KhirbetIskander_pageAn exhibition featuring this unprecedented  collection of millenni archaeological artifacts found in the Holy Land is now available for travel.

Archaeology at the Dawn of History, is an exhibit which explores how archaeology reveals details of the daily lives of ancient peoples from the objects they leave behind. These ancient artifacts are primarilyy from excavations at the settlement at Khirbet Iskander, a city situated on the famous caravan route, the King³s Highway, east of the Dead Sea in Jordan. The dig at Khirbet Iskander, led by archaeologist Dr. Suzanne Richard of Gannon University, began in 1981. Most of the objects uncovered have dated to c. 2350 B.C., the Early Bronze Age IV Period, and form the only collection of whole and restorable vessels known from this period. The summer’s 2000 dig, reached an earlier stratum, dating to about 5,000 years ago.

Organized by the Erie Art Museum in cooperation with Gannon University, the exhibition presents a variety of domestic objects illustrate the differences and the similarities between life today and life Y2KBC. Objects include examples of ancient dinnerware, vessels used in olive oil production, and religious objects, as well as photographs of the expedition and maps of the region. In addition, there are a series of oil lamps showing the typological changes over a period of 3,000 years, and an example of the world’s first potter’s wheel, which was developed in the Middle East in this period, which is also the era in whichwriting was invented.

Archaeology at the Dawn of History is supported in part by a grant to Gannon University from the Laurel Foundation of Pittsburgh. The Khirbet Iskander archaeological materials are on permanent loan from the Department of Antiquities of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. Additional materials are on loan from private collections, the Erie Historical Museum, and The James L. Kelso Bible Lands Museum of the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.

More information about archaeology and the excavations at Khirbet Iskander can be found on the special website dedicated to the Khirbet Iskander Expedition at