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Archaeologists working at Azekah may have found traces of the Assyrian siege ramp used to conquer the city in 701 BC.

The Waqf filled in a hole that opened in the Temple Mount floor with concrete on Tuesday, raising concerns that possible archaeological findings may now be lost.” Zachi Dvira at the Temple Mount Sifting Project offers his thoughts on the possible significance of the now-filled opening, along with some rare photos of underground areas of the Temple Mount.

The Israel Museum has re-opened “with a coronavirus-safe approach that includes half-hour capsule tours of the museum’s permanent and current exhibits.”

Gordon Govier writes about the summer excavations in Israel that were not, and those that were.

Lawrence Schiffman writes on discoveries made in 2020 for Ami Magazine.

Usha, an ancient village in western Galilee, is the subject of a 6-minute news piece on Israel Daily. (Note: add “the Sanhedrin Trail” to your bucket list.)

Zvi Koenigsberg looks at the possible connection between the site(s) of Gilgal and the strange phenomenon of “footprints” on the eastern side of Israel.

Dan Warner is on The Book and the Spade this week talking about the Gezer water tunnel.

Biblical Israel Ministries and Tours has just released a brand-new resource that features beautiful aerial footage of more than 55 biblical sites in Israel and Jordan. The launch price is only $30 for the DVD and $45 for a higher-res version on a thumb drive. Individual high-res site videos are available for only $4 each.

HT: Agade, Ted Weis, Joseph Lauer

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I don’t usually take away from class time to talk about the latest (usually over-hyped) discovery, but I did today. The announcement of the discovery of three royal (Proto-Aeolic) capitals south of ancient Jerusalem is exciting, as it provides beautiful evidence of a building that once served Manasseh or Josiah.

The Jerusalem Post has a good write-up, including a 2.5 minute video that captures well the excitement of the moment of finding the second capital in an unexpected place.

One of the things that makes this discovery so interesting is that relatively few such capitals have been found over the last century of excavating in Israel. My notes may need some updating, but here is what I have for the locations, numbers, and dates of Proto-Aeolic capitals:

  • Dan – 1 (9th c.)
  • Hazor – 2 (9th c.)
  • Megiddo – 13 (10th-9th c.)
  • Samaria – 7 (9th c.)
  • Gezer – possibly
  • Jerusalem (City of David)- 1 (late Iron Age?)
  • Ramat Rahel – 10 (late Iron Age)
  • Medeibiyeh, Jordan – 1 (late Iron Age?)

This discovery of three in close proximity, along with their excellent preservation, surely stirs the imagination as to what impressive building stood here in the final decades before Jerusalem fell to Babylon.

5.Photo-Shai Halevi Israel Antiquities Authority (44)

Three Proto-Aeolic Capitals discovered near the Armon Hanatziv Promenade near the UN Headquarters. Photo courtesy of Shai Halevi, Israel Antiquities Authority.

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A Canaanite fortress from the middle of the 12th century BCE (the days of the biblical judges), was unearthed in an excavation . . . outside Kiryat Gat.”

The headlines are more sensational, but the real story is this: a wall on Mount Zion dated by Bargil Pixner to the Iron Age does not date to the Iron Age. A revolution in our understanding of the size of Jerusalem in the time of Hezekiah is not warranted.

A hoard of 425 gold coins from the Abassid period was discovered by students working on an excavation in central Israel. There is a 2-minute video here.

Atlas Obscura has posted an article on the Sidonian Cave (Apollophanes Cave) at Beit Guvrin and one of its mysterious inscriptions.

The Legacy Hotel in Nazareth has a display of artifacts from the Bronze and Iron Ages that were discovered during the hotel’s construction.

The Daily Mail has a well-illustrated story on Rami Arav’s continued insistence that et-Tell is Bethsaida.

The ‘Digging for Identity’ program is a four-day journey for Israeli 10th-grade students, which includes taking part in an active archaeological dig” and more.

John DeLancey’s latest video focuses on Lachish.

Ralph Ellis provides his interpretation of the elephant mosaic discovered in the ancient Huqoq synagogue.

Aren Maeir and Nick Barksdale talk Philistines and DNA (12 min).

Bryan Windle highlights the “top three reports” in biblical archaeology for August. (He also wrote a nice resource review of our new 1 Samuel Photo Companion.)

HT: Agade, Ted Weis, Joseph Lauer, Alexander Schick

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“The world’s longest marlstone cave, with an overall length of a mile, was recently found in the Dead Sea area.”

Erez Speiser has posted another walking tour, this one of the Old City of Jerusalem. He has created a good route that focuses on major sites in the Christian and Jewish Quarters.

Andy Cook of Experience Israel Now has begun podcasting and videocasting. The first three episodes are of the Valley of Elah, and at the conclusion of each he offers video footage for free download so that any teacher can use them in ministry.

“The Museum of the Bible in Washington, DC, is in discussions with the Iraqi government to reach a settlement regarding thousands of antiquities in its collection with suspicious or incomplete provenance.”

John DeLancey has created a new video that tours Masada.

Tyler Rossi explains how ancient and medieval coins were used as royal propaganda.

Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones lectures on “Locating the Women of Achaemenid Persia,” identifying rare representations of women in Persian iconography.

Save 92%: The Future of Biblical Archaeology, edited by James K. Hoffmeier and Alan Millard (Eerdmans, 2004). $2.99 at Christianbook.com.

New books:

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Paleojudaica

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Excavations in the old Givati parking lot in the City of David have continued this summer, with archaeologists uncovering a building destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BC.

Archaeologists working in southern Israel have been excavating a soap-making workshop from the Abbasid period, making it the oldest one known to date.

The board of ASOR has voted to remove “Oriental” from its name, though they have not yet decided on a new name for the organization.

What do journalists write about when most archaeologists aren’t digging this summer? You may have noticed that Rossella Tercatin at The Jerusalem Post is digging through recent journals and summarizing the results for a popular audience. Her latest articles include:

Statues worth millions of shekels were stolen from the Wilfrid Israel Museum in northern Israel.

Gary Byers is interviewed by Bryan Windle in the latest installment of the “Discussions with the Diggers” series.

Shmuel Browns is offering some of his spectacular photography now as large limited-edition prints.

Israel’s Good Name reports on his recent field trip to the ruins of the recently renovated Ashdod-Yam.

We just finished a volume with 3,000 photographs illustrating the book of 1 Samuel by chapter and verse. It’s a one-of-a-kind collection, and our launch price ends next week. Learn more about it here.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer

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The excavations at Azekah are unique this year not only because they weren’t cancelled, but all of the field supervisors are women and daycare is provided for the workers’ children.

The discovery of minerals in a building in the City of David is providing information about the earth’s magnetic field at the time of Jerusalem’s destruction in 586 BC. The underlying journal article is here.

A stone table from the Second Temple period was discovered in excavations near Beit El.

A new study suggests that Mount Adir in the Upper Galilee was a government center for a group of Canaanite settlers in the Iron I. The underlying BASOR article is here (requires subscription or payment).

Yuval Baruch, head of the Jerusalem division of the Israel Antiquities Authority and informally known as the “mayor of underground Jerusalem,” is profiled in The Jerusalem Post.

Following the excavation of a large tumulus south of Jerusalem, Ariel David writes about various theories that have been proposed for the 20 tumuli in the Jerusalem vicinity(Haaretz premium).

The Israel Museum has re-opened, and the Dead Sea Scrolls are back on display.

Jodi Magness is interviewed about Masada on the NC Bookwatch.

Winners have been selected for the Top 10 Picture contest at Biblical Israel Tours.

Carl Rasmussen shares some photos of well-preserved Crusader capitals in the Archaeology Museum of Nazareth.

Bible Land Passages is preparing to release a new documentary on Caesarea Maritima, and they have just posted two short trailers (1-min, 3-min) that provide a taste of what’s coming.

A couple of Oxford archaeologists have succeeded in getting the US to open up access to high-res satellite imagery of Israel.

Israel has experienced a couple days of unusual August rain.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Charles Savelle

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