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“Colorful remains of mosaics from a 3rd century synagogue in the ancient town of Majdulia are the earliest evidence of synagogue decoration in the Golan.”

“A group of archaeologists, architects and researchers petitioned the High Court of Justice . . . to stop a controversial plan to build a cable car to the Western Wall in Jerusalem’s Old City.”

The latest in the Life Lessons from Israel video series focuses on the Talmudic Village of Katzrin.

Aviva and Shmuel Bar-Am write about a number of small archaeological sites in Pisgat Zeev, a northern suburb of Jerusalem.

Israel21c: Fabulous photos of 5 picturesque places to visit in Israel. The sites include Banias, En Gedi, Masada, Beth Shean, and Caesarea.

Archaeologists are hoping to continue excavations at el-Ahwat, possibly the biblical Harosheth HaGoyim, before modern construction destroys remains.

Israel’s Good Name visited the Horns of Hattin during a reenactment of the famous battle between the Crusaders and Saladin.

Carl Rasmussen reports on his visit to the “real” Bethsaida.

Luke Chandler, Ferrell Jenkins, Chris McKinny, and BibleX note the release of three new volumes in the Photo Companion to the Bible series.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer

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A 3rd-century milestone found on the road leading from Sussita to Caesarea Philippi attests to the existence of Emperor Maximinus Thrax. (Haaretz premium)

Yosef Garfinkel is claiming that he discovered the fortifications that Rehoboam built at Lachish (Haaretz premium).

A few spaces remain for this summer’s excavations at Shiloh.

Aren Maeir posts some new aerial photos of Gath.

David Bivin has updated his article on the history and identification of Emmaus.

Carl Rasmussen visits Nabi Shu’ayb, the holiest Druze site in Israel.

The village of Aphrodito provides a glimpse at daily life in southern Egypt in the 6th century AD.

Zahi Hawass identifies three tunnels in the Sphinx.

A newly published inscription describes the Assyrian king “Sargon’s conquest, occupation, and reorganization of Karkemish, including his rebuilding the city with ritual ceremonies usually reserved for royal palaces in capital cities.”

An Italian team is planning to begin a partial restoration of Persepolis.

A team from Greece is photographing thousands of ancient manuscripts at St. Catherine’s Monastery in Sinai.

“More than 300 artifacts from Queen Nefertari’s tomb are part of the National Geographic Museum exhibit ‘Queens of Egypt,’ which is on view in Washington through September 15.”

Rock&Gem explains the Minerals and Metals of the Bible (Part 1, Part 2)

The May/June issue of Biblical Archaeology Review includes articles on the Huqoq Synagogue, dogs in the biblical world, and the Assyrians.

The Biblical Archaeology Society is having a DVD Blowout Sale, with prices marked down 60-75%.

George Giacumakis died earlier this month.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Ted Weis, Chris McKinny, Steven Anderson

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An intact 2,400-year-old ancient Greek shipwreck, believed to be the world’s oldest, has been found at the bottom of the Black Sea.

The Museum of the Bible in Washington D.C. announced that independent testing revealed that five of its Dead Sea Scroll fragments “show characteristics inconsistent with ancient origin and therefore will no longer be displayed at the museum.” Kipp Davis, who initially questioned their authenticity, thinks that more fragments held by American institutions will be proven to be forgeries.


Haaretz (premium) has an article on the new excavations at Tel Shimron, a biblical site that is three times larger than Megiddo.

At least 19 people were killed when a flash flood swept away a group of students touring on the Jordanian side of the Dead Sea.

The Smithsonian magazine looks at the work of Virtual Wonders in using drone and other advanced technology to create extremely detailed 3D models of Petra. The article includes a video preview of their work.

“For a video game that includes bloody mercenaries, extraterrestrial beings, and time travel, Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey is shockingly faithful to our contemporary historical understanding of what Ancient Greece looked like during its golden age.”

Leon Mauldin shares photos and descriptions of Troas and Gamla.

Two new books on ancient Israel:

HT: Ted Weis, Keith Keyser, Charles Savelle, Agade

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An ancient artifact discovered in Rome was apparently an instrument, but scholars are uncertain if it was a lute or a lyre.

An analysis of fish teeth discovered around Israel sheds light on the extensive fish trade in the ancient Mediterranean world.

A new discovery raises the possibility that Pliny the Younger got the date wrong for the destruction of Pompeii.

The restored synagogue at Umm el-Qanatir (Ein Keshatot) has been dedicated.

Aren Maeir led a one-day excavation at Gath to remove a balk filled with pottery, and he shares many photos.

Archaeological evidence from Gath supports the historicity of the Bible’s description of Goliath (Haaretz premium).

Authorities captured two antiquities thieves who were plundering the Galilean site of Horvat Devorah.

Pressure has increased on the city of Jerusalem to cancel the plans to build a cable car to the Western Wall and City of David.

The Temple Mount Sifting Project has begun a new series: The History of the Temple Mount in 12 Objects.

A new study surveys ancient sites about to be destroyed as the reservoir fills behind the Ilisu Dam in Turkey.

BibleWalks has posted several hundred drone videos of ancient sites throughout Israel.

The November courses at The Institute of Biblical Culture include The Book of Psalms I and Ancient Near Eastern Texts II.

The Crossway ESV Bible Atlas is available at a pre-pub discount for Logos Bible Software.

The latest issue of Biblical Archaeology Review includes articles on Hasmonean kings and children in the ancient Near East.

Susan Masten, Curator of Antiquities at the Museum of the Bible, is the guest this week on The Book and the Spade.

HT: Joseph Lauer, Charles Savelle, A.D. Riddle, Paleojudaica

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A Roman-era cemetery with 32 tombs has been discovered near Hebron.

Archaeologists have discovered what is “probably the most ancient archaeological solid residue of cheese ever found” in the sands near Saqqara.

Erez Ben-Yosef and Aaron Greener explain the significance of Edom’s copper mines in Timna.

A couple of new studies identify the sources of ancient Egyptian copper.

Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities Newsletter for July 2018 includes the latest archaeological discoveries, repatriated antiquities, meetings, temporary exhibits, and increased fees.

“An antiquities museum in Syria’s rebel-held province of Idlib” has reopened after five years. The museum holds some of the Ebla tablets and was damaged in the war.

“The UCLA Library and Early Manuscripts Electronic Library have partnered with St. Catherine’s Monastery to digitize and publish online on an open access basis some 1,100 rare and unique Syriac and Arabic manuscripts dating from the fourth to the 17th centuries.”

Alexander Schick has written an extended article about the Temple Mount. If you don’t read German, there are many photos of interest.

Gabriel Barkay’s lecture, “Was Jesus Buried in the Garden Tomb?” from 2006 is now available online at Jerusalem Perspective.

The latest excursion of Israel’s Good Name takes him to Gath and the Museum of Philistine Culture in Ashdod.

The September/October issue of Biblical Archaeology Review features articles on Masada, Tel Shimron, and dating.

The Columbian has a touristy piece on Jaffa.

Candida Moss identifies the best ancient Christian sites in Egypt.

A number of streams in the Golan Heights that are popular with hikers have been closed due to contamination.

The oldest hippopotamus in captivity has died at the age of 59 at the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo.

The four volumes of the Tel Beth Shean excavation reports are now available for free in pdf format from Amihai Mazar’s academia website. He has also posted a chapter on Tel Rehov in the 10th-9th centuries.

HT: Agade, Charles Savelle, Ted Weis

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The Roman villa of a rich fisherman was discovered in Halicarnassus in southwestern Turkey.

Remains of child sacrifice have been found in a Bronze Age cemetery in Turkey.

The Steinhardt Museum of Natural History in Tel Aviv is designed like Noah’s Ark. It opens on Monday.

Week Four brought the Shiloh excavations to an end this summer, but an elite team returned for some conservation work.

The first week of excavations is over at Gath and Tel Burna. John DeLancey was volunteering at Gath and he shares his experience. (All of these links will take you to the most recent post at the time of this writing.)

On the ASOR Blog, James Fraser writes about dolmens in the Levant.

The new archaeology wing at the Terra Sancta Museum in Jerusalem opened this week.

Assyrian king Ashurbanipal is the focus of an exhibit at the British Museum that runs from November to February. Tickets are £17.

Gershon Edelstein, founder of the Ein Yael Living Museum, died this week.

Adrian Hennigan suggests 9 places tourists should avoid this summer, either because they are hot or crowded (Haaretz premium).

Wayne Stiles considers the historical and spiritual significance of Arad.

Israel’s Good Name shares his trip to the northern Golan.

A guy goes to a garage sale in Minnesota and buys some old negatives. It turns out they are originals taken in Jerusalem in 1858!

Mark Hoffman is very impressed with the ESV Archaeology Study Bible.

The Everlasting Nation Museum opens this summer in Hixson, Tennessee. It includes exhibits of Abraham’s tents, a Jewish wedding, a replica of the Western Wall, and an exact reproduction of Corrie Ten Boom’s “hiding place.”

Ferrell Jenkins has written 2000(!) posts in the last decade or so, and he takes the occasion to reflect back on 50 years of travel “from Ararat to Patmos” and beyond. His work is greatly appreciated!

There will be no weekend roundup for the next week or two.

HT: Joseph Lauer, Agade, Charles Savelle, Steven Anderson

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