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Restoration experts are very carefully moving several large columns and Corinthian capitals from the Garden of Gethsemane to the Terra Sancta Museum. The columns may have originally belonged to the Roman temple that Hadrian built over Jesus’s temporary tomb.

Archaeologists discovered one of the oldest known mosques in the world in a salvage excavation in the Negev city of Rahat.

The 12th season has begun at Tel Burna, and you can see their dig plan here and the most recent excavation update here.

Yet again: Israel’s Environmental Ministry recommends building a canal linking the Dead and Red Seas (subscription). A few days earlier Jordan decided to cancel the stagnating plan.

Zoom lecture on June 29: “Disease & Death in the Early 1st Century CE,” by Julie Laskaris ($7).

An online lecture on July 6 will discuss the work being done to open up access to satellite imagery over Israel.

In part 2 of his David and Goliath series, Brad Gray looks at the contrast between David and Saul (which is, in my opinion, the central point of the story).

In the latest Biblical World podcast episode, Oliver Hersey talks with Paul Wright about Jesus and Jezreel.

Regular readers know that I greatly appreciate the books of Lois Tverberg, and her recent post is helpful in explaining the difference between the Rabbi Jesus books and whether they should be read in any order. Her first “Rabbi Jesus” book was Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus.

Israel MyChannel has a number of videos with original 3D models of Jerusalem. For instance, this one gives a tour of Jerusalem in the time of Jesus. Impressive.

Upcoming DIVE (Digital Interactive Virtual Experiences) tours through the Museum of the Bible ($20 ea.):

  • The Southern Steps and the Davidson Center: July 13, 2022
  • Ancient Shiloh: August 10, 2022
  • Armageddon — The Valley of Megiddo: September 7, 2022
  • Masada: October 19, 2022
  • The Valleys of Jerusalem — Kidron and Hinnom: November 9, 2022
  • Caesarea: December 7, 2022

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Arne Halbakken

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Archaeologists have discovered an inscription at Beit Shearim that proves that a convert to Judaism was buried in this elite cemetery.

“Archaeologists excavating at the base of the Legio VI Ferrata Roman Legion near Megiddo (known as Legio) believe they have found evidence of the first military amphitheater to be identified in the Southern Levant.”

Excavation work in preparation for a new elevator at the Western Wall plaza revealed an ancient ritual bath.

More remains of the lower aqueduct to Jerusalem are being exposed and restored in the Armon HaNatziv neighborhood in order to be incorporated into a public park.

Restoration of a small Hasmonean fortress in the Givat Shaul neighborhood in Jerusalem was recently completed.

Excavations will resume this summer at Lachish, with work focused on Iron IIA and Middle Bronze structures north of the Judean palace.

The ruins of Horvat Tefen in western Galilee are apparently part of a string of military fortress built by Alexander Jannaeus in the early 1st century BC.

“The Tel Moẓa Expedition Project is pleased to announce the creation of two scholarships to fund student participation in the 2022 excavation season at Tel Moẓa (5–23 September 2022).”

“An organization working to preserve Temple Mount antiquities warned this week that the [antiquities] have suffered great damage lately.”

“On Jerusalem Day, three archaeologists spoke to The Jerusalem Post about what it is like to work in a city with so much history underground and so much politics above ground.” The three archaeologists are Ronny Reich, Matthew Adams, and Zachi Dvira.

BAR recently interviewed Gideon Avni, head of the Archaeological Division of the Israel Antiquities Authority, about the practice of salvage excavations. This gives a helpful perspective on a majority of archaeological work in Israel.

David Lazarus begins a new series on the World of the Bible for Israel Today with an article on Jesus and tax collectors.

The early bird discount for the Infusion Bible Conference ends on Monday.

Logos/Faithlife is offering Going Places with God: A Devotional Journey Through the Lands of the Bible, by Wayne Stiles, for free this month. I recommend it.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Ted Weis, Arne Halbakken

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There’s a brand new excavation opportunity this summer at a site usually identified with Joshua’s hometown of Timnath Heres. The site of Kh. Tibna/Tel Timna has never before been excavated, and this July Dvir Raviv and Avraham Tendler of Bar Ilan University are launching an excavation and survey project in the western hill country of Ephraim.

I’m not sure if I can explain it, but I’ve long had a special attraction toward this site. Perhaps it is related to its beautiful location in the hills that enjoy the afternoon breezes from the Mediterranean. Perhaps it is owing to its remoteness—I have only visited once, and I don’t remember any of my friends or colleagues telling me that they had traveled there. Perhaps it is the fact that of all the places that Joshua could have chosen as his inheritance as one of the two faithful spies, he chose this site to spend his remaining years after the conquest (Josh 19:49-50).

Timnath-serah, Khirbet Tibnah, from east, tb071304492

Kh. Tibna, possibly biblical Timnath Heres

In any case, this summer is the first time that an archaeological spade will begin revealing the secrets of the site. Initial surveys indicate that the city was particularly important during the Iron Age II and the Early Roman periods. There is evidence of a Hellenistic-Hasmonean fortress, and the site may have been a regional capital in the time of Jesus.

The excavation runs from July 24 to August 19, and university credit is available for those interested. The cost of participating ($240/week) is much lower than at many other excavations ($500-$1000/week). They are also offering weekly lectures and fieldtrips. This might be the opportunity you’ve been looking for.

The expedition’s Facebook page is mostly in Hebrew, but you can see some photos there. See the graphic below for contact addresses.

Tel Timna 1

Tel Timna 2

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Haaretz has an extended summary of an article by Shimon Gibson about the attraction of stone vessels to Jerusalemites in the Second Temple period.

Archaeologists found a rare bronze fork at Chorazin (Korazim).

“An expedition of scientists and artists, adventurers all, embarked on a four-day desert journey. Their goal: to retrace an ancient trade route that connected the Kingdom of Judah to the Kingdom of Edom” (Haaretz premium).

Joel Kramer is interviewed on Digging for Truth about his book, Where God Came Down: The Archaeological Evidence.

The Biblical Language Center, founded by Randall Buth, is offering live video classes this summer in biblical Hebrew and Koiné Greek.

Zoom lecture on April 27: “Tell es-Sultan, Ancient Jericho: Urban Diversity in Palestine,” by Prof. Lorenzo Nigro. Advance registration required.

Hybrid lecture at the Museum of the Bible on May 26: “Tel Shimron: New Research into a Biblical City,” by Daniel Master.

Now online: “Iconography on Hebrew Seals and Bullae Identifying Biblical Persons and the Apparent Paradox of Egyptian Solar Symbols,” by Benjamin Stanhope.

The Volunteer Guide for the Tel Burna Archaeological Project is now online, and they are still accepting applications.

Morris Proctor explains how to find all the relevant maps for a site using the Atlas feature in Logos Bible Software.

Bryan Windle gives a good survey of the possible locations of where Pilate sentenced Jesus to death and concludes with a very reasonable suggestion.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Charles Savelle, Arne Halbakken, Paleojudaica

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Erez Ben-Yosef’s re-evaluation of the copper mines at Timna has significant consequences for the archaeological evidence for David and Solomon’s era, and David Spoede provides a useful introduction to his discoveries.

Ruth Schuster writes about the history of the date palm tree in the land of Israel.

Bible Archaeology Report: “This month’s news items include three finds related to names that were considered divine in the ancient world: Baal, Horus, and YHWH.”

Ferrell Jenkins shares a recent photo of Mount Hermon after a snowfall.

New release from Eisenbrauns: Megiddo VI: The 2010–2014 Seasons. 1,924 pages, 867 illustrations, $210 (with discount code NR22).

Jerusalem University College is offering three courses in its Online Summer Institute:

  • Egypt and the Old Testament, with Mark Janzen
  • Geographical Lenses on Ezekiel, with Elaine and Perry Phillips
  • The Jewish Context of Jesus and the New Testament, with Oliver Hersey and Joel Willitts

Logos has the Lexham Geographic Commentary digital set on sale for 55% off (2 volumes released; 4 forthcoming).

A tiny Hebrew curse inscription on a folded lead tablet was discovered in 2019 during the wet-sifting of material in the excavation dump on Mount Ebal. The text is written in paleo-Hebrew script, allegedly dating to the 12th century BC or earlier. The hour-long press conference can be watched here. Earlier reports of this discovery are noted here. A journal article is being written and will be published later this year. I will be curious to see how they argue that this was not a Hellenistic-era amulet written in old script; its discovery alongside Late Bronze and Iron Age pottery in a dump is not conclusive, especially at a site likely frequented by pilgrims. I continue to believe that the most sensational announcements require the most rigorous scrutiny, and the public is not well-served by claims not supported by scholarly publication.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Arne Halbakken, G. M. Grena, Explorator

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Biblical Archaeology Review seems to have dispensed with its annual “dig issue,” but the first issue of the year has a story about how various archaeologists think COVID-19 may affect the future of archaeology. The full story from the magazine is now online.

What was thought to be a Phoenician harbor in Sicily turns out to be a “gigantic sacred pool in honor of Baal that operated during the city’s Phoenician period, from the 8th to the 5th centuries B.C.E.” The article includes a nice map showing Phoenician colonies throughout the Mediterranean.

The new archaeologist in charge of Pompeii is hoping that visitors will look at the ancient city through the lens of its complex social stratification.

With Purim last week, Judith Sudilovsky writes about the Persian King Xerxes, known in the Hebrew Bible as Ahasuerus.

Tirhakah, the Cushite King of Egypt, is the latest subject of Bryan Windle’s series of bioarchaeographies.

Jordan has a number of important or impressive churches worth visiting.

Zoom lecture on March 23: “Phoenicians’ Cultural Influence in the Levant/Israel,” by Carolina Lopez-Ruiz ($7)

Webinar on April 6-7: Biblical Studies in Memory of Baruch A. Levine. I don’t see the schedule online, but I can forward it to anyone who asks. Or you will likely receive it when you register.

The webinar on “Colossae, Colossians, and Archaeology” that you may have missed because of its Sunday morning timing is now posted on YouTube.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Charles Savelle, Explorator

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