Just Archaeology- 17

06 Mar

I am sure that by now you have heard about the destruction of ancient artifacts in a Mosul museum by Isis.  Well they are at it again as they now have gone to less labor intensive machinery and used bulldozers to destroy the ancient city of Nimrud.

#1. ISIS & Archaeology

ISIS has again destroyed cultural treasures, this time bulldozing the site of the ancient Assyrian city of Nimrud in northern Iraq, the nation’s Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities said.

“ISIS continues to defy the will of the world and the feelings of humanity,” the ministry said in a statement. “They violated the ancient city of Nimrud and bulldozed its ancient ruins.”

For archaeologists, scholars and myself, this is not a happy event. Even though I do not treasure these items as I do not wish to see them destroyed, especially by such soulless people who no regard for anyone and who treat human life worse than garbage. There is no justice in ISIS and though they may claim their god told them to do it, I see no attempt on their part to clarify that command and make sure it was a true message They just here the word god and off they go like blind monsters wrecking havoc on anything they can.

For believers, the destruction of ancient items should not disturb us too much as our faith is not dependent upon artifacts from history.  Even though their destruction does not affect us, we should be upset because this type of destruction is not biblical as we should respect the beliefs and feelings of others.  For those evangelists seed planters & waterers out there, this action by ISIS can give us an opportunity to share the gospel with scholars and archaeologists or other history buffs by pointing them to the indestructibility of God’s word.

We believers can turn this disappointing event into something worthwhile. We have the ability to turn this act of evil into something good by showing the difference between the things of this world and the things of God. Some believers may not like archaeology or history but we should learn a few things about those subjects in order to talk intelligently with those who have made those fields their life’s work.

If we want to make an impact for Christ, we need to try and learn some things that will help us break down barriers and stumbling blocks to Christ and open doors so that the hearts God has prepared can be reached for Jesus.

The palaces of Sennacherib at Nineveh and Ashurnasirpal II at Nimrud are vestiges of the political, cultural and artistic height of the Assyrian Empire. The remains of these palaces, the only Assyrian palaces left preserved and decorated with reliefs, are now protected against vandals and function as site museums where visitors can appreciate ancient wall reliefs in their original setting,” the fund said in a website posting before this week’s ISIS assault on Nimrud.

King Ashurnasirpal II made Nimrud the royal seat and the military capital of Assyria, Encyclopedia Britannica’s website says.

Buildings at Nimrud “have yielded thousands of carved ivories, mostly made in the 9th and 8th centuries B.C., now one of the richest collections of ivory in the world,” the encyclopedia says.

ISIS has destroyed other ancient and deeply meaningful sites in Iraq. Officials have said ISIS has blown up shrines such as the tomb of Jonah.

As for the ‘tomb of Jonah’  this is not a loss for us either as we could never verify exactly who was buried there. We do not even know if Jonah remained in Ninevah for the remainder of his life so to be upset about a tomb that cannot be identified is useless and wastes out time. Again, we can use the above strategy of pointing people to the everlasting nature of God

#2. Lost City—

Archaeologists searching for a lost city in the jungles of Honduras have discovered the urban remains of what they believe is a vanished ancient civilization, National Geographic reports.

A writer and photographer for the magazine accompanied a team of scientists to Honduras’ Mosquitia region on the trail of a legendary “White City” or “City of the Monkey God.”

In contrast to the nearby Maya, this vanished culture has been scarcely studied and it remains virtually unknown. Archaeologists don’t even have a name for it,” Douglas wrote. Archaeologists no longer believed in the existence of a single “White City,” he said, instead believing there had been an entire civilization with many cities.

The expedition found earth works, including an earthen pyramid as well as a collection of stone sculptures, thought to potentially have been burial offerings.

The bold words provide  an example of a common theme when scientists and archaeologists get stumped and they get stumped a lot these days.  I have come to the point now in my life that I do not trust archaeologists and scientists as well as their dating systems.  I say this because I know that many very ancient remains have had other subsequent people live amongst their walls long after the original builders left or died out. These remains can be mis-dated because the archaeologist or scholar are looking at the wrong pottery. The pottery, and other artifacts, they find may well be from the time period they declare but that is not evidence that those remains belong to the original people who built the site.

Case in point is Lake Titicaca. The area is filled with very ancient structures, going back long into the dawn of history yet over the centuries have had many different people living in their shadow. In fact, on many of the documentaries I have watched on South American civilizations and the books I have read on the ancient societies of that continent, the people currently living there tell the researchers that the buildings were standing vacant when their people first arrived in the area.

As far as I am concerned, this ‘lost’ city could well be evidence form the pre-flood civilization that populated this world first. Not all the remains but probably there are enough to provide physical evidence for those people who were wiped out by God’s justice. Hard to say and it will be difficult getting the truth out of the unbeliever.

#3. Lost Sites

No quote, just a link to a very good slideshow of sites lost to war.  Nature is not the only danger to ancient sites as man’s hatred, greed and lust bring destructive actions in many different forms. War is just one of them, normal construction is another. This slideshow should bring us to remember the scripture,

Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. 17 The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever. (1 John 2 NASB)

#1 above and this slideshow give us a real world demonstration of those verses.

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Posted by on March 6, 2015 in academics, archaeology, Bible, education, history, leadership, science


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