Did the synagogue save Judaism? Paul V. M. Flesher answers the question in a new essay at the Bible and Interpretation, observing that “Judaism is the only Mediterranean religion that was practiced in 50 BC that still flourished in 500 AD.” He also addresses the “two-hundred-year gap” when there were allegedly no synagogues in the Holy Land.

NUMIDAT is a new one-of-a-kind online database of ancient coins, containing nearly 90,000 records.

Wayne Stiles hears echoes of Rosh Hashana in the ruins of the Temple Mount. Yoni Cohen recommends a six-hour hike in the Negev.

Now that 1,200 mines have been cleared, excavations have begun at ancient Carchemish. The team is comprised of 25 Italian and Turkish archaeologists who hope to transform the site into an archaeology park. One official eager for tourists said, “I hope [the excavation] does not take very long.” (Background and photos here and here.)

Leen Ritmeyer notes upcoming lectures at the Palestine Exploration Fund in London.

The Preserving Bible Times Collection (5 vols) for Logos Bible Software quickly received the minimum number of orders and is now under development. The discount is valid until the collection ships.

The Israel Museum is selling some of its artwork.

If you are looking for results for an excavation in Israel, particularly of a smaller site, the search page for Hadashot Arkheologiyot is the place to start. The content is all free.

ASOR has a roundup of stories in the broader world of archaeology.

I thought that the photo below was hilarious. If you’ve always wondered what that combustible city of Nablus looks like, you can find the answer in William A. Simmons, Peoples of the New Testament World (Hendrickson, 2008). (To see what they cropped out of the photo, compare it with this one.)

HT: Benj Foreman


“The city of Nablus”