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Biblical archaeology exhibit coming to Salyersville


SALYERSVILLE – An exhibit preview featuring artifacts from the first century is slated to be on display at the Salyersville First Baptist Church later this month.

Tommy Chamberlin, the exhibit director, told the Independent the “World of Jesus” exhibit is a product of the University of Pikeville with the Associates for Biblical Research and Community Trust Bank as supporting partners.  The event in Salyersville, set for September 23, is a preview of the museum exhibit that will be on display in Pikeville from the end of September through the month of October.  

Of the approximate 60 artifacts included in the exhibit, Chamberlin will be displaying around 30 in Salyersville at the last preview before the short-term exhibit opens in Pikeville.

The exhibit will feature archaeological artifacts tied to Biblical times, and Chamberlin will conduct an hour and a half presentation featuring original video work from Israel, while explaining various artifacts on display, as well as explaining how archaeology helps illuminate the time period. 

Chamberlin said, “On a personal note I'm an assistant square supervisor at the excavation to ancient Shiloh in Israel.  I have worked on the excavation there the last two summers and am currently studying towards my masters in Biblical archaeology.  I will bring a few boxes of pottery sherds from our site at Shiloh that date from circa 1,600 BC through the centuries down to the early Christian period (300 to 500 AD).  Our visitors are invited to pick up these pieces of ancient history and examine them.  It's not every day you get to hold ancient pottery from a site mentioned in the Bible!”

The free and local event will feature, among other artifacts: a small bronze statue of Zeus from the Roman era, oil lamps from the time of the New Testament, a burial ossuary of a child from 1st century Israel, the Shekel of Tyre (the same style of coin likely given to Judas to betray Jesus), a Cooking pot from the era of the New Testament, and a Roman nail possibly of the same style used in crucifixions.

“I have been interested in the world of Biblical archaeology for the last three decades, but in recent years I have taken it to the next step and became an active participant,” Chamberlin told the Independent. “I am now on staff with the excavation to ancient Shiloh and help excavate the location where the famous Biblical Tabernacle was located. Biblical archaeology is important as it helps illuminate both the Old and New Testament.  For example, in our preview exhibit, we will get a taste of how people experience life 2,000 years ago.”  

The “World of Jesus” exhibit preview will be at the Salyersville First Baptist Church on Sunday, September 23, beginning at 6 p.m. This will be the last preview of the exhibit before it will be on full display in Pikeville. Similar presentations have been held in eastern Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Maryland.  

“I would encourage anyone with an interest in the Bible, history or ancient artifacts to attend this presentation,” Chamberlin said.


Independent Photo || TOMMY CHAMBERLIN
ON A DIG:  The above photo shows Tommy Chamberlin sitting on top of a section of the Middle Bronze (circa 1,600 BC) wall at Shiloh that is being excavated in our square.  He will be bringing artifacts relating to Biblical times to Salyersville later this month.




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