Archaeology is Blind to the Past

Without a time machine

Science cannot truly see into the past. The relics it relies upon to create a picture of the world’s history are mere artifacts that are vulnerable to modern human speculation (Williams & Hartnett, 2005)

This doesn’t only hold true for astronomy but for the other sciences as well, including archaeology. Most often the archaeologist is left only with a coin, a chair, or maybe a figurine to draw his or her conclusions from. Or all they have left are the eroding building foundations, blank walls and empty rooms to speculate about the past.

Archaeologists are not fortunate enough to have contemporary ancient manuscripts uncover that detail the purpose, use or the reason for it being left where it was of anything they discover.

The archaeologist must make up their own ideas about these things and more often than not, the theories they construct cannot be verified or even proven to be close to being true.

Leaving out the modern world

There are basically two approaches to looking at the ancient world from the modern perspective. There are those archaeologists who use the modern world, its thinking and human behavior to help them understand the past and those who don’t.

For the latter group the reasoning is that the ancient world did not have science helping them and were ignorant of many things. Supposedly, the ancients led a rather savage life and were not capable of thinking in modern terms (Mal, 2019)

This thinking flies in the face of the existence of men like Archimedes who was and is considered to be one of the greatest scientists of all time (F.S., 2020), As it does to the Babylonian and other ancient astronomers who have been known to complicated astronomical calculations, observations and adjustments (P.M, 2019).

The archaeologists who follow the idea that the ancient world is separate from the modern world and the latter and do not use the modern world to help them understand the past also feel that God created two different kinds of people if they accept the fact that God created anything at all.

They leave God out of the picture and ignore the Biblical references which show that the ancient world was filled with the same type of people that power the modern civilizations.

The ancients had their God given talents and intelligence. They also had emotions, desires and did not just eat, work and pray as some archaeologists would have the modern public believe.

They also invented, committed crimes, had laws as well as more modern aspects that govern modern life.

It is safe to say that the modern world does help us define and understand the past. Those that take the opposite position willingly blind themselves to the reasons behind the ancients acted as they did.

One reason to say that is that the modern world has societies all over the earth that still live like savages.

Archaeology makes some wonderful discoveries

This it does very well. Archaeologists are known to uncover large buildings, ancient inscriptions and a host of personal artifacts that only give a peek into the lives of those who populated the ancient civilizations.

One great discovery showed that the ancient Babylonians had a social security system as well as time capsules. The people of that once great empire wanted future civilizations to know who they were, what they believed and what they saw as important (Pellegrino. 1995).

It is only discoveries like these that give us , as Paul said in Corinthians 13:12, an imperfect view of the past. We get little snippets that do not show us exactly how ancient life was conducted.

All the artifacts and ancient structures only show a very tiny view of what the ancient world was like and if we are brave enough we can put those views together and see that the ancient world wasn’t too much different from the modern one.

Part of the reason for that is that sin, evil and God are never changing and always present. Ancient men and women fall to lust, David and Bathsheba, make mistakes, Moses and willing the Egyptian, and so many other non biblical examples give us a very unclear yet clear view that mankind has not changed in thousands of years.

The ancient inscriptions help clear up some of the mystery of the past by telling us how people though in different  situations. Whether those inscriptions are accepted, rejected or badly interpreted by modern scholars and archaeologists is not the point.

The point is these inscriptions help provide a clearer view of what existed in ancient times. Tell Dan Stele is but one of those inscriptions which gives us evidence that the people of Israel and King David existed as the Bible says (BAS Staff, 2019).

We do not get much about ancient Israel or other ancient civilizations because of the way these inscriptions are treated by modern scholars and archaeologists. The Behistun Inscription is another example of how ancient words are not totally accepted by modern scholars (Mark, 2019).

The unwillingness to accept these inscriptions and other writings as they should be accepted help keep the past in the dark about ancient civilizations and people. The fact that many modern archaeologists do not accept the idea that the ancient world was literate helps to keep archaeology from seeing anything true about the past (Dever, 2009).

Its a temple, no its a goddess

This is a common cry by archaeologists. Far too many ancient building remains have been identified as temples  even though there are no ancient manuscripts confirming the modern identification. The layout of the remains often lead archaeologists to make that identification even though there is no real reason for doing so.

For example, the Egyptian temple at Karnak was expanding from its original size from about its original size built over 4,000 years ago. It is said that Pharaohs for over 2,000 years added their own sections to the building and modern Egyptologists and archaeologists call it a temple.

Yet, the ancient world did not all believe in the ancient gods or participate din any religious activities. Plus, they needed other buildings to house criminals, their records, codexes, food supplies and so on. Even merchants needed a place to store their wares and sell them to the passing public.

In other words what is declared a temple may not have been a temple and served some other useful purpose. Karnak may be one of the earliest examples of a museum not a temple. The description of the contents fit a description of a museum and not a temple (Jarus, 2012)

The same mentally influences the discovery of many ancient figurines. Far too many of these are interpreted to be depictions of ancient goddesses and it doesn’t matter where in the world they are uncovered. The interpretation is basically the same even though other plausible reasons exist to explain so many figurines existing in the ancient world (Cowie, 2019).

Women have not changed over the centuries and it is highly possible, if not probable, that they had these figurines as knick knacks that decorated their walls, pieces of furniture and so on.

Not all would be goddesses, if any. Or the amount of figurines could easily be the product or pottery class where many people were learning to make people as art. They were just not fortunate to have their best work survive to the modern age.

If there are manuscripts linking these ancient figurines they are few and far between. Even the great Mayan ceramic workshop discovered in 2018 does not come with manuscripts talking about the factory. It may have just been a warehouse and not related to any gods at all (Cowie, 2019).

At best, archaeology does not know what these buildings and figurines were used for. Much of their modern descriptions on these ancient items are heavily influenced by their point of view and how low they view the ancient people.

There are many churches, temples and knick knacks in the modern world yet very few people would say that the modern populations were religious or had artifacts of gods and goddesses in their home.

The loss of information

The modern uninformed public may think that archaeological excavations are digging up vast amounts of information about the past. If one were to go by the overflowing museum storage rooms they may have that view verified.

Yet, the reality is that very little of the ancient past is uncovered. Kenneth Kitchen described this loss of of information in the first chapter of his book, ‘The Bible In Its World’ and the picture he painted was bleak not encouraging.

He said that most sites are eroding at a fast rate and that archaeologists, even after years of excavating at a site,only uncover between 2 and 5% of what was actually there (Kitchen, 2004).

That means that over the years since an archaeological site stopped being a real living village or city 95 to 98% of the past has been lost to the passing of time. Archaeology doe snot get a full picture of the past and much of the void is filled in with speculation, conjecture, assumption and leaps to conclusions.

Unfortunately, no matter how deep the archaeologist digs, that information is lost forever. Archaeology cannot bring it back or reconstruct what actually took place.

Archaeology is not to be relied on

This is more for the believer who may think that this one aspect or scientific research is going to uncover all the physical evidence they need to base their faith upon.

Far too many believing archaeologists have stumbled and lost their faith when archaeological work has failed to provide that physical evidence they wanted to see. When applying archaeology and its finds to their faith and the Bible they see only a partial but very blind picture and make the wrong decision that the Bible is wrong.

These archaeologists and other believers fail to apply the realities of archaeology, that it is a very limited field of study and always end up deciding that science is right and God is wrong.

They do not factor in that the archaeologist may have dug in the wrong spot, left information buried in the dirt or that the physical evidence just didn’t survive time and its destructive forces. They also didn’t factor in what God said about his belief system.

With their mindset, influences by evil and other factors, they decide to leave God, Jesus and their faith because science did not confirm what they believe. Instead of following God’s words that the just live by faith and faith pleases him among other instructions, they follow the assumptions, etc., of unbelieving archaeologists and scholars and change to an unbeliever.

Archaeology will turn up some physical evidence to support the scriptures verifying accounts, civilizations, people and more but God will not let archaeology uncover so much that it destroys what pleases him.

The Christian must follow God’s words over those of archaeology and the hypothesis as well as the faulty conclusions archaeologists construct. Jesus told us about building on the sand and building upon the rock.

Basing one’s beliefs on what archaeology and archaeologists claim took pl;ace would be building on the sand and that foundation is very weak. Believers need to use archaeology and the limited evidence it uncovers to help them build on the rock.

They need to see that God’s word is true and that building on Jesus and God’s word is building on the rock and that despite what any scientific field throws at them, their foundation and faith is solid because they believe God over man

 

Works cited

BAS Staff, (2019), “The Tel Dan Inscription: The First Historical Evidence of King David from the Bible”, Biblical Archaeology Society, https://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/biblical-artifacts/the-tel-dan-inscription-the-first-historical-evidence-of-the-king-david-bible-story/

Cowiw, A., (2019), “Largest Ever Maya Figurine Workshop Discovered Accidentally in Unexplored Mound”, Ancient Origins, https://www.ancient-origins.net/news-history-archaeology/maya-figurine-workshop-0011782

Dever, WG, (2009), “How Archaeology Illuminates the Bible”, Biblical Archaeology Society, Lectures on 2 CDs

F.S. (2020) “Archimedes”, Famous Scientists: The Art of Genius, https://www.famousscientists.org/archimedes/

Jarus, O. (2012), “Karnak: Temple Complex of Ancient Egypt”, Live Science, https://www.livescience.com/25184-karnak-temple.html

Kitchen, K./, (2004), “The Bible In Its World”. Wipf & Stock,

Mal. S., (2019), “Paragraph on Ancient Age and Modern Age”, Bangla Cyber, https://www.banglacyber.com/paragraph-on-ancient-age-and-modern-age/

Mark, JJ, (2019), “Behistun Inscription”, Ancient History Encyclopedia, https://www.ancient.eu/Behistun_Inscription/

Pellegrino, CR, (1995), “Return to Sodom and Gomorrah”, William Morrow Paperbacks,

P.M., (2019), “A Brief History of Babylonian Astronomy”, PsyMinds, https://psy-minds.com/babylonian-astronomy/

Williams, A., & Hartnett, J., (2005), “Dismantling the Big Bang”, Master Books green Forest AR.,

 

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