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Jerusalem University College is offering three online courses this summer, and I am teaching one of them. I’d love to have you join me on a six-week study of “The History of Israel’s United Monarchy.”

We’ll meet every Monday from 8:00 to 9:30 pm Eastern Time, from May 13 to June 17. The lectures will be recorded, so you can review them later or watch for the first time if you’re unable to attend some/all of the sessions live. This is a Summer Institute course that is offered for $189 per study, and no credit is offered. No homework will be required either, but I will providing you with some recommended readings, including some of my own research, both published and (yet) unpublished, along with some free photo resources.

My goal is to help you understand what was going on in Israel when Saul, David, and Solomon reigned over the twelve tribes. Our primary source is the biblical text, but we can learn a lot from extrabiblical texts, geographical studies, and archaeological excavations. I will bring lots of charts, maps, and photos to help make sense of it all. I have been teaching this subject for (exactly) 25 years, and I love it. (I’m teaching it at my university right now, but you get it at a much cheaper cost, and without having to write a research paper!) This course will be the first I have ever taught that is open to the public, and I’m looking forward to the adventure!

The JUC Summer Institute includes two other excellent courses that meet at other times, so you don’t have to choose between them:

Chandler Collins, “Edible Landscapes of the Biblical World,” Tuesdays, 8:00-9:30 pm Eastern

Wave Nunnally, “Jesus the Galilean,” Thursdays, 7:00-8:30 pm Eastern

You can get all the details and register here.

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The Cyrus Cylinder is on display at the Yale Peabody Museum until the end of June. On May 1, Irving Finkel will give a lecture at the museum on “Cyrus and His Cylinder: What Was He Thinking?” Registration is required.

The severed hands discovered at Avaris is likely a practice introduced by the Hyksos rulers of Egypt.

Five extramural shrines dated to the Late Bronze/Iron Age (LB/IA) have been excavated in the southern arid margins of the Levant: two at Timna, and one at Horvat Qitmit, ‘EnHazeva (Naqab) and Wadi at-Thamad (in south-central Transjordan).”

A full-color graphic version of Eric H. Cline’s 1177 B.C. has been released, with illustrations by Glynnis Fawkes ($15-22). In The Ancient Near East Today, Fawkes explains how she turned Cline’s book into cartoons.

New release: Byblos: A Legacy Unearthed, edited by the National Museum of Antiquities (the Netherlands). Open access.

The latest episode on This Week in the Ancient Near East is “The Case of the Roman Medical Instruments from Southwest Turkey, Or, The Doctor Will See What’s Left of You Now.”

A special exhibition opens next week at the ISAC Museum in Chicago: “Pioneers of the Sky: Aerial Archaeology and the Black Desert,” with images from Megiddo, Persepolis, and eastern Jordan. Marie-Laure Chambrade, exhibition curator, will be giving a lecture in person and online on May 14.

Ronald E. Clements, professor of Old Testament at Cambridge and King’s College London, died earlier this month.

Bob Rognlien has released a Video Study Guide for his book on the life of Jesus, The Most Extraordinary Life. This series of ten-minute episodes is a study and discussion guide for small groups, using footage shot for the feature-length documentary film, “Following the Footsteps.” You can see the video on chapter 4 here.

HT: Agade, Ted Weis, Arne Halbakken, Gordon Dickson, Gordon Franz

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Scholars are trying to understand four clay tokens discovered near the Temple Mount and unlike any known elsewhere in the Roman world.

The Hamas War has resulted in damage to many archaeological sites in Gaza, though some treasures have been protected in Switzerland for years.

“Nahal HaShofet, one of central Israel’s most popular outdoor destinations, reopened this week after extensive renovations costing 25 million shekels.”

A new project at Hazor is seeking to understand the transition from the Late Bronze Age to the Early Iron Age based on archaeological discoveries and biblical texts.

After Roman-era mosaics was discovered at Moza (Emmaus/Colonia) near Jerusalem and then removed by the authorities, nearby residents came together to create a replica of one of them to place in the center of their community.

On April 21, 1:00 pm Eastern, “The Megiddo Expedition invites you to a webinar: Megiddo: News from the Iron Age. In this webinar, the Megiddo Expedition Team Members will update you on the latest news from the Iron Age, including the Iron Age Gates, the search for the Iron Age Administrative Building, the time of Josiah, and our secret plans for the 2025 Season.” Register here; a recording will be available here.

The subject of the latest issue of ‘Atiqot is “Wine Production, Trade and Consumption in the Southern Levant.” All articles are posted online.

Available for pre-order: Capernaum: Jews and Christians in the Ancient Village from the Time of Jesus to the Emergence of Islam, by Wally V. Cirafesi (Fortress; Amazon $45; Logos $25).

Edward Lipiński, scholar of Aramaic and Phoenician studies, died last week.

Andy Cook has been in Jerusalem, and he filmed a video of the important excavations on the south side of the Temple Mount.

HT: Agade, Ted Weis, Arne Halbakken, Gordon Dickson, Gordon Franz

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If you didn’t know that we released the long-awaited Genesis volume last week, you probably are not subscribed to the BiblePlaces Newsletter.

Circumstances late last year forced us to rebuild the entire subscriber list from scratch, so that could explain why you are not on the new list. Subscribing is free and easy, and you receive two photo sets when you do (140 photos of Herodium and 240 of Philippi).

The Genesis volume is the largest collection of photographs in the Photo Companion to the Bible series (or in any of our 72 volumes of images). Quantity is important in building a library of images, but we haven’t sacrificed quality. Our team started working on Genesis eight years ago, and since then our team has assembled the best photographs of sites, artifacts, reconstructions, maps, and artwork, all with the goal of providing whatever image you need to better understand, illustrate, and explain God’s Word.

Our latest newsletter has all the details, including photographs, endorsements, and a free sample chapter, or you can go directly to ordering the DVD+download or download-only.

The regular price of $149 is reduced for a few more days to an introductory special of $79. Satisfaction is guaranteed, and all future updates to the Genesis volume are free.

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Some newly discovered frescoes inspired by the Trojan War are among the finest ever to have been found at Pompeii.

Archaeologists working on the Greek island of Aegina have discovered a Mycenean building from the time of the kingdom’s decline.

Cats were known and domesticated in ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome, but are absent from the Bible and Second Temple literature. The Persians despised cats, but the Talmud tolerates them.”

For the occasion of last week’s solar eclipse, Carl Rasmussen brings back an explanation of how “the solar eclipse of June 15, 763 B.C. holds the key to the chronology of the Old Testament.”

Logos has some archaeology books available for pre-order:

Ferrell Jenkins shares a photo of three milestones taken at the Museum of Mediterranean Archaeology at the Gan Hashlosha (Sachne) park.

John DeLancey has released a bonus session in his Life of Christ in Context series focused on “Jesus in Jerusalem.” His talk includes many photos and illustrations.

HT: Agade, Arne Halbakken, Gordon Franz, Ted Weis

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Andy Cook was at the Pool of Siloam this week and he recorded a video showing the site now with the news that they have apparently discovered the eastern wall of the pool.

Sifting at the Pool of Siloam excavation revealed a gaming die dating from the 13th century AD.

The find of the month (from before the war began) at the Temple Mount Sifting Project is a piece of a Byzantine stone chancel screen. What was that doing on the Temple Mount?

“Israeli archaeologists have reconstructed a 6,000-year-old vessel made of elephant ivory, which had been shattered in antiquity and preserved inside a basalt stone container for millennia.”

Bible History Daily gives a summary of an article in the latest issue of BAR on a wealthy Iron Age house discovered in Jerusalem with hundreds of ivory fragments.

The latest issue of Jerusalem in Brief reports on a tomb from the time of Judah’s monarchy that was discovered near the center of the Old City. “This is the only undisputed Iron Age II tomb that has been revealed within the confines of the Old City.”

Israeli university students are using AI to read corrupted inscriptions in Hebrew and Aramaic.

“A rare six-legged mountain gazelle has been spotted in Israel. The male gazelle has an extra pair of legs growing from its back, but wildlife experts say it seems to be managing fine with the extra appendages.”

Bible Land Passages has just released a docuseries entitled “The Temple: Then and Now.” The five episodes feature on-location footage, beautiful drone imagery, and brand-new reconstructions. Each episode is 10-15 minutes long, and you can read a description for each and view them all at the Bible Land Passages website.

A new student academic journal that I oversee was published this week. The topics are mostly related to Isaiah, not biblical archaeology, but if that’s an interest, you can take a look. I’m very impressed with their work.

HT: Agade, Arne Halbakken, Gordon Franz, Ted Weis

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