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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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Archaeologists working near Beit El have discovered an ancient play die dating to the Second Temple period.

Scholars continue to discuss whether Judean Pillar Figurines were depictions of Asherah, fertility figurines, apotropaic symbols, or something else.

An article in Discover Magazine looks at the religious motivations of some archaeological projects in the last century.

A Jewish arsonist attempted to set fire to the Church of All Nations at the Garden of Gethsemane.

Christianity Today interviews Christopher Rollston about forgeries of biblical antiquities.

Drawing on the research of Shmuel Safrai, Brad Gray explains the educational system in Jesus’s day.

Carl Rasmussen’s “Encountering the Holy Land” is now available on Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, and Android TV.

Leen Ritmeyer has created a new image collection illustrating the Roman destruction of the Temple Mount.

HT: Joseph Lauer, Agade, Explorator, Charles Savelle

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Season 2 of Jack Beck’s “The Holy Land—Connecting the Land with Its Stories” has been released on YouTube, with episodes on Psalm 23, David’s flight from Saul, and much more.

John DeLancey’s latest video provides a virtual tour of Gamla.

On Tuesday, David Moster will begin teaching a new course on Egypt and the Bible for The Institute of Biblical Culture.

Registration is now underway for the Bible & Archaeology Fest XXIII on October 24-25, with early bird pricing through the 9th and half price for students.

A very rare Sumerian temple plaque will be returned to Iraq by Britain because it was looted.

ACOR in Amman, Jordan, has announced a number of fellowships for the 2021-22 year.

Carl Rasmussen posts photos of the martyrium of Philip at Hierapolis.

Lawrence J. Mykytiuk is the first to be interviewed in the Scholar’s Chair series on the Bible Archaeology Report.

HT: Agade, Ted Weis

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