The Jerusalem Post has the story of a discovery that is potentially one of the top 10 of all time in biblical archaeology, if it is true. Gershon Galil, professor at Haifa University, claims that he has discovered and deciphered a couple of inscriptions in or near Hezekiah’s Tunnel that identify Hezekiah as the maker of the tunnel, give the very day of its construction, and describe other accomplishments of the king that agree with the biblical account. My hesitation is based in part on the fact that the article cites no other scholars and Galil has made some dubious claims—seeing inscriptions where others do not—in the recent past. And I’m always suspicious when a dramatic claim confirms the scholar’s previous conclusions, whether liberal or conservative. Luke Chandler has some additional information from Galil’s peer-reviewed Facebook page.
A wooden box containing 15 silver coins from the Maccabean period that was discovered earlier this year in the Judean Wilderness will go on display at the Hasmonean Museum. The IAA produced a 2-minute video of the discovery.
“A rare, half-shekel coin from the Great Revolt from 66 CE to 70 CE during the Second Temple period has been discovered in Jerusalem’s Ophel excavations south of the Temple Mount.”
“The Tower of David Museum in Jerusalem recently unearthed dozens of bronze and iron arrowheads dating from around the time of the Maccabees.” They were found in a cardboard box sitting behind the air conditioner.
More than 60 tombs from the Roman period have been discovered in an ancient cemetery in the Gaza Strip.
The NPR’s “picture show” on the shrinking Dead Sea includes a number of striking photos.
Alan Rosenbaum describes his recent tour of the Western Wall Tunnels excavations, including an Israelite four-room house, the Great Bridge, and a mikveh.
Tom Powers recommends a new book entitled Nine Quarters of Jerusalem: A New Biography of the Old City, by Matthew Teller.
Israel expects to have 2.5 million tourists visit this year.
The Dan Pearl Hotel, opened near the Jaffa Gate in 1996, will be demolished to make way for a new hotel.
“Plans for a large recreational park in the Negev in southern Israel, an expected tourism hotspot likened to Israel’s answer to EuroDisney, are inching closer to the construction pipeline.”
Israel has been ranked the fifth safest country in the world for tourists to visit.
My university’s magazine has an article about my use of photographs in the classroom (page 48; or a simpler web version here). The short version: I think it’s a good idea.
HT: Agade, Arne Halbakken, Ted Weis, Wayne Stiles, Charles Savelle, Keith Keyser, Gordon Dickson, Explorator