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“A team of archaeologists in north-west the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has uncovered the earliest evidence of dog domestication by the region’s ancient inhabitants.”

“Italian art police recovered a 1st century Roman statue that had been looted from an archaeological site nearly a decade ago after off-duty officers spotted it in an antique shop in Belgium.”

Rebekah Welton looks at excessive and deviant consumption in the Bible, particularly with reference to the rebellious son in Deuteronomy 21.

Now online: “Learning historical geography and archaeology in Israel with Chris McKinny, Part 4.”

Webinar on April 18: “Will the Real Bar Kochba Please Stand Up,” with Isaiah Gafni.

Webinar on April 21: “The Queens of Ancient Nimrud,” with Amy Gansell and Helen Malko.

Webinar on April 29: “Pandemics in Antiquity and Beyond,” with Kyle Harper, Calloway Brewster Scott, and Hunter Gardener.

Virtual workshop on May 4: “Listening To and Learning From Children in the Biblical World,” hosted by the Albright Institute.

NYU Skirball Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies is sponsoring a 4-day virtual conference, “The Dead Sea Scrolls: A Second Public Conference” on June 6-9.

New book: Jerusalem II: Jerusalem in Roman-Byzantine Times, edited by Katharina Heyden and Maria Lissek, published by Mohr Siebeck, €154.

HT: Agade, Keith Keyser, Alexander Schick, Arne Halbakken, Charles Savelle

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The Jerusalem Post has more about the very old, very well-preserved woven basket that was announced at the same time as the Dead Sea Scrolls discovery.

The Israel Antiquities Authority has identified 20 caves in the Judean desert “with the potential for good artifacts” that will be excavated in the future.

Herb Keinon reflects on the possible significance of the Dead Sea Scrolls announcement that also mentioned the non-Jewish items of the woven basket and the mummified skeleton.

The city of Jerusalem has publicly acknowledged that the existence of a 150-meter tunnel that connects the Dormition Abbey to another church known as the “house of Joseph.” I suspect that there is much more to this story than is reported here.

Carl Rasmussen shares photos from a very interesting building in Jerusalem that dates to the Hasmonean or Herodian eras.

The Jerusalem Municipality archives, containing materials over 400 years old and more than 600,000 photos, will be digitized.

Jonathan Klawans argues that the Shapira scrolls should be regarded as forgeries because they “are suspiciously aligned with [Shapira’s] own curious mix of backgrounds and commitments.”

Jim Davila at Paleojudaica has some updates on the Shapira Scroll discussion.

Now online, incomplete but free: A Digital Corpus of Early Christian Churches and Monasteries in the Holy Land. This six-year project was carried out on behalf of the Hebrew University and the Institute of Archaeology.

One of my favorite books, Reading the Bible with Rabbi Jesus, is only $1.59 on Kindle right now. If you prefer paperback, you can support the author by buying it here.

HT: Agade, Arne Halbakken, Ted Weis, Alexander Schick, Explorator, Steven Anderson

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A study by the Weizmann Institute dates the eruption of Santorini to 1630–1620 BC based on radiocarbon dating and an analysis of an olive branch’s growth rings.

Four water cisterns have been discovered under the acropolis of the classical city of Metropolis in western Turkey.

An ancient aqueduct near Troy is being restored, with hopes of attracting tourists.

Scholars searching for clues to Cleopatra’s appearance find conflicting data in Roman coins, Egyptian relief, and imperial propaganda.

Elaine Sullivan has created a 3D model of Saqqara that allows the viewer to jump through time to see the cemetery in different eras.

The BBC reports on ancient businesswomen involved in trade between Assur and Kanesh.

Covid-19 has led to an increase in looting of ancient sites in Iraq (6-min video).

You don’t have to wait until your next visit to the Edomite capital of Bozrah (Busayra) to view the new signs erected describing the temple, palace, and fortifications.

The world’s first hanging obelisk has been installed in the Grand Egyptian Museum.

The Acropolis Museum of Athens is the first museum in Greece to be fully digitized.

A portion of the imperial garden of Caligula’s palace in Rome is opening this spring to visitors.

New: Landscapes of Survival: The Archaeology and Epigraphy of Jordan’s North-Eastern Desert and Beyond, edited by Peter M.M.G. Akkermans (hardback, paperback, ebook, or read online for free)

In an interview on Jan 26, Katie Chin, Acquisitions Editor at Brill Publishers, will talk about why she accepts or rejects manuscripts, and about practical tools for increasing scholars’ chances of being published. Attendance is free but registration is required.

This new archaeological biography on Darius the Great provides background, photographs, and archaeological discoveries to illuminate the life of one of the most important rulers of Persia.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, A.D. Riddle, Arne Halbakken, Explorator, Alexander Schick

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Analysis of soil from Herod’s palace garden in Jericho reveals that he raised “lush bonsai versions of pines, cypresses, cedars, olives and other trees.”

There is more here about the police bust of a major antiquities ring in central Israel.

Israel21c runs an interesting piece on the value and conservation of ancient mosaics in Israel.

With the mines removed, worshipers were able to celebrate Epiphany near the Jordan River for the first time in more than 50 years.

Roger D. Isaacs adds to the lists of top 10 Bible discoveries of 2020.

Because of travel restrictions, Jerusalem University College is offering for the first time ever its full slate of classes online, including courses on physical settings, cultural background, parables of Jesus, and history of the Second Temple period.

New: Heart of the Holy Land: 40 Reflections on Scripture and Place, by Paul H. Wright (and on Kindle)

New: Encountering Jesus in the Real World of the Gospels, by Cyndi Parker

New: Archaeology and Ancient Israelite Religion, edited by Avraham Faust. Hardback for purchase or free pdf. Individual essays are available here.

The Israel Film Archive has some short film clips of historic interest. They are in Hebrew, but visually interesting even if you don’t know Hebrew.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, A.D. Riddle, Arne Halbakken, Explorator, Alexander Schick

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A worker clearing a nature path at Nitzana (Nessana) in the Negev discovered a stone with a Greek inscription reading “Blessed Maria.”

A forthcoming article by David Ussishkin argues that there was no gate shrine at Lachish desecrated in the reign of Hezekiah.

Bill Barrick’s latest research trip post focuses on Tel Dan and includes a variety of images and a list of recommended resources.

The Crusader-era siege ramp around Ashkelon served another purpose: protecting the city from being overtaken by sand.

After an extended investigation, the Israel Antiquities Authority recovered thousands of looted artifacts in three raids in central Israel.

Evie Gassner looks at a lot of evidence in order to determine just how Jewish King Herod was.

Bruce Routledge will be lecturing on Jan 11, 11am CET, on “Iron Age Jordan: The Levant from a very different angle.” To register and receive a Zoom link, email [email protected].

Conversations in the Archaeology and History of Ancient Israel with Israel Finkelstein. This video series with a controversial archaeologist will be rolling out over the coming year. The initial videos (20-30 min. each) are available now.

Claus-Hunno Hunzinger died this week. He was the last living member of the original Dead Sea Scrolls team.

An obituary has been posted for Shlomo Bunimovitz who died last month.

Peter Goeman gives a good roundup of articles in the blogosphere in the latest biblical studies carnival.

HT: Agade, Andy Cook

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Happy new year to everyone! May we walk wisely in the days ahead.

A new agreement between Israel’s Finance Ministry and the Israel Antiquities Authority will speed up rescue excavations by allowing private companies to bid on carrying out the excavations.

Following the discovery of a Roman bathhouse in Amman, authorities have to decide whether to preserve the antiquities or construct the planned drainage channel.

Egypt has completed the restoration of a temple of Isis in Aswan.

A limestone relief from the Late Period was illegally excavated, stolen, smuggled out of Egypt, tracked through the internet, recovered in New York, and repatriated.

Examination of elephant tusk DNA found on a shipwreck reveals the impact of ivory trade on elephant herds in Africa.

An Achaemenid pedestal and base was discovered in a garden near Persepolis.

“Underwater excavation, borehole drilling, and modelling suggests a massive paleo-tsunami struck near the ancient settlement of Tel Dor between 9,910 to 9,290 years ago.”

Ariel David looks at how the Israelites went from being a people who worshipped idols to a people who did not (Haaretz premium).

Haaretz runs a story on a recent documentary that presents Israel Finkelstein’s views of Kiriath Jearim and how it rewrites biblical history.

Amanda Borschel-Dan provides a review of her 2020 articles “broken down into studies of provenance; who wrote the Bible and on what; how “pure science” is aiding archaeologists confirm historical events; and a number of “firsts” from deep in pre-history.”

Ken Dark clarifies his views about the house in the church crypt in Nazareth, noting that while the Byzantines believed they had found the childhood home of Jesus, there is no way to prove that.

‘Atiqot 101 (2020) is now online, including articles on an ancient pool next to the Pool of Siloam in the City of David.

The Met’s Imaging Department has created a short video showing the interior of a 19th-century model of Solomon’s temple.

HT: Agade, Explorator, Ted Weis, Arne Halbakken, Paleojudaica

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