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Geomagnetic surface surveys at Khirbet al-Minya on the northwestern shore of the Sea of Galilee have revealed an earlier Jewish or Christian settlement.

A new study of the Solomonic-era copper mines at Timna reveals that the enterprise came to a sudden halt around 850 BC because the miners overexploited the sparse desert acacia and white broom trees used to fuel their furnaces (Haaretz subscription).

Carl Rasmussen links to a video that shows evidence for a first-century synagogue at Chorazin. He also shares a photo of the synagogue in 1967 before reconstruction began.

Here is a video of the 7th-8th century AD shipwreck recently discovered off the coast of Israel.

“Hundreds of ancient decorated toga pins, earrings, rings and figurines of animals and idols were found in the home of a man who used to be an antiquities dealer in northern Israel.”

Albright Institute lecture on Oct 27: “The Austrian Expedition to Tel Lachish (2017-2022),” by Katharina Streit & Felix Höflmayer. Register to join by Zoom here.

Marc Zvi Brettler explains the Hakhel Ceremony, in which the assembly gathers together every seven years to read the Torah. This event will be celebrated at the Western Wall on October 11.

Ferrell Jenkins shares a photo of sheep grazing near Tirzah, the second capital of the northern kingdom.

HT: Agade, Keith Keyser, Arne Halbakken

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Archaeologists discovered an intact burial cave from the 13th century BC on the Palmachim Beach south of Tel Aviv. Unfortunately the cave was plundered while it was being excavated.

Scientists have identified the earliest use of opium in a 14th century BC burial pit at Tel Yehud.

Here are many more photos of the beautiful Byzantine mosaic floor discovered in the Gaza Strip.

“An ancient shipwreck found off the shore of Israel and loaded with cargo from all over the Mediterranean shows that traders from the West still came to port even after the Islamic conquest of the Holy Land.”

Drew Longacre answers nine common questions about the Dead Sea Scrolls.

John DeLancey and Kyle Keimer discuss the excavations at Tel Dan (40 min).

Rocco Buttliere built a model of Jerusalem in the 1st century using 114,000 Legos.

Five perfectly red heifers, required for the ritual purification of those who have touched a dead body, arrived in Israel from a ranch in Texas on Thursday, as the Temple Institute continues preparations to lay the ground for the construction of the Third Temple in Jerusalem.” There is hope that they will produce a herd that will be a tourist attraction for Christians.

New release: The Social Archaeology of Late Second Temple Judaea From Purity, Burial, and Art, to Qumran, Herod, and Masada, by Eyal Regev (Routledge, 2022; $128; eBook $39)

Bryan Windle has written an archaeological biography for King Pekah, one of the last kings of Israel.

I had what may be a unique experience in my life this week – three articles I wrote were published within a few days of each other. Rather than pass over them briefly here, I’ll plan to say more in separate posts in the next few weeks.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Arne Halbakken, Wayne Stiles, Charles Savelle, Keith Keyser

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What scholars once believed was an ancient synagogue near Khirbet Midras is actually a Roman temple. Haaretz has the story for subscribers.

A silver quarter-shekel from Year 4 of the First Jewish Revolt that was looted from the Elah Valley has now been returned to Israel. The coin is so rare that there are none in any of Israel’s museums.

With the announcement pending of the most beautiful mosaic floor ever discovered in the Gaza Strip, scholars are calling for greater protection of the area’s antiquities.

Bible History Daily’s latest OnSite video is of the Herodium. Nathan Steinmeyer has packed a lot of information and images into just over two minutes.

Chandler Collins has posted the first “Jerusalem Tracker,” with links to recent articles, books, lectures, and developments related to Jerusalem. This is like a roundup on steroids, all focused on one important city. (You can support his work here.)

The Museum of the Bible and DIVE (Digital Interactive Virtual Experiences) are hosting a virtual tour of Masada on October 19. Registration costs $20.

A new exhibition entitled “Arteology: The Power of the Ancients in Contemporary Forms” has opened near the Davidson Center in Jerusalem.

New release: The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Nag Hammadi Codices: Selected Papers from the Conference “The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Nag Hammadi Codices” in Berlin, 20–22 July 2018 (hardback $167; pdf free).

Martin Heide and Joris Peters write about “Camels in the Biblical World of the Ancient Near East.” Their evidence for their use over the millennia observes the use of domesticated camels in the time of Abraham.

In the latest episode of BiblicalWorld, “Chris McKinny and Mark Janzen discuss the early vs. late date for the date of the exodus, date of the conquest, the emergence of Israel in the land of Canaan, settlement patterns in Canaan, and biblical chronology.”

“The Kerem Tunnel, the first bicycle tunnel in Israel, has been inaugurated as part of the Jerusalem Ring Path, a 42-kilometer cycling route that surrounds the capital city.”

We have a good deal right now for the brand-new Photo Companion to Hebrews (only $39 for 1,950 photos). Or you can pick up all of the General Epistles for only $49 (4,800 photos).

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Arne Halbakken, Charles Savelle, Explorator

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Several magnificent 4th-century AD Roman sarcophagi will soon be on display in Ashkelon.

The site of ancient Samaria (Sebastia) has been damaged by arson and looters. The article discusses more broadly the destruction of archaeological sites in Judea and Samaria.

Artifacts discovered in a salvage excavation next to the Machpelah in Hebron may be buried to provide a path for disabled visitors.

Plans have been shelved that would have transformed the ruins of Lifta on the outskirts of Jerusalem into a residential and commercial area.

The arrest of three antiquities thieves in the West Bank resulted in the recovery of Roman and Byzantine coins, jewelry, doors, and a stone olive press.

Israel’s tourism industry is on it way to record highs.

“The Experience of Resurrection” is a new multimedia exhibition at the Franciscans’ Christian Information Center (CIC) located inside the Old City’s Jaffa Gate. The same Jerusalem Post article reports on several other new tours, including one which explores Wilson’s Arch.

After going on an international tour, the Magdala stone has returned home.

James McGrath reports on his tour of the region of Samaria, led by the grandson of the Samaritan high priest. This is part of a series entitled “In the Footsteps of John the Baptist.”

John DeLancey shares a video of the 1st-century pilgrimage road that runs from the Pool of Siloam to the Temple Mount.

The Temple Mount Sifting Project is seeking more financial support.

Ilan Ben Zion summarizes two views on the origins of the Philistines. Aren Maeir believes that Philistines came to the land of Canaan in a series of mass migrations, arriving from many locations in the eastern Mediterranean over many decades, whereas Daniel Master argues that they came from Crete around 1175 BC.

Joseph Aviram, long-time director of the Israel Exploration Society, died at the age of 106 (Haaretz premium).

Chandler Collins reports on the transformation of a mound of dirt in the Armenian Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City into a paved parking lot. He has done a great job with before-and-after photos. (You can support his work and gain some nice benefits by becoming a patron.)

HT: Agade, Arne Halbakken, Joseph Lauer, Explorator, Paleojudaica

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A lot happened while I was away, and it’s going to take five or six days (!) to catch up. Let’s get to it.

Archaeologists excavating el-Araj discovered a mosaic in the Byzantine church that mentions the “chief and commander of the heavenly apostles,” further strengthening the site’s claim to be Bethsaida, the hometown of Peter. They are hoping to find an inscription mentioning Andrew in the October excavation.

“Archaeologists working at Tel Shiloh earlier this summer discovered piers that they believe formed a door into a gate complex at the northern edge of the biblical city.” Scott Stripling thinks this is the gate where Eli died.

Also at Shiloh, archaeologists discovered five intact storage jars from the Late Roman or Byzantine eras.

Excavations have begun at Kh. Tibnah, possibly Joshua’s city of Timnath-heres. Early discoveries include a Roman spearhead. Also, there is a dispute over ownership of the site (subscription).

The first Roman military amphitheater ever found in Israel was recently uncovered at Megiddo.

Matthew Adams talks about the excavations this summer at Megiddo on The Book and the Spade.

A Byzantine convent dedicated to Hannah was recently re-discovered at Horbat Hani in central Israel. There are some nice photos here.

A collection of 530 astragali (animal knucklebone gaming dice) from the Hellenistic period were discovered at Maresha-Bet Guvrin with names inscribed of Aphrodite, Eros, Hermes, Hera, and Nike.

A volunteer at the Temple Mount Sifting Project discovered what may have been a cheater’s die, with the number 5 where the number 4 should have been.

“A bronze Roman coin dating back 1,877 years with the symbol of the Cancer zodiac sign and a Moon goddess was discovered at Carmel Beach in Haifa.”

Computer calculations of 70 CE Roman arsenal uncovered in excavations in Jerusalem demonstrate veracity of Jewish historian Josephus’s report of intense fighting near Third Wall.”

Lior Schwimer has reviewed nearly 15,000 panels of Negev rock art with more than 50,000 carvings.

Steven Ortiz is a guest on the Biblical World podcast, talking with Chris McKinny about the Lanier Archaeological Center at Lipscomb University, the Gezer Archaeological Project, and the Tel Burna Archaeological Project (28 min).

Bryan Windle identifies the top 3 reports in biblical archaeology for the month of July.

Registration for Jerusalem University College’s fall online courses ends on Monday.

HT: Agade, Arne Halbakken, Joseph Lauer

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“Archaeologists from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem say they have made numerous discoveries, including an ornate first-century villa with its own ritual bath, after a project began to increase access for disabled people to Jerusalem’s Western Wall.”

Elon Gilad surveys the discussion over Gershon Galil’s reading of an ancient inscription discovered in Jerusalem, if it even is an inscription. Galil and Eli Shukrun were interviewed about the matter on i24 News recently.

David Ussishkin believes that Khirbet Qeiyafa was a vast walled cultic compound.

Israel is dedicating $1 million to the restoration of Tel Gezer after the recent fire. Steve Ortiz talks about the effects of the fire on The Book and the Spade.

The season at Tel Burna has concluded, and they have posted a summary of the results from each area with lots of photos.

For the OnScript Biblical World podcast, Chris McKinny interviews Tel Burna’s excavation director Itzick Shai on location during the dig.

i24 News has a 4-minute segment on “Tel Aviv’s hidden gems of antiquity.”

Nathan Steinmeyer writes about the recent restorations at Tel Ashkelon, including ongoing work of the basilica and odeon.

The Times of Israel’s original ‘Into the Land’ docuseries investigates two sensational objects that some have labeled as forgeries—the James Ossuary and the Jehoash Inscription (18 min).

A sale of Zondervan Academic resources for Logos includes the Zondervan Handbook of Biblical Archaeology, by Randall Price, for $8.99. Several of Gary Burge’s Ancient Context, Ancient Faith books are also for sale.

Rivka Merhav, pioneer curator of Neighboring Cultures at the Archaeology Wing of The Israel Museum, died this week (obituary in Hebrew).

Richard Freund, excavator of et-Tell (“Bethsaida”), died last week. The link is worth clicking just for the photo.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Arne Halbakken, Charles Savelle, Explorator

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