Ehud Netzer, an Israeli archaeologist renowned for his excavations of projects of King Herod, has passed away in Jerusalem following a fall at Herodium a couple of days ago.  Limited details are posted at the blogs of Jim West, Menachem Mendel, and Aren Maeir, as well as the Jerusalem Post

His fall was reported today in the Hebrew press here, here, and here. Netzer excavated at Herodium, Masada, Caesarea, Jericho, and in Jerusalem.  His recent work, The Architecture of Herod, the Great Builder, is an excellent survey that makes available to the public the decades of his research.  His death is a great loss to many.  May his family and friends be comforted.

HT: Joe Lauer


The Samaritan calendar differs from the Jewish calendar, and their celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot) began last week.  Haaretz has a brief article about the observance, along with the notice that there are 712 living Samaritans (not “about 500” or “about 600,” as I’ve always heard, but “712”).

The Samaritans, members of an ancient sect closely associated to Judaism, marked the holiday of the Tabernacles, or Sukkot, on Friday.
Followers of the religion held an annual pilgrimage ceremony on Mount Gerizim, the sect’s holiest site, near Nablus.
Though the Samaritans numbered well over one million in late Roman times, there are now only 712 remaining members, who live mostly on Mount Gerizim and in Holon.

The newspaper has a gallery of six photos, but you’ll do better to head over to the Denver Post, which has beautiful images of previous Samaritan and the Jewish celebrations.  The Samaritan community also has a page with video (Hebrew) about the event.  China View has even more information about the Samaritan community and Sukkot.

Samaritan Passover, praying standing, mat01846

Samaritan prayers on Mount Gerizim

This photo is from the Traditional Life and Customs volume of The American Colony and Eric Matson Collection (Library of Congress, LC-matpc-01846).

HT: Joe Lauer

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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