Khirbet el-Maqatir Exhibition opens at Museum Center

Scarab discovered during the 2013 season featuring a falcon-headed sphinx with an ankh (life) sign before and a meter (god) sign above. 

Two of the three large socket stones found for the city gate. 

Entrance to a "mikva" bath used for ritual purification. Both the Jewish purification baths and baptism of early Christians were by immersion and involved walking into and then out of the pool of collected water.  

Numerous sling stones were found around the the 15th century BC gate. A skilled warrior could send a stone flying 100-150 miles per hour. 

Cleveland, Tenn. (March 16, 2015) —The Museum Center at 5ive Points is opening their newest exhibition, Khirbet el-Maqatir: History of a Biblical Site on Thursday, March 19, 2015 at 6:00 p.m. with a members-only opening reception. Lee University's Dr. Brian Peterson, Field Archaeologist at Khirbet el-Maqatir, will explain the significance of the the objects and how they are being recovered. Dr. Peterson is a Lee University professor and an expert in Old Testament history who has been a collaborator on the project since 2010 and has personally experienced some of its most significant finds. 

The exhibit will showcase the ongoing archaeological research of the Khirbet el-Maqatir archaeological site and will feature more than 40 artifacts which have been recovered from the site and have graciously been loaned by the Civil Administration for Judea and Samaria for exhibition in the United States. Following the members-only preview event, the exhibit will open to the general public on March 20.

The site of Khirbet el-Maqatir is widely believed to be the site of the Biblical city of Ai, which is described in Joshua 7-8. As such, the arrival of the collection to Cleveland represents an exciting opportunity for local history enthusiasts and students of Biblical history to experience first-hand the material culture and cultural development of the world in which Biblical figures lived and thrived. The exhibit will also feature original memorabilia, field notes, and materials from local Lee University students who have worked with the project throughout its development, highlighting the local as well as the international significance of the work.

In addition to the artifacts themselves, the Museum Center at 5ive Points will also host a variety of interpretive programming in an effort to connect the ongoing work in the Holy Land to the local community and allow interested people to experience the Biblical world more fully. The Museum Center will host a series of lectures by archaeologists and academics involved with the work at Khirbet el-Maqatir to discuss the historical value of the objects uncovered. This summer, archaeology camps for local children will be hosted which will focus on the day-to-day practice of archaeology by project researchers. The camps will be led by local Lee University students who have backgrounds in professional archaeological research. These events are intended to help families achieve a greater understanding of the world of professional archaeology and how it is relevant to understanding our past and present. Field trip and group tours will be available on a scheduled basis by contacting the Museum Center. 

Khirbet el-Maqatir: History of a Biblical Site is made possibly by the Civil Administration of Judea and Samaria as well as the Associates for Biblical Research. Major funding for bringing this exhibit to Cleveland was provided by Lee University. Additional support was provided by Landmark Insurance Group, First Baptist Cleveland, Ralph Buckner Funeral Home & Crematory, Church of God, and the United Way of Bradley County. The exhibit will open to the public on Friday, March 20 and run through December 26. More information, including information on membership and related programming, can be found online by visiting

The Museum Center at 5ive Points tells the story of the Ocoee region through compelling exhibitions and dynamic educational programming that promotes history, culture, and preservation. The Museum Store features arts, crafts, and books from select artists, craftsman, and authors from within a 200-mile radius. Hours are Tuesday-Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., and Saturday 10 a.m.-3 p.m. The museum is closed Sunday, Monday, and on select holidays. Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors and students, and free for children under 5. Members of the Museum receive free admission. Group rates are available and the Museum’s facilities can be rented year-round for weddings and special events.

For further information call 423-339-5745, or visit