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Archaeologists discovered a massive gateway near Persepolis that was built by Cyrus in honor of the conquest of Babylon.

A large-scale production brewery was found in Abydos, Egypt.

“The discovery of a rare ‘mud mummy’ from ancient Egypt has surprised archaeologists, who weren’t expecting to find the deceased encased in a hardened mud shell.

A CT study indicates that Pharaoh Seqenenre Taa II (558-1553 BC) died on the battlefield.

A researcher studied tomb reliefs and conducted dozens of experiments in order to discover how the ancient Egyptians baked bread.

A UNESCO jobs program is helping to restore Byzantine sites in Jordan.

Carl Rasmussen shares photos of Aizanoi in Turkey, where one of the best-preserved temples of the ancient world is located.

Greece Is lists the top 10 archaeological finds in Greece in 2020.

The Paphos Archaeological Museum in Cyprus has reopened after four years of renovations and delays.

Smithsonian Magazine: Iraq’s Cultural Museum in Mosul is on the road to recovery.

“The Encyclopædia Iranica Online is now freely accessible at Brill’s Reference Works Platform.”

5,000 photographs of Arabia taken by Sir Wilfred Thesiger between 1945 and 1950 have been digitized by the Pitt Rivers Museum.

“Excavating the History of the Bible: What Archeology Can Teach us About the Biblical World”—hosted by Dr. Andrew Mark Henry has launched on YouTube. The first episode provides an intro to biblical archaeology. The second is on the Canaanites.

A rare snowstorm covered Athens and its acropolis with several inches of snow.

HT: Agade, Ted Weis, Arne Halbakken, Keith Keyser, Explorator

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Two female statues from the 4th century BC have been discovered near the Athens airport.

The removal of two millennia of detritus has revealed the beautiful colors of the temple of Esna.

More than 13 types of inscriptions from various civilizations are known in the Arabian Peninsula.

The Antiquarium at Pompeii has now been reopened permanently.

A remorseful thief returned some fake coins he stole from the Paestum museum.

National Geographic has a feature on what may have been the Roman empire’s most enduring contribution: a road network covering more than 200,000 miles.

CSNTM has announced a brand new manuscript viewer.

Smithsonian Magazine: Who Invented the Alphabet?

Judeans in Babylonia: A Study of Deportees in the Sixth and Fifth Centuries BCE, by Tero Alstola, published by Brill in 2019 in Culture and History of the Ancient Near East series. Available for free as a pdf.

Reviewed: Libraries before Alexandria: Ancient Near Eastern Traditions, by Kim Ryholt and Gojko Barjamovic.

Sinclair Hood, best known for his excavation of the Minoan Palace of Knossos, has died just shy of his 104th birthday.

I join John DeLancey to talk about the Top 10 Archaeological Discoveries of 2020. This interview builds on a list I wrote, but with added commentary and a few photos.

HT: Agade, Ted Weis, Joseph Lauer, Arne Halbakken, Mark Hoffman, Explorator

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Archaeologists excavating a commercial market in Baalbek found a mosaic from the Roman period.

Though archaeologists have found some 80 thermopolia in Pompeii, they have only now (apparently) completely excavated an entire one. This article has lots of photos.

The Dead Cities, also called the ‘Forgotten Cities,’ are a series of ancient towns, monuments, and settlements located in North-Western Syria on the Aleppo plateau.”

A study has determined that Egyptian mummied baboons came from the area of modern Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia, and Yemen, suggesting that this was the area of ancient Punt.

In photos: The forgotten Nubian pyramids of Sudan

“Hidden beneath the sands of the Arabian Peninsula lie secrets dating back thousands of years that tell the story of the people of Arabia.”

Epic Iran is an exhibit opening in London in February that will showcase 5,000 years of Iranian culture.

The latest British Museum ancient city travel guide features the amazing Persepolis in the year 500 BC.

CNN looks at the history of the mausoleum of Augustus as preparations are made to open it as a tourist site in March.

New: The Royal Inscriptions of Sargon II, King of Assyria (721–705 BC), by Grant Frame. Use NR20 for 30% off.

New: The Restoration of the Nativity Church in Bethlehem, edited By Claudio Alessandri.

Aren Maeir’s recent lecture on Philistine Gath is online.

Daniel Master will be lecturing on Jan 7 by Zoom on the Philistines in an event hosted by The Museum of the Bible.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Explorator, Ted Weis

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A new study shows that individual potters have their own styles even when making standard traditional vessels.

A 100-year research project on the results and finds from Ur has concluded.

The BBC has a story and video on Mada’in Saleh, Saudi Arabia’s counterpart to Petra.

An unparalleled collection of Judaica amassed by one of the greatest Jewish dynasties in the world and not seen in public for over a century is to be sold at auction.”

“A museum in Israel on Monday postponed its planned auction of dozens of rare Islamic antiquities after word of the sale sparked a public uproar.”

A rare EID MAR gold coin celebrating the assassination of Julius Caesar became the most valuable Roman coin ever when it sold for nearly $3.5 million.

In light of the major earthquake on the Greek island of Samos, Leon Mauldin shares some biblical background, photos, and a map.

Eisenbrauns is hosting a virtual panel on November 11 with three authors discussing their new books and answering questions.

The 4th edition of Mark Wilson’s Biblical Turkey is now available.

HT: Joseph Lauer, Agade, Ted Weis

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“A joint report by German and Syrian organisations has documented severe damage to Syria’s historical heritage and antiquities.” (Report on Academia)

“An ancient cave decorated with distinguished engravings depicting scenes of animals has been discovered at Wadi Al-Zulma in North Sinai.”

“The southern region of Najran [in Saudi Arabia] is set to become the largest open museum of rock inscriptions in the world.”

Egypt is proposing a merger of its tourism and antiquities departments.

“British anti-racism protestors called for the destruction of Egypt’s Giza Pyramids on Sunday, after tearing down a statue of a slave trader in the city of Bristol and throwing it in the Avon river.”

“A comparison between the names mentioned in the biblical book of Jeremiah and those appearing on archaeological artifacts from the period when the prophet is believed to have lived – around the sixth to seventh centuries BCE – offers support to its historicity.”

The British Museum blog: “Whip up a classical feast with nine recipes from ancient Greece and Rome.”

The latest British Museum travel guide is for Thebes in the 13th century BC.

New: Unearthing the Bible: 101 Archaeological Discoveries That Bring the Bible to Life, by Titus Kennedy. The author was on the Eric Metaxas show recently discussing the book.

Coming soon: The Case for Biblical Archaeology: Uncovering the Historical Record of God’s Old Testament People, by John D. Currid (also in Logos)

Carl Rasmussen shares photos of Aphrodisias, one of the most beautiful antiquity sites in Turkey and one that many tourists never see (including, sadly, your roundup writer).

“Windows into the Bible” is a new podcast by Marc Turnage that looks at geographical, cultural, historical, and spiritual contexts. I’ve been told the episode on Pilate is quite intriguing.

HT: Joseph Lauer, Charles Savelle, Agade, Ted Weis, Explorator

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(Post by A.D. Riddle)


The “Roads of Arabia” exhibition ends its U.S. tour on January 18, 2015, at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco. The website does not indicate any further venues for the exhibition, so this might be the last chance to see it. Here are some of our posts about it on this blog (from most recent to earliest):

Roads of Arabia Volume in PDF (July 02, 2014) [The pdf is still available as far as we can tell]
Roads of Arabia Exhibition (June 24, 2014)
Roads of Arabia in Houston (January 08, 2014)
Roads of Arabia Exhibition: Update (April 23, 2013)
Museums and Cultural Heritage (April 05, 2011)
Archaeology of Saudi Arabia (February 27, 2011)

The official website of the “Roads of Arabia” exhibition is online here. I did not notice before that the site has a downloadable “Roads of Arabia Bibliography” at the bottom of this page (direct link). This looks like a helpful resource to have on hand. The first two items of the bibliography are exhibition catalogs. The first of these can be downloaded at the link given above. The second one looks very similar to the first catalog, but it is not exactly the same. Poking around online, I was able to locate a few of the individual chapters. These appear to have better quality images than the full-volume pdf.

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art also has a downloadable bibliography related to the exhibition. 
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