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No other sphinx statues have been found outside of Egypt in the eastern Mediterranean. This statue fragment was found in a destruction layer dated to the 13th century BC, the period of the Judges. Judges 4 tells the story of Deborah and the uprising against Jabin, Canaanite king of Hazor.

6. Gold Hoard Found Near the Temple Mount

A gold medallion, four inches in diameter with a menorah depicted on it, was found in the ruins of a Byzantine-era structure just 50 yards from the southern wall of the temple mount. Thirty-six gold coins were also found in the cache, along with gold and silver jewelry.

This spectacular find dates to the seventh century AD, later than the biblical period. But they may bring new understanding to this dynamic era which saw the Persians wrest control of Jerusalem from Roman Christians, raising the hopes of Jews who wanted to see the temple rebuilt. But then the Christians regained control of Jerusalem, only to lose it again to Muslim conquerors, and a mosque was built on the Temple Mount.

7. Roman Legion Base in Galilee

Archaeologists used high resolution satellite photography and ground penetrating radar to identify the location of the headquarters used by the Sixth Roman Legion between 120 and 300 AD. The site is between Tel Megiddo, one of the most important sites of Biblical Archaeology, and the previously discovered remains of one of the earliest known Christian houses of worship. Plans are being made to develop the area into a major tourism destination.

8. Mt. Zion Priestly Mansion

Archaeologists working just outside the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem, near the Zion Gate, are uncovering a mansion from the time of Christ. The unusually well-preserved lower levels of the home may reveal new information about first-century life. The finds so far include a bathroom. The home was probably occupied by a family of temple priests.

9. An Extra Destruction Level at Gezer

In the process of removing a tenth-century Iron Age wall to get to a Late Bronze Age destruction level dating to around 1400 BC, excavators at Gezer found a previously unknown destruction level between the two periods. Gezer is a benchmark site in Biblical Archaeology. This excavation and two additional projects going on at the site—a survey of the surrounding area and an excavation of the Gezer water system—should ultimately reveal new information about life before and after the time of the Israelite settlement.

10. Stone pyramid under the Sea of Galilee

This cone-shaped pile of rocks raised a lot of questions during 2013. How and why it's located underwater near the southern outlet of the lake is so far a mystery. Tentatively dated to around 2000 BC, or earlier, it may be connected to a nearby excavated site called Khirbet Kerak. Underwater archaelogists hope to begin studying the rocks to see if they can discover why they are there.

Gordon Govier is editor of ARTIFAX magazine and host of The Book & The Spade radio program.

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