Curated by Eric Klingelhofer, Department of History

This display will be unveiled on April 3, 2012



Ancient Near Eastern societies underwent great changes from the Bronze Age through the Iron Age to the Classic Age. Even as today's problems are often identified as too much sex and violence in the media, these characteristics may well have been a perpetual part of the past. This exhibit contains artifacts that show how gender and sexuality were represented in cult images and private objects. Weapons of various types indicate the development of warfare over these centuries.

The Holy Land was not only lived in — and loved in — but was often fought in. Its strategic location between Africa and Asia attracted armies from competing empires, and its Iron Age inhabitants, the Hebrews, would revolt against efforts to make them conform to the polytheism of their conquerors.




When I was in the Fourth Grade, I became fascinated with Ancient History as I first studied the pyramids and became even more interested as I became actively involved in Christianity. The first ancient artifacts from the Holy Land that I ever saw belonged to Dr. Marc Lovelace who taught me Biblical Archaeology at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. As a result I desired to have a collection of my own. I first obtained some ancient pottery shards when I was a Brandeis University student. I obtained more shards and my first artifact when I was a student at the Hebrew University. I seriously began my collection about 1973 when I took a group of University of West Georgia students to work on an archaeological excavation in Israel. My collection expanded dramatically in 1984 when Dr. Lovelace offered to sell me his whole collection of several hundred pieces. I bought his collection and continue to buy ancient artifacts in Israel and Egypt each time I visit there. I also buy a few things off of eBay whenever I can find artifacts that I think are good and will enhance the collection.


My wife and I have signed an agreement to give the Holmes Holy Land Ancient Artifact Collection (composed of over 700 pieces) to Mercer University at my death so that it can be used to show students and the people of south and central Georgia real artifacts of the ancient Holy Land and hopefully give to them a better understanding of the Ancient World and the Bible. Until my death, Mercer University has been given the right to have regular exhibits of the ancient artifacts in the collection.

Yulssus Lynn Holmes




Dr. Y. Lynn Holmes is a native of Vidalia, GA and grew up in the Dublin area. He received his B.A. in English from Mercer, Bachelor of Divinity from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Old Testament Studies, and M.A. and Ph.D. from Brandeis University in Ancient History. During his career as teacher, scholar, and administrator, he has held research fellowships from the Rotary Foundation, the American Council of Education, and the National Defense Foreign Language program, and a number of academic positions - President and Professor of History, Brewton-Parker College; Vice President, West Central Technical College; Assistant to the President/ACE Fellow, Mercer University ; Director of International Programs, Central Michigan University; and Associate Professor of History and Director of Placement and Cooperative Education, University of West Georgia. He has published numerous scholarly papers on ancient History and the Modern Middle East.


Dr. Holmes is married to Elizabeth Nasser Holmes, born in Haifa, Palestine to Palestinian Christian parents. The eldest of 7 children, Elizabeth was educated at a private French Catholic School in Jerusalem. The school emphasized the study of languages and as a result, she is fluent in 4 languages (Arabic, Hebrew, French and English). After graduation, Elizabeth worked as a secretary at the Baptist Church in Jerusalem where she met Lynn; they married in 1968. She studied at the University of West Georgia and Brewton- Parker College, and is a frequent speaker about the Middle East in the community. Elizabeth enjoys spending time with their 3 daughters and their families, including 8 grandchildren, as well as calligraphy, painting and singing. Lynn and Elizabeth currently reside in Carrollton, Georgia.

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