If you’re in the Philadelphia area, there are two exhibits of interest now going on related to Pharaoh Tutankhamun.

Treasures from the tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamun are currently holding court at Philadelphia’s Franklin Institute Science Museum. That blockbuster exhibition brings to life an intriguing story from the golden age of ancient Egypt.Tutankhamen's mask, 110-16tb Meanwhile, another part of the story — equally compelling — unfolds at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, also in Philadelphia. “Amarna: Ancient Egypt’s Place in the Sun,” a low-key companion exhibit, illuminates the story of Tut’s boyhood home and ancestors. Amarna is the modern name for a lost city originally known as Akhetaten. It’s where Tut was born and grew up some 3,300 years ago during the New Kingdom. The city rose and fell like a meteor in the desert in little more than a generation, circa 1353 to 1336 B.C. This was near the end of the 18th  dynasty of the pharaohs, a pinnacle of power and culture in Egypt.

You can read the full story at APP.com.


This isn’t the first time and it won’t be the last time that Muslims conduct an illegal excavation on the Temple Mount.  If they do it enough, one supposes that it’ll cease to be news and people may stop caring.  And if they do it enough and destroy enough ancient material, maybe they can get the facts to align with their theory–there never was a Jewish Temple on the Temple Mount.  In any case, if you want to see pictures and read more about the story, I’d start with this Arutz-7 report.  I’m surprised the authorities weren’t more vigilant about not allowing photographs.  For more on the protests by Israeli archaeologists, see this JPost story.  Or read the JPost editorial.

UPDATE: Leen Ritmeyer has written a little about this, and includes diagrams and a video.


Several months ago a new museum opened at the foot of Masada. I won’t repeat the details about the museum that you can read in the Haaretz, JPost, and goisrael articles, but I’ll just add a personal comment from my recent visit: I found the displays to be beautifully presented, mentally stimulating, and historically accurate. Entrance requires a handheld audio guide, which costs about 20 NIS ($5), and no photos are allowed. The audio guide is more of a gimmick, as the text of the audio (and much more) is written on the displays. Overall, I recommend a visit to the museum, especially to those who are making a second visit to the site.
UPDATE (8/10): The Jerusalem Post has just posted a lengthy article about the museum.


nazareth_cross In the “you’ve got to be kidding me” file goes this story about the world’s largest cross being erected in Nazareth.  Besides the fact that such a 200-foot towering construction would be so out of place aesthetically, there’s the issue of Christian-Muslim relations in the town of Jesus’ childhood.  In short, there’s not one chance in a million that the Muslims will allow it.  If legal challenges don’t stop it, violence will.  The official site is http://www.nazarethcross.com/  You have to wonder – what would Jesus have thought as a child if he knew what people would one day try to do. 

Or what does he think now?  If you look over the website and aren’t convinced it’s a crass marketing effort, you didn’t read this.  7.2 million tiles times 100 bucks equals $720 million.  Wish I had thought of it.

About the BiblePlaces Blog

The BiblePlaces Blog provides updates and analysis of the latest in biblical archaeology, history, and geography. Unless otherwise noted, the posts are written by Todd Bolen, PhD, Professor of Biblical Studies at The Master’s University.


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