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Excavations at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher have revealed rock layers of a stone quarry used for the construction of Constantine’s church. A press release from the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land gives more details about all of the excavation works in progress.

“An Israel Antiquities Authority bust in the northern Israeli city of Afula late last week yielded thousands of ancient coins and arrowheads.”

The Druze military fortress on Mount Arbel will open after being closed for a year and a half for conservation work.

The Museum of the Bible and DIVE are offering a virtual tour of Shiloh on August 10 ($20).

John DeLancey just returned from volunteering at the Tel Dan excavation, and he shares his experiences on The Book and the Spade.

Bryan Windle has created a well-illustrated archaeological biography of King Menahem. (If you don’t remember who that is, you’ll be reminded in the first paragraph.)

Cynthia Shafer Elliott writes about the first post in a series on the geographical context of ancient Israel, looking at Israel’s place in the ANE.

Leen Ritmeyer notes the publication of JewishQuarter Excavations, Volume VIII, focused on the Palatial Mansion. Leen has created a beautiful new reconstruction drawing of the mansion, available in his image library for only $6.

Glamping is increasingly popular in Israel, including rooftop options in Jerusalem.

I watched Gesher Media’s “The Philistines: Warriors to the West” and was very impressed with the high-quality production, featuring top archaeologists, an interesting storyline, and (my favorite!) stunning aerial footage. For $7.99, you can stream it anytime.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Arne Halbakken

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This year’s excavations at the Jewish synagogue of Huqoq in Galilee uncovered the first known depictions of Deborah and Jael.

“A professor at the University of Haifa claimed on Wednesday that he had deciphered a 3,500-year-old stone tablet discovered in Jerusalem more than a decade ago, contending that the artifact’s inscription was a curse against the city’s governor at the time.” In response, Christopher Rollston doubts whether it is an inscription at all, and he notes some troubling similarities with the Mount Ebal Lead Inscription.

A brush fire cleared the overgrowth at Tel Gezer but did not cause damage to the archaeological ruins. There are more photos and video (in Hebrew) here.

Week 3 has been the most productive week of excavations at Tel Burna this season.

Was Hezekiah’s Tunnel fitted with a sluice gate to allow water to flow into the Siloam Tunnel and Round Chamber? Chandler Collins summarizes a new theory and identifies some problems with it. You can also subscribe to Chandler’s new newsletter.

Bible History Daily has begun a series on excavations in biblical lands. The first post asks volunteers and students questions about their experiences in the ongoing excavations at Tel Hadid in the Tel Aviv area.

Jason Staples believes that from the exilic period on, the term “Jews” was a subset of the larger group of “Israelites.”

The Albright Institute has issued a call for applications for fellowships for the year 2023-2024.

New release: Women and the Religion of Ancient Israel, by Susan Ackerman (Anchor Yale Bible Reference Library, 2022). Also at Amazon.

New release: Encyclopedia of Material Culture in the Biblical World: A New Biblisches Reallexikon, edited by Angelika Berlejung (Mohr Siebeck, 2022).

Zoom lecture on July 14: “Water the Willow Tree: Memoirs of a Bethlehem Boyhood,” with book author George A. Kiraz talking with Sarah Irving and Jacob Norris.

Online on October 8-9: The 25th Annual Bible and Archaeology Fest, sponsored by the Biblical Archaeology Society and featuring more than 20 speakers.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Explorator

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Restoration experts are very carefully moving several large columns and Corinthian capitals from the Garden of Gethsemane to the Terra Sancta Museum. The columns may have originally belonged to the Roman temple that Hadrian built over Jesus’s temporary tomb.

Archaeologists discovered one of the oldest known mosques in the world in a salvage excavation in the Negev city of Rahat.

The 12th season has begun at Tel Burna, and you can see their dig plan here and the most recent excavation update here.

Yet again: Israel’s Environmental Ministry recommends building a canal linking the Dead and Red Seas (subscription). A few days earlier Jordan decided to cancel the stagnating plan.

Zoom lecture on June 29: “Disease & Death in the Early 1st Century CE,” by Julie Laskaris ($7).

An online lecture on July 6 will discuss the work being done to open up access to satellite imagery over Israel.

In part 2 of his David and Goliath series, Brad Gray looks at the contrast between David and Saul (which is, in my opinion, the central point of the story).

In the latest Biblical World podcast episode, Oliver Hersey talks with Paul Wright about Jesus and Jezreel.

Regular readers know that I greatly appreciate the books of Lois Tverberg, and her recent post is helpful in explaining the difference between the Rabbi Jesus books and whether they should be read in any order. Her first “Rabbi Jesus” book was Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus.

Israel MyChannel has a number of videos with original 3D models of Jerusalem. For instance, this one gives a tour of Jerusalem in the time of Jesus. Impressive.

Upcoming DIVE (Digital Interactive Virtual Experiences) tours through the Museum of the Bible ($20 ea.):

  • The Southern Steps and the Davidson Center: July 13, 2022
  • Ancient Shiloh: August 10, 2022
  • Armageddon — The Valley of Megiddo: September 7, 2022
  • Masada: October 19, 2022
  • The Valleys of Jerusalem — Kidron and Hinnom: November 9, 2022
  • Caesarea: December 7, 2022

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Arne Halbakken

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A recent study found evidence for the domestication of olive trees dating back to 7,000 years ago.

A visitor center under construction at the Armon Hanatziv Promenade [south of Jerusalem’s Old City] will use smart technology to allow visitors to optically zoom in to different landmarks of the modern city as well as see a virtual reality view of how the landscape looked thousands of years ago.”

Rabbi Mordechai Becher writes about how the Dead Sea Scrolls speak to Jews in the 21st century.

The latest issue of Near Eastern Archaeology is all about Tel Rehov. Abstracts of the articles are available online.

Amanda Borschel-Dan will be interviewing Joe Uziel and Jodi Magness in Jerusalem on July 6 about “how archaeology unveils hidden clues into what actually happened during the destructions of the First and Second Temples.”

Virtual Workshop at the Albright Institute on June 23: “Perspectives on the Persian Period,” with Carl S. Ehrlich, Mary Joan Winn Leith, Yigal Levin, and Katja Soennecken

Walking the Text’s recommended resource this month is the brand-new Rose Guide to the Feasts, Festivals, & Fasts of the Bible, edited by Paul H. Wright. It is in stock at Christianbook (and cheaper than Amazon).

New release: Water the Willow Tree: Memoirs of a Bethlehem Boyhood, by George A. Kiraz (Gorgias Press, 2022).

David Barrett, creator of Bible Mapper, has just released TimeGlider, “a free, online, scrollable, searchable timeline of Bible events. With a few button clicks you can even generate a hyperlink to display your own custom event on the timeline, and you can embed this link in digital resources (Word documents, web pages, emails, etc.) to show your event within its chronological context.”

Charles Savelle and Leon Mauldin offer kind words about the value of the 1 & 2 Kings volumes in the Photo Companion to the Bible. The introductory pricing ends today.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Arne Halbakken

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Archaeologists have discovered an inscription at Beit Shearim that proves that a convert to Judaism was buried in this elite cemetery.

“Archaeologists excavating at the base of the Legio VI Ferrata Roman Legion near Megiddo (known as Legio) believe they have found evidence of the first military amphitheater to be identified in the Southern Levant.”

Excavation work in preparation for a new elevator at the Western Wall plaza revealed an ancient ritual bath.

More remains of the lower aqueduct to Jerusalem are being exposed and restored in the Armon HaNatziv neighborhood in order to be incorporated into a public park.

Restoration of a small Hasmonean fortress in the Givat Shaul neighborhood in Jerusalem was recently completed.

Excavations will resume this summer at Lachish, with work focused on Iron IIA and Middle Bronze structures north of the Judean palace.

The ruins of Horvat Tefen in western Galilee are apparently part of a string of military fortress built by Alexander Jannaeus in the early 1st century BC.

“The Tel Moẓa Expedition Project is pleased to announce the creation of two scholarships to fund student participation in the 2022 excavation season at Tel Moẓa (5–23 September 2022).”

“An organization working to preserve Temple Mount antiquities warned this week that the [antiquities] have suffered great damage lately.”

“On Jerusalem Day, three archaeologists spoke to The Jerusalem Post about what it is like to work in a city with so much history underground and so much politics above ground.” The three archaeologists are Ronny Reich, Matthew Adams, and Zachi Dvira.

BAR recently interviewed Gideon Avni, head of the Archaeological Division of the Israel Antiquities Authority, about the practice of salvage excavations. This gives a helpful perspective on a majority of archaeological work in Israel.

David Lazarus begins a new series on the World of the Bible for Israel Today with an article on Jesus and tax collectors.

The early bird discount for the Infusion Bible Conference ends on Monday.

Logos/Faithlife is offering Going Places with God: A Devotional Journey Through the Lands of the Bible, by Wayne Stiles, for free this month. I recommend it.

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

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A $3 million grant will allow the National Campus for the Archaeology of Israel to open by the end of 2022, more than 8 years after its original schedule.

“A new study of trash heaps at rest stops along the ancient Incense Route in the Negev Desert shows it was a two-way street for trade.”

Hybrid conference on May 18: “The First International Academic Conference on New Studies in Temple Mount Research,” featuring many important scholars in Jerusalem studies. Registration and a small fee is required.

“Australia’s only academic program dedicated to the study of Ancient Israel was officially launched at the Australian Catholic University (ACU) last week.” The program will support a new archaeological excavation at Lachish.

In Haaretz, Ruth Schuster uses a recent essay published by Shimon Gibson to discuss the location of where Jesus was baptized. Don’t expect much; this is the worst article I’ve read this year.

Andy Cook has released a new video about the Dead Sea, including drone footage that shows how much the water has receded in the last century.

John DeLancey’s latest devotion from Israel is on Psalm 23. Another recent video shows his run up Masada’s Snake Path.

David Moster addresses the question, “What did ancient Hebrew sound like?” in a new 6-minute video.

Three Hebrew speakers—one Yemenite, one Samaritan, and one Israeli—have a 20-minute conversation to see if they can understand each other.

New release: His Inheritance – A Memorial Volume for Adam Zertal, edited by Ralph K. Hawkins, Erasmus Gaß, and Dror Ben-Yosef (Ugarit-Verlag, 2022).

Abigail Leavitt gives some background to the writing of her new book, The El-Burnat (A) Structure(s): Joshua’s Altar?

Philip Long is leading a tour around Israel now, and he describes some new sites in Jerusalem he visited earlier this week.

Aren Maeir shares photos from the (short) spring season at Tell es-Safi/Gath.

Walking the Text’s recommended resource of the month is Biblical Backgrounds. (I will have more to say about the resources of this fine organization soon, but I’m happy to spread the word now.)

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

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