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Archaeologists working at Azekah may have found traces of the Assyrian siege ramp used to conquer the city in 701 BC.

The Waqf filled in a hole that opened in the Temple Mount floor with concrete on Tuesday, raising concerns that possible archaeological findings may now be lost.” Zachi Dvira at the Temple Mount Sifting Project offers his thoughts on the possible significance of the now-filled opening, along with some rare photos of underground areas of the Temple Mount.

The Israel Museum has re-opened “with a coronavirus-safe approach that includes half-hour capsule tours of the museum’s permanent and current exhibits.”

Gordon Govier writes about the summer excavations in Israel that were not, and those that were.

Lawrence Schiffman writes on discoveries made in 2020 for Ami Magazine.

Usha, an ancient village in western Galilee, is the subject of a 6-minute news piece on Israel Daily. (Note: add “the Sanhedrin Trail” to your bucket list.)

Zvi Koenigsberg looks at the possible connection between the site(s) of Gilgal and the strange phenomenon of “footprints” on the eastern side of Israel.

Dan Warner is on The Book and the Spade this week talking about the Gezer water tunnel.

Biblical Israel Ministries and Tours has just released a brand-new resource that features beautiful aerial footage of more than 55 biblical sites in Israel and Jordan. The launch price is only $30 for the DVD and $45 for a higher-res version on a thumb drive. Individual high-res site videos are available for only $4 each.

HT: Agade, Ted Weis, Joseph Lauer

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I don’t usually take away from class time to talk about the latest (usually over-hyped) discovery, but I did today. The announcement of the discovery of three royal (Proto-Aeolic) capitals south of ancient Jerusalem is exciting, as it provides beautiful evidence of a building that once served Manasseh or Josiah.

The Jerusalem Post has a good write-up, including a 2.5 minute video that captures well the excitement of the moment of finding the second capital in an unexpected place.

One of the things that makes this discovery so interesting is that relatively few such capitals have been found over the last century of excavating in Israel. My notes may need some updating, but here is what I have for the locations, numbers, and dates of Proto-Aeolic capitals:

  • Dan – 1 (9th c.)
  • Hazor – 2 (9th c.)
  • Megiddo – 13 (10th-9th c.)
  • Samaria – 7 (9th c.)
  • Gezer – possibly
  • Jerusalem (City of David)- 1 (late Iron Age?)
  • Ramat Rahel – 10 (late Iron Age)
  • Medeibiyeh, Jordan – 1 (late Iron Age?)

This discovery of three in close proximity, along with their excellent preservation, surely stirs the imagination as to what impressive building stood here in the final decades before Jerusalem fell to Babylon.

5.Photo-Shai Halevi Israel Antiquities Authority (44)

Three Proto-Aeolic Capitals discovered near the Armon Hanatziv Promenade near the UN Headquarters. Photo courtesy of Shai Halevi, Israel Antiquities Authority.

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A Canaanite fortress from the middle of the 12th century BCE (the days of the biblical judges), was unearthed in an excavation . . . outside Kiryat Gat.”

The headlines are more sensational, but the real story is this: a wall on Mount Zion dated by Bargil Pixner to the Iron Age does not date to the Iron Age. A revolution in our understanding of the size of Jerusalem in the time of Hezekiah is not warranted.

A hoard of 425 gold coins from the Abassid period was discovered by students working on an excavation in central Israel. There is a 2-minute video here.

Atlas Obscura has posted an article on the Sidonian Cave (Apollophanes Cave) at Beit Guvrin and one of its mysterious inscriptions.

The Legacy Hotel in Nazareth has a display of artifacts from the Bronze and Iron Ages that were discovered during the hotel’s construction.

The Daily Mail has a well-illustrated story on Rami Arav’s continued insistence that et-Tell is Bethsaida.

The ‘Digging for Identity’ program is a four-day journey for Israeli 10th-grade students, which includes taking part in an active archaeological dig” and more.

John DeLancey’s latest video focuses on Lachish.

Ralph Ellis provides his interpretation of the elephant mosaic discovered in the ancient Huqoq synagogue.

Aren Maeir and Nick Barksdale talk Philistines and DNA (12 min).

Bryan Windle highlights the “top three reports” in biblical archaeology for August. (He also wrote a nice resource review of our new 1 Samuel Photo Companion.)

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

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A 6th century church or monastery was discovered near Mount Tabor.

A 7th century AD shipwreck near Kibbutz Ma’agan Michael has turned out to be “the largest maritime cargo collection of Byzantine and early Islamic pottery discovered in Israel.”

A “study of 10,000 seeds from Negev viticulture settlements illustrates how plague, climate change and socioeconomic depression in booming empire’s periphery point to its decline.” The underlying journal article is here.

“A group of Yeroham residents have banded together to refurbish a 2,000-year-old archaeological site that was recently defaced with graffiti.”

Jews in Jerusalem once prayed in the “Cave,” a synagogue destroyed when the Crusaders invaded, and today scholars debate whether it was located under the Temple Mount near Warren’s Gate or not.

The Temple Mount Sifting Project needs donations in order to continue operations.

An Israeli archaeologist believes that he has identified the location in the coastal plain where Richard the Lionheart defeated Saladin in the Third Crusade in 1191.

A fire broke out at the Susiya archaeological site near Hebron, but the ruins including the ancient synagogue were spared.

Yosef Garfinkel is claiming that male figurines discovered at various sites are representations of Yahweh.

On The Land and the Book, Charlie Dyer interviews a pastor who took an “Extreme Israel” trip

Israel’s Good Name reports on his recent trip to Eilat, Timna Park, and the Top 94 extreme park.

Israel’s Supreme Court is requiring evidence that the proposed Jerusalem cable car will actually boost tourism.

In a 51-minute interview, “ToI’s Jewish World and Archaeology editor Amanda Borschel-Dan speaks with Israel Antiquities Authority archaeologist Joe Uziel about the destruction of ancient Jerusalem in honor of the Tisha B’Av fast day.”

Ferrell Jenkins shares photos related to the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in AD 70.

“A Temple in Flames” is a dramatized recreation of the fall of Jerusalem in AD 70.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer

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The big story of the week was the announcement of the discovery in Jerusalem of a large administrative complex that dates to the time of Kings Hezekiah and Manasseh. The site is located about 2 miles south of the Old City, and finds included more than 120 LMLK jar handles. There are more photos here, and a video with drone footage here. A 5-minute news story includes an interview with the archaeologist.

While most excavations in Israel are cancelled this summer, Tel Azekah’s dig begins today with 45 students expected to participate.

A new outdoor archaeological exhibit has been created in the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City, featuring 180 items previously scattered around the area.

A fifth century baptismal font that was stolen from its original site by antiquity looters has been located and returned” to Tel Tekoa. Palestinian authorities accuse Israel of stealing the item from Bethlehem.

John DeLancey’s latest teaching video focuses on Beth Shean.

Carl Rasmussen posts a couple of photos of the Intermediate Bronze tombs at Deir Mirzbaneh.

Le Destroit is apparently a Crusader fortress near Atlit. I’m guessing you missed it on your tour of Israel. The tour continues to a sunken vessel and to Tel Dor.

Joel Kramer has announced an Israel Study Tour for March 2021.

Bryan Windle identifies the Top Three Reports in Biblical Archaeology for July.

Magen Broshi died on July 14. Broshi was an archaeologist for the Israel Department of Antiquities and Museums as well as Curator of the Shrine of the Book, Israel Museum.

HT: Joseph Lauer, Agade, Ted Weis, Mark Hoffman

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**When we updated our blog design earlier this month, we accidentally broke the system that sends posts out by email. With that now fixed, we are re-posting the recent roundups, one part each day through Friday.**

The digs may have stopped, but the stories have not. With no roundups the last two weeks, I have more than 60 items of interest to share in the coming days.

A seal and a seal impression found in Jerusalem are rare discoveries from the Persian period.

“A Second Temple period Jewish ritual bath was discovered by chance last month in the Lower Galilee and a group of locals are trying to save it from its current destiny of destruction.” There’s a video report here.

“A new study carried out on pottery items uncovered in the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron suggests the cave . . . was used and visited as a pilgrimage site during the First Temple Period.”

A new study suggests that many cisterns in the Negev may date back not to the Iron Age but to the Bronze Age. (Journal article for purchase here.)

The cancelled archaeology department at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary has found a new home at Lipscomb University in Nashville.

Steven Ortiz, formerly of SWBTS, is interviewed by Bryan Windle in the latest in the Discussions with the Diggers series.

Mark Lanier, who helped bring the SWBTS program to Lipscomb, is interviewed on The Book and the Spade.

Moshe Garsiel has proposed a new theory to support the location of Tell es-Sharia as biblical Ziklag.

Aren Maeir visited the excavations at Tel Hadid, which along with Tell Abu Shusha and Tel Azekah, is one of the few excavations in Israel that were not cancelled this summer.

A study claims that buses and shuttles are a better solution than the planned Old City cable car project.

A couple of officials of the City of David organization give a 40-minute tour of the Siloam Pool and the Pilgrimage Road to the Temple Mount.

Biblical Israel Ministries and Tours is hosting a “Top 10 Israel Photos” contest and offering prizes.

Accordance is offering a number of its graphics collections at big discounts, including:

  • Bible Lands PhotoGuide (all 6): $74.90
  • Pictorial Library of Bible Lands: Cultural Images of the Holy Land: $24.90
  • Pictorial Library of Bible Lands: Trees, Plants, and Flowers of the Holy Land: $24.90
  • Historic Views of the Holy Land: Views That Have Vanished: $24.90
  • Historic Views of the Holy Land: American Colony Collection: $89.90
  • Virtual Tour to the Temple: $39.90
  • The Virtual Bible (Enhanced): 3D Reconstructions of the Biblical World: $19.90
  • The Add-On Bundles include many resources at very good prices ($59; $119).

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Alexander Schick, Ted Weis, Charles Savelle, Jared Clark, Explorator

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