The Lanier Center for Archaeology with Steve Ortiz

Steve Ortiz

Steve Ortiz (PhD) directs the Lanier Center for Archaeology at Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee. Since he was a young man, he has been digging up Israel and teaching students what archaeology has to teach us about the Ancient Near East and the world of Scripture.  Steve fell in love with archaeology as a young boy and with the guidance and encouragement of his father, he has made it his life long pursuit. 

In this podcast he talks about his own archaeological adventures as well as the mission of the Lanier Center for Archaeology.  Dr. Otiz and his colleague, Tom Davis, have the most vibrant and important school for training others in how and why we do these excavations.  They are currently recording inscriptions in Egypt and excavating sites in Israel with other schools and universities.  

The artifacts left behind by civilizations is referred to as ‘material culture. The material culture of the Bible has a great deal to teach us about the world of Abraham and his kin.

To hear the podcast (20 minutes) listen here.

The Lanier Center for Archaeology at Lipscomb University

If you enjoy archaeology and material culture, check out these other episodes-

Joshua, Judges, and Jesus, Part 1

Joshua, Judges and Jesus, Part 2

Graffiti prayers

A new article by Paul van Pelt and Nico Staring takes a creative look at graffiti left in Saqqara.  Saqqara was the necropolis of one of the most significant cities in Egypt, Memphis.  Most studies of ancient graffiti have focused upon “textual graffiti,” but as we know graffiti itself is a visual phenomenon, and pictures and images make up much of “graffiti.”  But interpreting non-textual materials can prove difficult from the vantage of a culture far removed.

Few people were literate but that did not stop them from drawing pictures or copying images they found meaningful.  The authors propose that some types of “figural graffiti” were in fact prayers meant to secure the place of the deceased in the afterlife or to, in some way, keep the graffiti artist in connection with the tomb and the departed.

In addition the authors take a stab at the social location of those who composed “figural graffiti” compare to those who composed “textual graffiti.”

“Graffiti is one of the few tools you have if you have almost nothing.”
“Interpreting Graffiti in the Saqqara New Kingdom Necropolis as
Expressions of Popular Customs and Beliefs”
Rivista del Museo Egizio 3 (2019). DOI: 10.29353/rime.2019.2577