“Accumulated disquiet among Israeli archaeologists over the widespread publication of sensational claims regarding ostensibly newly deciphered, once-in-a-lifetime biblical inscriptions in Jerusalem has spilled over into an open letter.”
A recent episode of This Week in the Ancient Near East discusses the way in which new alleged inscriptions in Hezekiah’s Tunnel were announced.
Israeli archaeologists discovered the oldest hoards of silver, attesting to its use as currency some centuries earlier than previously thought. The underlying journal article is here.
Excavations at Khirbat el-Masani revealed the remains of a Byzantine monk whose neck, hands, and feet bore heavy iron rings, perhaps as a symbol of his ascetic lifestyle.
“Newly uncovered remains of fabrics from the Far East dating to some 1,300 years ago in Israel’s Arava region suggest the existence of a previously unknown ‘Israeli Silk Road.’”
The United States has returned an 8th century BC cosmetic spoon, probably taken from the region of Hebron, to the Palestinian government. This the first such repatriation of an antiquity by the US to the Palestinian Authority.
The Palestinian Authority is apparently planning to construct homes on the area of the altar on Mount Ebal.
Walking The Text has begun a mini-series on Ruth, with a number of helpful maps and illustrations.
El-Araj, possibly Bethsaida, is the latest site featured in the “Digging In” series of the Biblical Archaeology. The article includes a 6-minute video taken on location.
Hybrid lecture on Jan 26: “Byzantine Bethsaida and the House of St. Peter,” by R. Steven Notley and Mordechai Aviam, at the Museum of the Bible.
New from Eisenbrauns: Yotvata: The Ze’ev Meshel Excavations (1974–1980) The Iron I “Fortress” and the Early Islamic Settlement, by Lily Singer-Avitz and Etan Ayalon
Aaron Demsky provides a extensive discussion of the location of Rachel’s tomb, concluding that it was near the border of Benjamin and Ephraim.
GTI Tours is offering a study tour specifically designed for those who have visited Israel before, with a variety of experiences most tourists don’t have.
The BAS Scholars Series includes four lectures, with a discount for purchase of all four:
- Mar 5: “Holy City Hotspot: Exploring Jerusalem’s Acropolis,” with Andrew Lawler
- June 4: “A Wise Woman and a Bearded Man: Ten Seasons of Excavation at Tel Abel Beth Maacah,” with Nava Panitz-Cohen
- Sept 28: “Free Health Care Is a Miracle: Psalm 8, Jesus, and the Jerusalem Temple,” with Amy-Jill Levine
- Dec 6: “The Life of Jesus Written in Stone: The Earliest Commemorative Churches in Roman Palestine,” with Jordan Ryan
HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Arne Halbakken, Gordon Dickson, Ted Weis, Wayne Stiles, Mondo Gonzales, Alexander Schick, Charles Savelle, Keith Keyser, Explorator