Archaeology Discovery Weekend will dig into Egypt’s storied past
October 21, 2011
By Darla Martin Tucker
RIVERSIDE, Calif. – (www.lasierra.edu) The massive Israelite exodus from Egypt after more than 400 years of captivity has been the subject of grand-scale Hollywood movies, countless sermons, theological lessons and children’s stories.
And while there has been no archaeological evidence to support the account found in the Old Testament books of Exodus and Numbers, over the past 20 years archaeological and geological research sheds new light on the ancient Egyptian fort system along Egypt’s border that factors into the exodus story. These discoveries assist in tracing the route of the exodus out of Egypt, says James Hoffmeier, a professor of Old Testament and Ancient Near Eastern History and Archaeology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. The institution is part of Trinity International University in Deerfield, Ill.
On Nov. 13 at 6 p.m., at La Sierra University’s Hole Memorial Auditorium, Hoffmeier will present this information in a lecture titled “The Route of the Exodus and the Location of the Re(e)d Sea.” The presentation is a keynote event for La Sierra’s third annual Archaeology Discovery Weekend scheduled for Nov. 12 and 13 on the theme, “Egypt: The Lure of its Storied Past.” The title of Hoffmeier’s talk incorporates both the common translation of the Hebrew name of the sea, the Red Sea, and the original translation as the Sea of Reeds.
The presentation is based on geological research in the north Sinai desert and Hoffmeier’s excavations there of ancient forts at Tell el-Borg, just east of the Suez Canal, a waterway in Egypt that connects the Mediterranean Sea with the Red Sea. Satellite imagery will be used during the presentation “to reconstruct the ancient environment on Egypt’s eastern frontier, the very area where the Bible reports the exodus to have occurred,” says Hoffmeier.
Archaeology Discovery Weekend events begin at 3 p.m. on Nov. 12 with presentations and a panel discussion on ancient inscriptions. Panelists will include archaeologists and professors Lawrence Geraty, Douglas Clark and Kent Bramlett, all of La Sierra University, and William Dever, archaeologist and emeritus professor of Near Eastern archaeology and anthropology at the University of Arizona.
The weekend will offer a wide variety of activities ranging from an on-campus excavation activity for elementary and middle school-aged children; hands-on labs in which guests learn to write in hieroglyphics, reconstruct ancient pottery, grind grain and make tools; archaeology lectures on life in patriarchal Egypt; a teachers’ workshop for elementary and secondary teachers; tea and sweets in a goat-hair Bedouin hospitality tent; Falafel bar, lentil soup for purchase by Green Olive Grill, and a Middle Eastern banquet.
General admission is free. The children’s on-campus dig is $5, the teachers’ workshop is $75 and includes continuing education credit, and the Middle Eastern banquet is $50. Reservations for the children’s dig and banquet are required by Nov. 9 and for the teachers’ workshop by Nov. 7. Reservations can be made at 951-785-2041 or at email@example.com.