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The Mountain to Valley Relay is a 215 km relay race in northern Israel. Registration opens in January.

A beautiful mosaic from the Roman and Byzantine periods excavated in Lod went on display this week.

A hoard of 3rd century Roman coins has been found in Switzerland.

You can now visit every gallery in the British Museum with Google Street View.

Reuters revisits Rujm el-Hiri in the Golan Heights.

Wayne Stiles observes the irony that a “seat of Moses” was discovered at Chorazin.

An ornately decorated 1st century A.D. basilica once used by a pagan cult is now open to tourists in Rome.

Now on pre-pub pricing for Logos: AR151 Archaeology in Action: Jesus and Archaeology, with Craig Evans.

The Ancient Semitic Languages Youtube Channel has a reading of the Mesha Stele in Moabite.

Urban Legends of the New Testament is on sale for $4.99 for Kindle.

Ferrell Jenkins has announced his 50th Anniversary Tour to Israel.

I’ve never heard of a modern-day “tour of Palestine,” but Felicity Cobbing reports on her annual tour to sites in the West Bank.

Leen Ritmeyer responds to the recent Popular Archaeology claim that the Jewish people are praying
at the wrong wall.

HT: Ted Weis, Vik Menon

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Bill Schlegel has released another teaching video based on the Satellite Bible Atlas, this one focused on the northern regions of Israel. The 18-minute video describes the geographical and historical significance of the:

  • Sea of Galilee
  • Golan Heights
  • Huleh Valley
  • Mt. Hermon

Schlegel has taught college and graduate students as a resident professor in the land of Israel for 30 years. His new video series combines his expertise with excellent maps and aerial footage taken with a drone. These videos could serve your own family as well as a small-group Bible study or a school classroom. The series now includes 10 videos. They are all free. If you benefit from them, you might consider commenting on their Facebook page or sharing with your friends.

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Archaeologists believe that they may have discovered a Roman-period synagogue in the Golan Heights.

A massive underground city from 3000 BC has been discovered in Turkey’s Central Anatolian province of Nevsehir.

More about the Summeily bullae, including a response by Israel Finkelstein, is reported by the AP.

The IAA busted over 100 antiquities thieves in 2014, the latest with a metal detector at Khirbet

Marmita near Beth Shemesh. Before that, two Israelis and two Palestinians were arrested for planning to loot gold from a cave in the West Bank.

Papyrus scrolls are hot items in the online antiquities market.

On Monday, 38 Tyrian shekels from the lifetime of Jesus will be sold by auction. They date consecutively from 5 BC to AD 33. The reserve amount is $125k.


Haaretz reviews the most intriguing archaeological stories of 2014.


Archaeology magazine picks their top 10 discoveries of the year.

Most of the top 10 posts of 2014 by Wayne Stiles are related to Bible geography.

Ferrell Jenkins shares some new NASA photos of Israel and the Middle East.

“Secrets of the Bible: The Fall of Jericho,” featuring Bryant Wood, airs on the American Heroes Channel on Sunday, January 4, at 8:00 and 11:00 pm.

HT: Ted Weis, Explorator, Joseph Lauer

Besichtigung des Ausstellungsstückes im Alten Museum - Jäger und Gejagte, Die exotische Tierwelt des römischen Mosaiks aus Lod (Israel).
© Uwe Steinert, Berlin.
www.uwesteinert.de
Holiday greetings from the Friends of the Israel Antiquities Authority; photo by Yuri Molodkovtsu
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Michael Eisenberg tells the story of trying to discover the synagogue of Sussita (Hippos).

An Egyptian cemetery may contain more than a million mummies, say BYU archaeologists. No, it doesn’t, and you’re not working here again, says Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities.

The colossi of Amenhotep III have been re-erected at the site of his funerary temple in Luxor.

The Harvard Semitic Museum is honoring its founder with a special exhibition.

A new discovery in Galilee suggests that olive use was already in use in the Early Chalcolithic period.

The Book and the Spade features Mike Molnar explaining the star of Bethlehem mystery.

Leen Ritmeyer: Where on the Temple Mount was Jesus during Hanukkah?

How close is the new movie Exodus to the Bible? Ellen White answers: “Their story was so different
that if they didn’t use the Biblical names and released the same movie with a different title, I might not have even recognized it.”

Don McNeeley reports on the 2014 NEAS Conference in San Diego.

Our Rabbi Jesus notes a couple of free books on Greek and Hebraic thought.

Heritage Daily lists its Top 10 Archaeological Discoveries of 2014.

This will be the final roundup of 2014. We’ll try to note major stories as they break. Thanks for joining us this year!

HT: Charles Savelle, Ted Weis

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The largest ancient tomb ever discovered in Greece dates to the time of Alexander the Great and is located near Amphipolis. Archaeologists are hoping that the tomb is intact.

Beth Alpert Nakhai is leading a Survey on Field Safety and needs you to answer a few questions.

Another good one from Wayne Stiles: 3 Golan Heights Sites with Odd Names and Curious Histories.

Clyde Billington is on the Book and the Spade discussing the latest discoveries at Huqoq and the shovel survey at Khirbet el-Araj.

Construction begins next month on the yet-unnamed Bible museum being built by Steve Green in Washington, DC.

There are now more private museums than public in Turkey.

Ferrell Jenkins describes his balloon ride over Cappadocia. And a separate post includes a spectacular photo.

BibleX shares a quote on the importance of biblical geography from an older commentary on Joshua.

(Alas, the anticipated survey of Palestine east of the Jordan was never completed.)

Olof Pedersén has created a set of more than 2,500 ANE Placemarks for Google Earth.
This list of “12 must-see secular destinations” in Israel may give you ideas for your next trip.

On sale for Kindle: All the Names in the Bible ($3.99) and The Secret of the Talpiot Tomb ($2.99).

Here’s a new book you might find valuable, co-written by a Christian and agnostic to give an objective perspective: The Context of Christ: The History and Politics of Judea and Rome, 100 BC – AD 33 ($2.99).

HT: Agade

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The Western Wall prayer plaza will have a smaller version of a museum and office building after the planning committee listened to opponents.

A Muslim crowd on the Temple Mount attacked police when they opened the site to visitors yesterday afternoon.

A Jewish journalist describes his visit to the Temple Mount with Rabbi Chaim Richman.

The first week of excavations at Tel Burna has concluded.

Luke Chandler explains how a discovery from Khirbet Qeiyafa may help us to understand some details of Solomon’s temple described in 1 Kings 6. He includes a link to the Israel Exploration Journal article by Garfinkel and Mumcuoglu.

Shmuel Browns’ photo of the week is of Nahal Zavitan in the Golan Heights.

Where did Jesus change the water into wine? And what was the purpose of this miracle? Wayne Stiles explains and illustrates.

Scott Stripling is on The Book and the Spade this week, talking about last month’s excavations at Khirbet el-Maqatir (Ai?). Direct link here.

Tourism to Israel is at record levels, with 1.5 million visits from January to May this year.


The Sacred Bridge is on sale for Father’s Day at the Biblical Archaeology Society store. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen it lower than $79.95. (Amazon has it for $118 used or $125 new.) This is the standard reference for historical geography. These photos give a sense for how detailed the work is.

The Biblical Archaeology Society has a new free eBook: Masada: The Dead Sea’s Desert Fortress.

And BAR is now available for the iPad, Android, and Kindle Fire.

The ASOR Blog has more from the broader world of archaeology.

HT: Joseph Lauer

Temple Mount aerial from west, bb00030096
Jerusalem’s Temple Mount from the west
Photo by Barry Beitzel, from the Pictorial Library, volume 3
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