Weekend Roundup

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Archaeologists have published a report that they have discovered a “massive Iron II temple complex” at Moza, in use from 900 to 600 BC.

An Egyptian anchor discovered off the coast near Haifa is now on display at the Israel Museum. The impressive artifact features hieroglyphics and images.

Excavations at Tel Tsaf in the Jordan Valley have uncovered homes and food silos made of mudbrick and preserved since the Neolithic period.

“Archaeologists on Thursday unveiled 16 ancient Egyptian tombs filled with sarcophagi and other artifacts from a vast burial ground” near Minya in central Egypt.

Israeli researchers have successfully grown six trees from seeds discovered at the sites of Masada, Qumran, and Wadi Makkuk. The seeds date to the 4th century BC to the 2nd century AD, and like their predecessor Methuselah, they have been given biblical names. Photos here.

Shlomit Bechar argues that the Hazor complexes with standing stones were part of a “ruin cult.”

A professor has found a technique to solve quadratic equations that the ancient Babylonians used.

Laerke Recht takes a look at human sacrifices in the ancient Near East.

War has devastated a museum in Maaret al-Numa, Syria known for its Roman and Byzantine-era mosaics.

A terrorist near St. Anne’s Church fired shots toward the Temple Mount, wounding a policeman.

USA Today is having a contest for the Best Religious Museum in the USA. Nominees include the Museum of the Bible, the Ark Encounter, and the Biblical History Center.

The latest video in the “Life Lessons from Israel” is a 6-minute devotional video on Megiddo.

Upcoming events at the Albright Institute include a lecture by Israel Finkelstein on the excavations at Kiriath Jearim.

After renovations to steps and railings, the Ramparts Walk from the Damascus Gate to the Lions Gate of the Old City of Jerusalem has re-opened.

Agrippa II is the subject of Bryan Windle’s latest archaeological biography.

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

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Weekend Roundup

Archaeologists believe that a well-preserved complex at Horvat Tevet, near Afula in the Jezreel Valley, served as a royal estate for Israel’s kings.

Archaeologists working at Tell Damiyah (biblical Adam) are uncovering a religious complex that dates to 700 BC.

Ann Killebrew shares about her experience and discoveries made in the last decade of excavating Tel Akko.

16 tombs from the 26th dynasty have been found at Al-Ghoreifa in Egypt.

New research of the mummified remains of Takabuti, held at the Ulster Museum, reveals the Egyptian had genetic roots to Europe and was likely stabbed to death.

Ueli Bellward explains the complex water collection system of Petra, including how its flash flood system enabled the city to survive.

Archaeologists are concerned about the increasing popularity of Gobekli Tepe.

A story in Discover magazine explains how archaeologists know where to dig.

Archaeologists believe that they have found a second example of crucifixion, discovered near Venice.

The AP has a number of photos of a massive locust invasion in eastern Africa.

Caesarea’s ancient theater stage is undergoing a major renovation.

John DeLancey has just wrapped up another tour of Israel, blogging about each day.

Holly Beers is on The Book and the Spade discussing her new book, A Week in the Life of a Greco-Roman Woman.

Bryan Windle identifies the top three reports in biblical archaeology in the month of January.

BiblePlaces.com celebrated its 20th anniversary this week, and we are thankful for many encouraging words, including reflections from Mark Hoffman, Ferrell Jenkins, Leon Mauldin, and Charles Savelle.

HT: Agade, Ted Weis, Cam von Wahlde, Joseph Lauer

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Weekend Roundup

If you don’t pay attention, you would think they’re finding all kinds of first-century streets in Jerusalem. But it’s the same one, again and again. The story this week, based on a journal article in Tel Aviv, is that the Siloam Street/Stepped Street/Pilgrim’s Path was built by Pilate. The date is based on the most recent coin, from AD 30/31, found in the fill under the pavement. Leen Ritmeyer rejects the study, saying that the road was actually built by Herod Agrippa II. That last link has a nice map that shows the location of the Herodian/Pilatian/Agrippian Road.

A three-year salvage excavation near Beth Shemesh uncovered a Byzantine Church with an inscription mentioning a “glorious martyr.” The mosaics are quite well-preserved, and there is an intact underground burial chamber. Some of the artifacts are featured in a new exhibition at the Bible Lands Museum in Jerusalem.

Excavators have found a second monumental gate at Hacilar.

These reports from Beirut are from last year, but I did not see them then:

Rachel Bernstein provides an update on the Temple Mount Sifting Project since its recent reboot and relocation.

Israel Finkelstein responds to the “discovery that changes everything we know about biblical Israel.”

Artificial intelligence is better at deciphering damaged ancient Greek inscriptions than humans are.

The ArcGIS Blog interviews Tom Levy and one of his students about their use of GIS and 3D modeling in their work in the copper mines of Faynan.

Officials in Thessaloniki are arguing about what to do with a “priceless” 6th century AD Byzantine site found during work on a subway tunnel.

Spanish experts have replicated for Iraq two Assyrian lamassu statues previously destroyed by ISIS.

Dirk Obbink denies the charges against him of selling items owned by the Egyptian Exploration Society.

Two scholarships are available for students interested in participating in February’s excavation of Timna’s copper mines.

An international conference entitled “Philistines! Rehabilitating a Biblical Foe” will be held on Nov 17 at Yeshiva University Museum. Registration is required.

‘Atiqot 96 (2019) is now online, with reports on excavations at Rosh Pinna, Mazor, and el-Qubeibe.

Biblical Israel Ministries and Tours has released the 16th video in their series, “It Happened Here.” This one features life lessons from Beth Shean.

Jim Hastings shows how he built a model of a gate of Ezekiel’s temple.

Ferrell Jenkins shares photos from his 1970 tour of Iraq.

Aron Tal reflects on the remarkable return of the ibex. There was a day, apparently, when there were no ibex to be found at En Gedi.

HT: Gordon Franz, Mark Hoffman, Agade, Ted Weis, Joseph Lauer, A.D. Riddle, Steven Anderson

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Weekend Roundup

A woman taking a stroll near Tel Beth Shean discovered that winter rains had exposed two Roman statues.

New technology now makes declassified US spy photos from the 1960s more useful for research in the Middle East. LiveScience tells the story, and you can explore the amazing Corona Atlas yourself.

A team of archaeologists and climbers scaled the cliffs of Sela in order to study a relief made by the Babylonian king Nabonidus.

Ruth Schuster surveys the archaeological evidence for the earthquake in the days of Uzziah mentioned by Amos and Zechariah (Haaretz premium).

Kyle Harper attempts to trace the origins of the Nazareth Inscription.

‘Serve the Gods of Egypt’ is an exhibition focusing on the Third Intermediate Period (1069-664 BC), now showing at the Museum of Grenoble, located in southeast France. 

Now online: Maps, drawings, and photographs from the American Research Center in Egypt (ARCE) Sphinx Project, 1979-1983.

The Fall 2018 issue of DigSight includes stories on the seal impression of Isaiah, new publications, recent finds, and upcoming events.

The Oriental Institute 2017–18 Annual Report is now available.

On the ASOR Blog, Claudio Ottoni asks, “Where do cats come from?”

Carl Rasmussen provides illustrations for Paul’s boxing metaphor.

Wayne Stiles explains why Peter’s trip to Caesarea was apparently inefficient and yet perfectly necessary.

A 4-minute video from the Today Show explains how NASA technology is being used to decipher Dead Sea Scrolls. The video includes footage inside Cave 1.

Owen Jarus suggests five archaeological discoveries to watch for in 2019.

The editors of The Bible and Interpretation have chosen their five best articles for 2018.

In a full article posted from Biblical Archaeology Review, Robert Cargill explains what a day on a dig looks like.

Jerusalem is one of the fastest growing tourist destinations in the world. Jordan’s tourism in 2018 was its second highest ever.

William B. Tolar of Fort Worth, Texas, a longtime professor of biblical backgrounds and archaeology [at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary], died Dec. 29.” He apparently led 80 trips to Israel.

There will be no roundup next weekend.

HT: Ted Weis, Agade, Mark Hoffman, Chris McKinny, Joseph Lauer, Paleojudaica, Bryan Windle

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Weekend Roundup, Part 1

In Caesarea, a remarkable Crusader-era cache of 24 gold coins and an earring was found in a small bronze pot, hidden between two stones in the side of a well.

The NY Times has a summary of the Pilate ring discovery. Robert Cargill prefers the theory that the ring belonged to one of Pilate’s papyrus-pushing administrators. Ferrell Jenkins shares a number of related photos.

Archaeologists working at Timna Park opened their excavation to volunteers from the public for three days during Hanukkah.

The second in a series of 12 objects from the Temple Mount Sifting Project is an arrowhead from the 10th century BC.

Jim Davila tries to unravel the latest with the Qumran caves with potential Dead Sea Scroll material (with a follow-up here).

Matthew Adams gives an update on the Jezreel Valley Regional Project on The Book and the Spade.

Israel is on pace to hit a new annual record of 4 million tourists this year.

Episode 1 in Wayne Stiles’s excellent “The Promised That Changed the World” is now available. You can sign up to get free access to all three episodes.

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

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Weekend Roundup

The discovery of a cuneiform fragment at Tel Mikhmoret recorded a slave sale and revealed physical evidence of the presence of Babylonians in biblical Samaria.”

Authorities have recovered from antiquities thieves a Neolithic stone ritual mask that comes from the Hebron hills.

Archaeologists have found evidence for trephination in a Late Bronze tomb at Megiddo (Haaretz premium).

“In one of the largest tombs ever found in Luxor, Egypt, archaeologists have discovered a sarcophagus holding the mummy of a woman named Pouyou who lived during the 18th dynasty.”

Egyptian officials announced that treasures from the tomb of Tutankhamun will tour ten cities in the world prior to the 2020 opening of the Grand Egyptian Museum in Giza. The exhibit is currently in Los Angeles and then heads to Paris. The other cities have not yet been announced.

“Inside the Cloak-and-Dagger Search for Sacred Texts” is in this month’s issue of National Geographic. As you would expect, the text is engaging and the photos beautiful.

“National Geographic has commissioned leading British indie production company, Caravan to produce The Bible from Space, a two-part documentary special which reveals the truth behind the biggest, most incredible stories from the Old Testament.” You can be sure that any TV production which promises to “reveal the truth” does not.

Carl Rasmussen is having second thoughts about the route of Paul’s ship from Chios to Miletus.

Luke Chandler is leading a tour of Israel in June, with the option to stay longer and join an archaeological excavation.

SourceFlix has released a 4-minute video about Tel Dibon, including footage of an early-morning fly-over. Ferrell Jenkins writes about the same site and provides some nice photographs.

A board game dating to the time of Abraham, the Royal Game of Ur, is making a comeback in Iraq.

The online Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) entitled “Biblical Archaeology: The Archaeology of Ancient Israel and Judah” begins on Wednesday.

The Institute of Biblical Culture is offering your choice of a free class.

If you’re not a subscriber to the BiblePlaces Newsletter, you can sign up in a few seconds. We send about three issues a year, with one coming next week.

HT: Agade, Ted Weis, Charles Savelle

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Weekend Roundup, Part 1

“An extremely rare, minuscule biblical stone weight inscribed in ancient Hebrew script with the word “beka” was discovered in rubble taken from excavations at the foundations of the Western Wall.”

“Archaeologists exploring Montfort Castle in the Galilee discovered a previously unknown, richly decorated Gothic hall where the secretive knights’ order gathered for their assemblies.” (Haaretz premium)

A member of the Tall el-Hammam Excavation Project believes that civilization on the northern end of the Dead Sea were obliterated by “a massive airburst caused by a meteor” circa 1700 BC, leaving the region desolate for at least 600 years. The claim is explicitly linked with Sodom’s destruction in a 2015 conference paper available here.

A tomb at Megiddo now provides the earliest evidence for the use of vanilla.

The Times of Israel has more background on the release of photos of biblical scenes from the mosaics of the synagogue of Huqoq.

Alexander Wiegmann’s YouTube channel includes photogrammetric models, including one of the Mount Ebal altar.

A conference is being held next month in Jerusalem to refute the recent theory that the temple was not located on the Temple Mount.

You can see what a day of digging at Tel Burna is like with this new 10-minute video produced for this year’s ASOR conference.

I’ve been using and enjoying Readwise this past month. It’s a great way to review my Kindle highlights. Use this link to get a free month for you (and for me).

HT: Joseph Lauer, Agade, Gordon Franz, Chris McKinny

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Weekend Roundup

A Roman-era cemetery with 32 tombs has been discovered near Hebron.

Archaeologists have discovered what is “probably the most ancient archaeological solid residue of cheese ever found” in the sands near Saqqara.

Erez Ben-Yosef and Aaron Greener explain the significance of Edom’s copper mines in Timna.

A couple of new studies identify the sources of ancient Egyptian copper.

Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities Newsletter for July 2018 includes the latest archaeological discoveries, repatriated antiquities, meetings, temporary exhibits, and increased fees.

“An antiquities museum in Syria’s rebel-held province of Idlib” has reopened after five years. The museum holds some of the Ebla tablets and was damaged in the war.

“The UCLA Library and Early Manuscripts Electronic Library have partnered with St. Catherine’s Monastery to digitize and publish online on an open access basis some 1,100 rare and unique Syriac and Arabic manuscripts dating from the fourth to the 17th centuries.”

Alexander Schick has written an extended article about the Temple Mount. If you don’t read German, there are many photos of interest.

Gabriel Barkay’s lecture, “Was Jesus Buried in the Garden Tomb?” from 2006 is now available online at Jerusalem Perspective.

The latest excursion of Israel’s Good Name takes him to Gath and the Museum of Philistine Culture in Ashdod.

The September/October issue of Biblical Archaeology Review features articles on Masada, Tel Shimron, and dating.

The Columbian has a touristy piece on Jaffa.

Candida Moss identifies the best ancient Christian sites in Egypt.

A number of streams in the Golan Heights that are popular with hikers have been closed due to contamination.

The oldest hippopotamus in captivity has died at the age of 59 at the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo.

The four volumes of the Tel Beth Shean excavation reports are now available for free in pdf format from Amihai Mazar’s academia website. He has also posted a chapter on Tel Rehov in the 10th-9th centuries.

HT: Agade, Charles Savelle, Ted Weis

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Weekend Roundup

Following reports of damage to archaeological debris on the Temple Mount, the Israeli police have closed a new observation post.

The Temple Mount Sifting Project gives an update on the damage. The Times of Israel reports on the situation.

Aren Maeir shares some of the objectives for this year’s excavations of Gath, including more work on the possible city gate.

The May newsletter of Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities is now online.

A conference entitled “Archaeology for Peace” is being held today in Leiden.

Somehow Carl Rasmussen got into the never-yet-open-to-the-public theater at Perga, and he shares his photos here. [UPDATE: I’ve learned that the theater renovation is complete and the theater is now open to visitors.]

Carl also has posted a couple of rare photos showing flood waters in the Brook of Elah.

Charles Savelle found the four-horned altar near Shiloh. (I do wish he had moved his bike before he took the picture!)

Ferrell Jenkins shares photos of his drive through Wadi Shu’ayb in Jordan.

Wayne Stiles looks at the spiritual significance of the mountains that surround Jerusalem.

Ticia Verveer gives an illustrated tour of Gamla.

Israel’s Good Name saw quite a bit of wildlife on his trip to the Beth Shean Valley and Agamon Hefer.

HT: Joseph Lauer

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Weekend Roundup, Part 2

Archaeologists have discovered the oldest port in Iraq, a large harbor built by the Sumerians circa 2000 BC.

A US organization has kept the traditional tomb of Nahum in Iraq from collapsing.

Scholars have identified an ancient Greek medical text by Galen that was later covered by a 10th-century copy of the Psalms.

Fifteen years after 15,000 antiquities were looted from the Baghdad Museum, half of them have still not been located. Many have likely been sold on the antiquities market.

Mapping Mesopotamian Monuments is a topographical survey of rock reliefs, historical monuments and architecture that covers all historical periods from ancient to modern.”

Touring Jordan: Ferrell Jenkins shares a photo of the Jabbok River and Leon Mauldin posts shots of Tell es-Saidiyeh (Zarethan?) and a sunset over the Dead Sea.  

Apollo Magazine reports on the famous mosaics of Medeba.

In celebration of the acquisition of CDL Press, Eisenbrauns is offering a 30% discount on all volumes in the Cornell University Studies in Assyriology and Sumerology series. Use discount code CUSAS.

Clyde Billington is on The Book and the Spade this week discussing the Roman camp at Megiddo.

Aren Maeir was honored on his 60th birthday with a festschrift prepared for him by more than 100 contributors!

Professor Ephraim Stern, director of the Dor Project from 1980 to 2000, passed away Friday evening in Jerusalem.

James F. Strange has died.

HT: Agade, Charles Savelle, PaleoJudaica

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