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.


No one is claiming that this tomb will be as amazing as that of its neighbor, King Tut, but the fact that another intact tomb has been discovered is newsworthy in itself. The tomb dates to the late 18th dynasty, approximately the same time as King Tut, but the identity of the tomb is not yet known and probably does not belong to a pharaoh. Perhaps it was the tomb of a queen, noble or other court official. Or maybe the gardener, one archaeologist joked. CNN has the story with two photos. Yahoo has about half a dozen.


An ancient cemetery was uncovered in the southern Shephelah recently. The tombs are “6,000 years old” which makes it from the Chalcolithic period (though the article doesn’t specifically say). It does say that “The find yielded a treasure trove of ancient artifacts, including pottery, statues and jewelry all in mint-condition….He added that the find was the biggest of its kind and was invaluable for historians to deepen their understanding of the period.” I call the Chalcolithic age one of “surprising sophistication,” and this hoard could be good. The article is very brief but for the rest, see Haaretz. The photo is of an ossuary (burial box) from the Chalcolithic period, discovered elsewhere.

Note: despite the name similarity, Kiriath Gath is not near ancient Gath; the name was given to it early in the 20th century when the location of Gath was believed to be further south. Kiriath Gath is closer to biblical Lachish.