Weekend Roundup

The Sea of Galilee may fill up for the first time since 1992 after rising more than 10 feet in recent months. And since the water is not considered kosher for Passover, it isn’t pumped out during the week-long holiday.

Only 10 people gathered at the Western Wall for the priestly blessing during Passover, and Al Aqsa Mosque will be closed through Ramadan.

“With the coronavirus keeping Israelis indoors, dozens of jackals have taken over a deserted park in Tel Aviv, scavenging for food in what is usually a playground for joggers and families.”

Here’s another video of the 500 mines blowing up at Qasr al-Yahud near the Jordan River.

John Monson answered questions about the state of biblical archaeology in light of the closure of Southwestern’s program.

The Pergamon Museum in Berlin has posted a 16-minute virtual tour video of the Museum of the Ancient Near East (subtitles in English).

The Harvard Semitic Museum has been renamed the Harvard Museum of the Ancient Near East. The museum’s website includes a virtual tour of the entire museum.

Oxford University professor Dirk Obbink has been arrested on suspicion of theft and fraud of ancient papyrus fragments from the Oxyrhynchus collection.

The latest video from John DeLancey: Jesus heals the paralytic in Capernaum.

New: A History of Ancient Moab from the Ninth to First Centuries BCE, by Burton MacDonald.

Carl Rasmussen takes a more careful look at the famous Pilate Inscription, with particular interest in its connection to another “son of God.”

Agrippa I: An Archaeological Biography includes photos of coins of this king, Roman baths in Beirut, the Third Wall in Jerusalem, and the amphitheater in Caesarea.

Fun read: “‘Terminate and Liquidate’: How the Megiddo Ivories were Almost Not Discovered.” This fascinating story is taken from Eric H. Cline’s latest book, Digging Up Armageddon: The Search for the Lost City of Solomon.

HT: Agade, Paleojudaica

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Weekend Roundup

Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (SWBTS) has terminated its biblical archaeology program, laying off five professors and ending the MA and PhD programs of 25 graduate students. The Gezer excavation publication project now lacks funding.

“Pieces of papyrus sold as rare fragments of Dead Sea Scrolls to Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary a decade ago are ‘likely fraudulent’ and the seminary might seek financial restitution.”

Sergio and Rhoda show how much the Sea of Galilee’s water level has changed in the last two years.

Egypt’s Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities is launching a series of virtual tours of some of its archaeological sites and museums, beginning with the tomb of Kheti at Beni Hasan.

“New University of Arizona-led research uses tree rings to shed light on discrepancies between archeological and radiocarbon evidence in dating the ancient volcanic eruption of Thera.”

The last land mine has been removed from the Jordan River baptismal area near Qaser al-Yahud, The article includes a video of 562 mines being set off.

Erez Ben-Yosef, director of the Central Timna Valley Project, is interviewed on LandMinds about metallurgy, nomadic societal organizations, and implications for the biblical record.

The Temple Mount Sifting Project has not stopped, though there are no guests or volunteers.

David Christian Clausen discusses the evidence for identifying the location of the Upper Room in Jerusalem.

Rabbi David Moster will be teaching Biblical Hebrew this summer in a 40-session online course. Readers use use the coupon “BiblePlaces” will receive a $500 discount.

For the 100th episode of The Teaching Series, Brad Gray takes a look at the significance of the number 40 in the Bible, reflecting on its repeated presence in episodes of testing and trials.

The Conference DVD Bundle for last year’s Institute of Biblical Context is on sale through Monday, with all 42 presentations available for $79 (digital) or $99 (DVD).

Some Carta resources are finally coming to Logos Bible Software, including The Sacred Bridge, The Quest, and the Carta Bible Atlas. A 13-volume set is also available.

Mark Wilson’s Seven Churches Network website has been greatly updated, including many of his published articles.

Ferrell Jenkins has posted a series this week showing photos of rolling stones from the Tomb of the Kings, the Herodian family tomb, Hesban, and Khirbet Midras.

HT: Agade, Ted Weis, Paleojudaica

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Weekend Roundup, Part 1

In the ANE Today, Alex Joffe looks at pandemics in ancient and modern times.

The Museum of the Bible has begun a video podcast series entitled the “Lonesome Curator.” Episode 8 is on Lachish.

The coronavirus has changed burial practices in the Holy Land.

Church leaders are discussing how to allow some kind of celebration of Easter at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.

There’s a report of illegal digging on the Temple Mount.

The Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture is offering its April lecture series on Pompeii via Zoom.

Google Arts & Culture has created an interesting photo story entitled “Exploring the Phoenician Shipwreck” from an expedition in 2019 off the coast of Gozo, Malta.

Mark Hoffman had some time for blogging yesterday:

Now is a good time to watch “The Week That Changed the World: A Journey through the Passion Week” with Wayne Stiles.

HT: Agade, Ted Weis

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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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