“The Egyptological museum search is a PHP tool aimed to facilitate locating the descriptions and images of ancient Egyptian objects in online catalogues of major museums.”
“Objects Come to Life is a physical and digital exhibition of the Eton Myers Collection of Egyptian Art, on loan to the University of Birmingham, which explores the importance and intrigue of private collections of ancient artefacts.”
An Israeli court has ruled that the names of Israeli archaeologists working in the West Bank can stay secret.
Luke Chandler has opened registration for next summer’s tour of Israel. He also reports on some sessions he attended at the recent ASOR conference.
Accordance is running a Black Friday sale through Monday. One new e-resource is the Satellite Bible Atlas. This version features all of the hyperlink and search enhancements you would expect from Accordance.
“A rare cache of gold and silver items dated to 3,600 years ago has been found at Tel Gezer, including figurines of the Canaanite counterparts of the Akkadian deities Ishtar, goddess of fertility, sex, love and war; and Sin, god of the moon.”
Ralph Hawkins has announced a new excavation to be undertaken at the site of Khirbet el-Mastarah in the Jordan River Valley. The inaugural season will be June 3-30, 2017, and they are looking for volunteers. The dig is part of the newly launched Jordan Valley Excavation Project, co-directed by Ralph Hawkins and David Ben-Shlomo. The project’s website provides further information along with this description.
The Jordan Valley Excavation Project (JVEP) was launched in 2016 to investigate the ancient history and archaeology of the region of the southern Jordan Valley, with a particular focus on the Iron Age. This period is traditionally connected with a period of tribal settlement in the region, followed by the rise of ethnic states. A thorough survey of the region, conducted by Adam Zertal, revealed a dramatic population shift in this region during the transition from the Late Bronze Age to the beginning of the Iron Age (around 1200 B.C.E.). Whereas there were only seven sites in the region in the Late Bronze Age (1550-1200 B.C.E.), fifty-four new sites were founded at the beginning of the Iron Age. Zertal proposed that the eastern sites are slightly earlier than the western ones, a phenomenon he attributed to the movements of peoples, whom he identified with the Tribe of Manasseh, from the Transjordan westwards. JVEP’s goals are to test the date and character of some of the sites in the region, as well as Zertal’s interpretations, through archaeological excavation and research. JVEP will conduct excavations at two sample sites, beginning with Khirbet el-Mastarah, in the eastern part of the region, where at least three years of excavation will be conducted. After that, an additional site will be chosen in the western part of the region, which will likewise be excavated for several seasons. The evidence from these (possibly) single-period sites may shed a great deal of light on the settlement of the tribal peoples living in the region during the Iron Age.
Khirbet el-Mastarah is the low mound illuminated by sunlight behind the tree.
Some preliminary reports on two Iron Age sites were published by Zertal in the below articles. Zertal, Adam, and Dror Ben-Yosef. 2009 “Bedhat esh-Shaʿab: An Iron Age I Enclosure in the Jordan Valley.” Pp. 517-529 inExploring the Longue Durée: Essays in Honor of Lawrence E. Stager.Ed. J. D. Schloen. Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns.
Zertal, Adam; Dror Ben-Yosef; Oren Cohen; and Ron Beʾeri. 2009“Kh. ʿAujah el-Foqa (North) — An Iron Age Fortified City in the Jordan Valley.”Palestine Exploration Quarterly 141/2: 104–123.
UPDATE: The Jordan Valley Excavation Project also has a Facebook page.
National Geographic has posted a new article on the continuing excavation of the traditional tomb of Jesus. The team was allowed 60 hours of study before they had to reseal the area.
When the marble cladding was first removed on the night of October 26, an initial inspection by the conservation team from the National Technical University of Athens showed only a layer of fill material underneath. However, as researchers continued their nonstop work over the course of 60 hours, another marble slab with a cross carved into its surface was exposed. By the night of October 28, just hours before the tomb was to be resealed, the original limestone burial bed was revealed intact. […] During the past few days, the burial bed has been resealed in its original marble cladding and may not be exposed again for centuries or even millennia. “The architectural conservation which we are implementing is intended to last forever,” says Moropoulou. Before it was resealed, however, extensive documentation was performed on the surface of the rock. […] “The surfaces of the rock must be looked at with the greatest care, I mean minutely, for traces of graffiti,” Biddle says, citing other tombs in the area that must have been of considerable importance because they are covered with crosses and inscriptions painted and scratched onto the rock surfaces. “The issue of the graffiti is absolutely crucial,” Biddle says. “We know that there are at least half a dozen other rock-cut tombs below various parts of the church. So why did Bishop Eusebius identify this tomb as the tomb of Christ? He doesn’t say, and we don’t know. I don’t myself think Eusebius got it wrong—he was a very good scholar—so there probably is evidence if only it is looked for.”
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.