performed by Jesus Christ. The verse says, “When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (New American Standard Bible). The pool was outside Jerusalem. The pool was regarded as a freshwater reservoir. This report brings forth the history of ancient excavation, the objective of the current excavation, progress at the site, and the significance of discovery to biblical study.

History of past excavation

               For a long time now, different faiths have considered the Siloam pool as sacred. Jews fetched water from Siloam to perform purification rituals in the temple. The rituals were carried out during the feast of tabernacles. Hadrian probably built the pagan shrine of the four nymphs on the pool of Siloam in 135 AD. The Siloam pool’s origin dates back to Judah king Hezekiah’s times when he faced resented from Assyrian monarch Sennacherib during the 17th century.[1]Hezekiah ordered the digging of a 1750 fool tunnel under David’s city for water to flow from Gihon Spring. Winter rains also filled the pool. The plan of the engineering project was laid outside the city wall. In the successive years, the king drew more freshwater to Jerusalem, and more pools were constructed. One of those pools in the second temple pool.

           Journals of the ancient pilgrims cite that Jesus attracted Christian masses to the pool because he was performing healing miracles. The Bordeaux pilgrim (333 AD) avers that the pool had four porches. Another journal, the Piacenza pilgrim (6th century AD), cites that the pool was adjacent to the Hezekiah tunnel, and Byzantine pilgrims would visit.[2] According to Piacenza pilgrim, the blind man did not visit the pool of Siloam. However, the john gospel insists that Jesus healed the blind man at the Siloam pool (John 9:1–11). Empress Eudokia built a church next to the “Byzantine pool” around 450 AD.[3] The empress wanted to commemorate the miracle identified in the New Testament. However, the Persians destroyed the church in 614 AD. The Arabs use the pool for healing as well. Debris entered the pool, but villagers removed it slowly because they need water purification and domestic use. In the 1890s, a mosque was built next to the pool. Surprisingly, the mosque still stands today.

Objectives of the Current Excavation and Progress at The Site

            The exact location of the original Siloam pool that Jesus used to perform miracles remained unknown until it was explored in June 2004. Two archeologists Ronny Reich and Eli Shukron found two ancient stone steps as they were repairing a large water pipe city of David, south of Jerusalem temple mount. Advanced excavation showed that the stone steps were part of the monumental pool, times when Jesus lived. The stone steps were 225 feet long; their corners formed a trapezoidal shape (angles more than 90 degrees). The structure was wide towards the Tyropoeon valley. Ancient discovery maintains that waters from the Gihon springs are situated in the Kidron valley. It is believed that the flowing water was used for the ritual bathing “mikveh.” Other explorers aver that Siloam pool was used for roman style swimming. Biblical archaeology maintains that the Siloam pool offered watershed moment.

              In the summer of 2005, more stone of steps and a pool was discovered. It is believed that the pool was used in the 1st century after dominion. Scholars maintain that this pool in the actual pool of Siloam instead of the traditional pool near it. The year of the new pool is based on pottery pieces discovered.[4] The pieces were used in the 1st century. Also, the four coins of Alexander Jannaeus, whose tenure was between 103 to 76 BC, prove that the pool was used during the times of Jesus. [5]These pieces of evidence demonstrate that the pool was built after Herod the Great (37-4 BC). During these times, the political and economic conditions were very stable. The new pool suffered siltation much quicker than the traditional pool near it. Coins were found in the soil which had cornered on one side of the pool. These coins were used during the reign of Jewish King Alexander Jannaeus (103 to 76 BC). The first Jewish revolt was of 70 AD was experienced during this time. More coins were discovered dating from AD 66 to AD 70. The pool suffered siltation because it was located in the lowest spots of Jerusalem. The pool disappeared due to mud and debris. The disappearance might prove why the Byzantine pilgrims’ pool at a higher ground is the real pool of Siloam.

               Excavation of the pool has not been fully exploited. Today a beautiful garden owned by the Greek Orthodox Church sits on the land. The lowest point in the whole of Jerusalem marks the existence of the pool. Hezekiah tunnel marks that the actual pool of Siloam existed near the traditional Pool of Siloam, also known as the “Byzantine pool.”[6] Bliss, Dickie, and Kathleen also discovered a pavement to the north of the pool in the 19th century.[7] The Byzantine pool is different from the new pool because it is a narrow channel that gets water from the Hezekiah tunnel. Today, ruins from the church built by empress Eudokia still stand. Excavations have been stopped because archaeologists have not secured an agreement to continue with the excavation.

Significance of Siloam pool to biblical study

           The pool of Siloam appears once in the Old Testament and twice in the New Testament John 9:7 and 11. The pool is imperative since it tells about the man who was born blind, and Jesus healed him at the pool.[8] The account of the teaching signifies that Jesus is the son of god. He has the power and authority to heal the sick those with disabilities. The miracle event teaches Christians that one’s sin does not cause diseases. John 9:7 teaches Christians that they live in a fallen world filled with evil. The pool has further significance. The word Siloam means being “sent,” “gushing forth,” or “sending out.” Water was being sent or gushed into the pool. However, there is no spiritual meaning for the pool itself. The story of the blind man who received a miracle proves that gospels are historical.[9] Historical individuals such as Caesar Augustus, Pontius Pilate, Herod the Great, Herod Antipas, King Agrippa, Quirinius, Bernice, and Sadducees in the New Testament demonstrate the location of historical cities that neared the pool. Such quotations hive historical credibility to the word of god. 2 Kings 20:20 also mentions the existence of the collection. Since the blind man healed in the pool, it signifies that he responded in obedience to Christ. Receiving sight means that anyone can get the light, which saves and heals the sick. The account of the story proves that Jesus is the light of the world. He is also the redeemer who we should believe in. As Christians search for god, they should pray through Jesus for forgives and guidance.

Bibliography

Baert, Barbara. “Lavit et venit videns: The Healing of the Blind Man at the Pool of Siloam.” (2014): 23-34.

Kenyon, Kathleen Mary. Archaeology in the Holy Land. Vol. 43. London: E. Benn, 1960.

Norin, Stig. “The age of the Siloam inscription and Hezekiah’s tunnel.” Vetus Testamentum 48, no. Fasc. 1 (1998): 37-48.

Reich, Ronny, and Eli Shukron. “The date of the Siloam Tunnel reconsidered.” Tel Aviv 38, no. 2 (2011): 147-157.

Rogerson, John, and Philip R. Davies. “Was the Siloam tunnel built by Hezekiah?.” The Biblical Archaeologist 59, no. 3 (1996): 138-149.

Thayer, Joseph Henry, Carl Ludwig Willibald Grimm, and Christian Gottlob Wilke. “A Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament: being Grimm’s Wilke’s Clavis Novi Testamenti translated.” (1898).


[1] John R.,”Was the Siloam tunnel built by Hezekiah?” The Biblical Archaeologist 59, no. 3 (1996): 138-149.

[2] Stig N. “The age of the Siloam inscription and Hezekiah’s tunnel.” Vetus Testamentum 48, no. Fasc. 1 (1998): 37-48.

[3] John R.,”Was the Siloam tunnel built by Hezekiah?.” The Biblical Archaeologist 59, no. 3 (1996): 138-149.

[4] Ronny. “The date of the Siloam Tunnel reconsidered.” Tel Aviv 38, no. 2 (2011): 147-157.

[5] Ibid 158

[6] Stig N. “The age of the Siloam inscription and Hezekiah’s tunnel.” Vetus Testamentum 48, no. Fasc. 1 (1998): 37-48.

[7] Kathleen K., Archaeology in the Holy Land. Vol. 43. London: E. Benn, 1960.

[8], Barbara B. “Lavit et venit videns: The Healing of the Blind Man at the Pool of Siloam.” (2014): 23

[9] Thayer, “A Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament: being Grimm’s Wilke’s Clavis Novi Testament translated.” (1898).