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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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Archaeologists have uncovered a Hellenistic farmstead in eastern Galilee that was abandoned in haste. They also found a significant agricultural settlement dating to the time of David and Solomon.

A brief article at The Jerusalem Post notes the discovery of game boards and game pieces from Gath that date to the 3rd millennium BC. The underlying PEQ article is available for purchase.

Moshe Gilead at Haaretz (premium) provides a lengthy explanation for why Ma’aleh Akrabim, “the most beautiful and dangerous road in Israel,” has been closed for five years.

The latest issue of Biblical Archaeology Review includes articles on Mt. Nebo, Merneptah’s destruction of Gezer, and the year 1177 BC. You can get a taste for the Mt. Nebo article and see many of its photos here.

Biblical Archaeology Review assistant editor Nathan Steinmeyer gives an on-site tour of Caesarea (6 min).

Bryan Windle’s top three reports for the month of May include excavations at Tel Timna, a Galilean farmstead, and Herod’s bathtubs.

Ellen Frankel wrote a mystery novel about the Dead Sea Scrolls that begins with the discovery of a key to crack the Copper Scroll.

The Sacred Thread is a forthcoming series that “explores the original context and culture of the Bible through a worldwide journey to uncover its meaning.” Created by Walking The Text and EvolveStudios, the first episode is now online (free to watch with registration).

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Arne Halbakken, Keith Keyser, Explorator

Ascent of Scorpions, Maale Aqrabbim modern road from above, tb042207882

Modern road of Maale Aqrabbim – “the most beautiful and dangerous road in Israel”

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A farmer in the Gaza Strip discovered the head of a stone statue that may depict the Canaanite goddess Anat. Or not.

“Archaeologists have for a long time unearthed clay pots in medieval Jerusalem. But now, a new study shows that some of them were likely ‘ancient hand grenades.’”

A new study of Dead Sea sediment shows how climate change in the past has affected the level of the lake and the settlement history of the region. The underlying journal article is here.

The Israeli Antiquities Authority is investigating claims that antiquities on the Temple Mount were destroyed in recent riots.

The City of David YouTube channel has released a tour of Warren’s Shaft and the Gihon Spring, including a visit to a cave currently under excavation.

The Museum of the Bible and DIVE (Digital Interactive Virtual Experiences) is hosting a virtual tour of the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron on May 11 ($20).

Leen Ritmeyer shares a number of reconstruction drawings of Capernaum’s octagonal church.

Bryan Windle shares ten thoughts on the lead curse tablet found on Mount Ebal.

Joel Kramer at Expedition Bible has just released a short video about the earliest mention of Yahweh on an ancient inscription found in Sudan. The video includes footage of Joel’s visit to the remote site.

Walking the Text has just announced an original television series called “The Sacred Thread.” The pilot episode has been completed, and you can watch the trailer here. They have some impressive footage.

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

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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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“Work has begun on the reconstruction of some of the 50 massive marble columns of the basilica in the Ashkelon National Park as part of an overall facelift for the park, and next week the fourth [7.5-ton] pillar will be put in place.”

A volunteer group has begun cleaning up the archaeological sites in Tiberias in hopes of having a national park established for the ongoing protection of the ruins.

On the Mount Ebal curse tablet, Aren Maeir offers some initial thoughts. At Haaretz, Nir Hasson provides a general overview along with some criticisms of the artifact and questions about how it was uncovered and exported. Shawn Zelig Aster weighs in on the inscription’s possible significance. James Davila observes that if the claims are accurate, the amulet would be the earliest inscribed metal amulet by a good five centuries, but he thinks it unlikely that the inscription is a defixio amulet from the Persian period or later.

Biblical Archaeology Review assistant editor Nathan Steinmeyer gives a short video tour atop the walls of Jerusalem (5 minutes, with no 2x option).

“Imagine learning the Bible not as a religious exercise, but as local history. In Israeli public schools, that’s the reality.”

New release: The Jewish Quarter Excavations in the Old City of Jerusalem: Conducted by Nahman Avigad 1969-1982: Vol. VIII: Architecture and Stratigraphy: The Palatial Mansion: Areas F-2, P and P-2. Edited by Hillel Geva.

Hillel Geva has retired from director of the Israel Exploration Society, and Rona Avissar Lewis is now in charge.

“Giants in Judges” is the subject in the most recent episode of the Biblical World podcast with Chris McKinny and Kyle Keimer.

HT: Agade, Arne Halbakken, Alexander Schick, Joseph Lauer

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Hi-tech residue analysis of 6th-century BCE jug sherds shows that ancient Jerusalem’s elite imported vanilla from southeast Asia to flavor their wine.”

“Plans are underway to move Megiddo prison in order to excavate the Israeli church with the earliest mosaic dedicated to Jesus.” (I double-checked the date of this story; it says 2022, though it could have run in 2012.)

Nadav Shragai explains why Turkey’s President Erdogan will not return the Siloam Inscription to Jerusalem.

Christopher Rollston identifies some problems with the announcement of the Mount Ebal curse inscription. (Since the original posting, he has added an addendum regarding the “altar.”) Luke Chandler also urges caution.

A shipwreck discovered near Ma’agan Michael on the northern coast of Israel provides a rare view into commerce in the land of Israel circa AD 700.

Ruth Schuster tells the story of the first modern explorers to discover that the Dead Sea is below sea level.

Israel 21c lists 10 amazing Jewish archaeological finds that were discovered by accident.

A trailer has been posted for Gesher Media’s new documentary series, “In Those Days.” “This series will explore the biblical, historical, cultural, and archaeological backgrounds of the story of the tabernacle and the Ark of the Covenant from Mount Sinai to the building of the First Temple.”

The Jerusalem Post reviews Raiders of the Hidden Ark, by Graham Addison. The book is an account of Montague Parker’s ill-fated expedition to Jerusalem.

This Week in the Ancient Near East podcast: “The early Iron Age site of Har Adir in the mountains of the Upper Galilee is back in the news. Was this an 11th century fortress of a local polity or a bird watching sanctuary?”

Leen Ritmeyer illustrates the transformation of Peter’s house in Capernaum into a house church.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Arne Halbakken, Explorator

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About the BiblePlaces Blog

The BiblePlaces Blog provides updates and analysis of the latest in biblical archaeology, history, and geography. Unless otherwise noted, the posts are written by Todd Bolen, PhD, Professor of Biblical Studies at The Master’s University.

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