Yesterday I sent out the latest edition of the BiblePlaces Newsletter, complete with a “scoop” on how to get the digital maps from the New Moody Atlas of the Bible as well as a set of photos of the Israelite capital of Samaria.  You can read the newsletter here and you can subscribe here.

In the newsletter I also noted that in conjunction with a complete overhaul of the BiblePlaces webstore, we were offering a big discount for a brief time.  Today and tomorrow only you can purchase the complete four-volume electronic edition of Picturesque Palestine for $20, including free shipping in the US. 

Picturesque Palestine was published in four large volumes in 1881 and it was an immediate success. 

But there were many travel type books imagepublished in the 19th century that are no longer of much interest.  What makes Picturesque Palestine still valuable is that it was written by the best scholars of the day.  If you’ve done much research about the Holy Land, you’ll be familiar with names like Charles Wilson, Henry B. Tristram, Claude Conder, Mary Eliza Rogers, Charles Warren, Edward Palmer, and others.  

The work is also outstanding because of the hundreds of beautiful illustrations.  Color photographs have their value, but I love to study old engravings like this one.  Altogether the collection has 600 engravings, all identified in the filename.  When this set was published about five years ago, we didn’t have programs like Picasa that allowed quick and easy access to photos by searching.  Today you can copy all of these images to your computer and find what you are looking for instantaneously. 

I love this collection.  I love to read the stories and to enjoy the illustrations.  It took a lot of work to digitize the whole, but my hope is that it not only made the work available to a much wider audience (than the limited print editions that cost around $500), but also that it is much more useful than the originals are.

To get the discounted price, use this link.  The collection will be in your cart with the discount applied when you are ready to checkout.  The offer ends on Thursday, 9/16 at 11:59 pm.


From the Jerusalem Post:

A royal box built at the upper level of King Herod’s private theater at Herodium has been fully unveiled in recent excavations at the archaeological site, providing a further indication of the luxurious lifestyle favored by the well-known Jewish monarch, the Hebrew University announced in a statement released Tuesday.
The theater, first revealed in 2008, is located halfway up the hill near Herod’s mausoleum, whose exposure in 2007 aroused worldwide attention. The highly decorated, fairly small theater was built in approximately 15 BCE, which was the year of the visit of Roman leader Marcus Agrippa to Judea, Emperor Augustus’s right-hand man, according to Prof.  Nezter, who has been assisted in the excavations by Yakov Kalman, Roi Porath and Rachel Chachy.
The royal box (measuring eight by seven meters and about six meters high) is the central space among a group of rooms attached to the upper part of the theater’s structure. This impressive room likely hosted the king, his close friends and family members during performances in the theater and was fully open facing the stage.
Its back and side walls are adorned with an elaborate scheme of wall paintings and plaster moldings in a style that has not been seen thus far in Israel; yet, this style is known to have existed in Rome and Campania in Italy during those years. This work, therefore, was probably executed by Italian artists, perhaps sent by Marcus Agrippa, who a year before his visit to Judea met Herod on the famous Greek island of Lesbos, said Netzer.

The article continues here.  A similar story is posted at China Daily. For previous stories on Herod’s tomb, see here.  The Smithsonian has a gallery of a dozen photos of the Herodium, the last two of which (11, 12) show the most recent excavations.

HT: Joe Lauer

Herodium theater, tb010210567

Herodium theater
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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