This display was available for viewing at the Jack Tarver Library near the Chappell Classroom, from November 16, 2010 to January 9, 2012. We will have a new exhibit in place in April, 2012.

The religious legacy of the Ancient Near East is the Abrahamic tradition (of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam), the theology of which identifies a God who created the world but is apart from it. Not so the older religions of the region. They envisioned divine, superhuman entities as the forces of nature and of human nature. The sea god made the tides rise and fall; a couple fell in love only at the will of the goddess of love. Religion was everywhere and in everything. This exhibit contains artifacts created for daily prayers and specific rituals, others made for practical use but decorated to invoke a god or express its power. Still others, some special, some commonplace, were chosen to accompany the dead into the afterlife. Everyday objects like statuettes, charms, lamps, pottery, and even coins, all reveal how religion pervaded life – and death – for the people of the Ancient Near East.




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.

Collections in this community

Recent Submissions

  • Roman Oil Lamp 

    Byrd, William; Davenport, Mark (2010-11-10)
  • Oil Lamp 

    Byrd, William; Davenport, Mark (2010-11-10)
  • Israelite Oil Lamp 

    Byrd, William; Davenport, Mark (2010-11-10)
  • Persian Oil Lamp 

    Byrd, William; Davenport, Mark (2010-11-10)
  • Canaanite Oil Lamp 

    Byrd, William; Davenport, Mark (2010-11-10)
  • Oil Vessel 

    Byrd, William; Davenport, Mark (2010-11-10)
  • Bronze Male Figure 

    Byrd, William; Davenport, Mark (2010-11-10)
  • Bronze Female Figure 

    Byrd, William; Davenport, Mark (2010-11-10)
  • Double Handled Flask 

    Byrd, William; Davenport, Mark (2010-11-10)
  • Hellenistic Bowl 

    Byrd, William; Davenport, Mark (2010-11-10)
  • Seated Woman with Child 

    Byrd, William; Davenport, Mark (2010-11-10)
  • Winged Terracota Figure 

    Byrd, William; Davenport, Mark (2010-11-10)
  • Osiris 

    Byrd, William; Davenport, Mark (2010-11-10)
  • Sekhmet 

    Byrd, William; Davenport, Mark (2010-11-10)
  • Roman Bronze Coin 

    Byrd, William; Davenport, Mark (2010-11-10)
  • Roman Silver Coin 

    Byrd, William; Davenport, Mark (2010-11-10)
  • Roman Silver Coin 

    Byrd, William; Davenport, Mark (2010-11-10)
  • Hellenistic Silver Coin 

    Byrd, William; Davenport, Mark (2010-11-10)
  • Jewish Bronze Coin 

    Byrd, William; Davenport, Mark (2010-11-10)
  • Roman Bronze Coin 

    Byrd, William; Davenport, Mark (2010-11-10)

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