"Fourteen expeditions are working in West Asia at present and of these, six are American," were the words of Professor John Garstang, Honorary Director of the British School of Archaeology in Jerusalem, in an interview with the CRIMSON yesterday.
"A clear picture of the situation in Old Testament times, when the Israelites were restrained from settling in northern Palestine, as told in the Books of Joshua and Judges, is revealed by the excavations at Hazor, which was the headquarters and strategic center of the Canaanitish league," said Professor Garstang.
Commenting on the Temple of the goddess Astarte, found in his excavations, he said that this was a building containing four columns and an altar for offerings, at the foot of which a Hittite battle ax and a board of jewels, also small seals inscribed with familiar Hittile hieroglyphs, had been found. The discoveries, which were made last autumn, also include the actual remains of sacrificed animals.
"Most striking defensive military works are also being discovered at Tehl Elnazbh, north of Jerusalem," continued Professor Garstang.
"The ancient fortifications are 25 feet thick and 40 feet high at some places, and they completely surround the city. Posibly this is the place referred to as Mizpah in the Bible."
Evidence of recent excavations indicate that Palestine was a prosperous country with walled cities and a highly developed civilization when the Isralites entered by way of Jericho, according to Professor Garstang.
Turning the conversation to Greco Roman cities, he said that the excavations on the east side of the Jordan River, 60 miles from Jerusalem, were very illuminating. The whole city of Gerasa is being uncovered. Architecturally beautiful Corinthean columns of temples, sidewalks on the main street, and a public drinking fountain are well preserved. Among the ruins of an early Christian church a marble head representing a "Man of Sorrows" was found. The resemblance of this piece of sculpture to familiar representations of Christ in medieval France brings up important questions.