Writer Dr. Antonio M. Wilson is involved in conducting research that leads to archeological digs or excavations as an extension of his findings. Dr. Antonio M. Wilson has contributed to excavations which led to the discovery of artifacts dating back to biblical times.
There are a variety of tools available for use in archeological excavations. One of the most-often used tools is the trowel. While masons use it to apply mortar to bricks and stone, archeologists use it for excavating in areas that are too small or too critical for shovels to be used. A rounded or square shovel, on the other hand, is often used as the main tool for excavation in non-critical situations, as it can move more soil in a shorter period of time. It is used in areas where few if any artifacts are likely to be discovered.
Screens are utilized to filter the soil from each location to better find small artifacts. Another tool is a soil core. This is a small metal tube having a handle at the top and used for sampling specific areas in the ground to learn about the composition of the layers of sediment that have accumulated over the centuries. After marking a specific spot to core, the researcher uses his or her weight to push the core into the ground and then pulls it out, and later carefully analyzes the various layers of soil inside it.
More sophisticated (and expensive) tools include global positioning systems, magnetometers, and ground penetrating radar. These non-invasive tools are used to find locations that may be of archeological interest.
Holding a Doctorate of Philosophy (DPhil) in theology from Christ Church at the University of Oxford, biblical researcher Dr. Antonio M. Wilson specializes in apocalyptic scripture and ancient writings. In addition to authoring the Behind the Faith book series, Dr. Antonio M. Wilson participates in archeological digs that seek to discover relics that help answer biblical questions. One example of these relics is the Spear of Destiny.
According to biblical scholars, the Spear of Destiny is the lance that pierced the side of Jesus Christ following his death by crucifixion. Accounts vary as to the providence and authenticity of the several lances purported to be the Spear of Destiny, which is also known as the Holy Spear, the Holy Lance, and the Lance of Longinus. Among these, a piece of the Spear of Destiny many claim to be the part that punctured Jesus’ skin is on display at the Hofburg Palace in Vienna.
Reference to the Spear of Destiny appears in the Gospel of John, wherein John describes Roman soldiers ensuring Jesus was dead by piercing his side with a lance. Biblical tradition says Longinus was the name of the solider that performed this act. The gospel goes on to describe that once Jesus’ side was pierced, blood and water flowed out of the wound.
Dr. Antonio M. Wilson, theological researcher and author, has participated in archaeological research alongside the Institute of Archaeology of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. While collaborating with the institute, Dr. Antonio M. Wilson worked at the Ophel City Walls site, a complex of buildings dating back nearly three millennia.
The Ophel City Walls archaeological site is one of the oldest archaeological finds in Israel, and visitors can now walk through many of the remains of the site. Conservation work began in 2010 after the fortification complex was completely exposed. Some of the remaining architecture includes a royal edifice, a possible gate house, and a section of the city wall.
Many significant artifacts have been found at the Ophel City Walls site. For example, clay jars that would have contained wine or oil were found in a partially destroyed building. One of the jars has an engraving that indicates it was owned by a kingdom minister. The crown jewel of the excavation, however, is the earliest written document found thus far in Jerusalem. This tablet fragment consists of a handful of words written in Akkadian cuneiform script.
Based in Beverly Hills, California, Dr. Antonio M. Wilson leverages years of theological experience to serve as a literary interpreter and research writer with the University of Oxford. Prior to this role, Dr. Antonio M. Wilson assisted the Institute of Archaeology of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in its research of the Ophel City Wall site.
In 2010, Dr. Eilat Mazar of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem led the excavation of the Ophel City Wall, adjacent to the City of David in Jerusalem. Biblical scholars have long read about this historic site in the First Book of Kings, which states that King Solomon was responsible for its construction sometime during the 10th century BCE. Even more impressively, the Ophel Wall site is the first structure discovered from this period that mirrors the Biblical portrayal of Solomon’s work.
Mazar worked with a team of archaeology students and workers to uncover the 70-meter wall over the course of three months. Their work revealed the city wall itself as well as several sections of the adjacent complex, which included several rooms and a watchtower. Directly after the team finished excavating the Ophel Wall area, the Israel Antiquities Authority Conservation Department launched efforts to conserve the structures contained within. In 2011, the site received public inauguration and opened to visitors.