Excavations at Khirbet al-Mudayna (Medeiniyeh) have been slowly and steadily peeling back the history of this large site on the southern side of the Medeba Plateau in Jordan.  Some have suggested that the site be identified with Jahaz, the scene of the encounter between the Israelites under Moses and Sihon the Amorite (Num 21:23; Deut 2:32; cf. Judg 11:20; Isa 15:4; Jer 48:34).  From Exchange Magazine:

For two decades, Laurier archaeology professor Michèle Daviau has led international teams of scholars and students abroad to uncover the hidden lives of people who existed thousands of years ago.
During her most recent excavation in Jordan, Daviau was astounded by the discovery of a limestone statue and several high-status objects that appear to have been imported from outside the region.
The objects were made from a variety of materials: three small black ware vessels, one with an incised design of triangles, two faience cosmetic containers, two faience bottles, one calcite cosmetic vessel, two alabaster vessels, one fine-grain basalt bowl and a steatite cosmetic mortar were discovered in an ancient house dating back to about 600 BC.
The objects were in the same room as a 40-centimetres statue of a male with red paint preserved on his left leg and his hands. Such finds have no parallels in Jordan although their source may be Egypt or Phoenicia, said Daviau.
“The alabaster and faience objects suggest influence from the two superpowers in the region, Egypt and Assyria, but the dynamics whereby these objects arrived at the site are a mystery,” she said. “They may reflect a period of about 30 or 40 years when Egypt controlled this area.”
The principal sites under excavation by Daviau in the Wadi ath-Thamad area are Khirbat al-Mudayna and the Roman fortress of Zuna. The former is a walled Iron Age town (1,000 to 600 BC) situated on a hill with the Nabataean/early-Roman period settlement (100 BC to 150 AD) at the hill’s base. More than 150 sites that date from the Lower Paleolithic to the Ottoman period have been located in the dig’s 10- by 11-kilometre survey area.

The story continues here.  You can read more about the site at BAS’s Find a Dig, learn more about the archaeologist on her university profile page, or check out the Facebook group.

HT: Joe Lauer

Medeiniyeh on Themed, possible Jahaz, from west, tb061204329

Khirbet al-Mudayna on the Wadi ath-Thamad

Tel Shikmona (Shiqmona) sits on the tip of Mount Carmel next to the Mediterranean Sea.  Its location within the modern city of Haifa has made it very accessible to scholars over the last century, beginning with the work of Moshe Dothan in 1951.  Seventeen seasons of excavation were conducted by the Haifa Municipal Museum of Ancient Art (1963-79), with strata discovered from the Late Bronze, Iron I-II, Persian, Hellenistic, Roman, and Byzantine periods.  Recently archaeologists have uncovered beautiful mosaics from a Byzantine church building.  The University of Haifa has issued a press release with photos.

Researchers at the Institute of Archaeology from the University of Haifa excavating at Tel Shikmona have exposed magnificent mosaics dating back to the Byzantine Period (sixth century C.E.), which were part of an ecclesiastic structure. The excavations are taking place as part of a project funded by the Hecht Foundation, to expand the Hecht Park in Haifa, Israel, annex it to Tel Shikmona, and transform Shikmona into a public archaeological park.

The story is also reported by the Jerusalem Post.

HT: Joe Lauer