The Samaritans celebrated Passover on Mount Gerizim yesterday. Because the holiday fell on Shabbat, the sacrifice was held at noon, making photography a bit easier. The ceremony was previewed by Gil Zohar in the Jerusalem Post.

Israel Hayom has side-by-side photos of the new Mattaniah seal with a seal impression.

Luke Chandler expects that Yosef Garfinkel’s press conference next week will be about cultic finds from the 11th-10th centuries at Khirbet Qeiyafa. Aren Maeir has heard that the announcement will be “very special” and he makes a few guesses.

Archaeologists have now found five ritual baths in the “caves of refuge” in the Arbel cliffs.

I was at the Israel Museum a few days too early and entrance to a display of the earliest coins ever minted was blocked. Featuring 500 coins from two private collections, the “White Gold” exhibit opens on Tuesday and continues through March 2013.

Shmuel Browns reports, with photos, on the destruction of a mosaic floor in a monastery near the Elah Valley. A photo showing graffiti painted by the vandals is posted at Ynet News.

It’s hard to beat the $1.99 price tag at Christianbook.com on The Bible and The Land, by Gary M. Burge. (112 pages, softcover, mentioned previously here; $10 at Amazon).

HT: Joseph Lauer, Jack Sasson

Arbel cliffs from northwest, tb022107201

Cliffs of Arbel with caves