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“Archaeologists uncovered signs that Alexander the Great was worshipped as a divine figure in an ancient temple in Iraq.”

“A Sumerian ‘sacred code’ has been deciphered, revealing divinely inspired building instructions echoed in the Bible.”

The latest issue of Biblical Archaeology Review includes stories on archaeology in Midian, the location of Peter’s house, and mosaic pavements of biblical scenes at Huqoq.

“Brazil Adventist University [in São Paulo] inaugurated the Museum of Biblical Archaeology (MAB), the first museum of its kind in South America.”

Bryan Windle recommends five YouTube channels related to biblical archaeology.

Leon Mauldin shares a photo of an Ammonite deity and a map showing the area of ancient Ammon.

New release: William Kennett Loftus: A 19th-Century Archaeologist in Mesopotamia: Letters transcribed and introduced by John Curtis (The British Institute for the Study of Iraq, £15; Amazon)

Two new releases: Scribal Culture in Ancient Egypt, by Niv Allon and Hana Navratilova. Hieroglyphs, Pseudo-Scripts and Alphabets, by Ben Haring. Both books are in the Cambridge Elements series on Ancient Egypt in Context. Both are available as free ebooks until December 6.

New release: Trade and Seafaring in Antiquity: Red Sea – Persian Gulf – Indian Ocean, edited by Stefan Baumann, Kerstin Droß-Krüpe, Sebastian Fink, Sven Günther and Patrick Reinard (Zaphon, 90 EUR).

The Associates for Biblical Research has a Christmas book sale, with free shipping on book purchases over $60 with code Christmas2023. Books on sale include:

HT: Agade, Arne Halbakken, Keith Keyser, Charles Savelle, Paleojudaica

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New rooms have been discovered in the Sahura Pyramid. Detailed surveys have been made using 3D laser scanning.

Archaeologists in Jordan are using a remote controlled car to investigate a network of underground water channels in the desert.

The Domus Tiberiana on Rome’s Palatine Hill has been reopened 50 years after it was closed for restoration.

The Following Hadrian blog takes a look at the only surviving copy of Hadrian’s autobiography.

An AP story explores the enduring strength of Roman concrete.

Lidar Sapir-Hen and Deirdre N. Fulton explore “the role of dogs in the social fabric of the Iron Age through a comparative study of the evidence from settlements.” They conclude from archaeological evidence that dogs served villagers as herders, guards, and occasionally hunters. The underlying journal article is also available.

Zoom lecture on Nov 6: “Tree-ring and radiocarbon refinements towards more precise chronology for the Near Eastern Bronze Age,” by Charlotte L. Pearson. Register here.

For the 200th anniversary of Champollion’s cracking the code of hieroglyphics, Jessica Phelan tells the story of how it happened.

Wired: Scientists Have an Audacious Plan to Map the Ancient World Before It Disappears

New release: Living Communities and Their Archaeologies in the Middle East, edited by Rick Bonnie, Marta Lorenzon, and Suzie Thomas (Helsinki University Press, open access)

“This fall, the Penn Museum will begin construction of its new $54 million Ancient Egypt and Nubia galleries.” Work is slated to be completed by late 2028.

Two of Doug Greenwold’s audiobooks are now available on Audible.

HT: Agade, Ted Weis, Arne Halbakken, Charles Savelle, Explorator

Statue of a griffin grasping Nemesis’s wheel of fate, from Erez, AD 210-11, as displayed in the Israel Museum this summer before the attack
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New excavations at Hyrcania have already turned up an inscription in Greek adapted from Psalm 86.

“A cave containing the remains of a young woman who was likely a courtesan during the Hellenistic period has been discovered near Hebron Road in Jerusalem, along with a well-preserved, rare bronze mirror.”

Gershon Galil claims that he has deciphered a fragmentary inscription from the time of Hezekiah that was discovered in Jerusalem forty years ago (Hebrew version here). (I wouldn’t recommend trusting Galil’s judgment on anything these days. So far the story is only covered by Ynet; if other outlets cover this, they will surely include responses from other scholars.)

Archaeologists have made new and interesting finds at the ancient submerged Egyptian city of Heracleion.

This one-minute video shows how cuneiform tablets were formed from clay and inscribed.

In the newest episode in the Flora & Faith series, Brad Gray explains the symbolism of the almond tree in Scripture.

The latest episode in “Faith Journeys with God in the Land” with John DeLancey was filmed at the Pool of Siloam earlier this year.

Erez Ben-Yosef was on the What Matters Now podcast to discuss his theory about the beginnings of the United Monarchy. The Times of Israel article includes a transcript.

Zoom lecture on Oct 5: “Maritime Viewscapes and the Material Religion of Levantine Seafarers,” by Aaron Brody ($13). Brody has written an article on the ASOR Blog on the same topic.

Zoom lecture on Oct 19: “Archaeology of Jesus’ Nazareth,” by Ken Dark. Registration required.

Biblical Archaeology Report has a rundown on the top three discoveries of the month.

Ferrell Jenkins shares some experiences and photos from his visits to Mount Nebo.

Sukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles, the seventh and final commemoration in the biblical calendar, begins today. TheTorah.com has an article on the etrog as the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

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

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Archaeologists discovered an Akkadian tablet from 1800 BC during excavations of a palace in ancient Alalakh in southern Turkey.

Excavations of the tophet in Carthage uncovered “five gold coins from 2,300 years ago, tombstones and several urns with the remains of animals, infants and premature babies.”

Two new fragments of the Fasti Ostienses have been discovered in the Ostia Antica Archaeological Park.”

A 1st-century BC synagogue has been discovered in southwestern Russia. It stood for more than 500 years before it was likely destroyed.

“Coal miners in Serbia have discovered the remains of a large wooden boat likely used by the Romans to supply a nearby city and military headquarters on the empire’s frontier.”

“Once quiet backwater departments of Assyriology (sometimes called Sumerology or Mesopotamian studies) are suddenly hotbeds of innovation” with the help of AI.

“The ‘miracle’ plant Silphium consumed by Ancient Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians, which was thought to have become extinct two thousand years ago, has recently been rediscovered in Turkey by a professor, who thinks he’s found a botanical survivor.”

“The distinctive transdisciplinary approach of the recently established Yale Ancient Pharmacology Program (YAPP) may provide keys to [the] rediscovery” of the use of ancient plants.

Zoom tour on Aug 23: “The First Half of History: A Virtual Tour of the Yale Babylonian Collection,” by Ekhart Frahm and Agnete Lassen ($7)

Zoom lecture on Aug 31: “Who Really Invented the Alphabet?,” by Seth Sanders ($6/12). Season passes for the Friends of ASOR Webinar Series are now available. You can also purchase recordings from previous seasons’ webinars.

“The Corning Museum of Glass is pleased to announce its 61st Annual Seminar on Glass, a two-day program of online sessions that complements the special exhibition Dig Deeper: Discovering an Ancient Glass Workshop.” All are welcome, and there is no charge for the Oct 19-20 event.

New release: Scientific Traditions in the Ancient Mediterranean and Near East, edited by Sofie Schiødt, Amber Jacob and Kim Ryholt (NYU Press, $85)

New release: The Routledge Handbook of Museums, Heritage, and Death, edited by Trish Biers, Katie Stringer Clary (Routledge, $216/$46)

ACOR has signed agreements with the Jordanian Department of Antiquities to restore the Kerak Castle, the Byzantine church in Aqaba, and the Beit Ras Amphitheater.

Geoffrey Lenox-Smith describes what he saw on a tour in a “soft opening” of the Grand Egyptian Museum.

HT: Agade, Gordon Dickson, Al Sandalow, Will Varner, Arne Halbakken, Roger Schmidgall, Keith Keyser, Wayne Stiles, Explorator

The visit of a rabbi to Jerusalem was met with great excitement by his followers.

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Archaeologists are making progress in their second season of renewed excavations at Nimrud (ancient Calah), including the discovery of a depiction of Ishtar in a temple dedicated to her.

Royal tombs full of artifacts dating to 1500-1300 BC have been discovered near Hala Sultan Tekke on Cyprus. The site was discovered using magnetometers.

A 2,500-year-old Phoenician shipwreck has been found underwater in the southeastern Spanish region of Murcia.”

MutualArt surveys the results of excavations and repatriations in Egypt this year.

Yigal Levin writes about the city of Dibon and the single reference to Dibon-Gad in the book of Numbers.

Marek Dospěl gives an overview of the Epic of Gilgamesh.

Adam E. Miglio considers the similarities between the Epic of Gilgamesh and the Book of Genesis.

Jessica Nitschke, the new editor of The Ancient Near East Today, explains her vision for the future of the website and newsletter.

New release: Ancient Egyptian Gold: Archaeology and Science in Jewellery (3500–1000 BC), edited by Maria F. Guerra, Marcos Martinón-Torres & Stephen Quirke (McDonald Institute Monographs; Cambridge; open access)

The Bible Mapper Blog continues to create helpful maps for Bible readers. Here are the latest:

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Explorator

The best museum in the Old City is now the Terra Santa Museum on the Via Dolorosa. Though it is not yet finished, it displays hundreds of impressive artifacts from around the country.

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Zohar Amar believes that the best candidate for the balm of Gilead is resin from the Atlantic pistachio tree.

The latest video from Expedition Bible is “Peniel: Where Jacob saw the Face of God and lived.”

“The oldest known to-scale architectural plans recorded in human history” are engravings of desert kites discovered in Jordan and Saudi Arabia. More than 6,000 desert kites have been discovered in the Middle East and Asia to date.

Archaeologists discovered rare copper ingots from the Early Bronze Age in Oman.

Egyptian archaeologists have discovered two embalming facilities at Saqqara.

“Archaeologists offer a new explanation for one of the century’s grislier finds, ‘a carefully gathered collection of hands’ in a 3,500-year-old temple” in Avaris.

“Egyptian conservationists are racing to save ancient relics buried with some of Cairo’s most renowned residents as bulldozers flatten parts of a vast cemetery that houses forgotten kings.”

Jerusalem Post: “Many people died after visiting King Tut’s tomb in Egypt. What exactly happened, and how does it involve the Aspergillus fungus?”

A couple of scholars have recently tried to identify all the birds in the Green Room of Akhenaten’s palace in Amarna.

Egypt has barred the National Museum of Antiquities (RMO) in Leiden from carrying out excavations in the famous Egyptian necropolis Sakkara. The country accused the Dutch museum of “falsifying history” with the “Afrocentric” approach to the RMO exhibition Kemet: Egypt in hip-hop, jazz, soul & funk.”

New release (open access): Egypt and the Mediterranean World from the Late Fourth through the Third Millennium BCE, edited by Karin Sowada and Matthew J. Adams

New release: Life and the Afterlife: Ancient Egyptian Art from the Senusret Collection, edited by Melinda Hartwig (open access; click on right sidebar for pdf download)

New release: ‘To Aleppo gone …’: Essays in honour of Jonathan N. Tubb, edited by Irving Finkel, J.A. Fraser, and St John Simpson (Archaeopress, £16–45)

The Ideas podcast reflects on “the many afterlives of the Queen of Sheba.”

Eckart Frahm is guest on Thin End of the Wedge discussing his new history of Assyria. Also, YaleNews has a brief interview with him about the book. 

A new video retraces the journey of Joseph-Philibert Girault de Prangey, perhaps the earliest photographer of the eastern Mediterranean.

Two pillars used to decipher the Phoenician script are reunited for the first time in 240 years in an exhibition in Abu Dhabi.

Zoom lecture on June 15: “Home and Away: Studying the Deportations to and from the Southern Levant during the Age of the Neo-Assyrian and the Neo-Babylonian Empires,” by Ido Koch

Jaromir Malek, Egyptologist and creator of the Tutankhamun Archive, died recently.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Arne Halbakken, Ted Weis, Stephanie Durruty, Wayne Stiles, Alexander Schick, Gordon Franz, Explorator

The newly renovated Davidson Center in Jerusalem displays dozens of finds related to the Temple Mount, including these steps from the staircase over Robinson’s Arch.

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