Biblical archaeology refers to the discovery and scientific evaluation of remains of materials that may have been used during the past cultures. This can help to understand the biblical times and situations. In this concept, the principle aspects of importance are the common areas of interest in the Biblical periods such as the Holy Land. In understanding the past events, archaeological studies in the Biblical scenes are concentrated around theology and religion. The studies also employ various methodological principles, key of which are digging and carbon dating. Charles Warren, a renowned Biblical archaeologist made many contributions to this field.
As member of the military, Warren contributed to Biblical archeology immensely through engagement with the British Imperial Engineers. The key contributions attributed to this archeologist included the study of the Rock of Gibraltar and the stonework of Temple Mount. Warren studied Gibraltar through the use of trigonometry while his studies of Temple Mount resulted in the development of a map for the Old City. The models created by Warren for the rock of Gibraltar were used in the construction of buildings and roads besides reflecting the shape of the rock and also led to his being recognized for promotion in the military (Orser, 2002).
Warren’s studies led to the determination of the different types of stones used in the construction of the walls associated with the Old City. Some of the discoveries made through Warren’s studied included the Herodian Street and Robinson Arch. The study of the city of Jerusalem led to the development of maps that came to be recognized as the Warren Atlas which could be used by geographers all over the world. Besides this, Warren also engaged in an excavation project that led to the discovery of mighty masonry that was involved in the building of the city walls. Although the excavation of the outer walls of the city did not yield much, it led to the discovery of secret passages to the inside of the temple. The exaction, during which Warren went for more than 150 feet below the walls, led to the discovery of secret tunnels that connected the city to the temple.
Further excavations around the East gate of the wall led to the discovery of a magnificent wall that was similar to the wall built around Megiddo by King Solomon. Warren further discovered that Jerusalem was not within the ancient walls of the city of David. Warren also made significant discoveries regarding the East and the Horse Gates including their locations, sizes and constructions. For instance, Warren contributed to Biblical archaeology through the realization that monolithic posts were used in the construction of the horse gate and that the posts were similar to those used in the construction of Ophel gate in Megiddo (Bartlett, 1997).
In 1867, Warren made additional discoveries about Hezekiah’s Tunnel. This refers to the discovery that there were manmade tunnels that led to Hezekiah’s tunnel. There were also many other false tunnels that helped to inhibit strangers from reaching Gihon’s spring from Hezekiah’s Tunnel. The discovery of a concealed water system and a network of tunnels together with the medieval city walls proved that there could have been settlements outside the historical city walls. Through other excavations, Warren was also able to discover a huge network of cisterns that had not been discovered before. Previously, the findings of Warren were doubted. However, findings by another archaeologist, Kathleen Kenyon helped to affirm the findings of Warren as true (Dale, 2006).
Bartlett, John. Archeology and Biblical Interpretation. London: Routledge, 1997
Dale, Henning. “A Midwesterner’s Ventures onto the Plains.” Plains Anthropologist 51, no. 200 (2006): 56-90.
Orser, Charles. Encyclopedia of Historical Archeology. London: Routledge, 2002.
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