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Recent excavations in front of the edicule in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher revealed the 4th century arrangement of the rotunda.

Chris McKinny gives an overview of the results from Week 2 of excavations at Tel Burna.

Aren Maeir notes that excavations are also currently underway at Tell el-Hesi and Khirbet Summeily.

Archaeologists have invited the local community to help conserve the Middle Bronze gate at Gezer after last year’s fire.

William Hild, a participant in this summer’s excavation at Hyrcania, is guest on The Book and the Spade discussing the project.

Ruth Schuster writes about the treasures that were returned when the Israel Antiquities Authority announced an amnesty campaign. Enjoy the many photos, for you’ll never see these objects again as the IAA protects them in a vast storage center.

Ariel David reports on Garfinkel’s latest claim of Judah’s importance in the 10th century, including criticism from other archaeologists. Melanie Lidman has a similar story.

Tim Chaffey explains how Ernest Martin and Robert Cornuke “avoid key passages of Scripture, distort Josephus’ words, and ignore the findings of archaeologists” in their relocation of Solomon’s temple.

New release: Ancient Synagogues Revealed 1981-2022, edited by Lee I. Levine, Zeev Weiss, and Uzi Leibner (Israel Exploration Society, 300 NIS). You can see all the volumes in the long-running series on the IES website.

Hybrid conference on July 10-13 in Jerusalem: “Jerusalem: From Umbilicus Mundi to the Four Corners of the Earth and Back.” The conference brochure is here. The live broadcast will be here.

Zoom lecture on July 25: “Jesus in Galilee: An Archaeological Perspective,” by Eric Meyers

BBC Reel has released “Armageddon: The ancient city behind the biblical story.”

Chandler Collins considers what may be learned from 19th century travelers’ writings about their first views of Jerusalem.

HT: Agade, Arne Halbakken, Joseph Lauer, Explorator

The latest big hole in the ground opened to visitors is the Gezer water system. The descent gives you a new appreciation for the value of a secure source of water.

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Scholars at UNI Graz claim that a 3rd century BC papyrus has evidence of a binding, making it the oldest book in the world discovered. The press release is in German, but the video of the press conference is partly in English. Brent Nongbri offers some thoughts.

A network of stone walls along the Nile River provide evidence of ancient hydraulic engineering.

“A team of computer scientists and archaeologists from the University of Bologna in Italy has developed a new tool for identifying archaeological sites using artificial intelligence … [which] reached a predictive accuracy of over 80 percent.”

“A team of archaeologists and computer scientists from Israel has created an AI-powered translation program for ancient Akkadian cuneiform, allowing tens of thousands of already digitized tablets to be translated into English instantaneously.”

The square in Rome where Julius Caesar was assassinated has been opened to the public.

Renovations of the Carthage Museum will begin in 2025 and expand the exhibition space to three times the current size.

The book of Esther’s independence from classical sources makes it “more important as a historical source for Achaemenian history than has traditionally been assumed.”

“An ancient Hebrew Bible and more than 100 Roman coins were recovered by Turkish military police.” The photo with the article is not the seized manuscript.

New release: A Jew in the Roman Bathhouse: Cultural Interaction in the Ancient Mediterranean, by Yaron Z. Eliav (Princeton University Press, $45; save 30% with code P321).

New release: Wounded Tigris: A River Journey Through the Cradle of Civilization, by Leon McCarron (Simon & Schuster, $29)

New release: Famine and Feast in Ancient Egypt, by Ellen Morris (75 pages, Cambridge University Press, $22; free download until July 3).

In the latest episode of Thin End of the Wedge, Agnès Garcia-Ventura discusses the historiography of Assyriology.

Mark Janzen is guest on The Book and the Spade discussing the historicity of Moses.

Now that the Plutonium at Hierapolis (aka the gate to Hades) is open, Carl Rasmussen shares photos and explains what you are looking at and how the ancient rites were carried out.

HT: Agade, Alexander Schick

The worst experience in Jerusalem is walking through the drainage channel under the Siloam street. Unless you’re under 5 feet tall.

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The Tower of David Museum in Jerusalem reopened on June 1 after a $50 million renovation. The Times of Israel explains what’s new.

The Israeli government has approved spending more than $100 million in the next five years on various projects in Jerusalem, including on excavations in the Western Wall Tunnels and the City of David National Park.

To judge from this recent promo video, Israel’s Ministry of Tourism is seeking a different kind of tourist. This video also seems to embody the adage that advertising is another form of lying.

The IAA discovered three ossuaries in a Roman-period burial cave near Kafr Kanna (Cana) that had recently been looted.

A traffic stop near Ramallah led to the discovery of dozens of 10th Roman Legion floor tiles that had recently been illegally excavated.

Israeli police arrested a suspect in possession of dozens of coins illegally excavated in Jerusalem, including a rare coin from the reign of Antigonus Mattathias II.

A three-week operation led to the capture of thieves illegally excavating a Roman-Byzantine site near Nazareth.

The latest volume of the Journal of the Ancient Near Eastern Society includes articles on 1 Samuel 5, the Gezer Calendar, the altar at Tel Dothan, and the story of Dinah. Articles are open-access.

Preprints for a festschrift for Tallay Ornan are available on Academia.

New release: Pushing Sacred Boundaries in Early Judaism and the Ancient Mediterranean: Essays in Honor of Jodi Magness (Brill, $211)

New release: History of Ancient Israel, by Christian Frevel (SBL, $75)

On pre-order sale at Logos: “A Virtual Walk Through the Land of the Bible,” by Charlie Trimm

Logos has just released The New Encyclopedia Of Archaeological Excavations In The Holy Land.

Logos has a sale on The New Moody Atlas of the Bible this month ($10).

Rafael Frankel, retired archaeologist from the University of Haifa, died last week. Some of his publications can be seen here.

Weston Fields, longtime managing director of the Dead Sea Scrolls Foundation, died on May 25. A list of his publications can be seen here.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Arne Halbakken, Ted Weis, Alexander Schick, Explorator

The viewing area for the Broad Wall in Jerusalem will be transformed once they complete construction of these new walkways. Amazing that it took 50 years to get around to this.

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According to Haaretz, the recent excavations have found no traces of the Pool of Siloam.

Chandler Collins investigates “artificial platforms of massive proportions [that] altered Jerusalem’s landscape while also destroying or concealing remains of former times.”

Google Arts & Culture’s collections include a story on the Holy Places of Jerusalem, with many large, beautiful photographs.

Bible History Daily summarizes a recent study that argues that it is very unlikely that a ring bears the name of Pontius Pilate.

Daily Mail tells the story of the Shellal Mosaic, discovered by ANZAC soldiers near Tell el-Farah (South) during World War I.

Haaretz profiles the research of Guy Bar-Oz in his efforts to study the cultural history of trees in Israel.

As Adolfo Roitman nears retirement as curator of the Dead Sea Scrolls at the Shrine of the Book, Israel21c reports on how he ended up in the position, with no museum experience or expertise in the Dead Sea Scrolls.

New episode on This Week in the Ancient Near East: “New Jerusalem Inscription Points to (Previously Known) Iron Age Spice Trade, Or, Solomon and Sheba Get Spicy?”

Hybrid conference on May 21-23: “Epigraphy in Judah: The Second International conference of the Roger and Susan Hertog Center for the Archaeological Study of Jerusalem and Judah”

The Oxford Centre for Hebrew & Jewish Studies is offering free Modern Hebrew Ulpanim courses on Zoom.

Bible Mapper continues to produce and release free maps of the biblical narrative and world:

If you have not entered the drawing for more than 30 prizes of the Photo Companion to the Bible, you have until tomorrow to do so. Everyone who enters receives the new “Top 50 Sites from Dan to Beersheba” PowerPoint.

HT: Agade, Arne Halbakken, Mark Hoffman, Explorator

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Archaeologists have discovered the oldest pearling town on an island in the Persian Gulf.

Writing for Christianity Today, Mark Wilson recounts the history of Antioch on the Orontes, including its significant place in the early church and the numerous earthquakes it has suffered.

Jason Borges provides some essential information for visiting Antalya, a beautiful city on the southern coast of Turkey. I would add a day-trip recommendation for Termessos.

This 10-minute video explains the ancient craft of parchment-making, in the city which gave its name to parchment (Pergamum).

“The coveted metal copper and a sheltered location turned the Cypriot village of Hala Sultan Tekke into one of the most important trade hubs of the Late Bronze Age.”

“The exhibition ‘The colours of the Romans. Mosaics from the Capitoline Collections,’ on show in Rome’s Montemartini Museum, has been expanded to include a new section presenting 16 newly restored works dating from the late Roman period and never before shown in public.”

Entrance to the Pantheon in Rome will no longer be free.

The most expensive coin ever sold at auction was sold using false provenance and the owner of the auction house has been arrested.

“Governments, law enforcement officials and researchers have linked a mounting number of the Met’s relics to looters and traffickers.”

New release: The Public Lives of Ancient Women (500 BCE-650 CE), edited by Lucinda Dirven, Martijn Icks, and Sofie Remijsen (Brill, $143).

HT: Agade, Arne Halbakken, Explorator

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Andy Cook was at the Pool of Siloam excavations on Thursday, and he interviewed an archaeologist working there about what’s next.

“The recently renovated Davidson Center Archaeological Garden in Jerusalem’s Old City opened an exhibition on Monday featuring a number of rare and ancient artifacts related to the Temple Menorah.”

Joe Zias looks at some unknown inscriptions on the “Tomb of Absalom” in Jerusalem and suggests renaming the monument the “Tomb of Zacharias,” father of John the Baptist.

A Herodian wall and Second Temple period burial caves at Samaria-Sebaste has been destroyed by road construction.

“Military officials intercepted an antiquities-smuggling ring in the West Bank.” The Jerusalem Post story reports on several other recent antiquities busts.

A seven-mile stretch of the Jordan River south of the Sea of Galilee is being cleaned of its pollution and developed for tourism.

Aren Maeir recounts his two-day trek in eastern Samaria, including a climb up Sartaba.

Adam Montefiore, known as the English voice of Israeli wines, looks at the history of winemaking in the land of Israel.

Seetheholyland.net has added a page for the newly discovered tomb of Salome.

Phillip J. Long writes about the traditional location of the Garden of Gethsemane and the nearby grotto.

Accordance is offering 40-74% off on many graphics resources, including several of our photo collections. Ends Monday.

HT: Agade

Pool of Siloam March 20232635b

Pool of Siloam excavations, March 16. Photo by Andy Cook (Experience Israel Now)

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