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The excavations at Azekah are unique this year not only because they weren’t cancelled, but all of the field supervisors are women and daycare is provided for the workers’ children.

The discovery of minerals in a building in the City of David is providing information about the earth’s magnetic field at the time of Jerusalem’s destruction in 586 BC. The underlying journal article is here.

A stone table from the Second Temple period was discovered in excavations near Beit El.

A new study suggests that Mount Adir in the Upper Galilee was a government center for a group of Canaanite settlers in the Iron I. The underlying BASOR article is here (requires subscription or payment).

Yuval Baruch, head of the Jerusalem division of the Israel Antiquities Authority and informally known as the “mayor of underground Jerusalem,” is profiled in The Jerusalem Post.

Following the excavation of a large tumulus south of Jerusalem, Ariel David writes about various theories that have been proposed for the 20 tumuli in the Jerusalem vicinity(Haaretz premium).

The Israel Museum has re-opened, and the Dead Sea Scrolls are back on display.

Jodi Magness is interviewed about Masada on the NC Bookwatch.

Winners have been selected for the Top 10 Picture contest at Biblical Israel Tours.

Carl Rasmussen shares some photos of well-preserved Crusader capitals in the Archaeology Museum of Nazareth.

Bible Land Passages is preparing to release a new documentary on Caesarea Maritima, and they have just posted two short trailers (1-min, 3-min) that provide a taste of what’s coming.

A couple of Oxford archaeologists have succeeded in getting the US to open up access to high-res satellite imagery of Israel.

Israel has experienced a couple days of unusual August rain.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Charles Savelle

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An outdoor archaeological exhibit has been created near the beachfront of Ashkelon. There is a brief video showing the displayed artifacts here.

Ken Dark reviews the evidence for the inhabitation of Nazareth in the first century.

A company in the Golan Heights is raising locusts to help meet the world’s need for animal protein.

King Uzziah: An Archaeological Biography looks at matters of historicity, his expansion, and the earthquake in his reign.

Ferrell Jenkins asks how Bet Guvrin would look during a pandemic.

A creative agency has teamed with architects to digitally reconstruct 5 endangered World Heritage sites, including Jerusalem’s Temple Mount and Palmyra.

CoinWeek has a feature on the coins of Herod the Great.

John DeLancey has released a new video entitled “Visiting Ein Gedi.”

Some statues and reliefs were discovered in a salvage excavation near Mit-Rahina in Egypt.

This piece has a bit about Egypt’s relationship with gold as well as Zahi Hawass’s relationship with Tutankhamun.

A 2nd-century AD sarcophagus with a gold diadem was discovered in Izmir (biblical Smyrna) in a rescue dig.

The British Museum is looking for help in identifying various artifacts.

Westminster Books has a sale on books from Lexham Press, including Lexham Geographic Commentary on the Gospels and Lexham Geographic Commentary on Acts through Revelation ($24 ea.), both with contributions from the BiblePlaces team members.

Featured in ANE Today (but noted last year on this blog): “In Discovering New Pasts: The OI [Oriental Institute] at 100, 62 people, almost all faculty, staff, and volunteers, tell the story of the OI, past and present, and of their involvement with the Institute.” The book is available for purchase or free download here.

Recently reprinted:
Pioneer to the Past:
The Story of James Henry Breasted
, Archaeologist. $30 in print or free download.

HT: Agade, Charles Savelle, Explorator

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**When we updated our blog design earlier this month, we accidentally broke the system that sends posts out by email. With that now fixed, we are re-posting the recent roundups, one part each day through Friday.**

The digs may have stopped, but the stories have not. With no roundups the last two weeks, I have more than 60 items of interest to share in the coming days.

A seal and a seal impression found in Jerusalem are rare discoveries from the Persian period.

“A Second Temple period Jewish ritual bath was discovered by chance last month in the Lower Galilee and a group of locals are trying to save it from its current destiny of destruction.” There’s a video report here.

“A new study carried out on pottery items uncovered in the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron suggests the cave . . . was used and visited as a pilgrimage site during the First Temple Period.”

A new study suggests that many cisterns in the Negev may date back not to the Iron Age but to the Bronze Age. (Journal article for purchase here.)

The cancelled archaeology department at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary has found a new home at Lipscomb University in Nashville.

Steven Ortiz, formerly of SWBTS, is interviewed by Bryan Windle in the latest in the Discussions with the Diggers series.

Mark Lanier, who helped bring the SWBTS program to Lipscomb, is interviewed on The Book and the Spade.

Moshe Garsiel has proposed a new theory to support the location of Tell es-Sharia as biblical Ziklag.

Aren Maeir visited the excavations at Tel Hadid, which along with Tell Abu Shusha and Tel Azekah, is one of the few excavations in Israel that were not cancelled this summer.

A study claims that buses and shuttles are a better solution than the planned Old City cable car project.

A couple of officials of the City of David organization give a 40-minute tour of the Siloam Pool and the Pilgrimage Road to the Temple Mount.

Biblical Israel Ministries and Tours is hosting a “Top 10 Israel Photos” contest and offering prizes.

Accordance is offering a number of its graphics collections at big discounts, including:

  • Bible Lands PhotoGuide (all 6): $74.90
  • Pictorial Library of Bible Lands: Cultural Images of the Holy Land: $24.90
  • Pictorial Library of Bible Lands: Trees, Plants, and Flowers of the Holy Land: $24.90
  • Historic Views of the Holy Land: Views That Have Vanished: $24.90
  • Historic Views of the Holy Land: American Colony Collection: $89.90
  • Virtual Tour to the Temple: $39.90
  • The Virtual Bible (Enhanced): 3D Reconstructions of the Biblical World: $19.90
  • The Add-On Bundles include many resources at very good prices ($59; $119).

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Alexander Schick, Ted Weis, Charles Savelle, Jared Clark, Explorator

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A sceptre about 3,200 years old made of copper and coated in silver leaf found in the biblical city of Lachish could be the first evidence of life-sized ‘divine statues’ in the Levant.”

Excavations of the underground Siloam Street have been (or were) halted after engineering instruments detected that the ground was moving.

Contrary to previous belief, chalkstone vessels continued to be used in the Galilee for several centuries after the destruction of the Jerusalem temple.

“Israeli archaeologists have published a 360-degree analysis of a rural, affluent Christian town in the Galilee that was most likely destroyed by Persian invaders in 613.”

Analysis of bird remains excavated in Jerusalem confirmed that specific species of birds – pigeons, doves – were indeed sacrificed in the Temple as the biblical text suggests. The story is based on an article in the latest issue of BASOR.

Roman and Byzantine mosaic floors provide insights into how humans restrained animals by the use of cages, ropes, knots, other tethering devices.

“A large number of archaeological sites in the West Bank, including many that are part of Jewish history and tradition, will be placed or remain under Palestinian control according to US President Donald Trump’s peace plan.”

An Explainer piece by Rossella Tercatin in the Jerusalem Post reveals who is in control of the archaeological sites in the West Bank.

Why is the Israel Museum still closed?

Ferrell Jenkins shares some photos and insights about the Judean wilderness.

Daniel Santacruz shares a dozen photos of wildflowers he took near his home in Maale Adumim.

This week we released volume #20 in the Pictorial Library of the Bible Lands. The Western Mediterranean collection focuses on Roman sites in Gaul (France) and Hispania (Spain) and includes more than 1,400 photos and 25 PowerPoints. The sale price ($25) ends on Tuesday.

HT: Joseph Lauer, Charles Savelle, Agade, Ted Weis, Explorator

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The Jerusalem Post runs a story on the 2013 discovery of a winery at Jezreel. A scholarly article was published this year on the excavation in the Journal of Eastern Mediterranean Archaeology and Heritage Studies.

Analysis of pottery workshops in the Jerusalem area reveals changes brought about by the Roman destruction of the city in AD 70. The underlying journal article was recently published in BASOR.

In his latest “Discussions with the Diggers,” Bryan Windle interviews Robert Mullins, focusing on his current excavations of Abel Beth Maacah. (I read yesterday that Yadin in the 1950s would have preferred to excavate Abel instead of Hazor, but he was unable to because of the military situation.)

Virtual conference on June 15-16: On the Origin of the Pieces: The Provenance of the Dead Sea Scrolls

W. Raymond Johnson of the Oriental Institute gave a lecture this week on “Medinet Habu and Tell el-Amarna: Tales of Blocks and Towers.”

SBL Press has “unpublished” Burton MacDonald’s A History of Ancient Moab from the Ninth to First Centuries BCE after determining that it “does not adequately adhere to the expected standard of marking all direct quotations from other sources.” (If you want a copy, better grab one now. Or if you already purchased, you can send it back for a refund.)

New release: A Week in the Life of Ephesus, by David A. deSilva. I enjoy the way this series makes learning historican context enjoyable. (Also available in Logos.)

Kris Udd gave a one-day Seminar on Bible Chronology at his church a few months ago, and he has made the videos and print materials available for free download. I have benefitted from Dr. Udd’s excellent chronology materials for many years, and I am happy to see them made widely available.

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

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A scholarly study uses radiocarbon dating to determine that “Wilson’s Arch was initiated by Herod the Great and enlarged during the Roman Procurators, such as Pontius Pilatus, in a range of 70 years, rather than 700 years, as previously discussed by scholars. The theater-like structure is dated to the days of Emperor Hadrian and left unfinished before 132–136 AD.”

A 1,800-year-old fountainhead in the shape of a face was uncovered by chance by a visitor at the Tzipori [Sepphoris] National Park in the Galilee.”

Rami Arav discusses his excavations at et-Tell and a newly discovered moon god stele (Haaretz premium).

Excavations will not be possible at el-Araj (Bethsaida?) this summer because of the high water level. The article includes many photos.

NPR has a story on the Israeli and Jordanian sides of the tourist site for Jesus’s baptism, including a discussion of creating a new “soft crossing” to allow tourists to enter Jordan from the Israeli side.

A new study of the DNA of 35 fragments from the Dead Sea Scrolls is providing insight into the diverse origins of the parchments.

Mark Vitalis Hoffman has published an interesting article on “Jesus and Jerusalem and the ‘Things That Make for Peace.” He has also created a video to supplement the article.

Gabriel Barkay is on The Book and the Spade this week talking about the archaeology of Jerusalem’s Temple Mount.

Israel’s Good Name had a productive trip scouting out the birds and fish at the Beit Zayit Reservoir west of Jerusalem.

A Jerusalem Post piece looks at the resumption of tourism in Israel and the safety measures being put in place.

From boom to bust: with tourism in Israel all but gone, tour guides are considering their options.

The Winter 2019 issue of the ACOR Newsletter is now available (high-res; low-res).

The Bible and Interpretation provides a selection about ancient Moab and the Mesha Stele from the new book by Burton MacDonald.

Gulf News has a write-up on artifacts from Saudi Arabia that are featured in the traveling “Roads of Arabia” exhibit.

Smithsonian magazine has a long, well-illustrated piece on archaeological work in and around Aigai, Philip II’s capital of Macedon. A massive new museum is scheduled to open in January.

The latest historical city travel guide by the British Museum is of Athens in the 5th century BC.

Some stories on re-opening: excavations in Turkey, Vatican Museums, Rome’s Colosseum, Pompeii, Al Ula, Israel’s museums, the Temple Mount.

Two Asian lion cubs were recently born at the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo.

HT: Joseph Lauer, Chris McKinny, Agade, Keith Keyser, Steven Anderson, Charles Savelle, Explorator

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