Weekend Roundup

James Tabor provides a short report on this summer’s excavations on Mount Zion. A press release is forthcoming on their discovery of the continuation of the Cardo, and a long-term goal is to create an archaeological park showcasing the first-century priestly mansion.

Haaretz reports on the tomb in northern Jordan decorated with spectacular frescoes. This is apparently a re-write of a CNRS News article.

With the beginning of a new Jewish year, The Jerusalem Post writes about discoveries of the past year.

Sergio and Rhoda have create a nice 12-minute video on the recent excavations of el-Araj (Bethsaida?).

Carl Rasmussen visits the likely pool in Jericho where King Herod had his high priest murdered.

The latest at the ASOR Blog: “Life of a Salesman: Trade and Contraband in Ancient Assyria,” by Mathilde Touillon-Ricci.

AJU’s Whizin Center and the Simmons Family Charitable Foundation’s 28th Annual Program in Biblical Archaeology includes a lecture by Michael G. Hasel on “The Age of David and Solomon: New Archaeological Discoveries for the Early Kingdom of Judah” on February 4.

Steven Notley will lecturing at Nyack College on Oct 18, 6:30 pm, on “Finding Bethsaida: Year 3 of the El Araj Excavation Project.”

The Smithsonian Magazine surveys the reviews of the “Out of the Blue” exhibit now at the Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem.

SBL is making available as a free pdf, Invention of the First-Century Synagogue, by Lidia D.
Matassa, with chapters on Jericho, Masada, Herodium, Gamla, and Delos.

On sale for Kindle: Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible ($3)

HT: G. M. Grena, Charles Savelle, Agade, Lois Tverberg, Paleojudaica


NPAPH Request: Documentation of Mari, Dura Europos, and Apamea

NPAPH has asked me to pass along the following worthy request to our readers. Please contact them at the address below if you can provide them with any help.

The Non-Professional Archaeological Photographs project (NPAPH; www.npaph.com) has the aim to preserve non-professional documentation of past archaeological campaigns to the future and make it accessible to the public via digital archives.
NPAPH Project

The term ‘non-professional’ refers to records made by visitors or participants of excavations who were not part of the trained staff, but who assisted as part of their continuing education or out of interest, for instance students, volunteers, reporters or sponsors.

Secondly, this category of documentation includes also the private photos, slides, films, letters, diaries, etc., made at the excavation by the archaeological staff. So non-professional records are usually not stored in official archives.

At the moment we are tracing documentation of the excavations of the following Syrian sites:

  • Mari/ Tell Hariri (1933-1939, 1951-1956, and 1960–1974)
  • Dura Europos (1928–1937)
  • Apamea (1930-1938, 1947-1953, and 1965)

If you know anyone who joined one of these archaeological expeditions or if you have worked on one of them yourself, please contact info@npaph.com. We are also interested in any other record prior the 1980s related to these sites.


New Series on Psalm 23 at Walking the Text

This afternoon I taught Psalm 23 in my Psalms class and when I returned to my office, I saw that Brad Gray (Walking the Text) has started a new video series today on Psalm 23, using illustrations, contextual resources, and a drone video.

The first episode focuses on the verse one and is entitled “My Savvy Shepherd.” Brad does a terrific job of shedding light on this familiar passage using the six contextual lenses that he is known for.

Some of the photos that he is using in this series come from our new Psalm 23 volume in our Photo Companion to the Bible series. Brad also lists some other valuable resources for the study of this Psalm. You can subscribe to the weekly video series with iTunes and Google Play.

Walking the Text

Weekend Roundup, Part 2

A sandstone statue of a sphinx was discovered in excavations at the Kom Ombo temple.

A large and outstanding Assyrian relief from the reign of Ashurnasirpal II is being auctioned in October by Christie’s on behalf of Virginia Theological Seminary.

Egypt is celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the project to save 20 gigantic monuments in the Abu Simbel complex from flooding by moving them to higher ground.

Is it safe to travel to Egypt now? Temma Ecker explains why now is the perfect time to experience Egypt.

The 21st Annual Bible and Archaeology Fest is being held in Denver on November 16 to 18.

Rémy Boucharlat will be lecturing on Pasargadae at the Asia House in London on October 3.

Eisenbrauns is having a 40%-off sale on many ANE works.

AASOR is looking for an editor. NEA is looking for an editor. BASOR is looking for a copyeditor.

Ehsan Yarshater, editor of the Encyclopedia Iranica, died earlier this month.

HT: Agade, Ted Weis


Weekend Roundup, Part 1

After finding a bare shrine at Abel Beth Maacah, archaeologists are suggesting that the “wise woman” of 2 Samuel 20 was a “local version of the divine oracles known from other cultures around the Mediterrranean.” (Haaretz premium)

Jonathan Klawans explains why the Tower of David Museum is the best place to begin a tour of Jerusalem.

Carl Rasmussen takes readers on a tour of less-visited sites in Roman-era Jericho, including the stadium and a balsam plantation.

Israel’s Good Name found some wildlife in his nighttime excursion through the Holon Dunes.

Shmuel Browns shares some of the latest discoveries in excavations at Masada and Herodium.

John M. Vonder Bruegge writes about “Josephus’ Galilee and Spatial Theory” at The Bible and Interpretation.

Wayne Stiles describes the history of sacrifice in Jerusalem.

The Israel Antiquities Authority Library Catalog is now online.

Dan Koski looks at the legacy of the stonemasons of Beit Jala.

Leon Mauldin explains the importance of the Theodotos Inscription.

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


Weekend Roundup, Part 2

Archaeologists believe they have found ruins of the church building where the First Council of Nicaea was held.

“Turkish archeologists have found an eye cream jar in a 2,200-year-old tomb during their excavation works in an antique city of Aizanoi in country’s west.”

A cache of gold coins dating to the 5th century has been found in an old theater in northern Italy.

A full-scale replica of a Roman triumphal arch from Palmyra will be on display in Washington DC later this month.

Museums are full of fake cuneiform tablets, and Sara Brumfield suggests a few ways to identify them.

An ancient Torah scroll in Brazil’s National Museum was spared from the fire because it was being restored off-site.

The August 2018 issue of the Newsletter of the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities includes information about recent discoveries, meetings, exhibitions, and fee increases.

John DeLancey is posting daily summaries of his tour of Greece.

HT: Ted Weis, Agade, Steven Anderson, Gordon Franz


Weekend Roundup, Part 1

Stanford University researchers believe they’ve found evidence of the world’s oldest brewery in the Raqefet Cave, near Haifa.

Miriam Feinberg Vamosh writes about an ancient convent discovered at a possible site of Hannah’s tomb (Haaretz premium).

Haaretz (premium) has an article on the history of the pomegranate.

Aren Maeir will be teaching a MOOC entitled “Biblical Archaeology: The Archaeology of Ancient Israel and Judah” and a trailer is now out.

There is a conference today on Ctesiphon, and Ferrell Jenkins shares a photo from his visit to this city in Iraq.

Luke Chandler explains why there is an island in the Sea of Galilee now.

Leon Mauldin has written an illustrated post about the revolt of Libnah and Edom.

The Institute of Biblical Culture is offering new courses in October, including the Samaritan Pentateuch and Ancient Near Eastern Texts.

New from Oxford University Press: The Oxford Illustrated History of the Holy Land, edited by H. G. M. Williamson and Robert G. Hoyland.

HT: Ted Weis, Agade, Steven Anderson, Gordon Franz


Weekend Roundup, Part 2

Egypt has announced the discovery of an ancient village in the Nile Delta.

A 3-D topographical survey of the Lisht necropolis area in Egypt has been completed.

Archaeologists made some important discoveries in the port of the Greek island of Kythnos.

The fire at Brazil’s National Museum destroyed millions of items, including the entire collection of 700 Egyptian artifacts.

Biblical Archaeology Society has limited space remaining for its Bible History of the Nile tour in February.

Unlike many of the reviews of the Museum of the Bible in D.C., this one by Alex Joffe is intelligent and balanced.

Seetheholyland.net has compiled a list of more than 120 tour operators who offer pilgrimages to the Holy Land.

Accordance is running a High Holy Days Sale that includes discounts on significant works from Carta, including The Quest, Echoes from the Past, and The Raging Torrent.

Appian Media has just released a sneak peek for their upcoming series, “Searching for a King.”

HT: Ted Weis, Agade, Joseph Lauer


Weekend Roundup, Part 1

More than 1,000 Hellenistic-era seal impressions were recently discovered in excavations at Maresha.

Underwater archaeologists are searching the sea near Dor in advance of the construction of a gas pipeline.

US military veterans are participating in excavations at Beth Shearim in a program providing therapy for PTSD.

A plan to build a cable car to transport visitors to the Western Wall in Jerusalem is not making everyone happy.

The Tower of David Museum in Jerusalem now offers a virtual reality tour that visits nine vantage points in the Old City.

The IAA is opposed to plans by the Temple Mount Faithful to hold a concert in the excavations area south of the Temple Mount.

The 12th annual conference on “New Studies in the Archaeology of Jerusalem and its Vicinity” will be held next month. Aren Maeir has posted the program.

Joel Kramer has announced the dates of his next study tour in Israel.

Carl Rasmussen links to two videos from Kathleen Kenyon’s excavations of Jericho.

The Methuselah date palm tree is male, but six more ancient date seeds have been planted in hopes of raising a female for Methuselah to pollinate.

HT: Ted Weis, Agade, Joseph Lauer


Seminar on United Kingdom at Lanier Theological Library

A little-advertised seminar is occurring next week in Houston, and if you’re able to get there, it should be quite worthwhile. The only thing I’ve found online about it is this registration site, but that should be the main thing you need if you want to secure a seat. The main facts are as follows:

The Lanier Theological Library presents a seminar on “Recent Evidence for Israel’s United Kingdom” on Friday, September 14th, 2:00-5:00 pm in the Stone Chapel.

2:00-2:25 Jane Cahill, “Jerusalem at the Time of the United Monarchy: The Known, the Unknown, and the Next Frontier”

2:25-2:50 Steven Ortiz, “The Westward Expansion of the United Monarchy in Light of Recent Excavations”

2:50-3:15 Chris McKinny, “Going for Gold . . . Bringing Home (mainly) Bronze: Jerusalem’s Role in the Arabah Copper Industry and the Biblical Account of Solomon”

3:30-3:55 Timothy Harrison, “Kingdoms of Idols: Israel’s Northern Neighbors and What They Reveal about the World of the Bible”

3:55-4:20 K. Lawson Younger Jr. “David’s Wars: What Can We Know about his Aramean Enemies?”

4:20-4:45 Gary Rendsburg, “The Book of Genesis as a Product of the United Monarchy”

4:45-5:00 Discussion

This looks very good, and if you haven’t been to the Lanier Library, that’s worth a visit even if no one is speaking. If they do as they’ve done in the past, we might expect that videos of these lectures will appear on their website.