Some years ago I selected a few dozen of my favorite photos, especially related to the New Testament, for the rotating photo on the Jerusalem Perspective website. I am friends with the editor and we help each other on various projects from time to time. One of the things they did that I didn’t expect was to put them all on one page, easy to view and download. I usually am loathe to give away so many so easily, especially of my favorite shots. The effect of the page, though, is impressive in my opinion: lots of colorful places of the Bible. You can enjoy it here.
The Gath blog has been mentioned here before, but it’s worth mentioning again because they are doing a great job of keeping it updated, and with things that you don’t always see. Last summer the so-called “Goliath inscription” was in the news and they have a very nice high-resolution photo of it.
The “bottom line” of the post shows the significance of the discovery:
1) the inscription demonstrates that ca. the 10th/9th cent. BCE, names very similar to Goliath were in use at Philistine Gath. This does provide some cultural background for the David/Goliath story; 2) that already early in Iron IIA, the Philistines adopted the Semitic writing systems.
The recent posts have a good variety of helpful, large photos of an archaeological excavation. Good for teaching, especially if you haven’t been on a dig to take the photos yourself!
Those who know Amihai Mazar won’t be surprised that the website for his current excavation project, Tel Rehov, is one of the best. After working across the valley at Beth Shean, Mazar turned his attention to Tel Rehov and now believes he can end the 10th century debate based on his work there.
The website is first-rate, with numerous photographs, diagrams, and excavation summaries available. In addition, nearly 10 full-text articles are posted from major journals and books. Some of these may tend to be on the more technical side, like OxCal Bayesian computations for the Iron IB-IIA boundary and the Iron IIA destruction events. But it’s free! 🙂 There are also some nice high-resolution photographs of last year’s excavation, for those looking for some good pictures to teach about archaeology.
My first experience excavating was under Mazar at Beth Shean. It was a great week, and I ended up marrying the girl in the square next to mine! 🙂
Yitzhak Sapir has a new blog and notes a story in Ynet on the planned restoration and protection of Moresheth Gath (Tell Goded). The hometown of the prophet Micah has been subject to four-wheelers who stray from the marked trails and the Jewish National Fund and Israel Antiquities Authority have decided to act. See Sapir’s post for some photos and a short bibliography about the site.
The picture at right is of Moresheth Gath. I chose this particular shot to accomplish a second purpose at the same time: to illustrate some of the challenges of shooting from an airplane. I took this picture a month ago.
The latest addition to Bible Places.com is a satellite map with the biblical sites marked. Now, what exists as of today is just a start. But with the amazing help of Jeremy Brown (famed creator of the Unbound Bible), the map is off to a good start.
I’m using Google’s satellite map as the base, with all of the advantages that that brings (you can easily move around the map by clicking and dragging, zoom in and out, etc.). Then I have located about 80 biblical or ancient sites (so far) on the map.
If you look at the links at the bottom of the page, you’ll get an idea of where I can go with this. I can create maps specific to certain field trips (for my students), maps specific to certain regions (for linking from site pages in BiblePlaces.com or other websites), etc. There are many possibilities. My plan is to slowly add sites, descriptions, links, and other features.
The biggest disadvantage is the resolution of the maps. When you compare to sites in the U.S., for instance, you’ll see that the imagery for Israel is not nearly as high. I can see the backyard of the house where I grew up in the U.S., but in Israel I can’t pick out a single building in my community.
That’s one of the things you lose when the country has lots of enemies.
I’ve heard that the text is close to going to the printer for the revised edition of the Encyclopedia Judaica. The original edition, published in 1972, has been an essential reference work on all subjects related to Jewish life and Israel. The new edition probably won’t be for sale for a year, I’d guess. The 16 volume set will cost $1900!