Sunday, August 26, 2007

Biblical Archaeology in a Day, Site X~Tell Heshbon

Biblical Archaeology in a Day, Site I~ Tell Al'Umeiri
Biblical Archaeology in a Day, Site II~ Ataroth
Biblical Archaeology in a Day, Site III~Machaerus
Biblical Archaeology in a Day, Site IV~ Khirbet Iskander
Biblical Archaeology in a Day, Site V~Dibon
Biblical Archaeology in a Day, Site VI~Aroer
Biblical Archaeology in a Day, Site VII~Um Ar Rasas, Burj Sa'man
Biblical Archaeology in a Day, Site VIII~St. Stephen's Church and Kestron Mefaa
Biblical Archaeology in a Day, Site IX~Tell Mudayna--Jahaz

Finally, the final installment. The rock fatigue was serious at this point in the tour however with only one more stop planned for the day, we pressed on to the modern town of Hisban, a quiet agricultural town, on the outskirts of which is located the large tell of Heshbon.

Returning once again to the Old Testament passages, Deuteronomy 2 and Numbers 21, we find mention of:

"... Sihon the Amorite, king of Heshbon..."
"Heshbon...city of Sihon, the king of the Ammorites..."

And Solomon writes of his beloved (Song of Solomon 7:4)

"Your eyes are pools in Heshbon..."

The capital city of Sihon's Ammorite kingdom, Heshbon was conquered by the wandering Israelites during the time of Moses. It is believed the tribes of Gad and Rueben settled in this area and that Heshbon later fell under Moabite rule.

Heshbon site map

From antiquity, Tell Hesbon has been occupied by many peoples. Eventually abandoned by the Moabites, it was re-fortified in the 2nd century under Roman rule and was an important ecclesiastical center from the 4th century until the time of the Umayyad takeover. It was later occupied by the Abbasid's (8th century) and then, the Mamluks (14th century).

Byzantine Church


Mamluk period Governer's Residence

For a more complete description of the Heshbon site, check out this virtual tour.

And the kids are still smiling! They've never known many traditional playgrounds but have instead grown up climbing around the ancient ruins of Jordan.

Centaurea procurrens

This one-day whirlwind trip combined with the writing of these blog posts have greatly increased my understanding and appreciation of biblical history and the incredible wealth of archaeological history present in Jordan. Imagine what we could have seen in two days! An interesting aside: a friend of ours who has extensively studied biblical geography tells us that most of the recorded words of Jesus were spoken on the eastern side of the Jordan River.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for posting these. As we study OT History this year, these posts have made it onto our syllabus. There is nothing like an insiders photos and notes to add interest to a study.

Jenny in MO(classed)

Patti said...

Very nice! It makes me want to come for a field trip, though.:-)

desert mom said...

Ahlan wa sahlan! (Welcome!) We have lots of great field trips in Jordan, Patti. Did you hear that the ancient Nebatean city of Petra was names as one of the "new" wonders of world?

Patti said...

No, I hadn't heard that. I only vaguely recollect that I had heard that they were looking for "new wonders". I'll have to look it up.

Anonymous said...

The Smithsonian magazine did a wonderful layout of Petra. Unfortunately, I cannot find the magazine anywhere in the house.

Jenny in MO

desert mom said...

I really enjoy that magazine, Jenny. I have about a year's worth of issues, some handed down and a few I purchased when we were in the States, but I haven't seen the one on Petra. It is a pretty amazing place. BTW, Jenny, I am encouraged that you can use these posts as part of your OT study-- I feel as if I use so, so much from others' studies and experiences and thus I am glad to know that I can contribute a little something!

Teri said...

This is so interesting! I thank you, too. My kids will enjoy seeing kids playing on the ruins.

Teri

sbobet said...

thanks ysboou for arsbochive