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We have more stories this weekend than perhaps ever before for a single week (nearly 50), so expect a third installment of the roundup on Monday.

The first-ever ancient depiction of the balm of Gilead was discovered on an amethyst seal found by volunteers sifting soil from near the Temple Mount. There’s a 3-minute video here.

Excavations at el-Araj (Bethsaida?) have wrapped up for the season, and the archaeologists discovered a large apse and two partial inscriptions in the mosaic floor of what they believe is the Church of the Apostles.

A diver found a Crusader-era sword in perfect condition off the coast of northern Israel. There is a short video here.

Not only the Crusader sword but much more has been discovered because of a once-in-a-century storm that occurred in December 2010.

Archaeologists discovered a hoard of silver coins from the Hasmonean era in Modiin.

Daniel Master is a guest on the Book and the Spade to discuss the recent excavations at Tel Shimron.

An organization is calling on the Israeli government to excavate and open to tourists the site of ancient Gibeah of Saul, more recently home to King Hussein’s unfinished palace.

“Members of the Samaritan faith gathered at sunrise on Wednesday to mark Sukkot, a month after Jews celebrated the festival.” The short story includes a brief video.

NY Times: “Rameh, a Palestinian town [in Galilee] surrounded by olive groves, has long had a reputation for producing especially good oil.”

Megan Sauter writes about the importance of three purple textile fragments from the time of David recently discovered in the Central Timna Valley Project.

Andrew Califf writes about seven lesser-known archaeological sites in Israel (Haaretz paywall).

The Museum of the Bible is offering virtual tours of Masada and Megiddo on November 10 and 17, “using advanced images combined with an online interactive classroom to create a rich, immersive experience.”

A new exhibition by the Israel Antiquities Authority at the Yigal Allon Center in Kibbutz Ginossar offers a glimpse of the centuries when Jewish sages managed to rebuild a community in the Galilee.”

Kyle Keimer and Chris McKinny discuss Cabul in the days of Solomon in the latest episode of OnScript’s Biblical World.

When children volunteering at the Temple Mount Sifting Project stole some of the artifacts, the director used the opportunity to instruct them on the community’s responsibility.

On sale for Kindle: A Week in the Fall of Jerusalem, by Ben Witherington ($3.99)

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Arne Halbakken, Ted Weis, A.D. Riddle, Paleojudaica, Explorator, BibleX

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Archaeologists have discovered a private toilet in Jerusalem that dates approximately to the time of Manasseh or Josiah.

Archaeologists have identified the first-known Crusader army camp in Israel near ancient Sepphoris.

“Jewish heritage sites in Judea and Samaria are being systematically vandalized and destroyed by local Arabs, according to a watchdog group which monitors archeological sites in the area.”

Amihai Mazar has prepared a list of publications by the late Eilat Mazar that are available for order from the publishing house.

Aren Maeir’s MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) on Biblical Archaeology will run again beginning on November 1.

In the second episode of the Special Texts of the Ancient Near East series, Mary Buck and Chris McKinny discuss the Mesha Stele.

The latest subject in Bryan Windle’s archaeological biography series is Hoshea, the last king of Israel.

The 24th Annual Bible & Archaeology Fest is only one week away, and the complete list of speakers and topics is online.

“The Institute of Biblical Culture is pleased to announce the David Marcus Giving Library, which will provide more than 2,000 scholarly books to the general public free of charge, aside from shipping. The first of six subject areas is Assyriology. To view the collection and request any of the hundreds of books, visit the Institute of Biblical Culture website.”

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Arne Halbakken, Explorator

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A curious tour guide found a stash of ancient coins all lumped together on the beach of Atlit.

An Israeli girl found a Byzantine-era coin at the ancient site of Chorazin during a scavenger hunt game.

Haaretz (premium) posts some photos of recent finds made in the excavations of Azekah.

Construction has begun on a controversial elevator at the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron.

“New research based on the analysis of dozens of pottery vessels has suggested has shown that in the period between the Assyrian conquest and the Babylonian destruction, a new cultural group emerged in the biblical Kingdom of Judah.”

Live Science has a follow-up article on the 8th-century earthquake evidence found in Jerusalem with responses from scholars who agree with the earthquake conclusion.

Chris McKinny and Kyle Keimer discuss the site of Khirbet er-Ra‘i/Arai, including the “Jerubbaal” inscription and whether the site should be identified as biblical Ziklag.

The latest episode in This Week in the Ancient Near East podcast considers the significance of the “Jerubbaal” inscription.

There are more archaeological connections to the reign of King Jehoash than you might think, as Bryan Windle shows in his latest archaeological biography.

If you’re in Jerusalem this month or next, you can try out the ropes course or the zip line at the Tower of David Museum.

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

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Archaeologists working in the City of David believe that they have found evidence of the 8th-century BC earthquake that occurred in the reign of Uzziah (Amos 1:1; Zech 14:5).

Archaeologists believe they have discovered the place where the Aramean king Hazael breached the walls of the Philistine city of Gath.

Israel will not renew the contract for Elad to run the Davidson Archaeological Park south of the Temple Mount (Haaretz premium).

Ruth Schuster gives the case for identifying el-Araj as the New Testament site of Bethsaida.

Haim Silberstein lists “10 of the best underground attractions in Israel.”

Bruce Chilton writes about “Herod, His Progeny, and the Cutting Edge of Power.”

The current issue of Adventist Review has a number of articles related to biblical archaeology.

This week on The Book and the Spade: “Wet Sifting or Not, An Archaeological Dilemma” with Jimmy Hardin.

Online conference on Sept 30: Jerusalem and Other Chosen Places

HT: Agade, Ted Weis, Arne Halbakken, Charles Savelle, Andy Cook, Roger Schmidgall, Explorator

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Archaeologists believe that they have greater clarity about the roads in the southern Judean desert leading to Edom following the examination of a site near Nahal Gorer. The underlying journal article is available to PEQ subscribers.

Haaretz follows up on the Jerubaal inscription discovery with a report fashioned as a back-and-forth between David Vanderhooft and Christopher Rollston, with the former suggesting the inscription may have been Zerbaal or Ezerbaal, and the latter sticking with his original interpretation of Jerubaal.

Excavations are underway at el-Araj (Bethsaida?), and updates are posted daily on their website.

The 25th and final summer season of excavations at Tell es-Safi/Gath has concluded. They have had a remarkable run.

Haaretz surveys the debate between Erez Ben-Yosef and Israel Finkelstein on the effect of “architectural bias” in drawing conclusions about Israel’s United Monarchy.

Naama Yahalom-Mack writes about the history of iron in ancient Israel.

Naama Barak writes about the mystery of the 1,400 dog burials at Ashkelon during the Persian period.

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

Construction has begun on a new reception center at the traditional Shepherds’ Field site near Bethlehem.

A music historian plans to restore a 12th-century organ discovered beneath the Basilica of the Nativity in Bethlehem. The instrument is the oldest known example of a pipe organ.

Shea Sumlin is on the GTI podcast talking about what it was like to be one of the first tour groups to be back in Israel.

Joseph L. Rife reviews A Walk to Caesarea: A Historical-Archaeological Perspective, by Joseph Patrich.

2nd edition released: The Archaeology of Qumran and the Dead Sea Scrolls, by Jodi Magness.

One of the books on sale at Logos right now is the Zondervan Handbook of Biblical Archaeology, by Randall Price with H. Wayne House ($9).

John DeLancey’s new Institute of Biblical Israel is launching a new course on biblical archaeology tomorrow.

HT: Agade, Arne Halbakken, Wayne Stiles, Joseph Lauer, Ted Weis, Explorator, Mark Hoffman, Roger Schmidgall, Paleojudaica

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A new study indicates that Egypt was using copper mined at Timna during the reigns of David and Solomon, suggesting an important trade route was in use at the time.

A journalist proposed that Sennacherib’s failure to capture Jerusalem was owing to Tirhakah’s intervention on behalf of Judah. The Journal of Hebrew Scriptures commissioned eight scholars to evaluate it, with six scholars affirming the theory. Alice Ogden Bellis summarizes the discussion.

The City of David YouTube channel has released a Tisha B’Av special in which they look at newly discovered evidence of the destructions of Jerusalem in 586 BC and AD 70 (25 min).

Zachi Dvira is the guest on the “Times Will Tell” podcast, talking about the history of the Temple Mount Sifting Project.

Nadav Shragai discusses some of the stories and controversies of the 49 cisterns under the Temple Mount.

“Was a well-preserved set of game pieces and other childhood items buried [at Tel Kedesh] by a young woman before she got married?”

The team excavating Tell es-Safi/Gath has concluded their third week.

In a new episode on the Biblical World podcast, Mary Buck and Chris McKinny discuss the topography of ancient Jerusalem and the possible identification of the Millo with the Spring Tower.

From the maker of “Ushpizin,” and now playing in theaters in Israel, “Legend of Destruction” is a 90-minute film that “tells the story of the Jewish revolt against Rome in 70 CE, from the perspective of Ben Batiach, a good-hearted scholar who turns zealot, leading to the Roman siege on the city and the destruction of the Second Temple.”

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

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