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One of the earliest water channels in history was discovered in the Izmir province in Turkey.

Ben Witherington is impressed with the new Izmir Museum (parts 2, 3, 4, 5). He also recently traveled to Patmos (part 2) and the tombs of Philip of Macedon and family (parts 2, 3, 4, 5, 6).

Mark Hoffman explains how you can walk in Paul’s steps from Corinth to Cenchrea. His guide includes maps, photos, and detailed instructions for two routes, each about 7 miles one-way.

A 30-minute documentary follows archaeologist Stephan Lehmann in his work in detecting forged antiquities.

A forensic archaeologist says that the British Museum theft is the “worst in modern history.” The BBC story says that only 1% of the museum’s artifacts are on display, and not all of the rest is “properly catalogued and registered.”

More than 20,000 Achaemenid tablets from Persepolis will be returned to Iran from the Oriental Institute by the end of the year, according to an Iranian official.

NY Times: “The Egyptian government has demolished historic tombs, cultural centers, artisan workshops and gardens in pursuit of large-scale urban renewal.”

“Scientists have decoded an ancient aroma by identifying the ingredients used in Egyptian mummification balms — and resurrected the scent.”

Silvia Zago reviews Egyptian views of the otherworld.

Megan Sauter explains how to see some of the earliest Christian art in the entire world—located in the Catacomb of Priscilla in Rome.

Barbara Sofer visited Ostia to learn about the ancient synagogue and Jewish population of Rome’s port city.

HT: Agade, Arne Halbakken, Ted Weis, Explorator

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Archaeologists discovered an Akkadian tablet from 1800 BC during excavations of a palace in ancient Alalakh in southern Turkey.

Excavations of the tophet in Carthage uncovered “five gold coins from 2,300 years ago, tombstones and several urns with the remains of animals, infants and premature babies.”

Two new fragments of the Fasti Ostienses have been discovered in the Ostia Antica Archaeological Park.”

A 1st-century BC synagogue has been discovered in southwestern Russia. It stood for more than 500 years before it was likely destroyed.

“Coal miners in Serbia have discovered the remains of a large wooden boat likely used by the Romans to supply a nearby city and military headquarters on the empire’s frontier.”

“Once quiet backwater departments of Assyriology (sometimes called Sumerology or Mesopotamian studies) are suddenly hotbeds of innovation” with the help of AI.

“The ‘miracle’ plant Silphium consumed by Ancient Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians, which was thought to have become extinct two thousand years ago, has recently been rediscovered in Turkey by a professor, who thinks he’s found a botanical survivor.”

“The distinctive transdisciplinary approach of the recently established Yale Ancient Pharmacology Program (YAPP) may provide keys to [the] rediscovery” of the use of ancient plants.

Zoom tour on Aug 23: “The First Half of History: A Virtual Tour of the Yale Babylonian Collection,” by Ekhart Frahm and Agnete Lassen ($7)

Zoom lecture on Aug 31: “Who Really Invented the Alphabet?,” by Seth Sanders ($6/12). Season passes for the Friends of ASOR Webinar Series are now available. You can also purchase recordings from previous seasons’ webinars.

“The Corning Museum of Glass is pleased to announce its 61st Annual Seminar on Glass, a two-day program of online sessions that complements the special exhibition Dig Deeper: Discovering an Ancient Glass Workshop.” All are welcome, and there is no charge for the Oct 19-20 event.

New release: Scientific Traditions in the Ancient Mediterranean and Near East, edited by Sofie Schiødt, Amber Jacob and Kim Ryholt (NYU Press, $85)

New release: The Routledge Handbook of Museums, Heritage, and Death, edited by Trish Biers, Katie Stringer Clary (Routledge, $216/$46)

ACOR has signed agreements with the Jordanian Department of Antiquities to restore the Kerak Castle, the Byzantine church in Aqaba, and the Beit Ras Amphitheater.

Geoffrey Lenox-Smith describes what he saw on a tour in a “soft opening” of the Grand Egyptian Museum.

HT: Agade, Gordon Dickson, Al Sandalow, Will Varner, Arne Halbakken, Roger Schmidgall, Keith Keyser, Wayne Stiles, Explorator

The visit of a rabbi to Jerusalem was met with great excitement by his followers.

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Abigail Leavitt reports on her recent visits to Khirbet el-Maqatir and Mount Ebal (by the back road). On another day, she visited Gibeah, et-Tell, the “tomb of Rachel,” and Samaria/Sebaste.

Melanie Lidman writes a well-illustrated article about the Badè Museum of Biblical Archaeology’s online exhibition, “Unsilencing the Archives: The Laborers of the Tell en-Nasbeh Excavations (1926-1935).”

On the Biblical World podcast, Erica Ferg discusses the impact of geography on the religious history of the eastern Mediterranean world.

In the final episode of “Jesus in Galilee,” Brad Gray explains why Jesus chose to train his disciples in this area.

New release: What Can You Do with Your Bible Training?: Traditional and Nontraditional Vocational Paths, edited by Brandon C. Benziger and Adam W. Day. There are chapters on “Archaeology,” by Steven Ortiz, “Study-Tour Leading,” by Mark Wilson, and “Design and Illustration,” by Leen Ritmeyer.

New release: Ancient Egyptian Gold: Archaeology and Science in Jewellery (3500–1000 BC), edited by Maria F. Guerra, Marcos Martinón-Torres & Stephen Quirke (open access)

New release: The Amorites: A Political History of Mesopotamia in the Early Second Millennium BCE, by Nathan Wasserman and Yigal Bloch (Brill, $313)

Fritz Holznagel explains what Indiana Jones gets right and wrong about the Antikythera Mechanism.

Why have honeybees been depicted on coins for millennia? (Or, what exactly is the link between honey and money?)

Bryan Windle surveys the top three reports in biblical archaeology in the month of July.

Ferrell Jenkins shares a photo he took in 1969 of some cedars of Lebanon.

HT: Agade, Arne Halbakken, Explorator

The Samaritan Museum on Mount Gerizim recently opened the archaeological exhibit on their lower floor.

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Archaeologists are making progress in their second season of renewed excavations at Nimrud (ancient Calah), including the discovery of a depiction of Ishtar in a temple dedicated to her.

Royal tombs full of artifacts dating to 1500-1300 BC have been discovered near Hala Sultan Tekke on Cyprus. The site was discovered using magnetometers.

A 2,500-year-old Phoenician shipwreck has been found underwater in the southeastern Spanish region of Murcia.”

MutualArt surveys the results of excavations and repatriations in Egypt this year.

Yigal Levin writes about the city of Dibon and the single reference to Dibon-Gad in the book of Numbers.

Marek Dospěl gives an overview of the Epic of Gilgamesh.

Adam E. Miglio considers the similarities between the Epic of Gilgamesh and the Book of Genesis.

Jessica Nitschke, the new editor of The Ancient Near East Today, explains her vision for the future of the website and newsletter.

New release: Ancient Egyptian Gold: Archaeology and Science in Jewellery (3500–1000 BC), edited by Maria F. Guerra, Marcos Martinón-Torres & Stephen Quirke (McDonald Institute Monographs; Cambridge; open access)

The Bible Mapper Blog continues to create helpful maps for Bible readers. Here are the latest:

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Explorator

The best museum in the Old City is now the Terra Santa Museum on the Via Dolorosa. Though it is not yet finished, it displays hundreds of impressive artifacts from around the country.

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Scholars at UNI Graz claim that a 3rd century BC papyrus has evidence of a binding, making it the oldest book in the world discovered. The press release is in German, but the video of the press conference is partly in English. Brent Nongbri offers some thoughts.

A network of stone walls along the Nile River provide evidence of ancient hydraulic engineering.

“A team of computer scientists and archaeologists from the University of Bologna in Italy has developed a new tool for identifying archaeological sites using artificial intelligence … [which] reached a predictive accuracy of over 80 percent.”

“A team of archaeologists and computer scientists from Israel has created an AI-powered translation program for ancient Akkadian cuneiform, allowing tens of thousands of already digitized tablets to be translated into English instantaneously.”

The square in Rome where Julius Caesar was assassinated has been opened to the public.

Renovations of the Carthage Museum will begin in 2025 and expand the exhibition space to three times the current size.

The book of Esther’s independence from classical sources makes it “more important as a historical source for Achaemenian history than has traditionally been assumed.”

“An ancient Hebrew Bible and more than 100 Roman coins were recovered by Turkish military police.” The photo with the article is not the seized manuscript.

New release: A Jew in the Roman Bathhouse: Cultural Interaction in the Ancient Mediterranean, by Yaron Z. Eliav (Princeton University Press, $45; save 30% with code P321).

New release: Wounded Tigris: A River Journey Through the Cradle of Civilization, by Leon McCarron (Simon & Schuster, $29)

New release: Famine and Feast in Ancient Egypt, by Ellen Morris (75 pages, Cambridge University Press, $22; free download until July 3).

In the latest episode of Thin End of the Wedge, Agnès Garcia-Ventura discusses the historiography of Assyriology.

Mark Janzen is guest on The Book and the Spade discussing the historicity of Moses.

Now that the Plutonium at Hierapolis (aka the gate to Hades) is open, Carl Rasmussen shares photos and explains what you are looking at and how the ancient rites were carried out.

HT: Agade, Alexander Schick

The worst experience in Jerusalem is walking through the drainage channel under the Siloam street. Unless you’re under 5 feet tall.

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Zohar Amar believes that the best candidate for the balm of Gilead is resin from the Atlantic pistachio tree.

The latest video from Expedition Bible is “Peniel: Where Jacob saw the Face of God and lived.”

“The oldest known to-scale architectural plans recorded in human history” are engravings of desert kites discovered in Jordan and Saudi Arabia. More than 6,000 desert kites have been discovered in the Middle East and Asia to date.

Archaeologists discovered rare copper ingots from the Early Bronze Age in Oman.

Egyptian archaeologists have discovered two embalming facilities at Saqqara.

“Archaeologists offer a new explanation for one of the century’s grislier finds, ‘a carefully gathered collection of hands’ in a 3,500-year-old temple” in Avaris.

“Egyptian conservationists are racing to save ancient relics buried with some of Cairo’s most renowned residents as bulldozers flatten parts of a vast cemetery that houses forgotten kings.”

Jerusalem Post: “Many people died after visiting King Tut’s tomb in Egypt. What exactly happened, and how does it involve the Aspergillus fungus?”

A couple of scholars have recently tried to identify all the birds in the Green Room of Akhenaten’s palace in Amarna.

Egypt has barred the National Museum of Antiquities (RMO) in Leiden from carrying out excavations in the famous Egyptian necropolis Sakkara. The country accused the Dutch museum of “falsifying history” with the “Afrocentric” approach to the RMO exhibition Kemet: Egypt in hip-hop, jazz, soul & funk.”

New release (open access): Egypt and the Mediterranean World from the Late Fourth through the Third Millennium BCE, edited by Karin Sowada and Matthew J. Adams

New release: Life and the Afterlife: Ancient Egyptian Art from the Senusret Collection, edited by Melinda Hartwig (open access; click on right sidebar for pdf download)

New release: ‘To Aleppo gone …’: Essays in honour of Jonathan N. Tubb, edited by Irving Finkel, J.A. Fraser, and St John Simpson (Archaeopress, £16–45)

The Ideas podcast reflects on “the many afterlives of the Queen of Sheba.”

Eckart Frahm is guest on Thin End of the Wedge discussing his new history of Assyria. Also, YaleNews has a brief interview with him about the book. 

A new video retraces the journey of Joseph-Philibert Girault de Prangey, perhaps the earliest photographer of the eastern Mediterranean.

Two pillars used to decipher the Phoenician script are reunited for the first time in 240 years in an exhibition in Abu Dhabi.

Zoom lecture on June 15: “Home and Away: Studying the Deportations to and from the Southern Levant during the Age of the Neo-Assyrian and the Neo-Babylonian Empires,” by Ido Koch

Jaromir Malek, Egyptologist and creator of the Tutankhamun Archive, died recently.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Arne Halbakken, Ted Weis, Stephanie Durruty, Wayne Stiles, Alexander Schick, Gordon Franz, Explorator

The newly renovated Davidson Center in Jerusalem displays dozens of finds related to the Temple Mount, including these steps from the staircase over Robinson’s Arch.

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