Weekend Roundup, Part 1

Archaeologists have announced the discovery of a 13th dynasty scarab in a gold ring at Tel Dor.

Excavations begin this summer at el-Araj, a candidate for the site of Bethsaida. Nyack College is participating and inviting others to join them.

The Temple Institute held a public practice reenactment of the Passover sacrifice last week. A few dozen photos have been posted.

Two Israeli Jews were arrested for trying to carry a goat up to the Temple Mount to make a Passover sacrifice.

A senior Egyptian archaeologist has claimed that the Pharaoh of the exodus was not Egyptian.

Paleojudaica provides some analysis.

The 8th-century citadel at Ashdod Yam was vandalized recently by youths who shared photos on social media. The teens who caused the damage have now apologized.

What’s there to see in Ashdod? Aviva and Shmuel Bar-Am lead readers on a tour of the sites.

Wayne Stiles shows you what you’ll see if you walk down the Kidron Valley.

For an CT article, Gordon Govier asks evangelical scholars to weigh in on the recent study that literacy in ancient Israel was more widespread than previously believed.

The full text is online for Lawrence Schiffman’s recent lecture entitled, “In the Valley of David and Goliath: Digging Up Evidence on the United Monarchy.”

Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary eBooks are on sale now for $4.99 each.

Now free online in pdf format: John J. Bimson, Redating the Exodus and Conquest, 2nd ed. Sheffield: The Almond Press, 1981.

A bidding war has resulted in sale of 1,000 historic photographs of the Holy Land to sell for nearly $1.5 million. Note to the loser: we can provide you with more than 1,000 images for half price!
Seth Rodriquez, a long-time contributor to this blog, has been invited to teach a course in biblical backgrounds at the Baptist Theological Seminary of Zimbabwe and he would appreciate your prayer and financial support.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Charles Savelle


The World of the New Testament in New York City

(by Gordon Franz)
There are two special exhibitions in New York City that illustrate the World of the New Testament. The first is at the Onassis Center in the Olympic Tower on 5th Avenue. This exhibit is entitled: “Gods and Mortals at Olympus.” All the objects from this display come from the city of Dion, a Roman colony in the first century AD, at the base of Mount Olympus. The port of Dion was probably where the Apostle Paul embarked on a ship to Athens on his Second Missionary Journey (Acts 17:14). Two highlights of this exhibition are a headless cult statue of Zeus Hypsistos (“Almighty”) and a mosaic of the epiphany of Dionysus, the god of wine and merrymaking. This exhibition is open until June 18, 2016. There are free guided tours on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 1 PM. Admission is free.

Click here for more information.

The second special exhibition is at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on 5th Avenue and is entitled “Pergamon and the Hellenistic Kingdoms of the Ancient World.” One-third of the 264 artworks on display come from the Pergamon Museum in Berlin. The church at Pergamon was one of the seven churches in the early chapters or the Book of the Revelation to receive a letter from the Lord Jesus (Rev 2:12-17). Three highlights of this exhibit are the 11-foot wide painting of the acropolis by the 19th century German artist Friedrich von Thiersch; a model of the altar of Zeus that some commentators suggest is “Satan’s throne” (Rev 2:13); and a 13-foot-tall statue of Athena Parthenos, similar to the one in the Parthenon in Athens, but on a much smaller scale. This exhibition closes on July 17, 2016. Admission is free with museum admission. The website says: “If you buy tickets at a museum ticket counter, the amount you pay is up to you . . . . Please be as generous as you can.

Suggested admission is $25 for adults, $17 for seniors, $12 for students, and free for children under 12.” Click here for more information.

Pergamon. Items inspired by the outstanding artistry and technical achievements of ancient Hellenistic culture

Thutmose III Pendant Discovered in Jerusalem

A 12-year-old girl participating in the Temple Mount Sifting Project discovered an amulet dating to 1200 BC with the name of Thutmose III. From the press release:

The small amulet is in the shape of a pendant, missing its bottom part, measures 21mm wide, 4 mm thick and its preserved length is 16 mm. A loop on top allowed it to be strung and hung on the neck. The raised decoration displays a cartouche – an oval frame surrounding Egyptian hieroglyphics bearing the name of the Egyptian ruler. Above the oval framing is the symbol of an eye, and to its right are remnants of yet another hieroglyphic symbol depicting a cobra of which parts of the head and tail are preserved.

1 Egyptian Amulet - Zachi Dvira

While Egyptian scarabs bearing the name of Thutmose III have previously been discovered in Jerusalem, this represents the first time his name has been found in Jerusalem adorning an amulet. “Objects bearing the name of Thutmose III continued to be produced in Egypt long after the time of his reign, reflecting the significance and lasting impression of this king,” said Barkay.
The amulet can be reconstructed based upon the discovery of an identical pendant found in Nahal Iron in northern Israel, announced in 1978,” said Zachi Dvira, co-founder and director of the Temple Mount Sifting Project. “Along with that pendant, which also bore the name of Thutmose III was another amulet bearing the name of King Seti I, an Egyptian pharaoh who ruled Egypt during the late 14th – early 13th centuries BCE. This seems to indicate that both pendants date to the same time period, namely the late 14th – early 13th century BCE.”

The press release includes more information. The story is also reported by The Times of Israel, Jerusalem Post, and others. A higher-res image of the photo above may be found here.

HT: Joseph Lauer


Weekend Roundup

The oldest known glass production factory in Israel has been discovered on Mount Carmel. High-res photos are available here.

A new study by Tel Aviv University points to widespread literacy in Israel in 600 BC. Christopher Rollston offers a summary and reflections. An op-ed at the Jerusalem Post is entitled “Holy Shards.”

The academic article is available to subscribers here.

Three Palestinians were arrested attempting to smuggle a statue of Herod’s wife Mariamne. A photo of the statue is here.

The Temple Mount Sifting Project will soon be announcing the discovery of a pendant with the cartouche of Pharaoh Thutmose III.

The Big Picture returns to Palmyra.

Dubai’s plans for the world’s tallest skyscraper are inspired by the hanging gardens of Babylon.

Wayne Stiles goes to Ein Harod to learn how to move from fear to faith.

Yale’s “Old Babylonian Period Mathematical Text” is one of the university’s most-reproduced cultural artifacts.

The Iraqi government is turning Saddam Hussein’s palace in Basra into an archaeological museum.

With Passover around the corner, Haaretz looks at indirect evidence of Israelite presence in Egypt before the exodus.

A Passover sacrifice event will be held on Monday on the Mount of Olives.

Luke Chandler notes that the official website for the Khirbet Qeiyafa excavations has been updated.

The summer excavation of Khirbet el-Maqatir is on and applications are being accepted until April 30.

Ferrell Jenkins and Leon Mauldin are traveling around Israel and sharing photos from their trip.

Filip Vukosavovic has resigned his position as Chief Curator at the Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem.

Now free online: The Bible in Its World: The Bible and Archaeology Today, by Kenneth A. Kitchen.

Many people liked the photo we shared this week on Facebook and Twitter of the Mount of Olives
before the churches were built.

HT: Joseph Lauer, Charles Savelle, Ted Weis, Agade


Weekend Roundup

Archaeologists working at Magdala have discovered a bronze incense shovel and a bronze jug. The press release includes a 1.5-minute video.

Archaeologists believe that they have unearthed a Byzantine church in Gaza. But as quickly as it was discovered, it was destroyed. (This does not serve well those who wish to turn land over to Palestinian control.)

The shrine over the traditional tomb of Jesus will be dismantled and rebuilt in the coming months.

Maybe one of these days they’ll get around to moving the ladder.

Archaeologist Ram Buchnik believes that the Romans influenced ancient Jewish ritual slaughter.

Israel21c has a roundup of recent discoveries made in Israel by hikers, including more details on the discovery of the gold coin.

Shmuel Browns shares some beautiful photos of sinkholes at the Dead Sea.

A New York Times reporter has visited Palmyra and published a photo essay. Note Paleojudaica’s warning before you click the link. Daily Mail has a look inside the Palmyra Museum and it’s not pretty.

What’s new in ancient Cyprus?” is the subject of a forthcoming study day at The British Museum.

A new Cambridge research project, Contexts of and Relations between Early Writing Systems, “is to focus on exploring how writing developed during the 2nd and 1st millennia BCE in the ancient

Mediterranean and Near East, and will investigate how different writing systems and the cultures that used them were related to each other.”

A new DVD presentation by Bryant Wood has been released entitled “The Pharaohs of the Bondage: The Israelite Slavery in Egypt.

Tent Work in Palestine, by Claude R. Conder, is available as a free pdf download at the Biblical Archaeology Blog.

Who was the real life archaeologist behind the character of Indiana Jones?

Egyptian officials are unhappy after finding a star of David engraved on an ancient temple in Aswan.

Luxor Museum will allow photography of its exhibits, for a time, for a fee.

Wayne Stiles explains how Jesus’s healing of the lame man at the Pools of Bethesda shows how God’s kindness motivates repentance.

Eli Ofir has recently launched Holy Land Portraits, a collection of beautiful, high-quality prints of sites in Israel drawn as if in biblical times.

HT: Charles Savelle, Joseph Lauer, Agade, Steven Anderson, Ted Weis


Weekend Roundup

Archaeologists have identified the oldest known quarry in Israel at Kaizer Hill near Modiin.

Some radar experts doubt the existence of hidden chambers in King Tut’s tomb. Another scan was done yesterday, but results will not be announced for at least a week. Luxor Times has photos of the scanning operation.

Mosaics from the Roman Empire, depicting scenes from mythology, daily life, nature, and arena spectacles, are on display at the Getty Museum through September. The exhibit catalog is available for free online.

Joseph Aviram, president of the Israel Exploration Society, recently celebrated his 100th birthday!

A German doctor has returned a rare coin that he found in Jerusalem 25 years ago.

A video of the memorial service and academic symposium for William W. Hallo is online.

Wayne Stiles was robbed last week on the Good Samaritan Road and he learned an expensive lesson.

An article in Haaretz tries to debunk the “biblical” notion that the Philistines were crude barbarians.

But perhaps it’s worth noting that the Bible doesn’t make the Israelites look very good at times (e.g., Judg 19; Jer 5; Ezek 16).

Archaeologists now believe that Tell Qudadi, a site in Tel Aviv, was a Neo-Assyrian fortress built in the late 8th century. The final excavation report has all of the details.

With the recapture of Palmyra, the Syrian antiquities director estimates that 80% of the site’s ruins are intact but damage to the museum is “severe.” The Syrian government is planning to restore the site.

Paleojudaica has more its Palmyra roundup.

Iraq is struggling with the looting of archaeological sites.

The Daily Tar Heel carries a brief interview with archaeologist Jodi Magness.

Heavy rains led to the closing of Petra, but adventurous tourists headed north to Little Petra.

TheIsraelBible.com “offers the 24 books of the Tanakh (Genesis to Malachi) in both English and Hebrew, transliteration of selected Hebrew verses as well as the proper Hebrew pronunciation of key biblical names and places.”

The Temple Institute is searching for priests qualified to perform animal sacrifices.

Tom Powers has an interesting and well-researched post on the visit of the Graf Zeppelin to Jerusalem.

HT: Ted Weis, Agade, Joseph Lauer, Charles Savelle