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“Archaeologists have discovered a rare oil lamp, shaped like a grotesque face cut in half, at the foundation of a building erected in Jerusalem’s City of David shortly after the destruction of the Second Temple almost 2,000 years ago.”

Israel’s easing of coronavirus restrictions allowed hundreds of Christians to gather at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher for the Holy Fire ceremony.

Riots on the Temple Mount led to hundreds of injured Palestinians and policemen.

“Some 2,000 years ago, an individual scribe wrote at least eight of the Dead Sea Scroll manuscripts, making him the most prolific scribe ever identified.” The scholar’s conference presentation has been posted on YouTube.

Israel’s Good Name reports on his birdwatching trip to the Hulda Reservoir.

The Jerusalem Post reviews Yoel Elitzur’s Places in the Parasha – Biblical Geography and its Meaning.

The latest issue of Israel Museum Studies in Archaeology is now available (go to “Contents” for downloads).

The 24th Annual Bible and Archaeology Fest will be held on October 16 and 17 on Zoom, with a strong lineup of speakers.

Tali Erickson-Gini is interviewed on The Times of Israel podcast, focusing on her expertise on the Nabateans’ Incense Road.

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

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Jerusalem University College has just announced the JUC Online Summer Institute. This six-week study opportunity costs only $159 per (non-credit) course, and all three classes look very interesting:

  • Reading Psalms Geographically, with Dr. Paul Wright
    Paul has lived in Jerusalem for 26 years, 19 of which he has served as president of Jerusalem University College. This is the final course that Dr. Wright will teach as president before he and his wife Diane retire from their roles at JUC.
  • Jesus the Galilean, with Dr. Wave Nunnally
    Dr. Nunnally has led study trips to Israel for more than 25 years. Wave served in the pastorate for four years and has spent the last 29 years teaching Jewish Backgrounds, Hebrew, Geography of Israel, Gospels, and Acts at the undergraduate, graduate, and PhD levels.
  • What Archaeology Can and Cannot Tell Us About the Bible, with Dr. Chris McKinny
    Chris has lived in Israel for years and regularly leads study tours to the lands of the Bible. Dr. McKinny is a Research Fellow with Gesher Media and senior staff member at the Tel Burna Archaeological project who is passionate about biblical archaeology, history, and geography.

The classes are offered at different times of the day, so participants can enroll in all three classes. Registration is open now until May 17.

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Researchers investigating a perfectly circular structure submerged under the Sea of Galilee are considering a possible connection to the tomb of Aqhat in Ugaritic mythology. The underlying journal article is here.

Mark Hoffman writes about the new “Timelapse in Google Earth,” with a couple of suggested views to check out.

Chris McKinny is on the Out of Zion podcast discussing the biblical and geographical backgrounds related to crossing the Jordan River.

Wendy Slaninka continues the fascinating story of her grandfather, James Leslie Starkey, excavator of Lachish.

Sudarsan Raghavan writes about the latest discoveries at Saqqara for the Washington Post.

“Pharaonic history provides us with well-documented cases of condemnation of the memory of specific individuals – what we today call damnatio memoriae.”

A project using artificial intelligence has determined that the Great Isaiah Scroll was written by two scribes, not one (Times of Israel, Jerusalem Post, Haaretz premium, journal article).

New: Babylon: The Great City, by Olof Pedersén (Zaphon, 2021). Available in hardcover (44 €) and pdf (free).

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Arne Halbakken, Ferrell Jenkins, Keith Keyser, Explorator, G. M. Grena

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“Archaeologists digging in the ancient Canaanite settlement of Lachish have unearthed a 3,500 year old pottery shard inscribed with what they believe is the oldest text found in Israel that was written using an alphabetic script” (Haaretz; Times of Israel; Daily Mail; underlying journal article)

Israel’s Good Name shares his latest adventure traipsing around the fields and reservoir of Zorah (Tzora) near Beth Shemesh in search of birds and more.

Haaretz premium: “The Eshkol Forest provides a bird’s-eye view of the Jordan Valley” and Sea of Galilee.

The Israel Antiquities Authority archive is preserving and digitizing materials from the British Mandate era. The site includes lots of documents and photos, mostly in English.

Zoom lecture on April 26: “New Discoveries from the Judaean Desert Caves,” by Eitan Klein, co-director of the Judaean Desert Cave Archaeological Project.

A new episode produced by the City of David YouTube channel features the silver amulets discovered at Ketef Hinnom (2 min).

Writing for Christianity Today, Kelsa Graybill describes five ways biblical geography shapes our view of God’s mission. Kelsa also has a new podcast with recent episodes on the Sorek Valley, the Hill Country of Judah, and Between Gerizim and Ebal.

We have just released 2 Samuel in the Photo Companion to the Bible series. This resource is recommended by Luke Chandler, Carl Rasmussen, Charles Savelle, and others. There is a $50 discount for a few more days.

HT: Agade, Keith Keyser, Alexander Schick, Arne Halbakken, Charles Savelle

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The enclosure wall around the Mount Ebal altar has been restored. And Israel’s defense minister is not allowing a visit by the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.

Two stone sarcophagi from the 2nd or 3rd centuries AD were discovered at the Ramat Gan Safari Park.

I share a bit about my work with photo collections, both past and future, in the latest Scholar’s Chair interview at Bible Archaeology Report.

Chris McKinny talks about learning historical geography and archaeology in Israel on a new video produced by John DeLancey.

Erez Ben Yosef is interviewed by the Jerusalem Post about his years of excavating at Timna.

Zoom lecture tomorrow: “Archaeology and the Hidden Religious Culture of Israelite Women,” by Carol Meyers.

The NY Times has posted an obituary for Norman Golb, the unorthodox Dead Sea Scrolls scholar who died last month.

Assyrians used the policy of deportation in the Levant not to bolster its labor supply but in order to intimidate the population and put down revolts.

The Hazor team is accepting applications for its 31st season of excavations at this important Canaanite and Israelite site.

The Times of Israel reports on the 2018 re-discovery in Cairo of a Hebrew Bible written in the year 1028.

Snow fell in Jerusalem this week for the first time in six years, and some photos are posted by The Jerusalem Post, Al Jazeera, Haaretz, and The Times of Israel. Shmuel Browns took some beautiful photos of the snow in the Judean hills. Daily Sabah has photos from around the Middle East.

HT: Agade, Ted Weis, Arne Halbakken, Keith Keyser, Explorator

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An Israeli soldier discovered a rare coin dating to AD 158 from the ancient city of Geva Phillip near Megiddo.

Israeli archaeologists recently re-discovered a dolmen in northern Galilee in a search inspired by the memoirs of Prince Albert and Prince George (later King George V). The underlying journal article is here.

A portion of the “altar site” on Mount Ebal has been destroyed by road construction work. Israel’s President has asked the Ministry of Defense to investigate.

King Manasseh’s reign is illuminated by archaeological discoveries, as Bryan Windle shows in his latest archaeological biography.

Barry Beitzel is interviewed about his background in biblical geography and his recent work on the Lexham Geographic Commentary series.

Tributes to Hershel Shanks have been shared by Suzanne Singer, Daniel Silliman, Aren Maeir, and the Washington Post. The full Shanks commemorative issue of BAR (from 2018) is now open to all, including kind words from Christopher Rollston and others.

Albright Virtual Workshop on Feb 22: “‘The loss of a minute is just so much loss of life’: Edward Robinson and Eli Smith in the Holy Land,” by Haim Goren.

Jonathan Robker gives some tips for finding and using digital resources related to biblical studies and material culture.

Registration is now open for Infusion Bible Conference (formerly The Institute of Biblical Context Conference), June 14-16, in Franklin, Tennessee.

HT: Agade, Alexander Schick, Arne Halbakken, Keith Keyser, Ted Weis, Explorator

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