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Newly discovered Byzantine-era mosaics with four inscriptions have been discovered at Hippos. This Haaretz article by Ruth Schuster has many beautiful photos.

A new museum at the Armenian Monastery [in the Old City in Jerusalem] offers displays of stunning mosaics and artworks, artifacts and architecture, going back to Armenia’s 4th-century roots in the Holy Land.”

A Qumran cave will be opened to the public for the first time, with a path being created to lead from the site to Cave 61. (I do not have a link at this time.)

The search of a home of a man using a metal detector at an archaeological site revealed a trove of ancient coins including a rare coin of Antiochus Epiphanes.

Yonathan Adler suggests that “Judaism as we know it became a mass religion relatively late, possibly only when Judea was ruled by the Hasmonean dynasty” (subscription).

Michael Hasel is on The Book and the Spade discussing the ivory comb alphabetic inscription.

The program and abstracts for the 2022 ASOR meetings in Boston are online.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Arne Halbakken

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Scientists say that fish teeth discovered near the Jordan River provide the oldest evidence of fire-cooked food.

“The Theft Prevention Unit of the Israeli Antiquities Authority caught three Bedouins red-handed destroying historical items at an archaeological site near Negev town of Rahat.”

A study of crosses carved on pillars in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher has determined that they were made by Armenian priests in the 16th century.

Aviva and Shmuel Bar-Am take readers on a tour of the ruins of Gezer.

Israel21c provides a list of 10 important sites in Jerusalem’s ancient history.

Shmuel Browns shares photos from his visit to the Dagon fortress and monastery at Qarantal.

The winter issue of Biblical Archaeology Review includes stories on the Mesha Stele and David’s kingdom, Judah’s stamped jar handles, and the calculation of the date of Christmas.

The BAS Winter Symposium will be held on Sat., Feb 11, with the topic of “Gods, Religion, and Cult in Ancient Israel.” Speakers include Theodore J. Lewis, Erin Darby, Mary Joan Leith and Christopher Rollston.

Aren Maeir’s course on Biblical Archaeology is a finalist for the 2022 edX Prize.

The 2023 JUC Online Seminar’s theme is “Explore the Gap: Stories in Context.” The free event will be held on February 3 and 4.

New release: The Holy Land Devotional: Inspirational Reflections from the Land Where Jesus Walked, by John A. Beck (Baker; $20). This looks like a great Christmas gift idea.

HT: Agade, Arne Halbakken, Joseph Lauer

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A seven-word inscription on an ivory comb discovered at Lachish and dated to about 1600 BC is the earliest Canaanite sentence ever found. “The inscription is a plea, a wish, or a desire that the small comb be successful in getting rid of the irritating lice.” The press release is here, and the underlying journal article is here.

Christopher Rollston: “Restorations are *not* a Good Foundation for Dramatic Proposals: Reflections on the New, So-called, “Hezekiah” Inscription.”

Two episodes have been released in Legio 2022, a documentary series about one of the excavations in the Jezreel Valley Regional Project.

Museum of the Bible and DIVE are hosting a virtual tour of Caesarea on December 7 ($20).

“A new multi-faceted project by the Yeshiva University Center for Israel Studies introduces the Samaritans to a wide and varied audience, and explores how they have managed to survive for millennia despite efforts by conquering powers to erase them.”

The Tel Burna Excavation Project has unveiled their 2023 season poster.

Yuval Gadot will give this year’s Howard Lecture at the University of Georgia on November 14 on “New Revelations from Zion: the Archaeology of Jerusalem from the Great Age of Reform.”

Mordechai Aviam will lecture on “Finding Bethsaida: From Biblical Jewish Village to the Church of the Apostles” on November 15, 7 pm, in New York City.

“Jerusalem: City of Change: New Archaeological Work, New Views, New Issues” is the title of a conference to be held at Boston University on November 16.

Friends of ASOR webinar on Dec 1: “Something from the Time of Jesus? Tourists, Souvenirs, and Buying the Holy Land,” with Morag M. Kersel ($12).

Jodi Magness will be giving the Schweich Lectures on Biblical Archaeology at The British Academy on December 5, 6, and 8, on the subject of “Ancient Synagogues.” The lectures will be recorded and posted and will also be published in book form.

New from Eisenbrauns: Tel Miqne 10/1: Tel Miqne-Ekron Excavations 1994–1996, Field IV Upper and Field V, The Elite Zone Part 1: Iron Age IIC Temple Complex 650, by Seymour (Sy) Gitin, Steven M. Ortiz, and Trude Dothan (30% off with code NR22).

The ASOR Blog has preliminary results of the Academic Genealogies of Near Eastern Scholars (AGNES) Project.

HT: Agade, Arne Halbakken, Joseph Lauer, Jared Clark, Wayne Stiles, A.D. Riddle, Explorator

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Hershel Shanks first wrote about the recently (re-)announced Hezekiah inscription in an issue in Biblical Archaeology Review in 2009.

Two Asiatic lion cubs were born at the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo.”

“The Israeli Tourism Ministry has made commitments to build some 4,500 new hotel rooms this year, with another 4,000 or so next year.”

How did Jesus pronounce his own name? Benjamin Kantor investigates.

In his latest Recommended Resource, Brad Gray (Walking The Text) says, “The Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary Set is hands down our favorite resource for gathering information on the background and context of the Bible.”

Aren Maeir’s online course (MOOC) on biblical archaeology started again a few days ago.

Daniel C. Smith describes his experiences in making the ancient Mediterranean Studies classroom accessible to blind students like himself.

David Barrett has created and posted a variety of new, free maps at the Bible Mapper Blog:

HT: Agade, Jim West, Explorator

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A fragment of a monumental inscription discovered in Jerusalem may preserve the name of Hezekiah and a reference to a “pool.”

“Archaeologists in Israel discovered the base of a massive [limestone] Roman column [base] at the foot of Mount Hermon” during a salvage excavation in a Druze village.

Who needs pottery typology when you have archaeomagnetic dating? A new study by Israeli scientists and archaeologists argues that this new technique will provide secure dating for archaeological material previously difficult to date. This is especially useful for the Hallstat Plateau (800-400 BC) when radiocarbon techniques are less helpful. The TAU press release is here.

A one-minute film shot at the Jaffa Gate in 1897 has been restored and colorized with AI.

David Moster created a video showing Jews from around the world reading biblical Hebrew. Some of the readers were born in the 1800s.

Daily Bread has released a new 7-minute video, “Mt. Hermon: Getting God Completely Wrong by Mistake,” with Jack Beck.

Webinar on Nov 22 jointly sponsored by The Anglo-Israel Archaeological Society and British Friends of The Hebrew University: “Recent Advances in DNA Technology and Their Contribution to Archaeology in Israel.”

Christian Locatell, Chris McKinny, and Itzhaq Shai recently published an article on “The Tree of Life Motif, Late Bronze Canaanite Cult, and a Recently Discovered Krater from Tel Burna.” The article is available to subscribers to the Journal of the American Oriental Society or by purchase.

“In October 2022, the top three reports in biblical archaeology were about a stunning mosaic in Syria, a suspected synagogue at Chorazin, and a new geomagnetic study that affirmed biblical battles.”

After a writing hiatus, Israel’s Good Name returns with an illustrated post of the wetlands of the Poleg Marshes.

HT: Agade, Arne Halbakken, Alexander Schick

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Israel plans to build hotels, guest villas, and a conference center on manmade islands in the Dead Sea.

Archaeologists carrying out a survey on Mount Zion discovered a graffiti inscription of Knight Adrian von Bubenberg, a Swiss hero who made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem in 1466.

“The 2022 International Bible Marathon was held over the Sukkot holiday in the Shiloh bloc of communities in Samaria, with both its starting and ending points in Ancient Shiloh.”

The Caesarea Maritima International Conference 2022 runs from Sunday to Wednesday. A full program is online, and both in-person and webinar attendance is free. The lectures of Hohlfelder, Burrell, and Schiffman look particularly interesting.

Gordon Govier interviews Steve Ortiz, Cynthia Shafer-Elliott, and Jonathan Greer about Israel’s ArchaeoTourism Initiative.

It’s not April 1st, but you wouldn’t know it from the Jerusalem Post’s story identifying Solomon as Pharaoh Shishak.

Jonathan Klawans takes his readers to Tel Dan in the Site-Seeing column in the latest issue of Biblical Archaeology Review.

Saar Tauber Tamir suggests five places to visit in Israel that are not as well-known.

The latest episode of This Week in the Ancient Near East looks at the ivory furniture decorations recently discovered in Jerusalem.

The Friends of ASOR Tour to Israel next year visits 27 sites and museums in 13 days, with an impressive list of tour guides. The website describes the full program.

New release: The Ancient Israelite World, edited by Kyle H. Keimer and George A. Pierce (Routledge, $200; Amazon)

Chris McKinny’s My People as Your People: A Textual and Archaeological Analysis of the Reign of Jehoshaphat is marked down to $9 now on Amazon, from $80 (hardcover). I suspect after a few copies sell, the price will jump back up.

Online courses have been announced for JUC’s spring semester, including:

  • Archaeology of the Galilee, with Chris McKinny and Kyle Keimer
  • Geographical Voices in the Psalms, with Paul Wright
  • Literature of Ancient Israel’s Neighbors, with Bryan Beyer
  • Physical Settings of the Bible, with Chandler Collins

Classes are beginning soon at the Biblical Language Center (Randall Buth) and the Jerusalem Seminary.

My topic on the latest episode of Digging for Truth is “The Bible and the Karnak Temple.”

HT: Agade, Charles Savelle, Arne Halbakken, Alexander Schick, Ted Weis

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