Talk:List of artifacts in biblical archaeology

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Nag Hammadi[edit]

I think the Nag Hammadi library should be removed because it is a collection of gnostic writings. Sweetmoose6 (talk) 17:02, 8 March 2009 (UTC)

I think it is more appropriate to say they are gnostic writings about figures described in the Bible. Is that an accurate statement and fair compromise? Sweetmoose6 (talk) 00:07, 9 March 2009 (UTC)


Unless there are some criteria, this article will become just an article on Iron age artefacts, inscriptions, settlements, etc in the Middle East. In other words, meaningless. Can we discuss some? My own opinion is that it shouldn't include structures. Dougweller (talk) 19:40, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

Probably right as to criteria, what is your suggestion? I think that will be tough to define. Structures- how about moving the structures to another section on the same page? Or seperate list? For instance the Arch of Titus is a structure, but I would also call it an artifact. Sweetmoose6 (talk) 20:29, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
Sorry to be so long. First, what is significant? Not every structure in early Jerusalem, right? I'm probably wrong about structures, it's the significant bit that is probably important. Dougweller (talk) 05:13, 17 April 2009 (UTC)
I would think age, location, interest by scholars, and novelty are important factors by themselves and in combination with each other. The structures issue is more difficult. Any ideas?

Sweetmoose6 (talk) 21:09, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

Probably structures where we have RS both connecting them with the Bible & suggesting some significance? Not just,say, a random Biblical period structures in Jerusalem. Dougweller (talk) 10:53, 18 April 2009 (UTC)
The way I look at it is as an evidentiary issue: whether or not said object/structure tends to prove or disprove some claim. A Biblical period structure near Jerusalem certainly must be evaluated in some way. Are we talking about a large pile of rough rock or a carefully wrought complex? What age are we talking about? What is its location and description? I agree RS is important and I am certain we can come up with some factors which make sense. Sweetmoose6 (talk) 03:08, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

The purpose not NPOV[edit]

The article provides a list under the following pretext:

The following is a list of artifacts, objects created or modified by a human culture, that are significant to the historicity of the Bible.

For whome? For a non-Jew/non-Christia person ― a very common occurrence ― such a purpose is worthless and pro-Bible-POVvy. For a Liberal Theological Christian, like me, the purpose smells falsehood and one of a very long sequence of violations of [2 Cor3:6]. Intro absolutely needs fixing! ... said: Rursus (bork²) 12:05, 4 June 2009 (UTC)

You, like everyone else, may freely edit the introduction.Sweetmoose6 (talk) 01:40, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

Removal of objects from the list[edit]

Shroud of Turin removed[edit]

I removed the image of the Shroud of Turin from the list of Biblical artifacts. The most recent dating of the shroud is around 1200 AD +/- 50 years.Ineuw (talk) 22:26, 19 June 2009 (UTC)

I just removed it again. --Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) (talk) 03:42, 12 September 2010 (UTC)

Ivory pomegranate and the James Ossuary[edit]

I removed these two items from the list because both are deemed to be fakes.Ineuw (talk) 22:38, 19 June 2009 (UTC)

I've edited a few entries, starting at the top, my aim being to correct errors where I see them and to improve the English. Please feel free to correct my corrections :). PiCo (talk) 05:57, 23 June 2009 (UTC)

Roughly Chronological order[edit]

I would prefer to see the artifacts listed in roughly chronological order, rather than alphabetical. --Alecmconroy (talk) 17:46, 14 October 2009 (UTC)

Good idea- if you've got the time go for it!Sweetmoose6 (talk) 03:40, 26 January 2010 (UTC)

I wholeheartedly agree that the artifacts should be arranged chronologically; in fact, when I attempted to do so, someone reversed it back. I guess you have to say "Mother, may I" before it sticks.WittyMan1986 (talk) 23:45, 13 March 2012 (UTC)


I just saw on Yahoo! News that they'd discovered something; I think it was just Hebrew writing much older than aything they'd previously found. Would that be Biblically significant? Masternachos (talk) 05:10, 23 January 2010 (UTC)

It's on the list, the Khirbet pottery sherd. [1]. Don't leave your email on Wikipedia please, you can enable your email on your talk page through preferences. The language is disputed. Dougweller (talk) 06:34, 23 January 2010 (UTC)
I would venture to say that anything having to do with this region of the world will be disputed, particularly if it concerns the Bible, considering how often the places described in the Bible have been ravaged by war. This was a hub of the ancient world and no doubt many of the records are simply lost, so we have what we have. What is amazing is that a single find can re-write all that we know. That fact alone shows how little we know.Sweetmoose6 (talk) 03:46, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
OK, Thanks a lot!Masternachos (talk) 04:41, 27 January 2010 (UTC)

Code of Hammurabi[edit]

What is the connection between the Code of Hammurabi and the Bible? --Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) (talk) 03:52, 12 September 2010 (UTC)

I think the connection is that while the Code of Hammurabi is a legal code preceding the Thorah, the foundation of traditional Jewish law, some of its laws are similar to those in the Thorah. For example, the Code of Hammurabi contains the following laws:
If a man puts out the eye of an equal, his eye shall be put out. (...) If a man knocks the teeth out of another man, his own teeth will be knocked out.
In Exodus 21:23-25, it says:
And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.
Although it is of course to be expected that some similarities arise between large collections of legal provisions (especially in a similar historical context), it could perhaps be argued that the Thorah is related to this and other earlier legal codes. I agree however that its significance currently unclear in the article. And, of course it needs a source, as otherwise it would be considered OR. Lindert (talk) 06:56, 13 September 2010 (UTC)

Cylinder of Nabonidus[edit]

This item can be found twice in the list. I don't change it, there might be a reason for it. (Bende76 (talk) 12:20, 10 March 2011 (UTC))

Thanks for pointing that out. I removed the second one; it's most likely just a mistake (and the second one didn't contain any extra info anyway). Lindert (talk) 15:53, 10 March 2011 (UTC)

Lead Codices[edit]

So, I was checking my emails on Yahoo! when this story shows up: Seems like it's important. BUT, I don't know- this page might have to 'wait' to put it on the page to see if this blows over or really is important, or maybe it's ALREADY on the page (the article says they were first discovered five years ago?) and I just don't know it. Said article didn't exactly give a 'name' for these things, which is very annoying. So, somebody who knows something should, you know... Masternachos (talk) 03:44, 31 March 2011 (UTC)

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I'm involved in the trial of the new version of the Article Feedback Tool. As you may or may not know, this article has been part of that trial. The following piece of feedback came from an anonymous user. You may wish to take it into account in the future development of this article.

warren's shaft is no longer considered a candidate for the צינור which Yoav used to access the city. New excavations suggest that (as per Rashi on the verse), the צינור was in fact a tower with a walled corridor connecting to the city.
As well, it behooves the editors to include the golden bell, gladius, and "purity seal" recently uncovered in jerusalem, as well as the palace of adiabene.

Thanks. —Tom Morris (talk) 21:06, 29 January 2012 (UTC)

Holy Grail?[edit]

Shouldn't it be mentioned somewhere in the list? --RThompson82 (talk) 03:22, 10 May 2012 (UTC)

It's mostly more of a legend about Biblical events than something mentioned in the Bible itself. All that appears in the Biblical text is the cup of the last supper... AnonMoos (talk) 17:50, 10 May 2012 (UTC)

It could be mentioned only under disputed artifacts section.Tritomex (talk) 02:39, 12 September 2012 (UTC)

This article[edit]

I just shortened the name - per WP:BRD.

I would like to spend time improving the format of the article too - I plan to create a structure similar to our best list articles e.g. List of Presidents of the United States or List of World Heritage Sites in the United States. Oncenawhile (talk) 11:07, 23 August 2013 (UTC)

And I've reverted you. This needs discussion. For instance, I find this " Meyers... coins the phrase “biblical artifacts” to denote cultic appurtenances described in biblical texts and for which we have no certain archaeological parallels." And to quote Carol Meyers directly, "Similarly, in approaching "biblical artifacts" — those buried in texts rather than in dirt". That's clearly not applicable to this list but would be under your title. In the end I'm not too worried about the name but major name changes such as this one need discussion first. Anyway, discussion time now. You can put in a move request of course as well. Dougweller (talk) 11:47, 23 August 2013 (UTC)
OK, as you say - discussion time.
First, I think this is a great article, and I would like to work on it to improve it further. Not only the structural / format point above, but also to add artifacts - the table of contents of "Lost Treasures of the Bible" should be very helpful here.
As to the title, I really don't like the current version. I recognize it has had this title for a long time but:
  1. it fails WP:TITLE "Conciseness" (it is longer than necessary)
  2. it fails WP:TITLE "Consistency" (I am not aware of other articles with this pattern)
  3. it fails WP:TITLE "Naturalness" (surely noone would google this name)
  4. It contains the word "significant", which is both subjective and unnecessary (per comments above)
  5. "artifacts significant to the Bible" could also conjure up thoughts of "those buried in texts rather than in dirt" as well
  6. It does not satisfy WP:COMMONNAME
As to the quotes you picked out above - if I was to guess i'd say you found them on the first page of googlebooks. If you look at the other hits on the first page, they all refer to our kind of biblical artifacts. As do all the google news hits.
Are you wedded to the current name or do you agree with my concerns?
Oncenawhile (talk) 17:53, 23 August 2013 (UTC)
I looked at about 3 pages. I agree that there are a lot of hits, probably more, to physical artifacts. The reference to the Lost Treasures of the Bible actually sets off alarm bells for me. It talks about "illuminating the history, culture and practices of the biblical world as a whole" and I definitely think that is too wide. Dougweller (talk) 18:46, 23 August 2013 (UTC)
Did you look at the actual table of contents (you can see it if you hit preview and scroll down)? The list of items is almost exactly the same as ours - there's just some extra ones. Not a big change, just making ours more complete, and based on an actual source. Oncenawhile (talk) 20:00, 23 August 2013 (UTC)
Here are two additional lists of artifacts which might help fill in the blanks - what do you think?
Oncenawhile (talk) 11:13, 26 August 2013 (UTC)
I think that those lists go much further than this article should go. Quite a few number of documents are included that are questionable. Prophecies that predate the Bible? A lot of the material there does not comply with the scope of this article, which is "objects created or modified by human culture, that are significant to the historicity of the Bible." Dougweller (talk) 12:52, 26 August 2013 (UTC)
I agree - sorry if not clear, I am not suggesting that all (or even most) of these should go in. Just that these lists from WP:RS are good sources for us to review to see what else this list might be missing. Oncenawhile (talk) 15:30, 26 August 2013 (UTC)

Doug, on the title, do you still feel strongly against the proposed rename? If so, do you agree with any of my critique of the existing name? I am not keen to begin an RM process without you "on-side" so to speak. Oncenawhile (talk) 20:41, 26 August 2013 (UTC)

I'm not wedded to anything - I just thought it should be discussed. I still need to go over the list itself to make sure I haven't missed anything, I'll do that tomorrow. Below you've said you agree with all 3 suggestions, I'm not sure what you think should be done about the structures/artifacts issue. Two lists? Dougweller (talk) 21:18, 26 August 2013 (UTC)

Sites are not artifacts[edit]

As the lead says, this is a list of "objects created or modified by human culture, that are significant to the historicity of the Bible." Sites are not artifacts. Sites may contain artifacts and the list should mention those and can have a link to the site, but this is a list of artifacts. Dougweller (talk) 12:53, 26 August 2013 (UTC)

I'm fine with your interpretation, but there are existing items that have been on the list for a long time that contravene this definition. For example, Herodium, the stone structures and the various tombs. So with those items on there i'm not sure how to judge existing consensus. What do you think? Oncenawhile (talk) 15:34, 26 August 2013 (UTC)
We can say "The site at Herodium includes x, y, z with wikilinks to any appropriate sections in the article. But you do raise an interesting question that was my next issue. Archaeologists differentiate between artifacts and structures. A wall or a tomb or a building is a structure and will normally have associated artifacts. Another issue I'll mention is texts - an artifact may be a tablet or scroll with a text on it. Historians and archaeologists are likely to take a different approach in analysing such an artifact (but not necessarily). Anyway, either we start a separate list for structures (which might be a good idea) or change the title. Dougweller (talk) 16:14, 26 August 2013 (UTC)
Maybe we need a different heading for this, but I've just wikilinked a red link and added 'dubious' as per the linked article. Somehow we need to be clear about what is more or less unanimously accepted and what is disputed. We should probably have cites for everything here as well. Dougweller (talk) 16:14, 26 August 2013 (UTC)
Completely agree with all three of your suggestions. Oncenawhile (talk) 20:39, 26 August 2013 (UTC)
Per above, you rightly pointed out that I wasn't clear on your second point re structures. I think we should start a second list.
I also think we should exclude:
That would leave us with "artifacts, inscriptions and other writings".
As an aside, much of the remainder would overlap with the first section of List of biblical figures identified in extra-biblical sources.
Oncenawhile (talk) 07:11, 27 August 2013 (UTC)
Looks ok, but 'other texts' rather than 'other writings' and do we need to somehow define that so it excludes anything post a certain date? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Dougweller (talkcontribs) 15:46, 27 August 2013 (UTC)

Reformatting proposal - please comment[edit]

Please see User:Oncenawhile/List of Biblical Artifacts - propose to introduce this to this article for the most significant artefacts. Please comment or edit directly in the userfied-page. Oncenawhile (talk) 20:37, 26 August 2013 (UTC)

Ok, I've gone as far as I can with this. The section is called "Selected artifacts significant to Biblical Chronology" for a reason - in order to highlight those artifacts that are the focus of the greatest study by biblical scholars - i.e. those that are thought to provide additional information for events referred to in the Bible. Oncenawhile (talk) 12:14, 30 September 2013 (UTC)

Entries with no articles[edit]

I don't think we should include these. This is a list, and some of these will certainly be controversial and a list is not the place to give details about a controversy. Of course we mention if something is controversial or disputed, but the main article is the place for that. I've come here after discovering an entry to something that is also fairly vague, "6 chamber gates". If something is notable enough for this list it should have an article first. Note that the red linked entry I removed did have an article but that showed no relevance to the Bible. Dougweller (talk) 15:40, 27 August 2013 (UTC)

Agree. Is there a "to-do" list anywhere where these can be added? There doesn't seem to be a wikiproject for biblical archeology. Oncenawhile (talk) 22:07, 27 August 2013 (UTC)

Seriously? "Palestine"?[edit]

No, they didn't refer to "Palestina", a word invented by the much-later Romans in order to stop Jewish nationalism after the Bar Kokhba revolt.

It refers to Peleset, the Philistines, a pre-hellenic greek nation that settled in modern Gaza strip. — Preceding unsigned comment added by אשכנזישעיידן (talkcontribs) 16:03, 16 September 2013 (UTC)

Sorry but that is both WP:OR and incorrect. We follow the sources (see the article itself, quoting Luckenbill)
See also Timeline of the name Palestine, as your idea of "invention" by Roman is wrong. Even the rationale you quote re "stop Jewish nationalism" is nonsense which no scholar has been able to support with primary sources.
Oncenawhile (talk) 17:05, 16 September 2013 (UTC)

The article that you link to Oncenawhile clearly says that the name "Palestine" was first used in the 5th century BC which is well after the dates of the objects used in this article(1860 BC, 925 BC, 800 BC, 800 BC, 733 BC, 710 BC, and 675 BC). Again this is like writing an article about the Incan Empire and calling it Argentina or Colombia. Palestine is just a popular european name for the region, calling it that is wrong and misleading. Call it what it was called at the time. So can I change it back now or will you undo it again? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:40, 3 October 2013 (UTC)

Hi there, thanks for your message. The other article says that the Greek usage was the first "clear use" for a reason - the truth is that none of the Egyptian and Assyrian references are clear enough on their own to know whether they were referring to just the coast or not. Many people choose to extrapolate the descriptions of the Philistine region given during a relatively short period in the Books of Judges and Samuel to assume that the name was also applied to that region during the rest of the biblical period. But the truth is that noone really knows what region the Egyptians and Assyrians were referring to. The use of Palestine to describe those regions is based on secular scholarly usage, as you say this is because it is popular Western name for the region in a generic sense. The issue we face now is that there really aren't any names that are "more" correct - certainly the ones suggested in your edit are even more problematic. I have an idea to try to remove this issue altogether - i'll edit it simply to follow the sources themselves. See what you think. Oncenawhile (talk) 16:43, 3 October 2013 (UTC)

Ya that's actually a lot better and more accurate, thanks Oncenawhile! The problem I had was just that when people call the region Palestine before the mandate period, it seems to imply that the modern Palestine is much older it also unintendedly implies to some people that the Palestinian cause is more correct then the Israeli. Wikipedia should stay impartial; it should only have verified facts not opinions(sorry I'm just ranting; it's just the Jerusalem page bugs me it's loaded with opinions and not facts on the ground and whenever someone tries to edit it it's automatically undone because of some random arbitration). The region has had way to many names. Anyway thanks for the edit, it's a lot more researched and better then mine was. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:21, 3 October 2013 (UTC)

Requested move 30 September 2013[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: No move. Cúchullain t/c 21:08, 14 October 2013 (UTC)

List of artifacts significant to the BibleList of Biblical Artifacts

The current title should be changed because:

  1. it fails WP:TITLE "Conciseness" (it is longer than necessary)
  2. it fails WP:TITLE "Consistency" (I am not aware of other articles with this pattern)
  3. it fails WP:TITLE "Naturalness" (surely noone would google this name)
  4. It contains the word "significant", which is both subjective and unnecessary (per comments above)
  5. "artifacts significant to the Bible" could also conjure up thoughts of "those buried in texts rather than in dirt" as well
  6. It does not satisfy WP:COMMONNAME

The title "List of Biblical Artifacts" is the most appropriate replacement, because the term "Biblical artifacts" (or "Biblical artefacts") is commonly used for exactly those artifacts which are the subject of this article. This is confirmed with a quick review of google or googlebooks hits, with only a very few minor exceptions.

Oncenawhile (talk) 14:59, 30 September 2013 (UTC)


Feel free to state your position on the renaming proposal by beginning a new line in this section with *'''Support''' or *'''Oppose''', then sign your comment with ~~~~. Since polling is not a substitute for discussion, please explain your reasons, taking into account Wikipedia's policy on article titles.
  • Support. It's more concise but still unambiguous—when you Google "biblical artifacts", almost all the results refer to physical, archeological artifacts just like this list. Also, I'd recommend List of biblical artifacts, using lowercase, following the capitalization naming convention. —Neil 19:41, 30 September 2013 (UTC)
  • Striking support following the discussion below. —Neil 14:30, 7 October 2013 (UTC)
  • Support. The proposed title reads more smoothly and is succinct without loss of clarity. Dralwik|Have a Chat 21:05, 30 September 2013 (UTC)
  • Support Brevity is the soul of title writing. (talk) 03:10, 1 October 2013 (UTC)
  • Support. Brevity is also the soul of neutral topic coverage. One assumes that this title was selected to avoid taking an opinion on the historicity of the Bible, but we only need to be concerned with the historicity of the artifacts here. The longer title introduces an improper framing of this point that ought to be avoided. (talk) 14:41, 1 October 2013 (UTC)
  • Support but as has been pointed out it needs to be "List of biblical artifacts". Dougweller (talk) 15:56, 1 October 2013 (UTC)
  • Comment Withdrawing my support for the moment as Zero has echoed my concerns. Dougweller (talk) 15:15, 2 October 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose While I appreciate that the present title has problems, the proposed title would be wrong. Many of the things on the page are not "biblical artifacts". How is the Sebek-khu stele "biblical"? It isn't. It is on here because its content is relevant to the study of the historicity of the bible. In fact the key feature of most of the content is that it is "extra-biblical", which is what the literature calls something relevant to the history but not itself biblical. Zerotalk 00:25, 2 October 2013 (UTC)
    • Hmm. This issue definitely didn't occur to me, and intuitively makes some sense. But is the distinction really that clear cut? For example, the Society for Biblical Archaeology's website includes the tidbit "biblical artifacts are manmade objects, often found during archaeological excavations, that make a contribution to our understanding of the Bible and/or the historicity of Biblical events." And several of the items tagged as biblical artifacts on that page, like a Sphinx fragment discovered in the Levant and storage jars from Kuntillet Ajrud, don't seem to be directly linked to the Bible in any sense. The idea of say, "list of biblical and extra-biblical artifacts" makes sense, but how widely used is the term "extra-biblical"? A Google scholar search for "extra-biblical artifacts" gets only one lonely hit, and regular Google, with 14, doesn't do much better. —Neil 19:34, 2 October 2013 (UTC)
    • I also considered the same over the last couple of months that i've been around the article. There is no question that Zero's comment is technically correct - these are "extra-biblical" artifacts. However, it is also indisputable that the "commonname" is simply "biblical artifacts". So I have mixed feelings but chose to nominate the one I felt qualified best under WP:TITLE "Naturalness" - i.e. the one that most people would google for.
The only alternative along the lines of Zero's suggestion that would qualify under wp:commonname is List of extra-biblical sources, since the phrase "extra-biblical sources" is very common (multiple times more common than "biblical artifacts" and "extra biblical artifacts" combined). However that would require a change in scope - although arguably would leave us with an even more interesting and relevant article. I would be happy to work on such a change to the article if the idea gained consensus.
Oncenawhile (talk) 21:08, 2 October 2013 (UTC)
I can see that the phrase "biblical artifact" is sometimes used for things like this, but mostly it is either for objects containing biblical text or mentioned in the bible, or the usage is by people who think that mideast archaeology is a branch of bible studies. "Extra-biblical sources" is an interesting idea, but would you call an object without writing a "source"? Can we consider "extra-biblical evidence"? Google gives me a 300K hit count for that. Zerotalk 14:55, 3 October 2013 (UTC)
It initially sounded strange to me, but I'm starting to think list of extra-biblical evidence would be an elegant solution. Unless I'm mistaken, this list doesn't actually include any ancient biblical manuscripts or artifacts mentioned in the bible, so "biblical artifacts" is doubly inaccurate. I'm also not a huge fan of "extra-biblical sources", since we include, for example, Hasmonean coinage and the Arch of Titus in additional to written texts. So we could go with "extra-biblical evidence", which seems to reflect what the list contains at this point: historical and archaeological evidence for (and against, I imagine) biblical claims that's not directly linked to the Bible. —Neil 14:58, 5 October 2013 (UTC)
I don't disagree with the above. I still prefer sources however, as it is a more focused term. "Evidence" could mean anything, and I think a this article would benefit from being streamlined with a real focus on extra-biblical sources which are used in biblical studies, and leaving out the huge and undefinable list of items which could be circumstantial evidence for the same. Plus there is precedent for the "Source" wording - e.g. Extra-biblical sources for Hebrew and Jewish history (1913). Oncenawhile (talk) 23:18, 5 October 2013 (UTC)
Hmmm. You make a good point about too-wide criteria, but in history, doesn't source mean much the same thing as evidence? You could just as accurately talk about the huge and undefinable list of items which could be sources for biblical studies. With all of these names, there's the hidden coda "...according to reputable scholarship" which filters out things that might seem relevant but aren't actually used by historians of the ancient Middle East, which seems fine to me. I just find that "extra-biblical sources" sounds strange and unclear; I'd be more satisfied if it were more spelled out, as in, say, "list of extra-biblical sources for biblical studies"—but that doesn't really leave us any better off than the current title. —Neil 05:49, 6 October 2013 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I've had a chance to think about this. The main reason I don't like the "evidence" formulation is that evidence risks suggesting a biblical proof point of view, whereas "source" is much more neutral. My dictionary defines evidence as "ground for belief; proof" (i.e. to make something evident) and source as "a book, statement, person, etc., supplying information." However, I don't disagree that "source" alone begs a "source for what" question. I'll try to think of some more options. Oncenawhile (talk) 17:56, 7 October 2013 (UTC)

  • Very strong oppose -- Biblical artifacts would be such things as the Ark of the Covenant, the Cup of Christ, the Staff of Moses, and Noah's Ark. DeistCosmos (talk) 04:36, 3 October 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose.
    • Firstly, the capitalisation is a bad move - why on earth should "Biblical Artefacts" use uppercase like that? It's not a proper name.
    • Secondly, most of the items in the list aren't biblical.
If you want to list artefacts which are biblical - as a wise man once pointed out, churches across Europe bought enough pieces of the True Cross to fill a ship, and judging by the contents of reliquaries, John the Baptist was tricephalous - then feel free to start a different page, but get the capitalisation right. bobrayner (talk) 18:14, 5 October 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose per DeistCosmos. The proposed name is misleading. I think we can do better than the current title, but "Biblical artifacts" isn't it. --BDD (talk) 21:39, 10 October 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose per above, not all included are biblical. Suggest instead Artifacts significant to the Bible. This is the main article on bible artefacts, and related, and is not a mere list. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 04:13, 13 October 2013 (UTC)


Any additional comments:

The conversation so far appears to have ruled out 4 options: List of artifacts significant to the bible (too long, awkward, and not accurate as the artifacts are not significant to the bible but instead to "biblical studies" or "biblical archeology"), List of biblical artifacts (the artifacts are not technically biblical), List of extra-biblical evidence ("evidence" has POV implications), List of extra-biblical sources (too broad and doesn't specify what "sources" are regarding).

Having thought about this further in light of the comments received, I propose that either of the following would be most accurate and would solve all of the concerns raised:

  • List of discoveries in biblical archeology, or
  • List of biblical archeology discoveries

This has the benefit of being shorter then the current title, as well as more accurate. It also fits nicely with our Biblical archeology article.

Oncenawhile (talk) 13:31, 8 October 2013 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

Requested move 16 October 2013[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was no consensus. --BDD (talk) 19:29, 4 November 2013 (UTC)

List of artifacts significant to the BibleList of discoveries in biblical archeology – Per explanation under "Discussion" in RM above. The existing title's failings have been shown above. The proposed new title has the benefit of being the most accurate description of what is being shown in the article. Relisted. BDD (talk) 18:35, 23 October 2013 (UTC) Oncenawhile (talk) 20:49, 16 October 2013 (UTC)


Feel free to state your position on the renaming proposal by beginning a new line in this section with *'''Support''' or *'''Oppose''', then sign your comment with ~~~~. Since polling is not a substitute for discussion, please explain your reasons, taking into account Wikipedia's policy on article titles.
  • Comment - seems to be a slight improvement, current title could include the lost Ark of the Covenant, or and who decides what is "significant", and to whom. In ictu oculi (talk) 00:14, 17 October 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose. "Discoveries" is far more loose, and therefore more inclusive than "artifacts significant", and so lots of stuff easily fits. It is not more accurate, because there would be a lot of discoveries that are less than significant artefacts that are not currently included. I expect that "significant" is judged by multiple sources directly discussing connection between the artefact and something in the bible. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 10:41, 17 October 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Agree with SmokeyJoe. Also the Arch of Titus included on the page doesn't fit the proposed title. It was always a public monument since it was built, so it was never discovered. - Lindert (talk) 12:14, 17 October 2013 (UTC)
  • Comment. This definitely a step in the right direction. It's a more manageable mouthful and if anything, it makes the criteria a bit more obvious: discoveries made by or heavily discussed by biblical archeologists. I don't think we need to say "significant" in the title; when we use a title like "list of Harvard University people" or "list of computer criminals", it goes without saying that we're not trying to list every single person who's attended Harvard or who's been convicted of a crime involving computers. I agree with Lindert's point that "discoveries" may be too narrow (and possibly too broad at the same time?), so how about list of artifacts in biblical archeology? That makes the criteria even more explicit: tangible items (big or small) that biblical archaelogists consider relevant to their field. It's basically the same as Onceinawhile's suggestion below without the unnecessary "significant". —Neil 01:19, 19 October 2013 (UTC)
  • Strong support. While "discoveries" is looser than "artifacts", the "in biblical archaeology" qualifier makes clear that it's restricted to an archaeological context, while "artifacts" isn't necessarily restricted to archaeology. To me, the current title means something very different from the article's contents; the current title means things that are significant in the biblical narratives, rather than things unmentioned in the Bible that are relevant to the issue of biblical historicity. Moreover, many of the items in this list are closer to being features: they aren't artifacts! Please read artifact (archaeology) and then turn to feature (archaeology) — the two concepts, which are basically mutually exclusive, generally refer to portable and non-portable contexts respectively. Yes, the Arch of Titus wasn't exactly a discovery, but it's nowhere near being an artifact, and the same is true of things such as the Bubastite Portal, the Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III, and the various reliefs; they're portable only in the sense that 19th-century brick churches, ALMA antennas, and houses are portable. We need a looser name for this list. Nyttend (talk) 20:34, 27 October 2013 (UTC)


Any additional comments:

Ok, so it seems i'm not doing particularly well getting consensus for an improvement to this title. It seems to me that many people are hoping for the perfect title, which may not exist in this article. However, if we can't agree on a new "least worst title", then i have one remaining proposal, albeit a smaller change, and that would be to List of artifacts significant to biblical archaeology. A very small change to the existing title, but an important one in terms of accuracy. Oncenawhile (talk) 16:07, 18 October 2013 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Requested move 09 November 2013[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: Page moved to Option 1b (List of artifacts in biblical archaeology). Well, this has been up for almost a month now so it seems like it's time to resolve it. With no firm resolution coming out of the discussion, it comes down to !votes. There are no !votes for the status quo, so it seems there is a consensus to move. And with two !votes for 1b as against one !vote for 2b (both reasonably similar to each other anyway, but with 1b using the existing term "artifact"), I deem that 1b edges it. (non-admin closure)  — Amakuru (talk) 14:37, 4 December 2013 (UTC)

List of artifacts significant to the Bible → ? – See above discussions - there is consensus to move away from current title, but disagreement as to the best new title.

The key alternatives discussed above are:

  • Option 0, the existing title "List of artifacts significant to the Bible"
  • Option 1a, "List of artifacts significant to biblical archaeology" (per discussion above, these items are not technically significant to the Bible itself)
  • Option 1b, "List of artifacts in biblical archaeology" (per In ictu oculi and Neil above, "significant to" is subjective and implied)
  • Option 2a, "List of discoveries significant to biblical archaeology" (per Nyttend above, many of the items in the article are not technically artifacts)
  • Option 2b, "List of discoveries in biblical archaeology"
  • Option 3a, "List of material remains significant to biblical archaeology" (per SmokeyJoe above, to be consistent with the biblical archeology page)
  • Option 3b, "List of material remains in biblical archaeology"

In order to reach consensus here, please do not answer "support" or "oppose". Instead please begin your comment with simply Option X, e.g.:

  • Option X is the best alternative because....

In addition, please do not suggest any further alternative options. FYI as the nominator I do not intend to vote either way. Relisted. BDD (talk) 17:20, 26 November 2013 (UTC) Oncenawhile (talk) 09:54, 9 November 2013 (UTC)


Feel free to state your position on the renaming proposal by beginning a new line in this section with wording like "Option X is the best alternative because...", where X is one of the stated options. Since polling is not a substitute for discussion, please explain your reasons, taking into account Wikipedia's policy on article titles.
Accepting, per In ictu oculi and Neil above, "significant to" is subjective and implied. Discount options "a". Discount option 0, these items relate to archaeology, not to the Bible itself. Leaves 1b, 2b, 3b.
1b. Seems OK, I am not familiar with the problem Nyttend 20:34, 27 October 2013 asserts, but I appreciate that something more loose is desired.
2b. "Discoveries" is too loose.
3b. Taken from the lede of Biblical archaeology. Feels unsatisfying. Acceptable, but I prefer "List of artifacts in biblical archaeology" accepting "artifacts"/"archaeology" per below. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 10:03, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Support option 1b (List of artifacts in biblical archaeology) I know I said I wouldn't vote as nominator, but am now doing so to try to break the deadlock. My view is that "artifacts" allows us to keep the current scope, whereas "discoveries" would open this up to manuscripts and biblical sites. Oncenawhile (talk) 12:09, 27 November 2013 (UTC)


Any additional comments:
  • How do we choose preferred spelling, artefact versus artifact, and archaeology versus archeology? --SmokeyJoe (talk) 13:13, 9 November 2013 (UTC)
Presumably the simplest rule is to follow the usage that's current in the present article, which is "artifact", "archeology" and general American English throughout. The topic surely has no ties to any one variety of the English language. On the other hand, the first addition of the term "archaeology" to the article text has it spelled with the "ae" [2] and the first use of "artifacts" is spelled with the "i" [3], so we have plenty of room for a pointless argument if people really want to have one. (talk) 17:19, 9 November 2013 (UTC)
It's actually not that complicated. 'Archaeology' is American English and the standard way we spell it i most if not all of the main articles about archaeology. Thus we have the Archaeological Institute of America, the Society for American Archaeology, American Archaeology magazine, etc. In fact, you will see 'artefacts' used more and more in American archaeology.[4] but we can ignore that. The SAA style guide for Antiquity agazine and Latin American Antiquity[5] says "archaeology, not archeology; artifact, not artefact". So I think we can safely say American English calls for 'archaeology' and 'artifact'. Dougweller (talk) 09:17, 12 November 2013 (UTC)
I see I missed Artifact (archaeology). Dougweller (talk) 09:23, 12 November 2013 (UTC)
What, no love for ligatures? For shame. Archæology has such an old-fashioned, antiquarian feel. bobrayner (talk) 21:08, 14 November 2013 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.


In his book, The Truth Behind the Bible Code (Sidgwick & Jackson, 1997), Dr. Jeffrey Satinover has written: "Oddly, a set of sixty-four marble and granite tablets with the entire book of Ezekiel carved in raised letters, laid out in a square grid, and also written in scripta continua, was discovered in Iraq during Israel’s War for Independence." (p54). Satinover claims these presumably ancient tablets are now held in a private collection somewhere in Israel. If true, their existence would be important to this article. Can anyone cast more light on this matter? --DStanB (talk) 19:50, 22 January 2014 (UTC)

Here is some detail - apparently known as the "Ezekiel Plates".
Key quotes from the article:
  • "The tiles’ authenticity is also open to question because the time and location of the find, as well as its chain of custody, are not as well documented as scholars now demand for wider acceptance."
  • "According to the British Museum, the plates could be anywhere between 300 to 2000 years old."
So they are not from biblical times, and they might even be fake.
Oncenawhile (talk) 20:09, 22 January 2014 (UTC)


The source ^ The Philistines in Transition: A History from Ca. 1000-730 B.C.E. By Carl S. Ehrlich P:171 specifically names Israel/Samaria and Philistine. Palshtu and Bet Hurmria were foreign names for Philistine and the Kingdom of Israel/Samaria, so there is no need to create confusion, where the source specifically names this places with understandable English meaning. Tyre, the land of Sidon have also different names in Akkadian, but the correct English translation is given. --Tritomex (talk) 11:06, 25 January 2014 (UTC)

This is per WP:PLACE "When a widely accepted English name, in a modern context, exists for a place, we should use it. This often will be a local name, or one of them; but not always. If the place does not exist anymore, or the article deals only with a place in a period when it held a different name, the widely accepted historical English name should be used." Tritomex (talk) 12:23, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
WP:PLACE is not applicable here - we are simply stating what the artifact says. The connection between Humri and Israel is not direct - i.e. is via a "dynasty.
Most sources clarify both the original name and the understood translation:
I suggest we follow their lead.
Oncenawhile (talk) 16:52, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
Both sources you stated are telling this: "Omriland (Israel)". This means that it does not refer to the dynasty but to the country or land ruled by Omrides. Also, The source ^ The Philistines in Transition: A History from Ca. 1000-730 B.C.E. By Carl S. Ehrlich P:171 directly translate this to English as Israel. WP:PLACE is therefore applicable here. The Assyrian texts refer to Israel on Akkadian as the land of "Beit humria" which means "The land of the house of Omri" or the "Land of Omri". This are the standard Assyrian names for the Northern kingdom of Israel; Israel By Professor Adolphe Lods P 314 [9] In this case we have the "land of Omri" pattern which in English sources is used to be immediately translated to Israel. So there is no need to specify that this term is understood as a such, as we have a case of standard and undisputed Assyrian term for the Northern Kingdom of Israel.Personally I would prefer the "Omriland (Israel)" pattern however due to WP:PLACE we have to use the widely accepted English historic name. ---Tritomex (talk) 17:39, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
All three sources in my post above say "Humri" first, then put translations in brackets afterwards.
Do you have access to the full book of Erlich? I expect he discusses this point on pages 169-170.
The real point here is that there is one artifact (Kurkh Monolith) which is thought to include the actual word "Israel". It is the only assyrian artifact which does so. So in order to avoid confusing readers we must be clear which artifacts use a term which can be transliterated as Israel, from one which is understood to refer to the Omrides and hence their kingom (Israel).
Anyway, surely what we now have shows the best of all. We have a reference to Humri, a link to Omrides, and a clarification re Israel / Samaria. Oncenawhile (talk) 18:54, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
Oncenawhile (talk) 18:54, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
I agree with you, however as you have correctly edited [10] the Nimrud Slab refer to " the land of Humri" which is standard Assyrian term for Israel/Samaria. Regarding the Kurkh Monolith inscription of "Israel" Shigeo Yamada in his work The Construction of the Assyrian Empire P:193 explains the question you have raised:

"The indication of a single state by two alternative names is not unusual in the inscription of Shalmaneser, as witnessed also in alterations between Patin and Ulqi, between Samaal and Bit Gabbar and between Yahan and Bit Agusi...N.Nadav suggest that Yehu designation as Mar Humri was deliberately made by Shalmaneser in order to legitimize the new Israeli king, who adopted pro-Assyrian policy"

Its very important that we have to use the widely accepted English historic names in cases where standard terms are used ("The land of Humri"=Israel/Samaria) However, we can also add the original Assyrian terms, beside English terms, as you did.--Tritomex (talk) 20:43, 25 January 2014 (UTC)

Credible artifact?[edit]

Medias are full of this nowadays, although this looks pretty unconvincing? [11] [12]--Tritomex (talk) 00:54, 26 January 2014 (UTC)

The artifact itself is definitely credible, but the talk about "Noah's ark" is primarily meant to create a hype. Of course the tablet doesn't mention the name Noah. It is just another version of a Mesopotamian Flood myth. It's been known for a very long time that many cultures have their own stories about a great flood, some show similarities to the biblical story, but there are many differences as well. There is already a mention of these Babylonian flood myths in the article, but as long as there's no clear and direct connection to the biblical story, I don't think it adds much to this article to list every similar artifact. In any case we should wait until a full translation of it has been published. - Lindert (talk) 01:21, 26 January 2014 (UTC)

Feedback from Bereawiki[edit]

Closing discussion started by blocked editor Jzyehoshua. Binksternet (talk) 04:16, 25 September 2014 (UTC)
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

Good list, but I don't really see the significance of the top 3 list items to the Bible. Egyptian campaigns in the Sinai don't really have any relevance to the Bible per se, nor does a cuneiform reference to Canaan. If the goal is just proving Shechem and Canaan exist as mentioned in the Bible, the Ebla Tablets, Amarna Letters, and Execration Texts are more relevant to the Bible specifically. I'm also pretty sure that the Nabonidus and Nebuchadnezzar Chronicles listed last are dated incorrectly and should be 6th century B.C. Either way, I'm working on an alternative list at Bereawiki that puts different ones at the top. -- (talk) 10:59, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

Hi User:Jzyehoshua. Thanks. No offence meant but the descriptions on your list are incredibly biased, such as "disproving an early criticism of the Bible", "refuted the claim", "another powerful evidence against the criticism of Biblical minimalists" - it's like propaganda. As the sources at the articles listed here show, there are often multiple interpretations of these artefacts. You are obviously a committed editor based on the work I can see, but you broke the rules here four years ago, and from your work at Bereawiki it seems you don't appear to believe in the concept of WP:NPOV. Oncenawhile (talk) 21:04, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

Nuzi texts - rewritten[edit]

I just rewrote this - it was written solely from a Creationist interpretation (mainly Bryant Wood's) and I've removed a lot of alleged findings and used The Oxford History of the Biblical World as my source. Doug Weller talk 10:29, 1 March 2017 (UTC)

And other well sourced material from Nuzi plus the Cambridge Companion to the Hebrew Bible. The view that these texts prove the authenticity of some of Genesis is now widely doubted. Doug Weller talk 13:43, 1 March 2017 (UTC)

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