Cincinnati (Oct. 16)
Dr. Nelson Glueck, Bible professor at Hebrew Union College and lecturer on Biblical literature at the University of Cincinnati, announced on his return here from Palestine that excavations recently made in Jerusalem prove the authenticity of the historical background of certain parts of the Bible. He was director of the American School of Oriental Research at Jerusalem during the past two years.
Dr. Julian Morganstern, president of Hebrew Union College, believes Dr. Glueck has made discoveries that are of world-wide interest and importance.
Dr. Glueck’s notes describe the use and abandonment of ancient trade routes, discovery of images of male bearded gods astride horses, something never before encountered in archaeology in this area, and verification of Biblical accounts of physical, cultural and commercial developments of early civilization.
The Cincinnati professor took part in the excavations at Tel Beit-Mirsim, identified with the Biblical city of Kiriah-Sefer. Cooperating with archaeologists from Yale University, Dr. Glueck directed the excavations at Jerash, where was located one of the great Roman cities of Decapolis in Transjordania.
BACK TO THE CAVE MAN
Dr. Glueck surveyed Transjordania and in southeastern Transjordania, at Kilnite near the Arabian border, his party discovered an ancient site that dates back to palaeolithic and neolithic periods. An entire hillside was found covered with rock drawings depicting ibexes and other animale. One picture of a man discovered was the first of this nature ever found in Arabia. Near these hill ruins an early Christian village dating back to the year 1000 was found.
A large number of fortresses dating from 2200 to 750 B.C.E., lined a Bronze Age trade route discovered by the archaeologists. The presence of these fortresses and cities along the trade route corroborates the historical background of the Biblical story in Genesis. Destruction of these sites and subsequent abandonment of the country for 500 years was due to the invasion of the Hypses in the Eighteenth Century B.C.E., Dr. Glueck thinks.
Another trade route was discovered which joined many cities and fortresses belonging to the period between 1250 and 700 B.C.E. In ancient times this was the Biblical land of Moab. Dr. Glueck explained:
“In ancient times the Moabites who entered the Near. East about the same time as the Israelites were of a physical culture equal to the status attained by the Israelites.
“A number of important finds made by this survey in the ancient artificial city hills which mark the length of this iron age trade route tend to prove the authenticity of Biblical history. The first male bearded deities ever discovered were uncovered in this area.
“In addition many figures of Astardes and several depictions of gods riding on horses were uncovered,” he said.
Dr. Glueck’s discoveries prove that the Moabite civilization was in all likelihood destroyed by the Assyrians at the beginning of the Eighth Century B.C.E., at the same time that they destroyed the Israelite civilization. The professor stated:
“Transjordania seems then to have been unoccupied until the use and development of the country by the Nabataean Kingdom between 300 B.C.E. and 11 C.E., when the capital city of Petra is recorded. Then are added a number of Nabataean cities which lined the route from the Red Sea to Damascus. The Romans smashed this empire at the beginning of the Second Century C.E., when they diverted the trade route to Alexandria.” Dr. Glueck feels sure that still further discoveries of archaeological importance are to be made in Transjordania and he plans to continue his excavations in that section. He hopes to be able to prove the existence of the ancient trade route as far as the Red Sea and to produce evidence of human habitations in the cities along that route.