Mississippi Archaeology Month events this week


October 16, 2013

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Gabriel Barkay


As part of Mississippi Archaeology Month, Mississippi State University will host several special events this week.

On Thursday [Oct. 17], an illustrated lecture entitled "Jerusalem: Secrets from the Temple Mount's Soil" will be presented by eminent Israeli archaeologist and scholar Gabriel Barkay, professor of archaeology at Bar Ilan University in Tel Aviv, Israel.

His lecture will take place in Hilbun Hall, Room 102 at 5:30 p.m.

Barkay will discuss the Israel Excavation Society Sifting Project, which he began and continues to direct. This project is carefully sifting through soil and other materials removed from the Temple Mount and the City of David in Jerusalem during recent construction activities by the Waqf, the Islamic authority currently responsible of the Temple Mount.

To date, thousands of artifacts have been recovered from the dig site’s debris, including the now-famous "Bethlehem Seal," dated to the 7th century B.C. Barkay was the first to translate the seal's significant three line inscription: "In the 7th year, Bethlehem, for the king".

Barkay will speak about these finds and others from recent archaeological work in Jerusalem.

The 2013 Mississippi Archaeology Expo, will be held on the historic Drill Field at MSU on Saturday [Oct. 19] from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

There is no admission charge for the special event, which is made possible by the National Endowment for the Humanities via a grant from the Mississippi Humanities Council.

The day’s activities will include flintknapping, pottery making, artifact displays, a mock excavation, gift bags and other activities for children, and much more. There also will be an artifact identification table for anyone who has artifacts about which they’d like to know more.

Also on Saturday, there will be museum and lab tours at Mississippi State’s Cobb Institute of Archaeology.