The Siegfried H. Horn Archaeological Museum is a part of the Institute of Archaeology at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Mich., and houses over 8,900 ancient Near Eastern artifacts in its collections. Andrews University’s expanding academic archaeological programs have international acclaim, supporting research faculty, active fieldwork, and a collection that draws scholarly attention, providing opportunities for the scholar, student and community.

The Horn Museum is a valuable resource for understanding the Middle East, the cradle of civilization that directly impacts the West. Both the Judeo-Christian and Islamic traditions find their cultural roots in the Middle East, and it is the intent of the Horn Museum to help bring this awareness to both students and the public.

Our collection began in 1938 when the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago donated 27 pieces of Megiddo pottery. Since then, through donations, purchases and permanent loans the collection has developed and includes over 3,000 cuneiform tablets written in the Sumerian and Akkadmian languages and dating from the Sumerian times (Ur III Period 2100 BC) down through the Achaemenid period (ending around 330 BC), about 1,000 coins primarily dating to the Hellenistic and Roman periods, ceramic and glass vessels, ceramic and stone figurines, tools, weapons, seals and jewelry. We also have the Middle Eastern Folklore Collections donated by William Dever and Pamela Gaber, and Larry and Shirley Panasuk. An authentic Bedouin goat-hair tent from Jordan, complete with modern antiquities, creates an informative and interesting teaching space within the museum. A series of 11 oil-painted murals painted by local internationally renowned Christian artist Nathan Greene, together with displays of ancient artifacts, help visitors better envision the biblical world.

It is our conscious mission to support the university’s Christian goals, including showing tangible evidence of backgrounds to the Bible, which reveals God’s workings among humanity throughout history. It is the privilege of our team to make available artifacts relevant to biblical history in order to supplement classroom teaching. By providing a gateway to the past, the museum indirectly opens a pathway to God. By giving a voice to the ancients, as though it was a time machine, the museum projects one into a world otherwise inaccessible.

Archaeology is the only new source of information about the Bible. Through continuing discoveries, the context and nuances of the Bible are anchored in the reality of history. It is known as the fourth biblical language, after Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek, and it gives the student a more precise understanding of the Bible. Through archaeology the legitimacy of the Bible is increased and provides a bridge between the Muslim, the Christian and the Jew.

Visit the Horn Museum's website at http://andrewsarchaeology.org/

Constance Clark Gane, Ph.D.
Curator, Siegfried H. Horn Archaeological Museum, Andrews University
Associate Professor of Archaeology and Old Testament
Co-director, Tall Jalul Excavations, Madaba Plains Project, Jordan




Andrews University has been influential in biblical Archaeology for several reasons, but one of the principle reasons is our traditional interest in the Bible as a church. It has been said that the Bible text is static, that it is what it is and scholars have dissected and analyzed that static text for more than a couple of millennia. But if one is interested in new information about the Bible and its world, then one must go to archaeology, for only here can new information in the form of ancient artifacts and texts shed new light on the biblical past. Therefore, to better understand the Bible, Andrews University has invested heavily in discovering what archaeology the material culture and ancient texts that are contemporary with the times the Bible was composed, has to say about the Bible. This new information with the Bible is then shared with our seminarians and biblical scholars so that they too can better understand the Bible and its world. However, in more recent times, another justification for studying the archaeology of the Ancient Near East has emerged. With the world again focused on events in the Middle East, a better understanding of this part of the world is more relevant than ever, not just for understanding our own faith tradition, but for a broader understanding of the three great monotheistic religions Judaism, Christianity, and Islam; all of which find their birthplace in the cradle of civilization. We believe that archaeology is ideally suited to increase our understanding of the foundations and growth of these three great religions and hopefully this knowledge can help us better understand the challenges that face us today and aid us in our search for peace.

Randall W. Younker, Ph.D.
Director, Institute of Archaeology, Andrews University
Professor of Archaeology and History of Antiquity
Director, Ph.D. Biblical and ANE Archaeology Program
Director, Tall Jalul Excavations, Madaba Plains Project, Jordan
 

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