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Archaeologists believe they have uncovered the 1st-century villa where Pliny the Elder watched Mount Vesuvius erupt.

“Archaeologists conducting extensive excavations in the ancient Sumerian city of Girsu, now known as Tello in southeastern Iraq, have unearthed twin temples built on top of each other.”

Egypt’s “project of the century”—a reinstallation of the granite cladding on one of the pyramids of Giza—has been cancelled.

Turkey will be expanding its “Night Museums” project with the goal of setting new records in tourism every year.

“Archaeologists working in Saqqara recently unearthed three funerary masks at least 1,800 years old.”

A new study claims that “ancient Romans used the poisonous nightshade Black henbane as a hallucinogenic drug.”

New release: Teaching Ancient Egypt in Museums: Pedagogies in Practice, edited by Jen Thum, Carl Walsh, Lissette M. Jiménez, Lisa Saladino Haney (Routledge, $40-$170)

Hybrid lecture on May 23: “From Ground to Page: Wrapping up the University of Michigan/University of Minnesota Excavations at Kedesh,” by Andrea M. Berlin

Revelation Media is creating an animated Bible project comprised of seven-minute episodes that will eventually cover the entire Bible.

Carmen Joy Imes writes about some connections to the Old Testament that she observed during a recent tour of Egypt with James Hoffmeier.

HT: Agade, Ted Weis, Arne Halbakken

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A group of students used “computer vision, machine learning, and hard work” to translate a portion of a scroll from Herculaneum and win a $700,000 prize. “This is a complete gamechanger,” said one scholar.

A reservist hiking in Galilee discovered a scarab made of carnelian and dating to about 800 BC, possibly related to the Assyrian conquest.

“Egypt’s antiquities ministry said Saturday it was setting up a committee to review the restoration of Giza’s Menkaure Pyramid after a public outcry over the project.”

“Excavations have given proof of a flourishing wine industry in the Byzantine and early Arab period, especially at sites like Shivta, Halutza, Nitzana, and Avdat.”

The latest episode of This Week in the Ancient Near East looks at the use of artificial intelligence to translate Mesopotamian texts.

Bryan Windle joins John DeLancey to talk about the top 10 archaeological discoveries related to Jesus.

Now online: Deborah Hurn’s dissertation, “Identifying and Delineating the Geographic Regions of the Israelite Migration from Egypt to Canaan Using a Hydrological Approach”

Hybrid lecture on Feb 29: “A Queen, her Son, and her Chamberlain. Seal Imagery and Socio-Administrative Hierarchies at Persepolis,” by Mark Garrison

Walking The Text’s recommended resource of the month is The Essential Archaeological Guide to Bible Lands, by Titus Kennedy.

Appian Media has released a trailer for “Out of Egypt.”

Abigail Leavitt shares some photos from her recent explorations in Jerusalem.

HT: Agade, Gordon Dickson, Arne Halbakken, Ted Weis

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The occupants of the 4th century BC Royal Tombs at Vergina have been identified as Alexander the Great’s father Philip, his stepmother, half-siblings, and son.

An Egyptian antiquities official was criticized after he announced that Egypt was restoring the granite casing on one of the three main pyramids of Giza.

The Times of Israel: “A Tel Aviv University team is using muon detectors to track powerful particles, hoping to build a 3D map of undiscovered tunnels, chambers and fortifications under the holey city,” Jerusalem.

Kathryn Oliver describes how conservators at the British Museum restored a sarcophagus relief in conjunction with the ongoing exhibit, “Legion: Life in the Roman Army.”

In the latest video from the Institute of Biblical Culture, David Moster compares Torah scrolls from Yemen with others from around the Jewish world.

Chandler Collins looks at what we can learn about Jerusalem from a travelogue published by William Barlett in the 1840s.

John Drummond gives a preview of “The Seven World Wonders” article that is in the current issue of Biblical Archaeology Review.

Bryan Windle’s top three reports in biblical archaeology for the month of January includes a bonus story.

The BBC gives a history of beds through the ages.

“The Bible and Its World” international academic conference will be held in Israel on July 1-3.

Now open access: Syria’s Monuments: Their Survival and Destruction, by Michael Greenhalgh (Brill, 2016, $229; open access pdf – download link temporarily not working)

Stephen Mitchell, author of many books on Asia Minor in the Roman era, died this week.

Zoom all-day seminar today: “In Search of Ancient Israel,” with Gary Rendsburg ($90)

HT: Agade, Gordon Dickson, Arne Halbakken

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Archaeologists discovered a rare silver coin from the Persian period during excavations as part of a highway-expansion project in the hills southwest of Jerusalem.

Ariel David, writing for Haaretz, reports that underground hiding places in Israel have “a more complex history than previously thought.”

A recent article by Nahshon Szanton in ‘Atiqot argues that the small pool at the outlet of Hezekiah’s Tunnel is the true Pool of Siloam and the more recently excavated large reservoir (Birkat el-Hamra) is what Josephus called “Solomon’s Pool.” Leen Ritmeyer (mostly) agrees, and he is not surprised that they have not discovered more steps in the recent excavations.

The National Library of Israel received the world’s largest collection of Yemenite Jewish manuscripts as a donation.

The latest issue of Jerusalem Journal of Archaeology focuses on “Spatial Digital Archaeology and History of Israel.”

Chris McKinny and Kyle Keimer discuss the top 10 archaeological discoveries in 2023 in the first of a three-part series in the Biblical World podcast. Part 2 is here.

A man was arrested while carrying out an illegal excavation at the site of Philippi.

New release: An Ancient Mesopotamian Herbal, by Barbara Böck, Shahina A. Ghazanfar, Mark Nesbit (Surrey Kew, £30). “Combining methods from the humanities and science, the authors provide a concise overview of ancient Mesopotamian culture and herbal lore, along with new identifications of Assyrian and Babylonian herbal medicines, focusing on 25 case studies.”

Zoom event on Jan 31: “The Genizah Research Unit at Cambridge University Library would like to invite you to experience up close the more than 200,000 fragments of the Cairo Genizah Collection.”

On the latest episode of Digging for Truth, Bryan Windle explores the archaeological evidence for King Jehoiachin.

Bryan Windle has written an archaeological biography for King Belshazzar.

There are 42 things you are not allowed to do on the dig.

HT: Agade, Andy Cook, Arne Halbakken, Ted Weis

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My longtime friend, Wayne Stiles, has spent the past seven years developing a wonderful website that features more than 200 videos that connect the Bible and its lands to life. He has traveled and filmed extensively in Israel, Jordan, Egypt, Greece, Turkey, and Italy. 

The links below take you to the various regions and countries with trailers to watch. There’s even an app so you can watch it on the go—and on tours! The cost for joining is nominal—and a whole lot cheaper than taking a tour—and you experience more than many tours combined could offer. 

In addition, you can use this code (BOLEN) to get a $10 credit—which allows you to rent two full episodes or to buy one of your choosing. 

Judah and the South (39 episodes, including Gath, Libnah, Timna Valley, Negev Highlands—and more)

Galilee and the North (23 episodes, including Sepphoris, Tabgha, Hazor, Capernaum, Cana—and more)

Samaria and the Center (20 episodes, including Beth-shan, Jericho, Dothan, Gibeon—and more)

Jerusalem (24 episodes, including the Temple Mount, Kidron Valley, Walls and Gates, Western Wall—and more)

Greece (19 episodes, including Patmos, Rhodes, Philippi, Athens, Corinth—and more)

Rome and Malta (20 episodes, including Appian Way, Roman Forum, Malta, Pompeii—and more)

Turkey (29 episodes, including Troas, Ephesus, Assos, Tarsus, the Churches of Revelation—and more) 

Egypt (8 episodes, including the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings, Nile River, Karnak Temple—and more)

Jordan (9 episodes, including Petra, Mount Nebo, Moab, Machaerus, Ammon—and more)

Interviews (11 interviews, including Bryant Wood, Scott Stripling, Carl Rasmussen, Charlie Dyer, and me)

If you are reading the Bible in 2024, Wayne also has a new Reading the Bible Lands program that goes through the whole Bible with videos, devotionals, and my photos—with the opportunity for Live Zoom calls with Wayne and other members to discuss the Bible reading and Q&A time. 

Some years ago I wrote the following about Wayne, and I don’t think I can say it any better now:

“Wayne Stiles has a unique gift for bringing the biblical world into our own. Some teachers are history gurus, but they can’t translate their research into how it affects us today. Wayne is superb at doing this in his books, on his blog, on his podcast, and at the sites. He is passionate, accurate, and faithful.” 

Wayne’s resources are outstanding in every way, and I’m very thankful for the ways he has applied his giftings and energies to create excellent tools to increase our love for and understanding of God’s Word.

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Israeli reserve soldiers discovered an ancient basalt mortar while on patrol near the Gaza Strip.

Marek Dospěl summarizes the argument for locating Peter’s house at Bethsaida (el-Araj) rather than Capernaum.

“The ancient remains of an unborn fetus found in the headless mummy of an Egyptian teenager shows she died while giving birth to twins.”

The latest issue of ‘Atiqot focuses on “The Archaeology of Purity,” and includes articles about the Pool of Siloam, ritual baths, and a chalk quarry on Mount Scopus.

New release: The Nubian Pharaohs of Egypt: Their Lives and Afterlives, by Aidan Dodson (AUC Press, $35)

The bi-weekly Research Seminar of the Archaeology department at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev will now be accessible to the public via Zoom. Lectures are given in English, and take place every other Tuesday, 9:15-10:45 am Eastern Time. The next lecture will be on January 23 entitled “Identities in the Making: Foodways and Table Manners in the City, Village, and Temple in Hellenistic Idumea,” by Débora Sandhaus.

Petra M. Creamer looks at what burial practices reveal about the power of an empire over its subjects, looking specifically at mortuary practices in couple of Assyrian cities.

The Biblical Archaeology Society is offering a free 2024 calendar (with email address and option to receive daily newsletter).

Steven Anderson who works with me on the Photo Companion to the Bible was interviewed for the Daily Dose of Aramaic (YouTube, Vimeo) to celebrate a special milestone for that ministry.

Carl Rasmussen has posted photos taken by David Padfield inside the Dome of the Rock.

HT: Agade, Arne Halbakken, Ted Weis

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