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The enclosure wall around the Mount Ebal altar has been restored. And Israel’s defense minister is not allowing a visit by the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.

Two stone sarcophagi from the 2nd or 3rd centuries AD were discovered at the Ramat Gan Safari Park.

I share a bit about my work with photo collections, both past and future, in the latest Scholar’s Chair interview at Bible Archaeology Report.

Chris McKinny talks about learning historical geography and archaeology in Israel on a new video produced by John DeLancey.

Erez Ben Yosef is interviewed by the Jerusalem Post about his years of excavating at Timna.

Zoom lecture tomorrow: “Archaeology and the Hidden Religious Culture of Israelite Women,” by Carol Meyers.

The NY Times has posted an obituary for Norman Golb, the unorthodox Dead Sea Scrolls scholar who died last month.

Assyrians used the policy of deportation in the Levant not to bolster its labor supply but in order to intimidate the population and put down revolts.

The Hazor team is accepting applications for its 31st season of excavations at this important Canaanite and Israelite site.

The Times of Israel reports on the 2018 re-discovery in Cairo of a Hebrew Bible written in the year 1028.

Snow fell in Jerusalem this week for the first time in six years, and some photos are posted by The Jerusalem Post, Al Jazeera, Haaretz, and The Times of Israel. Shmuel Browns took some beautiful photos of the snow in the Judean hills. Daily Sabah has photos from around the Middle East.

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

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AhramOnline explains why 2020 was a good year for Egyptian archaeology.

“Ramses and the Gold of the Pharaohs” is a new exhibition that has been approved by the Egyptian government to tour Houston, San Francisco, Boston, London, and Paris from 2021 to 2025.

Not all scholars are convinced that Salome’s dance floor in Herod’s palace at Macherus has been discovered.

A woman’s garden ‘stepping stone’ turns out to be an ancient Roman artifact.

Ancient Romans liked their fish very fresh, but salted fish and fermented fish sauces were especially popular with those less well-off.

CAMNES has announced its livestream lecture schedule for 2021.

Groningen-Leuven-Oxford Network Workshop on Hebrew Bible and Jewish Antiquity will be held on Mar 8 and 9. It is free and open to the public.

Kipp Davis is featured on The Book and the Spade as the “Dead Sea Scrolls Detective.”

Carl Rasmussen writes about a very unusual Roman building on the outskirts of ancient Tarsus.

Ferrell Jenkin’s latest post about the seven churches of Revelation includes a unique rooftop view of Thyatira as well as a new picture of the recently reconstructed stoa.

HT: Agade, Wayne Stiles

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Bryan Windle identifies the top three reports in biblical archaeology in December.

Funding has been allocated to install a new, retractable floor in the Colosseum of Rome. The restored version will include replicas of trapdoors, lifts and other mechanical elements.

Michael Arnold explains how Phoenicia’s banking and commerce allowed them to thrive in the Mediterranean world for a millennium.

A new project is examining the impact of dams on archaeology and heritage in the Middle East and North Africa.

New: Jerusalem and Other Holy Places as Foci of Multireligious and Ideological Confrontation, edited by Pieter B. Hartog, Shulamit Laderman, Vered Tohar, and Archibald L.H.M. van Wieringen

New: M. Campeggi, Karkemish. Report on the Investigations in the Area of the Halaf Kilns at Yunus, by M. Campeggi (fascicle for purchase; download free)

New: Zoara, the Southern Ghor of Jordan: A Guide to the Landscape and Heritage of the Lowest Place on Earth, by Konstantinos D. Politis (open access)

Francesco M. Benedettucci has created a very extensive listing of internet resources on the archaeology of Jordan. The latest updates are provided on his Academia page.

Mark Wilson has published an article in Adalya: “The Discovery of a Menorah in Attalia (Kaleici, Antalya) and its Significance for Jewish Communities in Pamphylia” (pdf).

Online lecture on Jan 5: Ido Koch will be speaking on “One Hundred Years of Assyrian Colonialism,” from the campaigns of Tiglath-pileser III to Ashurbanipal. To receive the Zoom link, write to write to [email protected].

Online lecture on Jan 14: Why are the Dead Sea Scrolls so Sensational?, by James Charlesworth

“Alex Joffe, JP Dessel, and Rachel Hallote announce a new podcast, This Week in the Ancient Near East. Recent episodes feature discussions of the role of a comet in ushering in plant and animal domestication, the discovery of cannabis and frankincense in a Judean temple, an Iron Age figurine suggested to depict the face of God, and other new and interesting finds.” Listen or subscribe on Podbean, Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts.

The latest on Thin End of the Wedge podcast: Daniel Nicky: Teaching Mesopotamia through music.

In a flashy new video, Aren Maeir invites you to join his team in excavating the Philistine city of Gath this coming summer.

Mike Beall and Mike Markowitz provide a tour of coins of the Bible in a 33-minute video conversation.

Carl Rasmussen gives some suggestions for enjoying what he considers to be the most beautiful museum in Athens: The New Acropolis Museum.

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

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An Egyptian mummy with a woman’s portrait turned out to be a 5-year-old girl, based upon a study using high-resolution scans and X-ray microbeams.

SURA is a new project that will make available to the public 7,000 historic glass plate negatives from the Egyptological library of the Royal Museums of Art and History in Brussels.

“New analysis of a First Book of Breathing papyrus sheds light on its derivation from the Book of the Dead and postmortem deification in ancient Egypt.”

Wayne Stiles shares photos and looks at lessons to be learned from the pyramids of Giza.

Archaeologists are using artificial intelligence to analyze satellite images to identify ancient structures.

The Greek Reporter has created a short video showing the conservation and transportation of the mosaic of the Villa of Dionysus at Dion.

Carl Rasmussen shares photographs of Sinope, a likely recipient of Peter’s first epistle.

Gordon Govier asks, “Where are the other fake fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls?”

I just learned about thebiblesleuth.com, a weekly blog that links the Pentateuch with archaeological findings, following the Jewish annual reading cycle of the Torah. The blog is written in serial format, with the focus this year on the Iron Age IIA period (early Israelite monarchy).

In a three-minute video, John Currid answers the question, “Why is archaeology useful to Christians?”

Louise Pryke: “Nebuchadnezzar Explained: Warrior King, Rebuilder of Cities, and Musical Muse”

“Owning the Past: From Mesopotamia to Iraq” is a new exhibition at the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford.

Accordance’s Black Friday sale includes big savings on collections, including a number of graphics collections.

James Sanders died last month.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Keith Keyser, Ted Weis, Ferrell Jenkins, Alexander Schick, Arne Halbakken

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Today is the first day of the feast of Sukkot (Tabernacles) – hag sameah!

A study of 307 Iron Age jars discovered at Khirbet Qeiyafa found that the inner-rim diameter always measured nearly the same dimensions, suggesting that this was the size of a handbreadth. The underlying BASOR article is available to subscribers here.

A ritual bath discovered in the Jezreel Valley has been moved ahead of road construction work. The story includes drone footage of the transport of the 57-ton mikveh.

Horse stables from the Crusader era have been discovered at Apollonia.

The Footsteps of Jesus Weekend Experience: Bob Rognlien will be leading a virtual pilgrimage of the life of Jesus the weekend of October 16-18. Early bird pricing is available now.

The Temple Mount Sifting Project has begun a new campaign in which you can adopt a coin in order to support the team’s efforts.

A 40-second film clip shows archaeologists working in Herod’s palace at Masada in 1955. Another shows Qumran and the Dead Sea Scrolls in 1964.

HT: Agade, Alexander Schick

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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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