A lot happened while I was away, and it’s going to take five or six days (!) to catch up. Let’s get to it.
Archaeologists excavating el-Araj discovered a mosaic in the Byzantine church that mentions the “chief and commander of the heavenly apostles,” further strengthening the site’s claim to be Bethsaida, the hometown of Peter. They are hoping to find an inscription mentioning Andrew in the October excavation.
“Archaeologists working at Tel Shiloh earlier this summer discovered piers that they believe formed a door into a gate complex at the northern edge of the biblical city.” Scott Stripling thinks this is the gate where Eli died.
Also at Shiloh, archaeologists discovered five intact storage jars from the Late Roman or Byzantine eras.
Excavations have begun at Kh. Tibnah, possibly Joshua’s city of Timnath-heres. Early discoveries include a Roman spearhead. Also, there is a dispute over ownership of the site (subscription).
The first Roman military amphitheater ever found in Israel was recently uncovered at Megiddo.
Matthew Adams talks about the excavations this summer at Megiddo on The Book and the Spade.
A Byzantine convent dedicated to Hannah was recently re-discovered at Horbat Hani in central Israel. There are some nice photos here.
A collection of 530 astragali (animal knucklebone gaming dice) from the Hellenistic period were discovered at Maresha-Bet Guvrin with names inscribed of Aphrodite, Eros, Hermes, Hera, and Nike.
A volunteer at the Temple Mount Sifting Project discovered what may have been a cheater’s die, with the number 5 where the number 4 should have been.
“A bronze Roman coin dating back 1,877 years with the symbol of the Cancer zodiac sign and a Moon goddess was discovered at Carmel Beach in Haifa.”
“Computer calculations of 70 CE Roman arsenal uncovered in excavations in Jerusalem demonstrate veracity of Jewish historian Josephus’s report of intense fighting near Third Wall.”
Lior Schwimer has reviewed nearly 15,000 panels of Negev rock art with more than 50,000 carvings.
Steven Ortiz is a guest on the Biblical World podcast, talking with Chris McKinny about the Lanier Archaeological Center at Lipscomb University, the Gezer Archaeological Project, and the Tel Burna Archaeological Project (28 min).
Bryan Windle identifies the top 3 reports in biblical archaeology for the month of July.
Registration for Jerusalem University College’s fall online courses ends on Monday.
HT: Agade, Arne Halbakken, Joseph Lauer