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A Canaanite city and palace at Tel Kabri were apparently destroyed by an earthquake circa 1700 BC. The underlying journal article is here.

Archaeologists have discovered a winepress south of Sidon in Lebanon that dates to the 7th century BC, making it the oldest known Phoenician winepress. The underlying journal article is here.

An inkwell from the 1st century AD was discovered during excavations at Khirbet Brakhot in Gush Etzion.

“An experiment with unglazed clay pots hinted at how much archaeologists can learn about ancient cultures from cooking vessels.”

A PhD student at Tel Aviv University is developing a new method of dating ancient mudbrick walls by analyzing one of its components: human and animal waste.

Elon Gilad and Ruth Schuster look at the development of Hellenistic Judaism in Israel, including seven synagogues with mosaics depicting the Zodiac.

Lutz Martin shares the interesting story of Max von Oppenheim, a German Jew who ended up excavating Tell Halaf in Syria and then founding a private museum which the Allies destroyed in a bombing raid. Fortunately, that is not the end of the story.

National Geographic runs a story on the discovery of Petra by Johann Ludwig Burckhardt.

Ferrell Jenkins shares a photo of the arch of Domitian at Hierapolis.

New from Eisenbrauns: Ramat Raḥel IV: The Renewed Excavations by the Tel Aviv–Heidelberg Expedition (2005–2010): Stratigraphy and Architecture, by Oded Lipschits, Manfred Oeming, and Yuval Gadot. Use code NR20 for 30% off.

Applications for fellowships at the Albright Institute in Jerusalem are now being accepted.

The next Zoom virtual lecture for the Anglo Israel Archaeological Society will be by Yana Tchekhanovets on 1st October. Her topic is The Holy City: Fourth-Century Jerusalem in the Light of the New Archaeological Data. To register email secretary@aias.org.uk.

Steve Notley will be speaking about his excavations at el-Araj, a strong candidate for Bethsaida, in a lecture hosted on October 1 by the Museum of the Bible. Registration and fee are required for both the in-person and virtual options.

NYU and the IAA are sponsoring a virtual conference on October 25-28 entitled “The Land that I Will Show You”: Recent Archaeological and Historical Studies of Ancient Israel. A full program is not yet posted. Registration is free and required.

Lois Tverberg has several online speaking events coming up, including a week-long study on “How God Used the Torah to Save the World.”

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Keith Keyser

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Palm trees grown from 2,000-year-old seeds have produced more than a hundred dates, beautiful and tasty. (The father is Methuselah, the mother Hannah.)

A high-tech analysis of 18 ostraca from Arad reveals that they were written by 12 different hands, attesting to a high level of literacy in the kingdom of Judah in the late 7th century BC. The underlying journal article is here.

“A collection of more than 13 intact and sealed coffins has been unearthed in Saqqara, the first step towards a huge discovery to be announced soon on site.”

“The Harvard Museum of the Ancient Near East (HMANE, formerly the Harvard Semitic Museum) has recently started posting 3D scans of its cuneiform collection on-line.”

With the help of some old photos of Qumran Cave 1, Brent Nongbri has identified a couple of unheralded excavators of the Dead Sea Scrolls caves.

“According to the ‘Deal of the Century’ map, hundreds of heritage and archaeology sites in Judea and Samaria are slated to be removed from Israeli control and transferred to the jurisdiction of the proposed Palestinian state.”

The Louvre is helping to restore security for the National Museum of Beirut following extensive damage in the August 4 explosion.

When Adam Henein died this spring, Egypt lost a highly regarded artist whose work included a major restoration of the Sphinx.

People who climb Egyptian antiquities “without a license” will be punished under a new law passed by the government.

Necho II, slayer of King Josiah, is the subject of the latest archaeological biography by Bryan Windle.

Steven Anderson has now finished making playlists for all of Omer Frenkel’s beautiful readings of the Hebrew Bible.

A man was detained when caught hunting gazelles in a park in Jerusalem.

Tim Challies reviews A Harvard Professor, a Con Man, and the Gospel of Jesus and draws implications for all with regard to discoveries that appear to contradict (or confirm) the Christian faith.

Jerusalem University College has announced that Dr. Oliver Hersey will become the next president when Dr. Paul Wright retires in 2021.

Jerusalem recently broke a 139-year-record for the hottest night (with a low of 88.7°F, 31.5°C).

I’ve had a chance to look more carefully at the new Biblical Israel by Air. The thumb drive includes two high-resolution video files (mp4), one narrated and one non-narrated, with 69 minutes of drone footage of beautiful sites including the Sea of Galilee, Joppa, Caesarea, Mount Carmel, Jordan River, Arbel, Capernaum, Dan, Beth Shean, Shiloh, Jericho, Masada, Mount Nebo (on a clear day!), Macherus, Petra, and 40 other sites. This remarkable collection is available at an introductory price of $45 (or $30 for the DVD).

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Keith Keyser, Wayne Stiles, Explorator

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A trove of Phoenician artifacts was long ascribed to a single shipwreck. More likely they were tossed overboard [as votive offerings], and over centuries [7th-3rd c BC], a new study suggests.”

A wildfire recently threatened the Bronze Age site of Mycenae in Greece.

Annie Attia writes about what we know about epidemics in ancient Mesopotamia.

A team of researchers is using new technology to discover erased texts in the library of St. Catherine’s Monastery.

Some scholars are ridiculing Yosef Garfinkel’s theory that an anthropomorphic clay head from Khirbet Qeiyafa depicts the face of God.

Foy Scalf will be lecturing on Tuesday, Sept 8, on “Measuring Time: The Ancient Egyptian Invention of the Clock,” using artifacts from the University of Chicago’s Oriental Institute Museum.

New: A Classical Archaeologist’s Life: The Story so Far: An Autobiography, by John Boardman

The full-length production of “Caesarea by the Sea: Rome’s Capital in Israel” has just been released. As you may recall from the trailers, the video features 3D digital models of King Herod’s city. You can watch the 20-minute documentary for free at the Bible Land Passages website as well as on YouTube.

HT: Agade, Ted Weis, Joseph Lauer

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Archaeologists working at Azekah may have found traces of the Assyrian siege ramp used to conquer the city in 701 BC.

The Waqf filled in a hole that opened in the Temple Mount floor with concrete on Tuesday, raising concerns that possible archaeological findings may now be lost.” Zachi Dvira at the Temple Mount Sifting Project offers his thoughts on the possible significance of the now-filled opening, along with some rare photos of underground areas of the Temple Mount.

The Israel Museum has re-opened “with a coronavirus-safe approach that includes half-hour capsule tours of the museum’s permanent and current exhibits.”

Gordon Govier writes about the summer excavations in Israel that were not, and those that were.

Lawrence Schiffman writes on discoveries made in 2020 for Ami Magazine.

Usha, an ancient village in western Galilee, is the subject of a 6-minute news piece on Israel Daily. (Note: add “the Sanhedrin Trail” to your bucket list.)

Zvi Koenigsberg looks at the possible connection between the site(s) of Gilgal and the strange phenomenon of “footprints” on the eastern side of Israel.

Dan Warner is on The Book and the Spade this week talking about the Gezer water tunnel.

Biblical Israel Ministries and Tours has just released a brand-new resource that features beautiful aerial footage of more than 55 biblical sites in Israel and Jordan. The launch price is only $30 for the DVD and $45 for a higher-res version on a thumb drive. Individual high-res site videos are available for only $4 each.

HT: Agade, Ted Weis, Joseph Lauer

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I don’t usually take away from class time to talk about the latest (usually over-hyped) discovery, but I did today. The announcement of the discovery of three royal (Proto-Aeolic) capitals south of ancient Jerusalem is exciting, as it provides beautiful evidence of a building that once served Manasseh or Josiah.

The Jerusalem Post has a good write-up, including a 2.5 minute video that captures well the excitement of the moment of finding the second capital in an unexpected place.

One of the things that makes this discovery so interesting is that relatively few such capitals have been found over the last century of excavating in Israel. My notes may need some updating, but here is what I have for the locations, numbers, and dates of Proto-Aeolic capitals:

  • Dan – 1 (9th c.)
  • Hazor – 2 (9th c.)
  • Megiddo – 13 (10th-9th c.)
  • Samaria – 7 (9th c.)
  • Gezer – possibly
  • Jerusalem (City of David)- 1 (late Iron Age?)
  • Ramat Rahel – 10 (late Iron Age)
  • Medeibiyeh, Jordan – 1 (late Iron Age?)

This discovery of three in close proximity, along with their excellent preservation, surely stirs the imagination as to what impressive building stood here in the final decades before Jerusalem fell to Babylon.

5.Photo-Shai Halevi Israel Antiquities Authority (44)

Three Proto-Aeolic Capitals discovered near the Armon Hanatziv Promenade near the UN Headquarters. Photo courtesy of Shai Halevi, Israel Antiquities Authority.

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An archaeological survey team “has located an extensive series of mysterious openings cut high in a cliff inside the sacred valley south of the royal cemetery of Umm Al-Qaab.”

“Three mummified animals from ancient Egypt have been digitally unwrapped and dissected by researchers using high-resolution 3D scans.”

Smithsonian Magazine: “In the Land of Kush” provides an impressive tour of an area many of us will probably never be able to visit.

“Gold seekers have destroyed a 2,000-year-old historical site deep in the deserts of Sudan, according to officials.” Their use of heavy equipment destroyed all signs of the ancient site.

Mark Wilson reports on his recent visit to Pella in Jordan.

“The Defense Ministry has released some of the first photographs taken by Israel’s newest spy satellite, showing ancient ruins in the central Syrian city of Palmyra.”

A new video produced by the Metropolitan Museum of Art looks how how peoples of the ancient Near East responded to various adversities.

The University of Central Florida has compiled a list of Open Educational Resources for the Ancient Near East.

The 23rd Annual Bible and Archaeologist Fest will be a 2-day online seminar this year with many interesting speakers.

HT: Agade, Ted Weis, Joseph Lauer

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