To your knowledge have there been any artifacts found in Herod’s tomb? Also, has there been archaeological/historical evidence found, out side of the Bible, of Joshua?


A treasure trove of artifacts was found in Herod’s tomb. Here is a very brief introductory list, found at a web site ( describing a museum special exhibit in Jerusalem:

A stunning new exhibit offers a peek inside the life and times of King Herod the Great. Through Oct. 15, the exhibit at Israel Museum in Jerusalem showcases artifacts never before displayed in public. The collection includes hundreds of artifacts from the recently discovered tomb of the king — including King Herod’s private bath from his Cyprus palace. The exhibit, titled King Herod’s Final Journey includes three sarcophagi, restored frescoes, an imperial marble basin that may have been a personal gift from Augustus, and a number of carved stone elements from the Temple Mount. Other items include the paint jars used for Herod’s frescos and plump jugs of wine imported from south Italy labeled in Latin characters, “Herod King of Judea.”
About Joshua, there is no direct physical evidence of the person Joshua, at least so far. There are no inscriptions thus far discovered which name Joshua. There are no cities built which can unambiguously be attributed to work done by or under Joshua. Actually, this should not be all that surprising, as Joshua lived almost his entire life either as a slave in Egypt or as a nomadic wanderer in the wilderness. Only at the end of his life did he enter Canaan and settle down, but there is nothing in the book of Joshua which suggests there should be large building projects attributable to Joshua.

Although there is no direct archaeological evidence confirming the existence of Joshua (which is not surprising at all), there is plenty of physical evidence in Palestine of events which are mentioned in the Book of Joshua. For example, Joshua describes a massive war in Palestine, but generally the cities were not destroyed. Only three cities were burned and destroyed by the Jews–Jericho, Ai and Hazor. The fact is that only two cities in Palestine show unmistakable evidence of massive destruction around 1400 BC. Those cities are Jericho and Hazor. Thus far, the city of Ai has not been unambiguously identified. The evidence from Jericho is of a massive destruction, the breaking down of the walls and the burning of the city around 1400 BC, in good accord with the biblical record. Also, there is the evidence of the Tel el Amarna letters, found in the Egyptian city of Tel el Amarna f rom about 1400 BC, during the reign of Akhenaten. One of the letters reports the attack of a people called the Hapiru. The local king reports to Pharaoh that if troops are not sent soon, the lands may be lost to these outsiders. The parallel to events described in the Bible are unmistakable.

So,although we cannot unambigusouly prove the existence of Joshua from outside the Bible, a number of the events surrounding his life are supported by archaeological evidence. Specific information regarding these claims are found in my book “Reasons for Belief” ( and in notes and a power point on History, Archaeology and the Bible found in the power point section of the web site.

John Oakes

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