BIBLE ARCHAEOLOGY - THE DEAD SPEAK
by E. Raymond Capt
There is something sacred about the manner in which a nation
or people dispose of their dead and record the names of their
loved ones. Our mode of dress and of travel may change, but we
adhere very tenaciously to methods of sepulture handed down to us
from our fathers. Thus inscriptions and burial procedures are
used by archaeology in identifying or tracing migrant peoples.
Archaeological excavations in the Middle East have uncovered vast
graveyards full of mounds or vaults with stone monuments and
gravestones that speak of dispersed Israel and bear witness to
the fidelity of the Bible narratives of the time of Hosea the
One such cemetery was found in the Crimea on a high and dry
ridge lying east of Sebastopol on the road from Balaclava to
Batshiserai. It is in close proximity to a stronghold or
fortification called "Tschu-fut-kaleh" or "Israel's fortress."
The entrance to this sacred spot still bears the name of "the
valley of Jehoshaphat" All the inscriptions in this cemetery
strikingly resemble in form and in construction many of those
found in the East.
The Hebrew inscriptions on one gravestone translates as
follows: "I am Jehudi, the son of Moses, the son of Jehuda the
mighty, a man of the tribe of Naphtali of the family of Shimli,
which was carried captive in the captivity of Hosea, king of
Israel, with tribe of Simeon, together with other tribes of
Israel which were carried away by the prince Shalmaneser from
Samaria. They were carried to Helah, to Habor, which is Cabool,
to Gozan, and to Khorsoneses (the Crimea); Khorsori was built by
the father of Cyrus, and afterwards destroyed, and again rebuilt
and called Crim.
In another tombstone taken to St.Petersburg, we find the
following words: "I am one of the faithful in Israel.
Abraham-ben-mar-Sinchad of Kertsch .... The descendants of the
ten tribes, under the kings of Media, Cyrus, and Cambysea,
obtained possession of the Crimea, and settled there, and thus
the exiles of Shalmaneser and of Nebuchadnezzar were mingled
together in one people." This inscription confirms the Biblical
account that the majority of the House of Judah were also taken
captive to Assyria (2 Kings 18:13).
Another inscription reads: "This is the grave of Buki, the
son of Isaac, the priest, may his rest be in Eden at the time of
the deliverance of Israel. He died 702 of our captivity." This
would be about 19 B.C. In many of the Crimea cemetery monuments
we find frequent reference to the house of Omri, Khomri, Kymri,
Camera, and Cimmerian. The same names me found in Assyrian and
Greek writings and always spoken of as connected with the
captivity of Israel. An example is an Assyrian tablet of
Esarhaddon (681 B.C.) that bears the name of "Teuspa the
Cimmerian," whom it was said, was the leader of the tribe from
Israel who loved freedom more than life.
This mode of expression of ancestry familiar in ancient
Hebrew family records (ex. "which was the son of Abraham, which
was the son of Thara, which was the son of Nacm," etc.) we find
on marble headstones in cemeteries stretching from the Crimea
westward to Ireland.
Some 2600 years ago in western Asia, a great, restless,
energetic people were carried away into captivity and lost, to
themselves and to other nations. They were the children of
Abraham, heirs of the covenant, and of the promises. Among them
were many thousands of young women with beautiful complexions,
"Purer than snow, whiter than milk," and an immense number of
stalwart young men, middle-aged men and mothers with children.
Among them were orators, poets, musicians, warriors, and
administrators. What was their ultimate fate?
One nineteenth-century historian (Dr.Freeman) noted, "All
history shows us that there must have been some great 'hive'
somewhere in the middle of Western Asia, which was constantly
sending swarms of people for the most part westward, and they
came somehow by design, as if they knew they had a mission to
perform, and a hand to guide them. As one swarm came and pushed
them farther on from the old cradle or hive, and another century
passed and we find another swarm, then another until we had at
least five swarms of people from Armenia, or Media, precisely the
same country to which the ten tribes (Israel) were led, as they
left their own country."
It is reasonable to conclude that the successive waves of
people that swept over Europe sometimes called Celts, Scythians,
Gauls, Gaels, the Gatae, the Belgae, the Angles, Jutes, Danes,
Saxons, Normans, and other Germanic peoples were Israelites.
These same people became the progenitors of Western. Europe,
Britain and the Commonwealth, and America. Their roots can be
traced by their language, laws, religion, customs, institutions,
ethnological character, present condition, and future prospects.
These peoples have been and are now being blessed as the Lord
promised to bless His Israel, with a multiplicity of increase, as
many as the stars in heaven, or sands on the ocean shores; with
control of the oceans and the possession of the islands; with
blessings of harvest and minerals; with wealth and treasure to
lend to all other nations, and with too much independence to
borrow of any; and with a Bible which is above all price.
Today it is the spade of the archaeologist that is literally
clearing away the sands of time, unearthing the authentic relics
of the past, bringing forgotten languages to life and causing the
"dead to speak."
Raymond Capt M.A., A.I.A., F.S.A. SCOT. is an Archaeologist of no
small repute. One of his most instructive and remarkable books is
"Missing Links Discovered in Assyrian Tablets - A study of
Assyrian tablets that reveal the fate of the Lost Tribes of
Israel" is published by Artisan Sales, P.O. Box 1497 - Thousand
Oakes - Calif. 91360 USA