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A worker clearing a nature path at Nitzana (Nessana) in the Negev discovered a stone with a Greek inscription reading “Blessed Maria.”

A forthcoming article by David Ussishkin argues that there was no gate shrine at Lachish desecrated in the reign of Hezekiah.

Bill Barrick’s latest research trip post focuses on Tel Dan and includes a variety of images and a list of recommended resources.

The Crusader-era siege ramp around Ashkelon served another purpose: protecting the city from being overtaken by sand.

After an extended investigation, the Israel Antiquities Authority recovered thousands of looted artifacts in three raids in central Israel.

Evie Gassner looks at a lot of evidence in order to determine just how Jewish King Herod was.

Bruce Routledge will be lecturing on Jan 11, 11am CET, on “Iron Age Jordan: The Levant from a very different angle.” To register and receive a Zoom link, email [email protected].

Conversations in the Archaeology and History of Ancient Israel with Israel Finkelstein. This video series with a controversial archaeologist will be rolling out over the coming year. The initial videos (20-30 min. each) are available now.

Claus-Hunno Hunzinger died this week. He was the last living member of the original Dead Sea Scrolls team.

An obituary has been posted for Shlomo Bunimovitz who died last month.

Peter Goeman gives a good roundup of articles in the blogosphere in the latest biblical studies carnival.

HT: Agade, Andy Cook

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Happy new year to everyone! May we walk wisely in the days ahead.

A new agreement between Israel’s Finance Ministry and the Israel Antiquities Authority will speed up rescue excavations by allowing private companies to bid on carrying out the excavations.

Following the discovery of a Roman bathhouse in Amman, authorities have to decide whether to preserve the antiquities or construct the planned drainage channel.

Egypt has completed the restoration of a temple of Isis in Aswan.

A limestone relief from the Late Period was illegally excavated, stolen, smuggled out of Egypt, tracked through the internet, recovered in New York, and repatriated.

Examination of elephant tusk DNA found on a shipwreck reveals the impact of ivory trade on elephant herds in Africa.

An Achaemenid pedestal and base was discovered in a garden near Persepolis.

“Underwater excavation, borehole drilling, and modelling suggests a massive paleo-tsunami struck near the ancient settlement of Tel Dor between 9,910 to 9,290 years ago.”

Ariel David looks at how the Israelites went from being a people who worshipped idols to a people who did not (Haaretz premium).

Haaretz runs a story on a recent documentary that presents Israel Finkelstein’s views of Kiriath Jearim and how it rewrites biblical history.

Amanda Borschel-Dan provides a review of her 2020 articles “broken down into studies of provenance; who wrote the Bible and on what; how “pure science” is aiding archaeologists confirm historical events; and a number of “firsts” from deep in pre-history.”

Ken Dark clarifies his views about the house in the church crypt in Nazareth, noting that while the Byzantines believed they had found the childhood home of Jesus, there is no way to prove that.

‘Atiqot 101 (2020) is now online, including articles on an ancient pool next to the Pool of Siloam in the City of David.

The Met’s Imaging Department has created a short video showing the interior of a 19th-century model of Solomon’s temple.

HT: Agade, Explorator, Ted Weis, Arne Halbakken, Paleojudaica

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An intact oil lamp from the Hasmonean period was discovered on the Siloam/Pilgrimage Road in the City of David.

An oil lamp workshop from the 4th century AD, first found in the 1930s, has been rediscovered at Beth Shemesh.

“A complete rare, early Islamic-era oil lamp workshop from ancient Tiberias on the shores of the Sea of Galilee has gone on display at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.”

Renovation works at the “Tower of David” in Jerusalem is leading to new discoveries.

Archaeologists conducting salvage digs in Jaffa over the last decade discovered a baby buried in a jar, Phoenician burials, Hellenistic farms, a Byzantine winepress, and more. Haaretz provides a summary; the full issue of Atiqot is available here.

Excavations in Amman, Jordan, have uncovered Roman baths and a crematorium near the city’s amphitheater.

Haaretz reports on the Herodian palace at Macherus where  archaeologists believe that have located the place where Salome danced before Antipas.

This article from April has some additional information and photos about the work of Ken Dark in Nazareth.

Chris McKinny is interviewed on Windows to the Bible. Part 1 looks at the story of David and Goliath (and more), and part 2 focuses on Saul’s death on Mount Gilboa and its aftermath.

The list of speakers and topics has been released for the Jerusalem University College’s online seminar.

Craig Dunning shares his thoughts on the new 1-2 Corinthians volume in the Photo Companion to the Bible series.

Yesterday Dr. Eugene Merrill, an esteemed mentor of mine, celebrated 60 years of marriage to his beloved, Dr. Janet Merrill. Many people know of Dr. Merrill’s prolific writing ministry, his decades of teaching at DTS, and his wise leadership at ETS, but fewer people know how he faithfully loves and serves his wife daily. He is a model to be emulated in every way.

HT: Ted Weis, Agade, Joseph Lauer, Mark Hoffman, Explorator

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A seal impression of an official of King Jeroboam II has been discovered. It is a smaller version of the famous seal found at Megiddo in 1904 (and later lost).

An archaeologist has brought to light a menorah engraved in a Second Temple period tomb on the outskirts of Mukhmas (biblical Michmash), home of Jonathan the Hasmonean. The press release is here, and a journal article is available here.

Authorities are opening several new areas to visitors to Herodium, including the arched stairway, foyer, and private theater.

The underground excavations in Jerusalem took top prize for “Oddities of the Underground” at the International Tunneling and Underground Space Association Awards.

Israel21c photographs 10 eye-catching sculptures around Tel Aviv.

Wayne Stiles looks at traditional sites associated with Jesus’s flight to Egypt.

Bridges to the Bible has created their first series of videos, focusing on the communal culture of the biblical world.

Jerusalem University College will be hosting its first-ever online seminar on January 10 and 11. The event is free and open to the public.

Now available from ACOR (free pdfs): Archaeology in Jordan 2: 2018 and 2019 Seasons, edited by Pearce Paul Creasman, John D.M. Green, and China P. Shelton. This publication features over 50 reports on archaeological fieldwork, conservation initiatives, and publication projects in Jordan.

New: My Nine Lives: Sixty Years in Israeli and Biblical Archaeology, by William G. Dever

Favorably reviewed in the NY Times: A World Beneath the Sands: The Golden Age of Egyptology, by Toby Wilkinson.

Ferrell Jenkins has a lengthy, informative post about the problem of emperor worship faced by the seven churches in Revelation.

Leen Ritmeyer’s post on the synagogue of Capernaum includes a number of beautiful reconstruction drawings.

Wrapping up her long-distance internship with the PEF, Jade Dang explains how the maps of the Survey of Western Palestine provide a fascinating snapshot of history.

December is the perfect month for an archaeological biography on Herod the Great.

“Who Were the Maccabees, Really? Hannukah, the Hasmoneans and Jewish Memory,” A Conversation with Prof. Joseph Angel and Prof. Steven Fine, Dec 15, 11 am EST.

In asking why Jews today do not read a scroll for Hanukkah, David Golinkin recalls that historically the Scroll of Antiochus was read, but he proposes beginning a new custom by reading 1 Maccabees 1-4.

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

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The Tel Burna team has begun a survey of Khirbet ʿAter, a likely candidate for biblical Ether.

Bruno Soltic created a video on “Tel Burna – Week on a Dig,” featuring interviews with Itzick Shai, Steven Ortiz, Chris McKinny, and others.

Registration has now opened for next summer’s excavations at Tel Burna and Gath.

Sepphoris was an important city near Nazareth, and Wayne Stiles looks at its possible place in Jesus’s youth.

Bill Barrick posts about his visit to Sepphoris on a recent research trip, and he includes many photos.

Archaeology magazine has a feature on the dye industry at Tel Shikmona near Haifa.

Israel21c has identified “Israel’s best ancient toilets.”

Three individuals were arrested on suspicion of stealing antiquities from ancient Megiddo.

“In the hills of Timna in the Arava Desert, just north of Eilat, lies a secret lake that has become a magnet for some adventurous Israelis unable to travel abroad due to the coronavirus pandemic.”

Hebrew University has just released the first three volumes in the Tel Rehov final report series (scroll to the bottom).

Shalom Paul died earlier this week.

Israel’s Good Name made a number of outings this year to the Yavne dunes, finding it an ideal place for spotting birds, snakes, and other wildlife.

I am excited about this book forthcoming from Barry Beitzel: Where Was the Biblical Red Sea? Examining the Ancient Evidence. Beitzel defends the traditional location and shows why the Gulf of Aqaba hypothesis is impossible.

The Infusion Bible Conference (formerly the Institute of Biblical Context Conference) has just announced that the 2021 conference will be held in Franklin, Tennessee. This year’s topic is “Paul and His Roman World.”

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, G. M. Grena, Charles Savelle, Explorator

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“Excavation works will start within two weeks to prepare for construction of the controversial cable car planned to connect West Jerusalem with the Old City.”

Daily Life in an Ancient Judean Town is now online, being adapted from the Badè Museum’s long-running traveling exhibit of the same name. The exhibit was designed as a remote-teaching resource, and a teaching kit is available.

An Israeli team is using artificial intelligence to fill in the gaps in fragmentary cuneiform tablets.

‘Atiqot 100 is now online. It includes dozens of articles related to excavations in Jaffa.

Members of The Times of Israel Community will be treated to a peek into Israel’s vault of ancient coins on a tour with Donald T. Ariel.

CoinWeek has a post about the rare coin that features Aristobulus IV on one side and the infamous Salome on the reverse.

Alex Wosford discusses the use of landscapes and people in the photo collection of James Graham, taken in Palestine and Syria between 1853 and 1860.

The latest in the Discussions with the Diggers series features  Dale W. Manor, the Field Director of the excavations at Tel Beth-Shemesh.

The Jerusalem University College is offering online classes for the 2021 semester to anyone who wants to apply.

New book: Where God Came Down: The Archaeological Evidence, by Joel P. Kramer. “Using Scripture as his primary ancient text and interpretive tool, author Joel Kramer examines the archaeological record for ten locations recorded in the Bible.”

HT: Agade, Ted Weis, Mark Hoffman

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