Lee University Sponsors Archaeology Exhibit

Monday, May 18, 2015 - by Karen Chambless, Lee University
Lee students Brad LaChapell and Madison Vaught sifting debris from a square on site at the Khirbet el-Maqatir dig.
Lee students Brad LaChapell and Madison Vaught sifting debris from a square on site at the Khirbet el-Maqatir dig.

The Museum Center at 5ive Points in Cleveland is hosting a nine-month exhibition, sponsored in part by Lee University, of artifacts from archaeological excavations in Israel titled “Khirbet el-Maqatir: History of a Biblical Site.” Lee University’s Dr. Brian Peterson, assistant professor of Old Testament, is a field archaeologist at Khirbet el-Maqatir and has led groups of Lee students on trips to the site since 2012. 

The exhibit displays over 40 different objects to tell the story of Khirbet el-Maqatir, thought to be the site of the ancient city of Ai as described in the Bible in the Book of Joshua chapters 7-8. Objects displayed include pottery, jewelry, coins, building materials, and instruments of warfare ranging from the Middle Bronze Age through the Byzantine Period. Lee students who have participated in site digs will also share their experiences as part of the exhibit. The exhibit will be in Cleveland until Dec. 26. 

“It is truly a blessing to have many of the major finds of Khirbet el-Maqatir at one venue,” said Dr. Peterson. “Those in charge at 5ive Points Museum have worked hard to make this happen.” 

Dr. Peterson, along with Lee Professor of New Testament and Greek Dr. William Simmons, recently gave several presentations for the Khirbet el-Maqatir exhibit.  Dr. Peterson gave the grand opening address for all the members of the museum on March 19, and Dr. Simmons and Dr. Peterson joined together to discuss archaeology, Maqatir, and the Bible on April 21 in an event which was open to local churches. 

Both Dr. Peterson and Dr. Simmons will also present papers on archaeology and the Bible in Jerusalem this summer. The paper presentations will be open to the public and to local universities. Dr. Simmons will speak on the “Jewish Conflict and the Roman Conquest of Israel” while Dr. Peterson will present two papers: “The Stones that the Builders Rejected: First-Century Home Construction” and “The Conquest of Hazor and Ai: It’s All in the Head of a Ram.” 

“People should take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see and hear about one of the most disputed sites in biblical archaeology,” said Dr. Peterson. 

Other events associated with the Khirbet el-Maqatir exhibit include an Archaeology Dig Family Day on May 9 and summer camps for students throughout June. 

For more information about the archaeology trips sponsored by Dr. Peterson, email bpeterson@leeuniversity.edu. 

For more information about the Khirbet el-Maqatir exhibit or the 5ive Points Museum, visit http://www.museumcenter.org/.

Lee students Val Brite and Jodie Rice cleaning up the last areas of square P-20 at the dig site.
Lee students Val Brite and Jodie Rice cleaning up the last areas of square P-20 at the dig site.

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