Weekend Roundup, Part 2

Bryan Windle identifies the Top Three Reports in Biblical Archaeology in March 2020.

Christopher Rollston is a guest on the LandMinds video podcast discussing forgeries of antiquities.

Jeffrey Kloha is on The Book and the Spade discussing the “Fake Dead Sea Scrolls at the Museum of the Bible.”

Writing for Haaretz, Ariel David asks whether the assessment that the 16 Dead Sea Scroll fragments are forgeries calls into question the authenticity of the Dead Sea Scroll fragments previously discovered.

Lawrence H. Schiffman will be giving an online lecture entitled “Old Leather, New Ink: Forgery and the Dead Sea Scrolls” on April 1 at 9 pm (Eastern).

Steve Green will return 5,000 ancient papyrus fragments and 6,500 ancient clay objects to Iraq and Egypt.

A new study suggests that radiocarbon dates for the ANE need to be adjusted, with implications for the dates of the death of Tutankhamen and the eruption on Santorini.

Max Price writes about the history of pigs in the ancient Near East.

The British Museum’s Circulating Artefacts (CircArt) project is a ground-breaking collaborative initiative against the widespread global trade in illicit antiquities, with a current focus on ancient objects from Egypt and Sudan.”

Shiloh is the subject of the latest in John DeLancey’s “Life Lessons” series.

Carl Rasmussen shares some Easter-related photos, including Jesus’s crown of thorns and an unusual photo of a Jerusalem cross.

Mark Hoffman found a Google map of ancient theaters, amphitheaters, stadiums, and odeons in Turkey. (There are more than you might expect.)

Ferrell Jenkins posts a couple of photos of Capernaum from the air.

HT: Agade, Ted Weis, Paleojudaica, Joseph Lauer

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Weekend Roundup

Eggshells discovered in the City of David are the first evidence of chicken eggs used the diet of ancient Israelites.

A group of high schoolers discovered a rare gold coin from the time of Theodosius II (AD 420) on a class trip in Galilee.

A new archaeological visitor center has opened at Jokneam, at the base of Mount Carmel not far from Megiddo. The highlight is a 9th-century statue of the city’s ruler. There’s a slideshow on Facebook.

The partnership between Israel Finkelstein and Tel Aviv University physics professor Eli Piasetzky began when the latter was volunteering undercover at the Megiddo excavation.

The new Petra Museum has been inaugurated. It is located next to the main entrance to the site.

Flora Brooke Anthony provides examples of how Egyptians depicted in art their northern neighbors in the Levant.

Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities Newsletter for March 2019 is now online.

Adriano Orsingher explains the purpose of Phoenician and Punic masks.

Salvage excavations in Larnaca, Cyprus, revealed more than 110 tombs from the Early Bronze to the Late Roman periods.

Lightning recently struck the Acropolis in Greece, closing it temporarily.

Emory University is receiving the Senusret Collection, “one of the most extensive collections of ancient Egyptian and Near Eastern artwork to be donated to a US museum.”

“Life Lessons from Israel: Dan” is the latest video produced by Biblical Israel Ministries & Tours.

Israel’s Good Name recounts his visit to Herodium.

Now is the time to register for the 2019 season at Tell es-Safi/Gath.

“The arched stone-built hall in Jerusalem venerated by Christians as the site of Jesus’ Last Supper has been digitally recreated by archaeologists using laser scanners and advanced photography.”

Carl Rasmussen’s posts this week focus on Jesus’s crucifixion, including (1) crucified man from Jerusalem; (2) bone box of Caiaphas; (3) Church of the Holy Sepulcher; and (4) the best rolling stone tomb in Israel.

Pilgrims in Jerusalem yesterday celebrated Good Friday and Passover.

Police arrested several people who were planning to smuggle two baby goats onto the Temple Mount for a sacrifice.

The Samaritans celebrated Passover on Thursday evening. See below for a few photos my son took at the event.

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

“He was led like a lamb to the slaughter…”

“And as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth…”

“He was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was stricken…”

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Weekend Roundup, Part 1

A Greek inscription found at the Nabatean city of Halutza confirms previous scholarly identification of the site as Elusa. The Times of Israel article provides more information about the results of the excavation.

Aren Maeir made a visit to Gath/Tell es-Safi this week, where everything is very green.

Tel Tzuba (Belmont) is the latest destination for Israel’s Good Name.

Cesares de Roma is a Spanish art project that has brought to life silicone images of Julius Caesar, Caesar Augustus, and Nero.

The Romans attempted to ban wild Purim parties in the year 408.

In light of the present controversy, Leen Ritmeyer explains the history of the Golden Gate of Jerusalem.

Egypt has opened a 105-mile hiking trail called the “Red Sea Mountain Trail” that west of Hurghada.

40,000 runners from 80 different countries ran 42 kilometers in the Jerusalem Marathon.

David Moster explains biblical geography in a 9-minute video entitled, “If an ancient Israelite had Google Earth.”

This isn’t new, but I haven’t seen it before: Flight of Faith: The Jesus Story is a 48-minute documentary with lots of aerial footage.

The Bible Lands Museum in Jerusalem has opened a new exhibit entitled “Highway through History.” As part of the launch, they have created a five-minute drone video of Beth Shemesh and the excavations in preparation for the road expansion.


The New York Times reviews “The World Between Empires” exhibit now at the Met.

The “Alexander son of Simon” ossuary is possibly related to the man who carried Jesus’s cross. It is on display now at the Museum of the Bible in Washington, DC, and this week they recorded a short video about it. Apparently they were so inspired by an inquiry from your roundup writer.

HT: Agade, G. M. Grena, Chris McKinny, Ted Weis, Steven Anderson, Paul Kellogg, Charles Savelle

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Weekend Roundup, Part 1

In Caesarea, a remarkable Crusader-era cache of 24 gold coins and an earring was found in a small bronze pot, hidden between two stones in the side of a well.

The NY Times has a summary of the Pilate ring discovery. Robert Cargill prefers the theory that the ring belonged to one of Pilate’s papyrus-pushing administrators. Ferrell Jenkins shares a number of related photos.

Archaeologists working at Timna Park opened their excavation to volunteers from the public for three days during Hanukkah.

The second in a series of 12 objects from the Temple Mount Sifting Project is an arrowhead from the 10th century BC.

Jim Davila tries to unravel the latest with the Qumran caves with potential Dead Sea Scroll material (with a follow-up here).

Matthew Adams gives an update on the Jezreel Valley Regional Project on The Book and the Spade.

Israel is on pace to hit a new annual record of 4 million tourists this year.

Episode 1 in Wayne Stiles’s excellent “The Promised That Changed the World” is now available. You can sign up to get free access to all three episodes.

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

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Weekend Roundup

Archaeologists are uncovering more of the Minoan palace of Zominthos in Crete.

Political instability is threatening many historical sites in Libya, including remains of the Roman Empire in the city of Sabrath.

Archaeologists have discovered a tomb from the 5th Dynasty in Abusir, Egypt.

John Swogger explains his work as an archaeological illustrator in using informational comics to explain various aspects of archaeology.

The proliferation of sinkholes along the Dead Sea shore has resulted in new life next to the briny waters.

Some priests in Jerusalem have reenacted the Sukkot water-libation ceremony in the City of David.

The Ancient Coins of Israel is an informative 10-minute video produced by the Friends of the Israel Antiquities Authority.

The annual Batchelder Conference at the University of Nebraska Omaha will be held on November 9-10. The Friday plenary address will be by Jodi Magness on her excavations at Huqoq. (No info online at the time of this posting.)

The Albright Institute has announced its lecture and workshop schedule for October and November.

Carl Rasmussen has written a couple of posts related to city gates, including its defense and illicit worship.

Ferrell Jenkins has created an index of his articles related to church history.

Here’s a photo to add to your lecture slides: the 1974 passport for Ramses II.

HT: Judi King, Ted Weis, Charles Savelle, Agade, Jared Clark

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Weekend Roundup

Coins from the Jewish Revolt (AD 66-70) were found on March 26 by Dr. Eilat Mazar during renewed excavations at the Ophel.

“Elaborate decorations including stucco from the time of Nero have been found in the remains of a villa and bath complex in the outskirts of Rome.”

The February 2018 edition of the Newsletter of the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities reports the latest archaeological discoveries, meetings, projects, and more.

A new study suggests that King Tut was not a sickly boy but a warrior king.

The Getty Conservation Institute announced that its restoration of the tomb of King Tut in Egypt is near completion.

The Nicholson Museum in Australia was surprised to discover an Egyptian coffin in their possession for more than a 150 years actually contains a mummy.


The Times of Israel profiles a tattoo parlor in Jerusalem that has been inking Easter pilgrims for centuries.

A schedule for the Haifa Phoenician Series 2018 is now online.

David Laskin attempts to look at ancient Rome through the eyes of Josephus.

The Albright Institute has posted its program for April and May.

Joan Taylor asks what Jesus looked like.

Ferrell Jenkins shares a photo of an unusual sunrise on the Sea of Galilee. Leon Mauldin provides a wrap-up of their trip in Israel and Jordan.

Israel’s Good Name visited Ein Bokek and Ami’az Plateau.

HT: Mike Harney, Ted Weis, Agade, Jared Clark, Joseph Lauer

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Weekend Roundup, Part 1

An 86-year-old guide hiked the Nabatean Spice Route from Petra to Avdat over five days. On the last day they discovered a lost portion of the route.

The process of clearing mines from the area around the baptismal site on the Jordan River has begun.

A new study reveals that “pigeons played a central role some 1,500 years ago in transforming the Byzantine Negev into a flourishing garden.”

Philippe Bohstrom provides a good summary of where things stand with the seal impression of Isaiah.

Itzhaq Shai and Chris McKinny explain Canaanite religion at Tel Burna in the 13th century BC.

Israel’s Good Name recently spent the day at En Gedi, taking photos around the area and visiting the ancient synagogue.

An Israeli shepherdess is raising sheep so she can sell pricey shofars.

Passion Week begins tomorrow and Wayne Stiles is making available a free video series tracing

Jesus’s final days from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday.

50% off retail price on the entire inventory of Wipf & Stock! They have some great books! Use code INV50 through April 3. Here are three of their books I love:

Or search their 300-page catalog here. (Sale includes books not listed in that catalog.) Or find Biblical Studies here.

HT: Agade, Charles Savelle, PaleoJudaica

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Weekend Roundup

The Column of King Merneptah has been transferred to the Grand Egyptian Museum.

Popular Archaeology investigates the discovery of three skeletons at Gezer last summer.

Researchers at Bowdoin College Museum of Art are working to reconstruct the color on ancient Assyrian reliefs.

The luxurious Roman silver Berthouville Treasure collection is now on display in Denmark.

James Mellaart, former excavator of Catalhoyuk, is accused of having forged murals and inscriptions that he claimed to have discovered.

Was the synagogue of Capernaum in Jesus’s day white or black? Leen Ritmeyer explains why it was black.

As Easter approaches, Carl Rasmussen shares related photos, including one of a “crown of thorns.”

Gary Rendsburg gives a tour of the world’s oldest Torah scrolls.

Wayne Stiles looks at Abraham’s visit with Melchizedek in Salem.

The latest from Walking the Text is “Returning to the Path.”

This week’s program on The Book and the Spade addresses the tomb of Jonah and archaeological destruction.

For years I’ve used a helpful OT chronological chart with my students. Now Kris Udd is making it
available to the public (via Academia).

HT: Ted Weis, Agade

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Weekend Roundup, Part 2

Yehiel Zelinger discusses the excavations of Bliss and Dickie on Mount Zion and shares a great photo of his own excavations there. (I’d love to see a labeled version, if anyone knows of such or can create one…)

Archaeologists working in Turkey have uncovered evidence related to the collapse of the Assyrian empire.

The first phase of the renovation of St. Catherine’s Library is complete.

The BBC tells the story of the relocation of the modern inhabitants of ancient Gadara through its former security guard.

The third issue of the newsletter of Tel Aviv U’s Institute of Archaeology includes field reports from this year’s work at Ashdod-Yam, Kiriath Jearim, Beth Shemesh, and the City of David.

And now Hollywood gives us . . . Samson. (Whether you are interested in the trailer or not, click the link to see how archaeologist Aren Maeir keeps his volunteers in line.)

Ferrell Jenkins shares a beautiful aerial photo of Jerusalem from the west.

A writer for Haaretz (premium) asks, Why doesn’t Israel have a museum for Jesus?

LiveScience looks into the backstory of a bone that Oxford scientists believe comes from the real St. Nicholas.

The city of Nazareth has cancelled Christmas celebrations in protest of Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Was the census that brought Jesus to Bethlehem a coincidence?

Among the specials for Accordance’s 12 Days of Christmas is the Biblical Archaeology Review (1975-2012).

We’ll have part three of the roundup tomorrow with another dozen stories.

HT: Ted Weis, Joseph Lauer, Agade, Mark Hoffman, Charles Savelle, Explorator, Chris McKinny,
Mike Harney

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What I Am Thankful For

The Bible places great emphasis on giving thanks, and the fourth Thursday in November provides Americans with a prominent reminder of our need to express gratitude. On the assumption that this applies even to photographers and bloggers, I thought I might take a few minutes to verbalize my appreciation for some of the many people in the “Bible places” world that I am thankful for.

I’ll start with my teammates who are currently working with me at BiblePlaces.com. A.D. Riddle has been working with me for about 15 years, first in a voluntary way and then later as a travel companion, proofreader, map maker, and all-around problem-solver. Steven Anderson brings his exhaustive knowledge of the Bible to bear in his masterful development of the Photo Companion to the Bible. Chris McKinny is an OT history whiz, and I can’t wait until you see some of what he is creating in Joshua, Samuel, Kings, and elsewhere. Kaelyn Peay stepped in at the perfect time this summer to keep me from drowning in thousands of new photos. My son Mark is helping me in key (and keyword) ways, and my children Luke, Bethany, and Katie are tremendously helpful in a myriad of assignments. (And 7-year-old Jonathan makes sure I get the exercise breaks I need.)

I’m thankful for fellow bloggers, including Ferrell Jenkins. He not only writes great posts and takes fantastic photos, he has encouraged me through his life and his words many times. James Davila has been blogging on PaleoJudaica forever, and he is a model to me of how faithful blogging should be done. Aren Maeir is my favorite archaeologist-blogger, and Charles Savelle is my favorite “all-around Bible” blogger. I always appreciate the posts by Luke Chandler, Mark Elliott, Carl Rasmussen, Leen Ritmeyer, and Wayne Stiles. Joseph Lauer doesn’t blog, but he regularly sends me great stories and warm encouragement.

I couldn’t do what I do without some awesome teachers at some outstanding institutions, beginning with The Master’s University where I first studied and have now taught since 1996. The Institute of Holy Land Studies (now Jerusalem University College) gave me a love for the geography and archaeology of Israel, and I am especially grateful for the instruction of Gabriel Barkay, Ginger Caessens, Robert Mullins, and Anson Rainey. The Master’s Seminary and Dallas Theological Seminary trained me in ways you don’t see as much in the photo collections or on this blog, but that I depend upon every single day.

The best years of my life were spent teaching at the Israel Bible Extension (IBEX) of TMU, and I cannot calculate my debt to Bill Schlegel, Randy Cook, Phyllis Cook, and Rebecca Bange. The kind folks at Yad HaShmonah were the best neighbors, and David Bivin and Gloria Suess have blessed me in many ways.

I am thankful for the great people at the Associates for Biblical Research who are eagerly pursuing the truth in the ground. The longtime director, Bryant Wood, has long been one of my heroes, not only for his excellent scholarship but for his godly character. I first met Eugene Merrill on an ABR dig, and in the years since he has taught me more than I can say from his writings and example.
Bible software makes so much of what I do possible, and Logos Bible Software has served me well since I first purchased it on floppy disks 20-some years ago. I am grateful too for Roy Brown and the outstanding Accordance team for their creative genius and servant attitudes.

On the photography side of things, Nikon’s Coolpix 950 changed my life and I’ve been loyal to Nikon ever since for cameras, lenses, and scanners. Once upon a time, Google’s Picasa organized my photo collection, but in recent years I’ve become entirely dependent on the awesome Adobe Lightroom.

This blog has been hosted since its inception in 2005 by Blogger, but I’ve been able to avoid the web interface by using Windows Live Writer until its replacement by Open Live Writer. These tools have made my life easier.

I am very grateful to so those who have spurred me on in this work since 1999 when a group of seminary students started pressing me to make a photo collection. It was John Dix’s initial partnership and Dr. Richard Rigsby’s enthusiastic encouragement that breathed life into a fuzzy vision. Along the way, so many people have contributed in significant ways, including Bill Krewson, Seth Rodriquez, Doug Bookman, Wayne Wells, G. M. Grena, Doug Downer, Jim Weaver, Will Varner, Brad Hilton, Matt Floreen, David Niblack, Jenn Kintner, Jeremy Francis, Carl Laney, Greg Hatteberg, and Chet Bolen.

I’ve worked with many wonderful authors, editors, and publishers over the years and two who have been the most encouraging for the most years are Kim Tanner (Zondervan) and Judi King (WordAction).

More than anyone, my wife Kelli has supported me and served me in countless ways so that I could travel, teach, write, and process photos. For most of my trips, she has born the full burden of the kids while I was away. She encourages me through the early mornings and late nights, and often when I’m writing weekend roundups, she’s cooking up a hearty breakfast. She has listened and advised me through decades of challenges and opportunities.

Finally, I am thankful to those who have read, commented, emailed, encouraged, recommended, and purchased our work over the years. Without you, my life would be less interesting, less encouraging, and less fulfilling. Thank you, and may the Lord bless you.


“How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy we have in the presence of our God because of you?”
(1 Thessalonians 3:9)
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