Tag Archives: Ancient Sites & Archaeology

Has Isaiah’s Signature Been Uncovered in Jerusalem?

Well, if you can read paleo-Hebrew that sure looks like:



as in:

ל = “belonging to”

[ישׁעיה[ו] נבי[א= Isaiah the prophet (with some letters missing)

We’ll see. I can hardly wait for the minimalist crowd to come up with another “what you see really isn’t what you see” argument. They’re good at that.

You can read a bit about the discovery here.

The post Has Isaiah’s Signature Been Uncovered in Jerusalem? appeared first on Dr. Michael Heiser.

Elongated Skulls: Professional vs. Amateur Research

Below are three informative essays on elongated skulls that anyone interested in the topic should read. They are informative because they provide a good survey (and sources in the notes) of the sort of research professionals conduct on these skulls, and because they critique amateur efforts (Marzulli, Foerster efforts). The latter is important, as the essays note the foibles of amateur research by asking the kinds of questions about data and methodology that real experts ask — and expect to be addressed, because their own work has to account for the same items.

Some of the essays are old, which means amateur researchers ought to have taken note.

(2009): Artificial Cranial Modification: Head Shaping

(2016): Skulls of Indiana Jones: Head-shaping

(2017): More Elongated Skull Drama

(2017):  The Elongated Skulls Mystery Really isn’t a Mystery at All




Elongated Skull, Red-Haired Mummy Myth

Are there very old skeletons that have red hair? Sure. That isn’t the myth. The myth is that a skeleton or mummy with red hair means that said specimen is evidence of nephilim or visitation of Old World giants in the New World. (I’ve asked before for the verse that says the nephilim had double rows of teeth or elongated skulls, so let’s also ask for the verse about their red hair).

Here’s a fairly short but substantive essay from Carl Feagans, a credentialed anthropologist whose focus is prehistoric archaeology: “Hair Color and Mummification.” From the essay:

. . . the presence of red hair on skeletonized human remains in Peru is not evidence for aliens, nephilim, giants, or pre-Columbian contact.

Pseudoscience proponents like Brien Foerster and the “team” that was featured in the video showing the pretended collection of data for DNA testing are missing two important things in their quest to prove their pre-conceived conclusions.

If you want to know what those two things are, read the essay!

Antiquities Smuggling in the Name of the Bible

This is what you call a terrible testimony: “Hobby Lobby to forfeit ancient Iraqi artifacts in settlement with DOJ.”

From the article:

Federal prosecutors say that when Hobby Lobby, which is based in Oklahoma City, began assembling its collection it was warned by an expert on cultural property law to be cautious in acquiring artifacts from Iraq, which in some cases have been looted from archaeological sites.

Despite that warning and other red flags the company in December 2010 purchased thousands of items from a middle-man, without meeting the purported owner, according to prosecutors.

A dealer based in the United Arab Emirates shipped packages containing the artifacts to three Hobby Lobby corporate addresses in Oklahoma City, bearing false label that described their contents as “ceramic tiles” or “clay tiles” and the country of origin as Turkey.

Simply disgraceful and dishonest. Sure, lets lie and break the law so we can can fill out our Bible museum. I hope this goes viral and shames the whole lot of them.


On Mathematical Codes for the Great Pyramid and other Megalithic Structures

I’ll be honest. I’m among those of you (and there are a lot of us) who’d think of themselves as “math-challenged.” That makes me vulnerable to being impressed by people who do amazing things with numbers and then attribute meaning to the results. I’ve known people who were skilled at that whom I thought to be of good character. David Flynn comes to mind. But David could never tell me (or anyone else) WHY the number things he did or found “worked” (for lack of a better term). Other people who do this sort of thing are reputable (I’ll let you fill in the names there). Today I found a website that actually shows how such “findings” aren’t mystical and can be manipulated pretty easily to “discover” something:

Decoding Carl Munck, by Arto Heino

For those who aren’t familiar with Carl Munck, he became something of a late-night paleobabble wonder decades ago for creating something called archaeocryptography, defined in part as “the study of decoding a monument or structure by determining the underlying mathematical order beneath the proportions, size, and placement to find any re-occurring or unusual data in respect to that which is being studied” (Wikipedia). Here’s a more detailed explanation:

The coining of the word archaeocryptography is often attributed to Carl P. Munck, who after retiring from the US Military in the late 1970s began studying cartographic material among other topics trying to search for better answers as to why certain megalithic monuments exist. This led him to a formula he believes architects used to place and design various megalithic monuments. Munck’s theory claims that calculations using selected numbers or dimensions found in megalithic monuments or Egyptian pyramids yield the latitude or longitude of the site. However, in Munck’s findings, the prime meridian does not run through Greenwich, but through the Great Pyramid in Giza. His theory is known simply as “The Code” and asserts that an ancient Jewish numerological system known as gematria is used in the manipulation of numbers to other key locations, mathematical components and positions of sights in the geometry of their construction. (Wikipedia)

Munck and others would go on to assert that various structures around the globe are built as they are, where they are, as part of some intentional plan or code.

Heino’s essay shows how Munck worked the numbers — and how Munck’s system can be applied to anything (Heino applies it to a shed in his back yard — and so that must be a sacred site as well). Here, in a nutshell (from a comment at the end of the essay by Heino) is what his essay shows:

I am not addressing any issues with Mr Munck, or trying to convince you of anything, he can make all the assumptions he can from his own findings. All I have done is broken down his cryptography and I have shown how you can manipulate the data to suit any assumption that you want put to it.

I do not have an opinion on Munck’s work, other than he has made a concerted effort to convince the viewer of some tenuous relationships. I have spent my effort on unraveling the mathematical puzzles that he has placed before the public. I am the only person in 20 years who has found the methodology he has applied and the reverse engineering involved.

And if you read the essay you’ll see he really has reverse engineered the method.

Just so no one gets the wrong impression, I don’t think David Flynn is guilty of this sort of thing by intention. I knew David, and he wasn’t out to deceive anyone, gather a following, or be a guru. But, as many say, the numbers don’t lie — what Flynn was finding isn’t proof of a divine mind, nephilim-Watcher knowledge or, as others want to say, alien intelligences. That much is demonstrable by Heino’s essay.

One caveat. I don’t believe that the human engineers of ancient Egypt or any other ancient civilization had some sort of advanced knowledge that is beyond modern understanding (meaning that we cannot know it or reproduce it). But they could have had a knowledge that we don’t recognize or understand very well. I say this because of statements like this in Heino’s article:

The clear knowledge of Quantum Arithmetic and its true roots in Ancient Egypt, Sumer, Gobekli, Angkor, Mayan and other ancient civilizations are what we should be looking at, not some tricks of code that have no meaning except to promote disinformation and enrich the promoters.

I don’t think I’m out on a limb in saying that Heino over-estimates mathematical knowledge of these civilizations in quotations like this. Mathematicians (translation: people who know mathematics really well) have looked at ancient mathematical systems. There’s no knowledge of quantum physics in there (if that’s what Heino meant by “quantum” in the quotation). Here are some very good sources if you are so inclined:

Mathematics in Ancient Egypt: A Contextual History

Architecture and Mathematics in Ancient Egypt

The Babylonian Theorem: The Mathematical Journey to Pythagoras and Euclid

The Mathematics of Egypt, Mesopotamia, China, India, and Islam: A Sourcebook

Mesopotamian Mathematics 2100-1600 BC: Technical Constants in Bureaucracy and Education (Oxford Editions of Cuneiform Texts)

Essays in books and journal articles:

Powell, M.A., 1995. Metrology and mathematics in ancient Mesopotamia. Civilizations of the ancient Near East III.
Fowler D, Robson E. Square root approximations in Old Babylonian mathematics: YBC 7289 in context. Historia Mathematica. 1998 Nov 1;25(4):366-78.

No, the Nephilim Did Not Build the Pyramids

Well, this is soul-crushing.

My thanks to Jason Colavito for once again directing our attention to awful thinking and helping us think more clearly about it. His post (Did the Nephilim Build the Pyramids? Or Were They Woolly Mammoths?) is about a video documentary produced by Justen Faull (The Fourth Watch podcast). Here’s an interesting follow-up by Jason to that post: An Early Argument that Cro-Magnons Were the Nephilim.

I’ve been on Justen Faull’s podcast before. He knows that I don’t buy into a lot of what he does on that show. This is a classic example. But let me be clear. The idea that the nephilim built the pyramids is absurd, demonstrably false, and unbiblical in the extreme. Humans did have the technology to build the pyramids and other similar structures. The pyramids were also not built by Jewish slaves in Egypt during the biblical sojourn, an idea that violates the Bible’s own ancient chronology (recall that embarrassing claim by Dr. Ben Carson). It’s the sort of nonsense that gives biblical study (and the Bible for that matter) a bad name.

Honestly, when I see things like this it makes me question whether I have any positive impact on Christian Middle Earth at all. Why must Christians go along with the rest of the wider culture, rushing headlong to irrationality? Belief in the supernatural is not incompatible with reason. We have millennia of coherent, logical, philosophical thinking in defense of that assertion (leaving theology aside for the sake of the argument). But the world now hates reason. And it seems Christians are more than willing to ape the world in this (among other) respects.

Like I said — soul-crushing.

Ancient Near East Today — Free Newsletter from ASOR

ASOR (American Schools of Oriental Research) has a free newsletter — I recommend it for anyone interested in archaeology and the lands of the Bible.

Here’s the description from the ASOR site:

This monthly e-newsletter disseminates ideas, insights and discoveries to Friends of ASOR. You can become a Friend and receive the e-newsletter for free; you only need to register. The ANE Today appears on the third Tuesday of each month and features contributions from diverse academics, a forum featuring debates of current developments from the field, and links to news and resources. The ANE Today covers the entire Near East, and each issue presents discussions ranging from the state of biblical archaeology to archaeology after the Arab Spring.