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Excavations at Itamar in the West Bank have uncovered a sealed cistern with tools and vessels from the Second Temple period, an olive press, a mikveh, and a coin with the image of Mount Gerizim.

A new study claims that Tall el-Hammam was destroyed by a cosmic airburst circa 1650 BC. Biblical archaeologists are not convinced that this proves the site is Sodom.

Rossella Tercatin interviews Yuval Gadot about recent archaeological discoveries in the Jerusalem area in a 25-minute Zoomcast.

Archaeology sheds light on how Jews celebrated the Feast of Tabernacles in the 1st century.

Mark Janzen and Kyle Keimer interview Eric Cline on the Biblical World podcast.

Isabel Cranz surveys royal illness in the Bible and the ancient Near Eastern texts.

ASOR members in the US can purchase several recent archaeological publications for $25 each through the end of the month.

The purpose of HIERAX software is “to enhance the legibility of papyri for text edition and publication. It consists of an image processing tool and an image viewer.”

I predict that Bryan Windle’s “Top Ten Discoveries Related to Moses and the Exodus” will become one of his blog’s most popular posts.

The early bird discount for the Infusion Bible Conference ends on Thursday.

HT: Agade, Ted Weis, Arne Halbakken, Joseph Lauer, Explorator, Charles Savelle

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“Archeologists have uncovered a 3,500-year-old mosaic in central Turkey that could be one of the oldest in the world.”

Life-size camel sculptures discovered in Saudi Arabia are now believed to date not to the Roman period but to the Neolithic.

The best preserved shipwreck in the Adriatic Sea dates to the 2nd century BC and was discovered at a depth of only 8 feet.

Archaeologists are planning to excavate a Hittite temple in Kayalıpınar in Central Turkey.

“An ambitious effort to revive Izmir’s Jewish heritage is paying off as the Turkish city vies for a place on the UNESCO heritage list.”

The Times of Israel tells the story of two Israeli engineers who traveled to Iraq to restore the ancient tomb of the prophet Nahum.

Researchers are hoping that AI will one day speed up the translation of Egyptian hieroglyphs.

AramcoWorld has a well-illustrated feature story on Mohammedani Ibrahim, one of the first Egyptian archaeological photographers.

The Berlin State Museums have a new searchable blog page, “Museum and the City,” which includes blog posts on the ancient collections.

After a long COVID-enforced sabbatical, some tour groups are returning to the Middle East. John DeLancey has been posting daily summaries and photos of his Greece-Turkey-Italy tour, now through Day 13.

New release: The Story of the Apostle Paul, by J. Carl Laney

HT: Agade, Charles Savelle, Joseph Lauer, Arne Halbakken, Explorator

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Weekend Sale: Photo Companion to the Bible: 1 Samuel – only $49 with coupon SAMUEL

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Excavations have resumed at the Tel Motza (Moza) temple on the outskirts of Jerusalem.

“A pool of water near the Dead Sea was recently found to have turned red.”

The Jerusalem Post surveys archaeological work and discoveries made during a year of Covid.

Bryant Wood gives an update on important biblical archaeological discoveries in 2021.

Newsweek’s list of 20 largest museums in the world includes the Israel Museum in spot #17.

Al Qarara Cultural Museum is the first private museum in the Gaza Strip.

Sergio & Rhoda go searching for Micah’s hometown in the Shephelah (30-min video).

On the Rejuvenation podcast, Shay Bar discusses his archaeological studies in tribal territory of Manasseh and the Jordan Valley.

ASOR webinar on October 7: “Digging the Divine?: Judahite Pillar Figurines and the Archaeology of Israelite Religion,” by Erin Denby

HT: Agade, Charles Savelle, Joseph Lauer, Arne Halbakken, Explorator

1Samuel-DVD-3d-800

Weekend Sale: Photo Companion to the Bible: 1 Samuel – only $49 with coupon SAMUEL.

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Archaeologists discovered a Second Temple period quarry in northwest Jerusalem.

Regarding the recent story about the ancient Jerusalem weight which was falsely labeled to facilitate cheating, some scholars have observed that it was actually labeled correctly as an 8-gerah weight.

A secret tunnel under the slope of Mount Zion that was used by Israelis after Jordan captured the Old City in 1948 has now been opened to the public.

Israel has an “ark museum” of sorts, and Israel’s Good Name describes his visit to the Steinhardt Museum of Natural History in Tel Aviv in a well-illustrated blog post.

Dozens of installations used for the large-scale production of salt have been identified along the northern coasts of Israel.

The Ketef Hinnom silver amulets are the subject of an article in the most recent issue of Ink magazine, published by Tyndale House (pages 12-14).

Egypt is preparing to open the world’s largest open-air museum in Luxor.

“Using a leaf uncovered from the archaeological site of an ancient Egyptian temple, researchers . . . have successfully determined the ancient hybrid origin of some date palms.” The underlying journal article is here.

The National Museum of Beirut has reopened after a $175,000 restoration.

Excavations in eastern Turkey have revealed an unusual tomb belonging to an Urartian ruler who was buried with his dog, horses, cattle, and sheep.

“Out of the ashes of Pompeii, archaeologists recently pulled up a time capsule, though only the bronze hinges remained of what is being described as a ‘sorceress’ toolkit.’”

On December 6 and 13, John J. Collins will be giving a virtual lecture on “The Dead Sea Scrolls: The Light They Shed on Judaism and Christianity.” Registration is required and free.

Coming soon: Excavations in the City of David, Jerusalem (1995-2010), by Ronny Reich and Eli Shukron (Penn State University Press, 712 pages, $99.95).

This Week in the Ancient Near East wraps up the summer with a round-up episode.

The indoor model of 1st-century Jerusalem that was located at the Holy Land Experience in Orlando will be part of a new exhibit at the Ark Encounter. There’s a nice photo of the model here. And some others here.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Andy Cook, Charles Savelle, Arne Halbakken, Keith Keyser, G. M. Grena

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I’ve recently recommended Christopher Stanley’s A Rooster for Asklepios as an enjoyable way to enter the Greco-Roman world and all of its fascinating background to the New Testament. Frequently I found things clicking into place as he included some ancient custom or activity in the fictional story of a slave who journeys with his master to a healing sanctuary of Asklepios.

Early in the story, a young doctor is describing his previous employment at the temple of Asklepios in Hierapolis.

“The temple was always quite busy, as the springs attract vast numbers of people who wish to be cured. You might think that this would make it a good place for a physician to ply his trade,” he went on, “but it wasn’t.  Too many of the people whom I saw had waited until they were beyond healing before coming to the springs.  Many of them died there, while others left only to die at home.  If you’ve ever been to the city, you’ll know that the cemetery that runs along both sides of the main road contains far more tombs than you would expect for a city of its size.  Many of them belong to people from other cities who were too sick to travel home or who chose to stay and enjoy the comforts of the springs until their bodies gave out” (Kindle location 936; surfaced by Readwise).

This is a pretty obvious concept when you think about it, but I don’t know that I had ever thought about it. Hierapolis is an impressive city, not far from Laodicea, and the ancient cemetery is well worth some time exploring.

Hierapolis northern necropolis, tb041305056

Northern necropolis at Hierapolis

Hierapolis eastern necropolis, tb041305814

Buried tombs in eastern necropolis of Hierapolis

Hierapolis northern necropolis, shs031115195

Well-preserved tombs in the northern necropolis

For more about Hierapolis, see our page with photos and related websites.

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The Jerusalem Seminary has announced their Inauguration of the School of the Bible on Wednesday (8 pm in Jerusalem, and livestream) featuring Gerald McDermott, Jeffrey Seif, and Baruch Brian Kvasnica.

They have also announced a great slate of classes for the fall semester. The school is located in the center of Jerusalem, but all of the courses this semester are being held online.

I previously recommended JS when it launched a pilot semester, and their Matthew and Hebrew courses received rave reviews (see the bottom of each page). I know a number of the professors related to Jerusalem Seminary, and they are seasoned scholars who have lived for many years (or all their lives) in Israel.

You can jump over to the course catalog for all the details, but I’ve copied a summary below. I will note two items in particular: (1) there is an audit option at a reduced price; and (2) if you’ve ever wanted to learn some Hebrew, this beginner’s course will be exceptional.

Biblical Hebrew as a Living Language (Level 1) – Learn Biblical Hebrew as a living language from Israelis (Hebrew for the Nations certified instructors) using an interactive spoken Biblical Hebrew methodology! 4 Credits (60 hours) 600 dollars ($450 audit).

Early Christian Worship in its Jewish ContextFrom Temple worship to ancient Christian liturgies, dig into the Jewish roots of Christian music and prayer. Taught by Brittany McCay, MA, uniquely qualified to weave together Jewish roots, early Christianity, music and worship. 3 credits, 450 dollars ($350 audit).

Israel Matters: A Theology of People and LandA history of theology concerning Israel and her Biblical significance taught by one of the world’s leading theologians, Dr. Gerald McDermott. 3 credits, 450 dollars ($350 audit).

The Gospel of Matthew in its First Century ContextLearn about Jesus and His Jewish world through Matthew’s eyes from Matthean expert, Dr. Noel Rabinowitz. 3 credits, 450 dollars ($350 audit).

Unfolding Proverbs: Translation and ContextFor advanced Biblical Hebrew students: Wycliffe expert on Biblical Hebrew poetry, Murray Salisbury, MA, unpacks the rich wisdom of Proverbs. 3 credits, 600 dollars ($450 audit).

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