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Archaeologists working in the temple of Amenhotep III in Luxor have discovered remains of a pair of gigantic limestone colossi.

“A joint Egyptian-Italian Mission excavating near Aswan in Egypt has discovered a tomb from the Greco-Roman period containing twenty mummies.”

“Scientists found the first recorded example of a bandaged wound on a mummified body, which could offer more insight into ancient medical practices.”

“Scholars have concluded that King Tutankhamun was not murdered, after a lengthy investigation that seemed to refute popular theory.”

Joshua Berman says that marks of Egyptian culture in the Torah give evidence of the Israelites’ sojourn in Egypt.

Deb Hurn argues that the meteoric airburst theory for the destruction of Tall al-Hammam does not match various details in the biblical text for the destruction of Sodom.

The world’s largest mosaic is now open to the public underneath the newly built Antakya Museum Hotel (in biblical Antioch on the Orontes).

“A new study has revealed that some 4,500 years ago the ancient Mesopotamians were the first to create a hybrid animal, producing an entirely new beast by mating two different species.”

New technology is allowing scientists to better determine the sex of ancient skeletons.

Candida Moss writes about the relationship that ancient Romans had with their dogs.

A Hellenistic necropolis near Naples is opening to the public for the first time.

Nimes is my favorite Roman city in France, and National Geographic reviews some of the highlights.

Michael Shutterly has written a brief guide to the coins of the Persian kings.

Carl Rasmussen shares photos of what’s new at Laodicea—“a two hundred foot long, 25 foot high Frescoed Wall.”

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Explorator, Arne Halbakken

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Israel’s Good Name reports on his tour of four sites in the Nahal Tirzah area, including a possible site for Gilgal and a Roman army camp.

“People may find it hard to believe that tiny little Israel has more than 300 wineries,” with more than 50 in the foothills between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

Foreign tourists are again allowed in Israel, and John DeLancey is posting daily updates about his group’s travels.

With the celebration of his 200th anniversary around the corner, Conrad Schick’s work in Jerusalem is highlighted by Bible History Daily. The article also notes that Shirley Graetz is working on a historical novel about Schick’s life.

Les and Kathy Bruce are leading an English/Spanish tour of Israel in April/May, and a Turkey/Greece tour in May.

Susan Laden and Rob Sugar share about the impact of Suzanne Singer on Biblical Archaeology Review.

New in paperback: Children in the Bible and the Ancient World Comparative and Historical Methods in Reading Ancient Children, edited by Shawn W. Flynn.

Zoom lecture on Jan 26: “The Roman Army in the Negev,” by Alexandra Ratzlaff ($7).

Jerusalem Seminary has announced its spring course offerings, including courses on the “Life and Land of Yeshua,” “Jewish Life and Literature,” and “Faith, Politics and Ministry.” The description and the various instructors in that last course look particularly interesting to me. You can see the full list here.

The latest free maps from Bible Mapper include:

Emanuel Hausman, founder of Carta Jerusalem Publishing House, died this week.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Explorator, Arne Halbakken

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My friend Joshua Clutterham died yesterday. My readers may not recognize that name, but Joshua contributed many photos of Turkey and Greece to our collection. Joshua died at the age of 41 from a rare form of cancer. He leaves behind his wife Meredith and five sons, ages 10 to 3.

I met Joshua when he was a student in our IBEX program in the year 2000. The memory that endures above all others was our excavation with Shimon Gibson near Zova. Some of our students were put to work in three squares, and Joshua was part of the infamous “Square B,” a team of six I constantly teased for having the lowest output of all. Could they not even find a potsherd? Of course, they did as well as the other teams, but the good-natured teasing bonded the group and “Square B” would live on for several years to pull pranks and “honor” me in various ways. They seemed to especially show up on my “B-day” with various reminders, and as time passed, Joshua carried on the tradition by calling me every year on my birthday.

“Square B” with Joshua on far left

Joshua loved Israel, and somewhere around 2006, he came to study at Hebrew University and the Jerusalem University College. My memory is fuzzy on some of the details, but we enjoyed a number of outings together, including an adventure on Mount Carmel, a hike through the cliffs of Michmash and Geba, and a camping trip to Aijalon. We talked about everything, including his desire to find a godly wife.

A photo from our hike out to the famous cliffs near Michmash (1 Sam 14)

For reasons I can no longer recall, Joshua ended up effectively joining the IBEX group for the spring of 2007, my final semester teaching at IBEX. He was an advanced student who served us in various ways. One of the ideas he dreamed up was to film all of my on-site teaching as I guided the students that semester in the Land and Bible class. And so we purchased some equipment, and Joshua became the cameraman for a few dozen trips that year. Joshua had the idea to edit the footage, along with my photos, into a virtual tour series. In my mind, I thought that the filming would be valuable for my children to watch if I was not able to show them the land. Though the tour series was never completed, as Joshua soon went on to study for several seminary degrees and I entered a doctoral program, I have always been grateful for Joshua’s preserving a record of those special days.

Joshua setting up the camera at Caesarea

Joshua also became distracted by a beautiful woman who had entered his life. I remember Joshua telling me about Meredith during a visit to our home in Texas. He was smitten. She was in the M.A. program in Biblical Counseling, and Joshua was at the time a graduate assistant in the program, one that he would go on to become the director of. Before long, I was being invited to Florida to stand alongside Joshua when he committed to love and cherish Meredith until death do them part. I couldn’t have been more happy for them.

When my family moved to California a few years later, Joshua and Meredith were living in a tiny little granny flat near The Master’s College, and whenever I visited I was always amazed at how Meredith managed to keep everyone sane as their family grew from one son to two and then three. Joshua was a tireless worker, not only directing the MABC program but always furthering his education, particularly in his passion for the Old Testament and the land of Israel.

When the opportunity arose for him to travel to Turkey and Greece, he was eager to go but in need of funds. The solution we came up with was that he would take photos for BiblePlaces in exchange for the shortfall. Joshua came back with beautiful photos, a number of which grace the covers of various volumes in the Photo Companion to the Bible series. Many dozens of his photos can be found throughout the Photo Companion (look for photos beginning with “jc”), and I frequently marvel at what a blessing those pictures are to our team’s on-going work. His photos have been published elsewhere as well, including in the ESV Archaeology Study Bibleand What the New Testament Authors Really Cared About.

Joshua’s photo of Colossae is in the top right corner of the Colossians and Philemon cover. His photos are also on the cover of the Romans and 1-2 Corinthians and Paul’s Epistles volumes, and many of his photos are found throughout the NT volumes of the Photo Companion to the Bible.

I certainly had mixed feelings when Joshua told me that he had received an offer to become a professor, and later Vice-President, at Brookes Bible College in Missouri. I knew that this was a great opportunity for him, but I hated to see him and Meredith leave. A few years later, our family was driving through the Midwest, and Joshua suggested our families spend an afternoon at the City Museum in St. Louis. We all had a blast running around the most interesting “museum” I have ever been to. Then together we caravanned to the Ark Encounter in Kentucky for a fun time with all the kids exploring this massive ship.

Clutterham and Bolen families at the Ark Encounter

We regularly stayed in touch, and Joshua continued to dream some big dreams. He was considering various PhD programs, and he was planning a new online program for Brookes. He led trips to Israel, became a pastor, and their family grew to five boys. When my birthday rolled around in December, I knew that one person would always remember and call me.

When I last spoke with Joshua by FaceTime two weeks ago, he was in the hospital and in tremendous physical pain. While his faith was always strong, he was praying for a miracle. He wanted to live—for Meredith and for his boys. They needed a father, and Joshua took so much joy in being with them and raising them to love the God he loves. One of the last things that Joshua was able to do outside of his home or church was to take one of his boys camping. Who was going to do that if the Lord took him?

That reminded me of an earlier camping trip I had with Joshua. Dear friends of our family in Jerusalem had five children when the husband died suddenly of a heart attack. Here were five young kids without a father. Not long after, Joshua and I took their boys (and mine) camping out near the ancient city of Aijalon in the Shephelah. We played soccer, went on hikes, explored caves, and had a great time. I have pictures of Joshua carrying them around on his shoulders, teaching them to build a campfire, and chasing after them up the mountainside. I’m sure that neither of us would have ever imagined that one day he would leave five boys behind, in need of a father figure to take them camping.

Joshua will be remembered by many as a faithful and deeply caring man. Though he was highly educated and deeply knowledgeable in many fields, he stood out for his compassion for others. In the final sermon he gave at his church a week ago, sitting in a chair on the stage in pain, his focus was on his beloved brothers and sisters in the congregation. He earnestly wanted them to treasure their faithful Messiah, and he encouraged them by highlighting Jesus’s words to Peter: “I have prayed for you” (Luke 22:32). This same Jesus is even now at the Father’s right hand praying for his people, Joshua told them. Joshua had no doubt that Jesus was interceding for him, though he knew that it might not be the Lord’s will to heal him.

I will miss my friend. And my heart aches for Meredith. She has always been so strong, balancing care for Joshua and pregnancies and homeschooling and running the household. The Lord could not have given Joshua a better partner and friend. Joshua’s legacy will endure—through so many counseling students at Master’s, Bible students at Brookes, and church family at Clayton. Even our readers here, though perhaps never hearing his name before, will continue to have their lives and Bible study and teaching enriched by the beautiful photos he took at Corinth, Philippi, Assos, Delphi, Miletus, Perga, and more. Though his life was far too short, his impact is deep and far-reaching. Surely his memory will be for a blessing.

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“Archaeologists working in the Wadi Al-Nasab region of the Sinai have uncovered the headquarters of a [copper and turquois] mining operation that dates back to the Middle Kingdom.

“After war and insurgency kept them away from Iraq for decades, European archaeologists are making an enthusiastic return in search of millennia-old cultural treasures.”

The only fresco preserved from the Greek classical world is in Paestum in southern Italy.

A newly restored gladiator helmet is on display at the Pompeii exhibition at the Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh.

A new archaeological institute will be opening in Gaziantep in southeastern Turkey.

In the first of a two-part article, Deb Hurn looks at the evidence for the location of Sodom.

The BAS Scholars Series begins on March 10 with Mark Goodacre speaking about the resurrection. This is the first of a quarterly virtual lecture series that will include Aren Maeir, Jodi Magness, and Joan Taylor.

Zoom lecture on Jan 22: “Modernity Meets Mesopotamia: An Ancient Assyrian Palace in Los Angeles.” I’ve driven by this outlet mall many times and wondered what the story was…

Christopher Rollston discusses the alleged Isaiah bulla on the Biblical World podcast.

In his final post on Paul’s shipwreck on Malta, Carl Rasmussen suggests where the ship ran aground.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Arne Halbakken, Wayne Stiles, Alexander Schick

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A new study suggests that the mining operations in the Timna Valley and Faynan thrived in the 10th century because of good management. The underlying journal article is here.

Moshe Gilad wonders whether the Bible can be used as an archaeological travel guide to Israel, and his article in Haaretz is based on the responses of Israel Finkelstein, Aren Maeir, and Yoram Bilu.

Saul Jay Singer writes about the life of Yigael Yadin and his father Eliezer Sukenik.

A couple of scholars are suggesting that Mary Magdalene was not from Magdala. (Now seems to be the perfect time for such a proposal, with all the great finds coming out of 1st-century Magdala…) The underlying journal article is here.

Questions have been raised about artifacts in the Israel Museum that were donated by Michael Steinhardt.

John DeLancey and Kyle Keimer complete their four-part tour of the archaeological wing of the Israel Museum.

The Museum of the Bible and Digital Interactive Virtual Experiences are offering virtual tours of Caesarea on January 20 and Qumran on January 27.

The materials in the Israel Film Archive are now online for public viewing. The Times of Israel identifies some highlights.

Andrew Lawler is on The Times of Israel podcast talking about his recent book, Under Jerusalem. (I enjoyed the book, and I hope to say more later.)

The Jerusalem Post reviews Adventure Girl: Dabi Digs in Israel, an illustrated book for children.

Israel’s Good Name reports on his trek around Horvat Hanut and Salvatio Abbey.

The 200th anniversary of the birth of Conrad Schick is on January 27, and Christ Church in Jerusalem will be having a special event to celebrate on the 28th (10:00-13:00). Their museum includes some of Schick’s models, including the one pictured below.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Arne Halbakken, Wayne Stiles, Alexander Schick

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Model of Conrad Schick on display at Christ Church, Jerusalem. Photo by Michael Schneider.

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Bob Rognlien has created a 12-episode teaching video series which includes hundreds of photos, maps, reconstructions, and illustrations based on his book, Recovering the Way.

Shelley Wachsmann writes about the challenges and opportunities of deep submergence archaeology.

Smithsonian Magazine has a well-illustrated piece on Assur, one-time capital of ancient Assyria.

New release from Carta: Under the Yoke of Ashur: The Assyrian Century in the Land of Israel, by Mordechai Cogan

The recordings are now available from “The Dead Sea Scrolls: A Second Public Conference” held online in June 2021.

Walking the Text has just released the 3rd edition of “The #1 Mistake Most Everyone Makes Reading the Bible.” You can get a free copying by clicking the button to “join Walking the Text.”

“Live Science makes predictions about what archaeologists will uncover in the new year.” Only the last, regarding Qumran, may be of interest to our readers.

The latest issue of ‘Atiqot is now online.

Andy Cook and Cyndi Parker will be speaking in Warner Robins on Feb 4-5 on the topic of “Discovering the World Jesus Knew.”

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Alexander Schick, Arne Halbakken, Baruch Kvasnica

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