The discovery of ancient human remains by Southwestern Seminary archaeologists in the biblical city of Gezer is attracting international media attention. These are the first human remains discovered at the site, uncovered in the midst of a layer of fiery destruction that confirms accounts by Egyptian Pharaoh Merneptah that he seized Gezer, laying siege to the ancient Canaanite city and destroying many of its buildings in a campaign to establish control.

Steven Ortiz, director of Southwestern’s Tandy Institute for Archaeology, said in a statement to Baptist Press (BP) that this discovery “does fit in with what we know about Gezer in the biblical period. The King of Gezer apparently was one of the leaders [in the region]. In the conquest accounts, we have him organizing other Canaanite kings. So the biblical narrative has this memory of Gezer being an important city.”

Ortiz co-directs the Tel Gezer Excavation Project along with Sam Wolff of Israeli Antiquities Authority. This is the project’s tenth excavation season.

“The importance of this archaeological excavation will highlight the work of the Tandy Institute and the archaeology program at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary,” Ortiz said to BP. “We look forward to a Southern Baptist seminary being one of the leaders in the archaeology of the land of Israel.”

Among those reporting on this discovery are Fox News, Newsweek, Archaeology Magazine, Israeli newspaper Haaretz, and Baptist Press. See below for articles from these and other news agencies:

Fox News:


Archaeology Magazine:


Baptist Press:


Christian News:

Human Origins:

Christian Post: