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Palm trees grown from 2,000-year-old seeds have produced more than a hundred dates, beautiful and tasty. (The father is Methuselah, the mother Hannah.)

A high-tech analysis of 18 ostraca from Arad reveals that they were written by 12 different hands, attesting to a high level of literacy in the kingdom of Judah in the late 7th century BC. The underlying journal article is here.

“A collection of more than 13 intact and sealed coffins has been unearthed in Saqqara, the first step towards a huge discovery to be announced soon on site.”

“The Harvard Museum of the Ancient Near East (HMANE, formerly the Harvard Semitic Museum) has recently started posting 3D scans of its cuneiform collection on-line.”

With the help of some old photos of Qumran Cave 1, Brent Nongbri has identified a couple of unheralded excavators of the Dead Sea Scrolls caves.

“According to the ‘Deal of the Century’ map, hundreds of heritage and archaeology sites in Judea and Samaria are slated to be removed from Israeli control and transferred to the jurisdiction of the proposed Palestinian state.”

The Louvre is helping to restore security for the National Museum of Beirut following extensive damage in the August 4 explosion.

When Adam Henein died this spring, Egypt lost a highly regarded artist whose work included a major restoration of the Sphinx.

People who climb Egyptian antiquities “without a license” will be punished under a new law passed by the government.

Necho II, slayer of King Josiah, is the subject of the latest archaeological biography by Bryan Windle.

Steven Anderson has now finished making playlists for all of Omer Frenkel’s beautiful readings of the Hebrew Bible.

A man was detained when caught hunting gazelles in a park in Jerusalem.

Tim Challies reviews A Harvard Professor, a Con Man, and the Gospel of Jesus and draws implications for all with regard to discoveries that appear to contradict (or confirm) the Christian faith.

Jerusalem University College has announced that Dr. Oliver Hersey will become the next president when Dr. Paul Wright retires in 2021.

Jerusalem recently broke a 139-year-record for the hottest night (with a low of 88.7°F, 31.5°C).

I’ve had a chance to look more carefully at the new Biblical Israel by Air. The thumb drive includes two high-resolution video files (mp4), one narrated and one non-narrated, with 69 minutes of drone footage of beautiful sites including the Sea of Galilee, Joppa, Caesarea, Mount Carmel, Jordan River, Arbel, Capernaum, Dan, Beth Shean, Shiloh, Jericho, Masada, Mount Nebo (on a clear day!), Macherus, Petra, and 40 other sites. This remarkable collection is available at an introductory price of $45 (or $30 for the DVD).

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Keith Keyser, Wayne Stiles, Explorator

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A new study looks at the land of “Cabul” with the latest archaeological and geographical finds in order to better understand Solomon’s sale of the land. The underlying PEQ article is here (requires subscription or payment).

“Several recently discovered milestones, some carrying inscriptions, have offered new insights into the Incense Route that crossed the Negev during the antiquity, connecting the southern part of the Arabic peninsula to Gaza via Petra.” The underlying PEQ article is here.

“Radiocarbon dating is set to become more accurate than ever after an international team of scientists improved the technique for assessing the age of historical objects.”

“Archaeological investigations have revealed traces of the elaborate systems of fire beacons described in the Assyrian text.”

Apparently Emperor Augustus looked a lot like Daniel Craig. One artist is using ancient imagery, historical texts, and coinage to create photorealistic portraits of 54 Roman emperors.

A new book tells the story of how a Harvard professor got conned into claiming the discovery of the “Gospel of Jesus’s Wife.” Brent Nongbri offers his own review here.

Zoom Workshop: Reconsidering Babylon’s Ishtar Gate. To be held on Oct 2, 12:00-2:00 pm Eastern Time.

Lawrence Schiffman is offering a three-part class on “The Dead Sea Scrolls: New Perspectives on the Bible, Judaism and Christianity.” Registration is still available for parts 2 and 3. Part 1 is online here.

The next ASOR webinar will feature Susan Ackerman on “Priestesses in the Days of Solomon and Ahab.”

A new season of excavations has begun at Persepolis.

The absence of visitors at the British Museum has led to a pest problem.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Charles Savelle, Wayne Stiles

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Joe Uziel, the new head of the Dead Sea Scrolls unit for the Israel Antiquities Authority, discusses his position and plans.

The Jerusalem Post profiles the work of Tanya Bitler, “currently the only person in the world who can touch and handle the legendary Dead Sea Scrolls.”

Researchers have analyzed more than 100 fingerprints on Bronze Age vessels excavated at the city of Gath. The underlying journal article is available here.

A stash of Jordanian ammunition was found at the bottom of a water cistern near the Western Wall in Jerusalem.

The Smithsonian Magazine has a short story on rock art discovered on dolmens in northern Israel.

The two issues this year of Jerusalem Quarterly are devoted to “Palestine from Above: Surveillance, Cartography and Control,” with several articles on aerial photography.

A Times of Israel podcast provides a 30-minute tour of excavations near the Western Wall plaza.

Ze’ev Orenstein gives a 35-minute video tour of the City of David.

John DeLancey’s latest video tour is of Caesarea Maritima.

Ferrell Jenkins shares some interesting photos of storks that he has taken in Israel and Turkey.

Ash-sharq is a new, peer reviewed journal devoted to short and long articles on the archaeology, history and society of the Ancient Near East.”

“The editors of the Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception (EBR) Online talk about the content, development and relevance of EBR Online for theologians and humanities faculty (recording of a live webinar).”

A fine painting by Gustav Bauernfeind of Jerusalem around the turn of the 20th century will be auctioned by Sotheby’s on July 28.

LifeWay is going with an archaeology theme for next summer’s Vacation Bible School.

Steven Anderson highlights some new resources for biblical studies, including his interpretive guides, SoundCloud playlists of the Hebrew Bible, and the Syriac-English New Testament.

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

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The completely buried Roman city of Falerii Novi has been mapped with radar technology.

An Egyptian archaeologist is using technology, including Google tools, to assist in the work of preserving and documenting her nation’s heritage.

A research study is using AI to analyze ancient feces and learning in the process of the relationship between humans and dogs.

Phillip J. Long provides a helpful review of a valuable up-to-date summary of the DSS and their relation to Qumran: Scribes and Scrolls at Qumran, by Sidnie White Crawford.

The final publication of Tall Zira’a, Volume 6, Hellenistic to Umayyad Period (Strata 8–3) is now available online as a free download.

‘Atiqot 99 (2020) is now online.

“Tutankhamun In Colour,” a BBC program featuring colorized photos from Howard Carter’s Egyptian explorations, will air on June 18.

Context Matters is a weekly podcast begun earlier this year and hosted by Cyndi Parker.

In a BBC audio presentation, Bridget Kendall explores ancient Babylon with four experts.

More than 1,000 color sides taken by Kenneth Russell have been added to the ACOR Photo Archive.

Carl Rasmussen shares a photo of an ancient papyrus attesting that a man had offered sacrifices to the gods—a way of proving that one was not a Christian.

The Temple Mount Sifting Project is now offering “remote sifting.”

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

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The Jerusalem Post runs a story on the 2013 discovery of a winery at Jezreel. A scholarly article was published this year on the excavation in the Journal of Eastern Mediterranean Archaeology and Heritage Studies.

Analysis of pottery workshops in the Jerusalem area reveals changes brought about by the Roman destruction of the city in AD 70. The underlying journal article was recently published in BASOR.

In his latest “Discussions with the Diggers,” Bryan Windle interviews Robert Mullins, focusing on his current excavations of Abel Beth Maacah. (I read yesterday that Yadin in the 1950s would have preferred to excavate Abel instead of Hazor, but he was unable to because of the military situation.)

Virtual conference on June 15-16: On the Origin of the Pieces: The Provenance of the Dead Sea Scrolls

W. Raymond Johnson of the Oriental Institute gave a lecture this week on “Medinet Habu and Tell el-Amarna: Tales of Blocks and Towers.”

SBL Press has “unpublished” Burton MacDonald’s A History of Ancient Moab from the Ninth to First Centuries BCE after determining that it “does not adequately adhere to the expected standard of marking all direct quotations from other sources.” (If you want a copy, better grab one now. Or if you already purchased, you can send it back for a refund.)

New release: A Week in the Life of Ephesus, by David A. deSilva. I enjoy the way this series makes learning historican context enjoyable. (Also available in Logos.)

Kris Udd gave a one-day Seminar on Bible Chronology at his church a few months ago, and he has made the videos and print materials available for free download. I have benefitted from Dr. Udd’s excellent chronology materials for many years, and I am happy to see them made widely available.

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

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For only the 4th time, a Bar Kochba coin has been found in Jerusalem, possibly brought there by a Roman soldier. This article has nice photos, and this article has a short video.

The Jerusalem Post surveys how archaeology in Israel has been affected by governmental actions in response to COVID-19.

El-Araj, a good candidate for Bethsaida, has been flooded by this winter’s rains and the rise of the Sea of Galilee.

Critics are claiming that construction by the Palestinian Authority is destroying remains at Tel Aroma, the northernmost Hasmonean fortress in Samaria.

“Exploratory drilling has started just outside the Old City for a project to extend the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem fast rail to the Old City’s Dung Gate — the main entrance to the Western Wall.”

The Greek Orthodox Church of Jerusalem has filed a lawsuit demanding closure of Ein Yael outdoor museum.

Four fragments of Dead Sea Scroll fragments that were thought to be blank are not.

A new excavation at Petra will focus on the lower part of the Treasury as well as nearby tombs and facades.

A new burial chamber has been discovered at the mummification workshop complex of the 26th Dynasty at Saqqara.”

“A stone chest excavated by archaeologists near Deir el-Bahari and the temple of Hatshepsut could lead archaeologists . . . to a royal tomb.”

Egypt’s decision to move ancient objects from their original setting in Luxor to Cairo’s Tahrir Square is stirring controversy.

“The excavation team working on the site of the ancient city of Patara, near the Mediterranean resort city of Antalya, has unearthed a new inscription in the ancient theater.”

“A small sinkhole that appeared next to the Pantheon in Rome has enabled archaeologists to examine the original Roman paving that was laid when the Pantheon was built by Marcus Agrippa around 27-25 BC.”

The traditional tomb of Esther and Mordechai in Hamadan, Iran, was set afire yesterday.

David Moster has created a new video on “Biblical Pandemics.”

The Temple Mount Sifting Project Symposium on May 24 features eight lectures via Zoom on the archaeology of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount. Registration is required.

Francis I. Andersen died recently. His breadth of publications is remarkable.

Thomas O. Lambdin died on May 8.

HT: Agade, Ted Weis, Joseph Lauer, Explorator, BibleX

Ecbatana tomb of Esther and Mordecai, tb0510183126

Traditional tomb of Esther and Mordecai in Hamadan (biblical Ecbatana) before attack

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