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Marine archaeologists working near Caesarea have discovered a gold ring with a green gemstone depicting the “Good Shepherd,” a red gemstone depicting a lyre, and a hoard of Roman coins. A 2-minute video announcing the discoveries has been produced by the IAA.

“New research suggests that the Roman prefect Pontius Pilate is the one that built the Biar Aqueduct, the most sophisticated ancient aqueduct of the Jerusalem area” and the main one supplying Solomon’s Pools (Haaretz premium). The underlying journal article is available on Academia.

“Archaeologists say discovery at Tel Tsaf in the Jordan Valley is first known instance of alcohol being imbibed inside a community in the ancient Middle East.”

Authorities found the lid of a Roman sarcophagus in a garbage dump in Ashkelon.

The Jerusalem Post runs a brief story on the legend of the ark of the covenant being brought to Ethiopia.

The Biblical Zoo in Jerusalem has added a number of new programs and educational opportunities in the last year.

This Week in the Ancient Near East podcast: “Even More New Amazing Iron Age Finds from a Cult Site West of Jerusalem, or, To Gaze Upon the Knees of God”

A recent video of the Temple Mount shows the interior of the Golden Gate now furnished as a mosque.

The Conversation provides an explainer on what it is like to volunteer on an archaeological excavation.

The second episode in the “State of Jerusalem” miniseries by The Times of Israel looks at the Christian community in the city.

The Israeli government has again cancelled Christmas in the Holy Land for most, but not all, tourists.

Chris McKinny and Kyle Keimer discuss the history and archaeology of Christmas on the Biblical World podcast.

Andy Cook at Experience Israel Now has created a two-part special entitled “The Journey to Christmas.” Part One came out a few days ago, and Part Two will be released tomorrow. The videos include drone footage of the route that Joseph and Mary took from Nazareth to Bethlehem.

We’ll have a part 2 for this roundup on Sunday.

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

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“New archaeological findings in the city of Yavne may shed light on the city 2,000 years ago, when it was the center of Jewish life in the region and home to the Sanhedrin.”

A lead sling stone bearing the name of a Seleucid leader who fought against the Hasmoneans was recently found in the southern Hebron Hills.”

Archaeologists have uncovered ancient glass kilns from the Roman period in the Jezreel Valley.

A Hasmonean-era oil lamp was discovered in the City of David shortly before Hanukkah began.

Chris McKinny and Kyle Keimer talk with Andrea Berlin about her excavations of Tel Anafa and Tel Qedesh and how that illuminates the history of the Galilee in the Hellenistic and Roman periods.

Gordon Govier writes about ancient seal impressions discovered through the use of wet-sifting for Christianity Today (subscription).

Israel’s Good Name reports on his visit to the Crusader ruins of Beit Itab in the Judean hills. He has also begun a new blog: Israel’s Good Bird.

Shechem is the latest site to be considered in Kyle Keimer’s “Why” series.

Jerusalem University College has announced its slate of spring online courses, including:

  • Ancient Egypt and the Biblical World, taught by Paul Wright
  • Archaeology of the Judean Shephelah, taught by Chris McKinny and Kyle Keimer
  • Lessons from the Land: Applications for Teaching and Ministry, taught by John Monson
  • Physical Settings of the Bible, taught by Chandler Collins
  • The World of Jesus and His Disciples, taught by Rebecca Pettit

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Arne Halbakken, Explorator, Ted Weis

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A gold ring with an amethyst stone was discovered at an excavation of a 7th-century winepress at Yavne.

A recent study reveals much about the lives of four individuals who died in a burning building in Azekah around 1200 BC. The underlying journal article is available for purchase here.

More people have surreptitiously visited the caves underneath the Machpelah of Hebron than is widely known. Some of the history and findings given in Noam Arnon’s doctoral thesis is reported in Israel HaYom. A previously published diagram is here. If anyone has access to the thesis, let me know.

The Daily Mail has some beautiful photos of the impressive mosaic floors at Hisham’s Palace in Jericho.

Meir Edrey, Adi Erlich, and Assaf Yasur-Landau write about the 1972 discovery of the Shavei Zion figurine assemblage, found underwater north of Acco.

Erez Ben-Yosef argues that the search for archaeological evidence for David’s kingdom needs to shift from looking for magnificent buildings to looking for a tent-dwelling population. A related journal article by the author is here.

Rosella Tercatin provides a minor update on the renovations at Jerusalem’s Tower of David Museum. A previous version of this story posted earlier this week contains additional details.

Detailed satellite imagery of Israel is now publicly available, though Google Earth/Maps does not seem to have updated to it yet.

Andy Cook of Experience Israel Now provides subscribers to the “Photo of the Day” with images and maps of biblical sites and recent discoveries.

Andrew Lawler reviews some of the archaeological background to the religious conflict in Jerusalem.

Luke Chandler likes the latest additions to the Photo Companion to the Bible series.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Arne Halbakken

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We have more stories this weekend than perhaps ever before for a single week (nearly 50), so expect a third installment of the roundup on Monday.

The first-ever ancient depiction of the balm of Gilead was discovered on an amethyst seal found by volunteers sifting soil from near the Temple Mount. There’s a 3-minute video here.

Excavations at el-Araj (Bethsaida?) have wrapped up for the season, and the archaeologists discovered a large apse and two partial inscriptions in the mosaic floor of what they believe is the Church of the Apostles.

A diver found a Crusader-era sword in perfect condition off the coast of northern Israel. There is a short video here.

Not only the Crusader sword but much more has been discovered because of a once-in-a-century storm that occurred in December 2010.

Archaeologists discovered a hoard of silver coins from the Hasmonean era in Modiin.

Daniel Master is a guest on the Book and the Spade to discuss the recent excavations at Tel Shimron.

An organization is calling on the Israeli government to excavate and open to tourists the site of ancient Gibeah of Saul, more recently home to King Hussein’s unfinished palace.

“Members of the Samaritan faith gathered at sunrise on Wednesday to mark Sukkot, a month after Jews celebrated the festival.” The short story includes a brief video.

NY Times: “Rameh, a Palestinian town [in Galilee] surrounded by olive groves, has long had a reputation for producing especially good oil.”

Megan Sauter writes about the importance of three purple textile fragments from the time of David recently discovered in the Central Timna Valley Project.

Andrew Califf writes about seven lesser-known archaeological sites in Israel (Haaretz paywall).

The Museum of the Bible is offering virtual tours of Masada and Megiddo on November 10 and 17, “using advanced images combined with an online interactive classroom to create a rich, immersive experience.”

A new exhibition by the Israel Antiquities Authority at the Yigal Allon Center in Kibbutz Ginossar offers a glimpse of the centuries when Jewish sages managed to rebuild a community in the Galilee.”

Kyle Keimer and Chris McKinny discuss Cabul in the days of Solomon in the latest episode of OnScript’s Biblical World.

When children volunteering at the Temple Mount Sifting Project stole some of the artifacts, the director used the opportunity to instruct them on the community’s responsibility.

On sale for Kindle: A Week in the Fall of Jerusalem, by Ben Witherington ($3.99)

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Arne Halbakken, Ted Weis, A.D. Riddle, Paleojudaica, Explorator, BibleX

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A huge complex of 1,500-year-old winepresses capable of producing some two million liters of wine a year has been uncovered by archaeologists in the city of Yavne, south of Tel Aviv.”

Margreet L. Steiner looks at the elusive Persian archaeological evidence in Jerusalem in order to determine what the city was like when the Jews returned from exile.

Meital Sharabi recommends visits to two interesting locations in the Judean hills west of Jerusalem.

Makhtesh Ramon in southern Israel is home to a crew simulating a colony on Mars.

Zoom lecture on October 17: “Family, food and health in the Bronze Age Aegean: Novel bioarchaeological insights into Mycenaean and Minoan societies,” by Philipp W. Stockhammer

Zoom lecture on October 20: “The City of Babylon from c. 2000 BC to AD 116,” by Stephanie Dalley. Her book on this subject was released earlier this year.

Zoom lecture on November 4: “Under Jerusalem: The Buried History of the World’s Most Contested City,” by Andrew Lawler, author of a forthcoming book with the same title.

The Florence Scroll, a 14th-century parchment depicting holy sites from Egypt to Lebanon, is now on display in the Israel Museum as part of the “Painting a Pilgrimage” exhibit.

Bible Mapper has created several new maps, available in high-res for free non-commercial use:

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

Weekend Sale: Cultural Images of the Holy Land – only $20 with coupon HARVEST

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Archaeologists discovered a Second Temple period quarry in northwest Jerusalem.

Regarding the recent story about the ancient Jerusalem weight which was falsely labeled to facilitate cheating, some scholars have observed that it was actually labeled correctly as an 8-gerah weight.

A secret tunnel under the slope of Mount Zion that was used by Israelis after Jordan captured the Old City in 1948 has now been opened to the public.

Israel has an “ark museum” of sorts, and Israel’s Good Name describes his visit to the Steinhardt Museum of Natural History in Tel Aviv in a well-illustrated blog post.

Dozens of installations used for the large-scale production of salt have been identified along the northern coasts of Israel.

The Ketef Hinnom silver amulets are the subject of an article in the most recent issue of Ink magazine, published by Tyndale House (pages 12-14).

Egypt is preparing to open the world’s largest open-air museum in Luxor.

“Using a leaf uncovered from the archaeological site of an ancient Egyptian temple, researchers . . . have successfully determined the ancient hybrid origin of some date palms.” The underlying journal article is here.

The National Museum of Beirut has reopened after a $175,000 restoration.

Excavations in eastern Turkey have revealed an unusual tomb belonging to an Urartian ruler who was buried with his dog, horses, cattle, and sheep.

“Out of the ashes of Pompeii, archaeologists recently pulled up a time capsule, though only the bronze hinges remained of what is being described as a ‘sorceress’ toolkit.’”

On December 6 and 13, John J. Collins will be giving a virtual lecture on “The Dead Sea Scrolls: The Light They Shed on Judaism and Christianity.” Registration is required and free.

Coming soon: Excavations in the City of David, Jerusalem (1995-2010), by Ronny Reich and Eli Shukron (Penn State University Press, 712 pages, $99.95).

This Week in the Ancient Near East wraps up the summer with a round-up episode.

The indoor model of 1st-century Jerusalem that was located at the Holy Land Experience in Orlando will be part of a new exhibit at the Ark Encounter. There’s a nice photo of the model here. And some others here.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Andy Cook, Charles Savelle, Arne Halbakken, Keith Keyser, G. M. Grena

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