What do you do when your summer excavation site turns out to be less than 5 miles from a war zone?
The Ashkelon team had to figure matters out on the fly.
Mark Hoffman is inviting everyone to join his free, online course, “Survey of the Lands of the Bible.”
This MOOC begins in September and you can participate as much and as little as desired.
Wayne Stiles has a well-written and well-illustrated article about Ein Parath, where Jeremiah buried his loincloth.
How did archaeologists come to reject the biblical description of Joshua’s conquest? Henry Smith explains. He is interviewed briefly about the article here.
Leon Mauldin takes his readers to the Mamertine Prison in Rome.
ISIS Is About to Destroy Biblical History in Iraq.
Cleopatra’s Needle in New York City is getting a laser cleaning. “In nanoseconds, the soot particles are turned into white-hot plasma.”
The latest issue of ‘Atiqot is online and it includes several articles about an excavation in the Kidron Valley.
Göbekli Tepe excavator Klaus Schmidt died last week.
Amnon Rosenfeld—In Memoriam, by Howard R. Feldman.
HT: Charles Savelle, G. M. Grena, Craig Dunning
Cleopatra’s Needle, New York City
A new museum has opened at Hisham’s palace (Khirbet al-Mafjar) in Jericho.
A temple to the Urartian god Haldi has been discovered in northern Iraq.
A painting from the tomb of a priest in the Old Kingdom was discovered near the Giza pyramids.
You can read an update on the recent developments at the Temple Mount Sifting Project. The summary includes a series of photos of various sets of objects found.
The Tel Burna team ended their season by taking photos from a helicopter drone. The post shows the whole process.
Roman roads and milestones in Judaea and Palaestina are the focus of a new website produced by the Kinneret College on the Sea of Galilee and the Israeli Milestone Committee.
Raphael Golb will spend two months in the slammer for his crimes of criminal impersonation and forgery.
“The Archaeology of Music” is the subject on this week’s episode of The Book and the Spade.
Biblical Archaeology Society has a summer sale, including the entire BAR Archive on DVD for $99.95.
HT: Jack Sasson, Ted Weis
SourceFlix has posted a video taken by drone of the Old City and Temple Mount of Jerusalem.
Excavators at Jezreel discovered an amethyst scarab that likely came from Jezebel’s homeland.
Amnon Rosenfeld died in a car accident in Israel last week. Earlier this month he wrote “The Antiquities Game – Behind the Trial of the Century.” The article is long but has a number of valuable insights.
With Gaza in the news again, Ferrell Jenkins discusses its biblical significance.
The excavators at Gath had a very interesting day on Thursday.
Abram K-J has found a free digital Greek edition of Eusebius’s Onomasticon.
Rik Wadge and Steve Shermett host a series on biblical archaeology entitled Rocks, Shovels, and
Manuscripts on God’s Learning Channel. The most recent episodes focus on the seven churches of Revelation.
Caves in Israel—Manmade and God-made: Wayne Stiles explains and illustrates. He also offers a free download of a book he recently wrote for the Israel Ministry of Tourism, 100 Off-The-Beaten-Path Sites.
The Baptist Press reports on this summer’s excavation at Gezer in light of the on-going conflict.
Tensions and conflict between Hamas and Israel — including Palestinian rocket-fire on Jerusalem and Tel Aviv and Israeli air strikes on Gaza — have escalated in recent days. But Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s archaeological teams at Tel Gezer, located between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, continue to work and unearth valuable historical data about the region.
“Fortunately, our excavation camp and where we work are in low-populated areas, out of the target range and strategy of the rockets coming from Gaza,” Steven Ortiz, professor of archaeology and biblical backgrounds at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, said.
“Our dig house just happens to be a bomb shelter, so we have gone to the dig house when we heard the air raid sirens, and it is also open to other guests of the hotel and community,” he said. “We are sensitive to all parties involved in the conflict, take every precaution and follow all directions from the Israeli government.”
The full article notes some of the recent progress, including this season’s excavation of a large building near the Solomonic gate.
Following recent discoveries of mosaics depicting Samson’s life, excavators at Huqoq revealed a new mosaic this summer that depicts other non-biblical scenes. From the UNC press release:
Excavations led by a University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill faculty member revealed stunning new mosaics decorating the floor of the Late Roman (fifth century) synagogue at Huqoq, an ancient Jewish village in Israel’s Lower Galilee.
Since 2012, three well-preserved mosaics have been discovered in the same location in excavations directed by Jodi Magness….
In 2012, a mosaic showing Samson and the foxes (as related in the Bible’s Judges 15:4) was discovered in the synagogue’s east aisle. Last summer (2013), a second mosaic was found which shows Samson carrying the gate of Gaza on his shoulders (Judges 16:3).
A third mosaic discovered in the synagogue’s east aisle is divided into three horizontal registers (strips), and differs in style, quality and content from the Samson scenes. It is the first time a non-biblical story has been found decorating any ancient synagogue. Portions of this mosaic were uncovered in 2013, and the rest was revealed this summer.
The lowest register shows a bull pierced by spears, with blood gushing from his wounds, and a dying or dead soldier holding a shield. The middle register depicts an arcade, with the arches framing young men arranged around a seated elderly man holding a scroll, and lighted oil lamps above each arch. The uppermost register depicts a meeting between two large male figures. A bearded, diademed soldier wearing elaborate battle dress and a purple cloak is leading a large bull by the horns, accompanied by a phalanx of soldiers and elephants with shields tied to their sides. He is meeting with a grey-haired, bearded elderly man wearing a ceremonial white tunic and mantle, accompanied by young men with sheathed swords, also wearing ceremonial white tunics and mantles.
The identification of the figures in this mosaic is unclear because there are no stories in the Hebrew Bible involving elephants, Magness said.
”Battle elephants were associated with Greek armies beginning with Alexander the Great, so this might be a depiction of a Jewish legend about the meeting between Alexander and the Jewish high priest,” Magness suggested. “Different versions of this story appear in the writings of Flavius Josephus and in rabbinic literature.”
The press release includes a small photo. A photo of the elephant can be seen in Magness’s article in Biblical Archaeology Review last year. Huqoq is located several miles west of Capernaum.
HT: Joseph Lauer