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A trove of Phoenician artifacts was long ascribed to a single shipwreck. More likely they were tossed overboard [as votive offerings], and over centuries [7th-3rd c BC], a new study suggests.”

A wildfire recently threatened the Bronze Age site of Mycenae in Greece.

Annie Attia writes about what we know about epidemics in ancient Mesopotamia.

A team of researchers is using new technology to discover erased texts in the library of St. Catherine’s Monastery.

Some scholars are ridiculing Yosef Garfinkel’s theory that an anthropomorphic clay head from Khirbet Qeiyafa depicts the face of God.

Foy Scalf will be lecturing on Tuesday, Sept 8, on “Measuring Time: The Ancient Egyptian Invention of the Clock,” using artifacts from the University of Chicago’s Oriental Institute Museum.

New: A Classical Archaeologist’s Life: The Story so Far: An Autobiography, by John Boardman

The full-length production of “Caesarea by the Sea: Rome’s Capital in Israel” has just been released. As you may recall from the trailers, the video features 3D digital models of King Herod’s city. You can watch the 20-minute documentary for free at the Bible Land Passages website as well as on YouTube.

HT: Agade, Ted Weis, Joseph Lauer

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CT scans on a couple of Egyptian mummies at the University of Haifa revealed non-human remains.

“Egypt’s tourism and antiquities ministry has issued new regulations and precautionary measures for archaeological missions to resume excavations.”

A study of what Romans called “Alexandrian glass” reveals that this treasured material did in fact come from Egypt.

The Egyptian Museum at the University of Leipzig is hosting a special exhibit on Heliopolis.

Jesse Millik questions some traditional views about the end of the Late Bronze Age in the Levant.

“After years of trial and error – and after getting used to the foul stench – Mohamed Ghassen Nouira has cracked how to make the prized purple dye used for royal and imperial robes in ancient times.”

Excavation and conservation work continues at the Ayanis Castle in Turkey, one of the most impressive structures of the kingdom of Urartu.

The discovery of a temple at Epidaurus in Greece suggests that worship of Asclepius began earlier than believed.

Carl Rasmussen shares photos of Samothrace, a Greek island that Paul visited but most tourists don’t.

Archaeologists and engineers are developing new technologies to protect Baiae, a Roman settlement now under the waters of the Mediterranean Sea.

There was more than one way to wipe in the ancient Roman empire.

New from Eisenbrauns: New Directions in the Study of Ancient Geography, edited by Duane W. Roller. Save 40% with code NR18.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Alexander Schick

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A study in Antiquity argues that ramps were constructed for Greek temples to insure the disabled had access to healing sanctuaries.

Stefan Nowicki considers the role of women in ancient Mesopotamia from information derived from royal inscriptions.

A new museum is being set up near Hagia Sophia to display portable icons and Holy relics.”

“Police conducting a routine inspection of a frozen seafood shop in eastern Spain have netted 13 Roman amphoras and an 18th-century metal anchor, all of which were apparently found by the owner’s son on fishing trips and used to decorate the premises.”

Get your Unicode cuneiform fonts here.

Popular Mechanics explains how you can use Google’s new Fabricus to text your friends in hieroglyphics.

Steve Ortiz is on The Book and the Spade this week talking about the move of the archaeology program from SWBTS to Lipscomb.

ACOR has posted three recent online lectures:

Eisenbrauns, an imprint of PSU Press, is offering a special tiered discount on archaeology titles now through October 31st.

A Logos sale on Zondervan books for $7.99 includes:

  • The Bible and the Land, by Gary M. Burge
  • Jesus and the Jewish Festivals, by Gary M. Burge
  • Jesus: A Visual History, by Donald L. Brake with Todd Bolen

Some volumes in Brill’s Studies in the History and Culture of the Ancient Near East are now available online for free, including:

  • The Age of Solomon, edited by Lowell K. Handy
  • Ancient Ammon, edited by Burton MacDonald and Randall W. Younker
  • Origins, by William W. Hallo
  • The Philistines in Transition, by Carl S. Ehrlich.

HT: Joseph Lauer, Agade, Ted Weis, Mark Hoffman, Wayne Stiles

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“Egypt archaeologist Kathleen Martinez is convinced that she has pinpointed the final resting place of Queen Cleopatra, after discovering 200 coins depicting her face at an ancient temple site in Alexandria.”

The Grand Egyptian Museum is 90% complete and will include the world’s first hanging obelisk.

Though unimpressive on the outside, the pyramid of Unas at Saqqara is filled with inscriptions from the Old Kingdom period.

Here is a list of five ancient tombs that scholars would like to find; four are Egyptian and one is Alexander the Great.

According to a new study, “the Hyksos were not invaders, but rather Asiatic immigrants who settled in Egypt – specifically in the Nile Delta region – lived there for centuries and eventually managed to stage a takeover of power.” (Underlying journal article here.)

Egypt is in a dispute with Ethiopia over a dam that could severely restrict the Nile River’s water supply.

“The early inhabitants of Lisan Peninsula, on the southern corner of the Dead Sea, explored the potential of the spring waters for irrigation.”

“Archaeologists were able to uncover more than 14,000 settlement sites in northeastern Syria thanks to help from satellite technology from NASA’s Shuttle Radar Topography Mission.”

French archaeologists are conducting “secret excavations” in a part of Syria occupied by the YPG/PKK.

The Hagia Sophia in Istanbul has been converted into a mosque. Greece is threatening to impose sanctions.

A Luwian inscription discovered in Turkey may provide evidence of the famous King Midas.

Leon Mauldin shows how Perga’s watercourse provides a picture of the new Jerusalem’s river of the water of life.

Carl Rasmussen explains the relevance of the Lycian Confederation to the history of the United States.

Carlotta Gall and photographer Mauricio Lima visited the Hasankeyf valley repeated for a half a year to witness its destruction as the waters rose behind the Ilisu Dam.

An underwater museum in Alonissos, the first in Greece, will open to visitors next month.

Pamela Gaber examines Cypriot sculpture from the Iron Age.

A new museum in Gozo, Malta, will incorporate an ancient Roman quarry into its layout.

There is controversy over the proposal to add a roof to the tomb of Augustus in Rome.

The entire collection of the Museum of Anthropology in Tehran was stolen by a burglar.

“7 Sides of a Cylinder” is a compilation of 7 videos about the Cyrus Cylinder and its significance to young Iranians.

A tourist describes a recent visit to Iran.

Archaeologists are discovering architectural remains from the time of the Medes at Ecbatana.

David Stronach, founding Director of the British Institute of Persian Studies and excavator of Pasargadae, has died.

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

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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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For our readers who are professors or pastors and are ready to think about planning future trips for your classes or churches, I recommend you take a look at 2021’s familiarization tours offered by Tutku Educational Travel. These trips are subsidized with the hope that you’ll love your trip and come back with a group. It’s a good way to get a good introduction and be prepared to lead a tour. I’ve copied Tutku’s schedule below, and you will recognize the names of a number of excellent scholars. This is a great (and rare) opportunity to learn from the best in their fields. I’ve traveled with Tutku several times and highly recommend them.

BIBLICAL ISRAEL FAM TRIP          $2,190 land & air included

January 1-9, 2021

Tour Host: Dr. Carl Rasmussen      click for brochure

Greetings! The following is the handcrafted itinerary of the trip to Israel that Mary and I are leading in response to those who have  asked us to put together a “not for credit” study tour. I will be giving mini lectures along the way both on the bus and on the sites, drawing from my studies. I have spent 16 years of my adult life living in, and guiding, academic groups in Israel, Jordan, Greece, and Turkey (including living, teaching, and guiding in Jerusalem for 7 years)…


BIBLICAL EGYPT FAM TRIP          $2,990 land & air included

January 6-15, 2021

Tour Host: Dr. Jim Hoffmeier      click for brochure

Growing up in rural Egypt gave me a love for its people, history and culture, so that Egyptology and archaeology were my natural academic studies. On this tour we will visit ancient and modern wonders and  integrate Biblical history, with a goal of making connections  between Egyptian history and culture and the Bible.


BIBLICAL ITALY FAM TRIP          $2,990 land & air included

January 15-23, 2021

Tour Host: Dr. Mark Wilson      click for brochure

“And so we came to Rome!” Twice Luke announces this in the final chapter of Acts. Our tour will begin with Paul’s arrival at the port of Puteoli. Along the way we’ll see Herculaneum, a city destroyed by   Mt. Vesuvius and the archaeological treasures of the Naples Museum. We will then trace the Via Appia to the imperial city, actually walking on this “Queen of Roads” in several places. In Rome we will visit all the major monuments, especially those related to Peter and Paul. The Pio Christian Museum features special Jewish and Christian artifacts in the Vatican Museum. Lastly, we will visit the port of Ostia, whose well-preserved ruins include an early synagogue. Join me as we too come to Rome in the footsteps of the apostles!


BIBLICAL TURKEY FAM TRIP          $1,990 land & air included

March 5-13, 2021

Tour Host: Dr. Mark Wilson      click for brochure

Greetings! At this special trip, we will visit all 7 churches mentioned in Revelation 1-3 and places where New Testament books were written to and/or from! Thus, it is not a mere tour, but a hands on experience as we study the New Testament and its  Greco Roman background together! You will be amazed at what you will be learning along the way and March is perfect—not too hot, not too cool, and the wild flowers are in bloom in most parts of the country!


BIBLICAL GREECE FAM TRIP          $1,990 land & air included

March 6-14, 2021

Tour Host: Dr. Mark Fairchild      click for brochure

Join me for this brief introductory tour of the Biblical sites in Greece. We will travel to all of the ancient sites that were  associated with St. Paul’s journeys in Greece. Additionally, we will  visit other important historical sites along the way, such as the famous Delphic Oracle and the monastic community at Meteora. I invite you to accompany us on this odyssey to the birthplace of western civilization.


BIBLICAL JORDAN FAM TRIP          $1,990 land & air included

March 13-21, 2021

Tour Host: Dr. Mark Fairchild      click for brochure

Many prophets walked the land and performed miracles in Jordan. They bathed in the seas and rivers and trekked the desert. Trace their steps, marvel at the ruins of ancient civilizations, and re-live   history.  Home to Petra, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, and the Dead Sea, a finalist for the New Seven Wonders of Nature, Jordan offers one-in-a-lifetime vacation destinations you will not find anywhere else… Explore splendid desert castles or bathe in the restful waters of the Red Sea. Come see the beauty of the Kingdom’s treasures and experience the splendor that has dazzled visitors for centuries.

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