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“Archaeologists have uncovered early evidence of brain surgery after the discovery of two brothers buried beneath the floor of a late Late Bronze Age-era building” in Megiddo. The underlying journal article is here.

“A family found an ornamental 1,400-year-old clay figure on the ground while hiking through the hills south of the city of Modiin.”

Roman sarcophagi at Tel Kedesh were vandalized yesterday. It seems that the criminals believe that Deborah the prophetess’s tomb is located there.

The importance of the oldest known Canaanite sentence is the subject of a 5-min BBC video.

An Israeli team is using artificial intelligence and robots to put the pieces of ancient frescoes at Pompeii back together.

Emanuel Tov explains how the process of copying a Torah Scroll became sacred.

The Spring 2023 issue of Biblical Archaeology Review includes stories on Jeremiah’s journey to Egypt, first-century synagogues in Israel, the Mesha Stele’s possible reference to the “house of David,” volunteer excavation opportunities this summer, and more.

An exhibit at Christopher Newport University pays tribute to Richard Freund, showcasing “the treasures he found, the method he used to discover them, and what they represented to both his students and the world.”

Knowing the Bible has produced several dozen high-resolution maps, including base maps, all available for free, non-commercial use. Donations are appreciated.

Olive Tree Bible Software is offering a free download of The ESV Concise Bible Atlas. A short video explains how to use them on your device.

Eisenbrauns has released two new reference guides, both by David Moster: Biblical Hebrew Grammar Card and Biblical Hebrew Vocabulary Card. Use code NR31 to save 30%.

An Israeli intelligence officer tells the story of when he seized some of the Dead Sea Scrolls from Kando in Bethlehem.

HT: Agade, Explorator, Arne Halbakken, Gordon Dickson, Alexander Schick, Ted Weis

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Archaeologists have now finished a chronological mapping of Megiddo, with radiocarbon dates for the two dozen layers of habitation from the Early Bronze Age to the end of Iron II.

Archaeologists excavating a deep rock-hewn moat along the northern side of Jerusalem’s Old City walls have discovered a handprint carved into the stone.

Not all scholars agree that the name of David is on the Mesha Stele.

The Technion and the University of Haifa’s School of Archaeology and Maritime Cultures have launched a joint initiative to support cooperation between the two institutions in archaeological sciences, especially microarchaeological research.

“Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly promised King Abdullah II that the status quo on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem will be preserved.”

“Jerusalem’s Tower of David was never built to be accessible.” The Times of Israel gives the backstory on the ingenuity required to make the ancient fortress accessible to those with disabilities.

Chandler Collins writes about a significant geographical feature in Jerusalem that he calls the “Fortress Saddle.” This was the city’s most vulnerable area on its most vulnerable side.

The Mardigian Museum has opened in Jerusalem’s Armenian Quarter, documenting the community’s history and serving as a memorial to the Armenian Genocide.

“A riveting new exhibition, titled ‘Peace and War: The Assyrian Conquest of Lachish,’ will open on January 30 in the Lynn H. Wood Archaeology Museum on Southern Adventist University’s campus.” I’m not sure how much “peace” was involved in the Assyrian conquest.

Excavations at ancient Capitolias, a city of the Decapolis in modern Jordan, are shedding light on the production of glass in the Roman, Byzantine, and Umayyad periods.

A former director of the Citadel Museum in Amman, Jordan, was convicted of stealing 6,000 ancient coins and replacing them with forgeries.

Oded Lipschits will be giving a series of lectures in the UK in honor of the Anglo-Israel Archaeological Society’s Diamond Jubilee between February 20 and March 6. One of them will be online: “New Light on Jerusalem and its Surroundings during the Reign of King Manasseh,” on March 2. Registration required.

Preserving Bible Times has released The Bible: Its Land and Culture, Session 4, including Galilee aerial videos, cultural vignettes, and biblical culture.

Nathan Steinmeyer gives advice on finding the right archaeological dig to join. This is also the topic of an OnScript Biblical World podcast with Steinmeyer, Chris McKinny, and Kyle Keimer.

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

Pool of Siloam excavations Jan 2023

Pool of Siloam excavations Jan 2023b

Excavations at the Pool of Siloam this week; photos by John Black

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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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Israel HaYom surveys the history of Shiloh along with the present quest to discover the location of the tabernacle. Scott Stripling believes he knows the location but is not sure he’ll ever be able to prove it.

“Archaeologists announced Tuesday the discovery of a 1,200-year-old estate in Israel’s southern Negev desert, boasting unique underground structures that allowed its owners to overcome the searing summer heat.”

Nathan Steinmeyer takes viewers to excavations at Tel Shimron in a 4-minute video that is the second in a series on excavating in the Bible lands. Tel Shimron is one of the largest sites in the Jezreel Valley region.

Archaeologists are excavating a fortified village in Samaria that existed at the end of the Bar Kochba Revolt. You can see a drone video of the site here and more information and photos here.

Writing for The Jerusalem Post, Aaron Reich’s article claims to provide “everything you need to know about the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.” It’s a decent introduction.

The oldest synagogue in Jerusalem is a non-rabbinic form of Judaism known as Karaism. Daniel J. Lasker has written a book about the subject, and his post on the ASOR Blog gives an introduction.

“Between the former rains (in autumn) and the latter rains (in spring) Israel receives all its rainfall. Except for this week, when it rained in summer!”

Ferrell Jenkins reports on a recent visit to Taanach.

There is a campaign to turn Hebron Road in Jerusalem into a “pedestrian-friendly space with cafes, bike paths, and more.”

Rejuvenation podcast: “Dr. Jodi Magness, the outstanding archaeologist, prolific writer and excellent educator, joins Eve Harow to talk about her renewed decade long excavation at the ancient Jewish village of Huqoq in the Galilee.”

Zoom lecture on Sept 15: “Flavians in Galilee (67 CE): Their Aims and Activities,” by Steve Mason

The Fall 2022 issue of Biblical Archaeology Review includes articles on Diaspora Jews living in Jerusalem in the 1st century, the lethal capabilities of slings, and the location of Magdala.

HT: Agade, Arne Halbakken, Joseph Lauer, Explorator, Paleojudaica

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A lot happened while I was away, and it’s going to take five or six days (!) to catch up. Let’s get to it.

Archaeologists excavating el-Araj discovered a mosaic in the Byzantine church that mentions the “chief and commander of the heavenly apostles,” further strengthening the site’s claim to be Bethsaida, the hometown of Peter. They are hoping to find an inscription mentioning Andrew in the October excavation.

“Archaeologists working at Tel Shiloh earlier this summer discovered piers that they believe formed a door into a gate complex at the northern edge of the biblical city.” Scott Stripling thinks this is the gate where Eli died.

Also at Shiloh, archaeologists discovered five intact storage jars from the Late Roman or Byzantine eras.

Excavations have begun at Kh. Tibnah, possibly Joshua’s city of Timnath-heres. Early discoveries include a Roman spearhead. Also, there is a dispute over ownership of the site (subscription).

The first Roman military amphitheater ever found in Israel was recently uncovered at Megiddo.

Matthew Adams talks about the excavations this summer at Megiddo on The Book and the Spade.

A Byzantine convent dedicated to Hannah was recently re-discovered at Horbat Hani in central Israel. There are some nice photos here.

A collection of 530 astragali (animal knucklebone gaming dice) from the Hellenistic period were discovered at Maresha-Bet Guvrin with names inscribed of Aphrodite, Eros, Hermes, Hera, and Nike.

A volunteer at the Temple Mount Sifting Project discovered what may have been a cheater’s die, with the number 5 where the number 4 should have been.

“A bronze Roman coin dating back 1,877 years with the symbol of the Cancer zodiac sign and a Moon goddess was discovered at Carmel Beach in Haifa.”

Computer calculations of 70 CE Roman arsenal uncovered in excavations in Jerusalem demonstrate veracity of Jewish historian Josephus’s report of intense fighting near Third Wall.”

Lior Schwimer has reviewed nearly 15,000 panels of Negev rock art with more than 50,000 carvings.

Steven Ortiz is a guest on the Biblical World podcast, talking with Chris McKinny about the Lanier Archaeological Center at Lipscomb University, the Gezer Archaeological Project, and the Tel Burna Archaeological Project (28 min).

Bryan Windle identifies the top 3 reports in biblical archaeology for the month of July.

Registration for Jerusalem University College’s fall online courses ends on Monday.

HT: Agade, Arne Halbakken, Joseph Lauer

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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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