An archaeologist and ancient historian by training, Dr. Eric Cline's primary fields of study are biblical archaeology, and the military history of the ancient Mediterranean world. In the first half, he discussed his latest work on the ancient site of Megiddo – Armageddon in the New Testament. He researched the pioneering excavation of Megiddo from 1925, by Egyptologist James Henry Breasted, who was looking for evidence that King Solomon had made fortifications there. Habitation of the area dates back 5,000 years and included Israelites, Canaanites, Persians, Assyrians, and Babylonians, and, he marveled, there is evidence of some twenty different cities built one on top of each other in the mound.
John, in the Book of Revelation, wrote that for the penultimate battle between good and evil, armies would gather at Megiddo. "I've often wondered why John picked that locale," Cline said, and he conjectured that it was because the area had already seen many ancient battles. He also talked about the factors that contribute to the decline and eventual collapse of civilizations, such as took place around 1177 B.C., when Egypt, Minoan Crete, Mycenaean Greece, the Hittite Empire, and Kassite Babylonia all had downfalls. He suggested it was a combination of natural catastrophes like earthquakes and prolonged droughts, migration, and foreign invasions, internal rebellions, and the collapse of international trade. And, he cautioned, we are facing very similar conditions to those in Western Civilization today.
A veterinarian with expertise in evolutionary biology, James Rollins is a bestselling author of international thrillers - known for exploring historical secrets and mysteries. In the latter half, he spoke about his latest work delving into gods and monsters, curses and miracles, inspired by Homer's Odyssey. While Homer's adventure was considered mythological, certain locations were real, and there may have been a degree of truth that underlies his tale, he suggested. Homer was writing about the Greek "Dark Ages"-- 300 years where not a lot of events were documented, possibly due to a massive war (dubbed World War Zero) that inflamed Mediterranean nations, and included the Trojan War.
Rollins is particularly fascinated by the idea that innovative ancient technology may have been behind some incidents that were considered miracles. He viewed the Antikytheria mechanism at a museum in Athens (called the first analogue computer), and studied how the early Greeks were able to create self-operating devices and automatons. Heron of Alexandria from the first century A.D. created the first vending machine, he detailed, and developed the ability to "magically" open temple doors using a crude version of a steam engine. During the call-in portion, Rollins put on his veterinary hat for questions about people's pets, in addition to discussing ancient mysteries.