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Joshua, Judges, and Jesus

The Artifacts of Khirbet El-Maqatir, Israel


Northwestern was honored to host an archaeological exhibit featuring artifacts from the time of Joshua, Judges, and Jesus. Guided tours gave 1,450 visitors a glimpse into the life and culture of the ancient world and enriched their understanding of the Bible. The Iron Age excavation team, including Dr. Boyd Seevers and Northwestern students, uncovered and restored a 3,000-year-old clay jar and other artifacts for the exhibit. The large clay jar remains on display in Berntsen Library.

Old map with a clay jar

Symposium Keynote Speaker

Dr. Scott Stripling is the Director of Excavations at Ancient Shiloh and the provost at The Bible Seminary in Houston (Katy), Texas. Dr. Stripling also serves on the Adjunct Faculty at Houston Baptist University. In addition to Building Blocks (1999), he is the author of Somebody Call 911 (2016) and The Trowel and the Truth (2017) and numerous academic and popular articles. A renowned global conference speaker, Dr. Stripling has been featured in many documentaries on the Bible and archaeology. He has been married to his wife Janet for 35 years and they have been blessed with four children and two grandchildren.

Khirbet el-Maqatir

The site, called Khirbet el-Maqatir, is located approximately 10 miles north of Jerusalem in central Israel, and was excavated by the Associates for Biblical Research from 1995-2016. It was probably the Canaanite city/fortress of Ai conquered by Joshua and the Israelites ca. 1400 B.C. (Josh. 7–8). Two centuries later, Israelite settlers from the tribe of Benjamin at the time of Judges (1200–1000 B.C.) established a small settlement in the ruins of the earlier fortress that continued for about 200 years. Then some 850 years later, a Greco-Roman era town (2nd c. B.C.–A.D. 69) grew up in the same location, a town which Jesus himself might have visited (Jn 11:53–54) before the Roman army destroyed it in A.D. 69. Finally, in the 4th century A.D., the Byzantines established a church and monastery (A.D. 325–749), probably to commemorate one of the earlier biblical events that had taken place there.

Illustration of the reconstruction of Iron Age I houses
Portrait of Boyd Seevers

Dr. Boyd Seevers

Dr. Boyd Seevers is Professor of Old Testament Studies at Northwestern and oversaw the Iron Age excavations and publications for Khirbet el-Maqatir. He is widely published in subjects of archaeology and matters pertaining to the world of the Bible. Each year he takes Northwestern students to excavate with him in Israel and afterward works with many of them to research and co-publish articles about the finds. In 2016 he led the excavation and subsequent restoration and publication of the 28-gallon clay storage jar made by Israelites 3000 years ago, now on display at Northwestern. Boyd and wife Karen lived for eight years in Israel, and they have four children and two grandchildren.

Portrait of Victoria Dennis

Victoria Dennis

Victoria Dennis is a recent graduate from University of Northwestern, where she studied History and Music and worked as Dr. Boyd Seevers’ teaching and research assistant. She is interested in archaeological research and writing, as well as exhibit design, and has been very involved in working to bring the Joshua, Judges, and Jesus exhibit to Northwestern. In her spare time she enjoys reading, traveling, and playing piano.

Bio Photo

Katherine Streckert

Katherine Streckert is a senior Interdisciplinary Ancient Studies major at the University of Northwestern and a research assistant to Dr. Boyd Seevers. In conjunction with the Associates of Biblical Research, she and Dr. Seevers are currently researching the Late Hellenistic/Early Roman weaponry from Khirbet el-Maqatir for final publication. Katie has been interested in archaeology for most of her life and is excited to be included in sharing the past through the exhibit Joshua, Judges, and Jesus. In addition to history and archaeology, music, literature, humanities, and art are among her interests.

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