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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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Archaeologists in western Turkey have found a hoard of 651 silver coins dating to the 1st century BC.

“Turkish archaeologists studying the ruins of the ancient town of Myra have found more than 50 terracotta figurines depicting humans, gods and animals.”

Carl Rasmussen shares photos of Adada, a city that Paul and Barnabas probably passed through on their first journey.

“Syrian authorities believe they have found the body of a top archaeologist who was killed by the Islamic State (IS) group in 2015 while he tried to protect the ancient city of Palmyra.”

Why were ostrich eggs so coveted by elites in the ancient Near East?

The builders of the Giza pyramids were locals who were paid for their work and who ate well.

Egypt is planning to open four museums this year, including the Grand Egyptian Museum in June.

Online lecture on Feb 22: “Presenting the Heritage of Jordan at The Jordan and The Petra Museums,” by Khairieh Amr

Edd Hodsdon: “Darius the Great: 9 Facts About The King Of Kings”

New from Eisenbrauns: A Handbook of Gods and Goddesses of the Ancient Near East Three Thousand Deities of Anatolia, Syria, Israel, Sumer, Babylonia, Assyria, and Elam, by Douglas R. Frayne and Johanna H. Stuckey, with illustrations by Stéphane D. Beaulieu. Save 30% with code NR21.

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

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An Israeli soldier discovered a rare coin dating to AD 158 from the ancient city of Geva Phillip near Megiddo.

Israeli archaeologists recently re-discovered a dolmen in northern Galilee in a search inspired by the memoirs of Prince Albert and Prince George (later King George V). The underlying journal article is here.

A portion of the “altar site” on Mount Ebal has been destroyed by road construction work. Israel’s President has asked the Ministry of Defense to investigate.

King Manasseh’s reign is illuminated by archaeological discoveries, as Bryan Windle shows in his latest archaeological biography.

Barry Beitzel is interviewed about his background in biblical geography and his recent work on the Lexham Geographic Commentary series.

Tributes to Hershel Shanks have been shared by Suzanne Singer, Daniel Silliman, Aren Maeir, and the Washington Post. The full Shanks commemorative issue of BAR (from 2018) is now open to all, including kind words from Christopher Rollston and others.

Albright Virtual Workshop on Feb 22: “‘The loss of a minute is just so much loss of life’: Edward Robinson and Eli Smith in the Holy Land,” by Haim Goren.

Jonathan Robker gives some tips for finding and using digital resources related to biblical studies and material culture.

Registration is now open for Infusion Bible Conference (formerly The Institute of Biblical Context Conference), June 14-16, in Franklin, Tennessee.

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

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Sixteen rock hewn burial tombs were found at Taposiris Magnain, Egypt, with one mummy having a golden tongue.

Some Egyptian scholars are arguing over whether it is acceptable to excavate and display ancient mummies.

Bones allegedly of St. James the Younger housed in the Santi Apostoli church in Rome are not old enough to have belonged to the apostle.

“New burials discovered inside the Roman necropolis of Santa Rosa, standing under what is now Vatican City, have shed light on burials that housed the servants and slaves of the Roman Caesars.”

Excavations are resuming at Herculaneum after 40 years, with work focused on the ancient beach.

After working hard to get Babylon chosen as a World Heritage Site, Iraqi officials have stopped working to protect the site.

The Getty Research Institute is presenting an online exhibition on the ancient Roman city of Palmyra, including more than 100 rare images.

“An anonymous philanthropist gave more than £11 million ($15m) to University College London to support the teaching and research of the heritage, history and languages of ancient Mesopotamia.”

Now online: Jewish Studies, an Internet Journal 19 (2020) —  Special Josephus Issue

Now on YouTube: Gilgamesh Lament for Enkidu (with subtitles)

David Moster has just released a new video on “Coups in the Bible.”

Online lecture on Feb 10: “House Hunters: Babylon, 1300 BCE,” by Susanne Paulus

The new Digital Atlas of the Roman Empire (DARE) is available for broad use, including in web applications.

The German Archaeological Institute has created a digital map of Pergamum that represents all known archaeological remains.

New podcast on This Week in the Ancient Near East: “The Other Kind of Throne, or, What’s the Deal with Toilets in the Iron Age?”

Hershel Shanks, founder of Biblical Archaeology Review, died of Covid on February 5 at the age of 90.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Arne Halbakken, Charles Savelle, Keith Keyser, Ted Weis, Alexander Schick

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The earliest evidence for the production of olives for eating has been found off the coast at Haifa.

The Bible Sleuth describes a relief that may provide a mention of the biblical David that is earlier than the Tel Dan Inscription and the Mesha Stele.

“Herod the Great Gardener” is the subject of this week’s episode on The Book and the Spade, with guest Kathryn Gleason.

A preliminary list of archaeological excavations in Israel this year is pretty short.

Renovation work has been completed at the Western Wall.

John DeLancey has created a video on Hezekiah’s Tunnel.

John Currid explains “Why We Dig: The Importance of Biblical Archaeology.”

Lawrence H. Schiffman looks at the evidence that connects John the Baptist with the Essenes/Qumran group and concludes that there is no reason to believe him was ever a member.

On Logos for $1.99: Unearthing the Bible: 101 Archaeological Discoveries That Bring the Bible to Life, by Titus Kennedy.

Ordinary Jerusalem, 1840-1940: Opening New Archives, Revisiting a Global City, edited by Angelos Dalachanis and Vincent Lemire. Available for free as a pdf.

David Hendin, author of Guide to Biblical Coins, talks about what makes a true collector.

The Jewish News looks back on early news stories of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Glenn J. Corbett is the new editor of Biblical Archaeology Review.

Online lecture on Feb 4: “Temples and Tabernacles: How the Ancient Israelites Worshipped,” by David Ilan.

Online lecture on Feb 10: “Exploring a 3D Model of the Ancient Beth Alpha Synagogue,” by Brad Erickson

Since Shmuel Browns wasn’t guiding tourists in 2020, he took lots of photographs, and he shares his favorite ones on his blog. My favorite is “Olive Tree in Shomron.”

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Arne Halbakken, Charles Savelle, Keith Keyser, Ted Weis, Alexander Schick

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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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