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Archaeologists working in Yavne on Israel’s southern coast discovered a colorful mosaic from a Byzantine mansion.

New research suggests that paleographic dating of the Dead Sea Scrolls may less accurate than has been assumed. Some of the videos from the conference are available online.

A marine archaeologist believes he has found archaeological evidence for Solomon and Hiram’s maritime partnership in the western Mediterranean, including the location of Tarshish.

80% of archaeological sites in the West Bank have been damaged, according to a new, unpublished report by the right-wing archaeological group Israel’s Heritage Preservation Center.”

Aviva and Shmuel Bar-Am provide an illustrated look at the historical importance of the Philistine city of Gath.

John DeLancey posts a video taken from the Herodium on a very clear day, when even the Dead Sea was visible.

Bryan Windle surveys the top three reports in biblical archaeology for April.

Two short historic films:

HT: Agade, Ted Weis, Arne Halbakken, Alexander Schick, Joseph Lauer, Keith Keyser

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The Jerusalem Post has more about the very old, very well-preserved woven basket that was announced at the same time as the Dead Sea Scrolls discovery.

The Israel Antiquities Authority has identified 20 caves in the Judean desert “with the potential for good artifacts” that will be excavated in the future.

Herb Keinon reflects on the possible significance of the Dead Sea Scrolls announcement that also mentioned the non-Jewish items of the woven basket and the mummified skeleton.

The city of Jerusalem has publicly acknowledged that the existence of a 150-meter tunnel that connects the Dormition Abbey to another church known as the “house of Joseph.” I suspect that there is much more to this story than is reported here.

Carl Rasmussen shares photos from a very interesting building in Jerusalem that dates to the Hasmonean or Herodian eras.

The Jerusalem Municipality archives, containing materials over 400 years old and more than 600,000 photos, will be digitized.

Jonathan Klawans argues that the Shapira scrolls should be regarded as forgeries because they “are suspiciously aligned with [Shapira’s] own curious mix of backgrounds and commitments.”

Jim Davila at Paleojudaica has some updates on the Shapira Scroll discussion.

Now online, incomplete but free: A Digital Corpus of Early Christian Churches and Monasteries in the Holy Land. This six-year project was carried out on behalf of the Hebrew University and the Institute of Archaeology.

One of my favorite books, Reading the Bible with Rabbi Jesus, is only $1.59 on Kindle right now. If you prefer paperback, you can support the author by buying it here.

HT: Agade, Arne Halbakken, Ted Weis, Alexander Schick, Explorator, Steven Anderson

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Happy new year to everyone! May we walk wisely in the days ahead.

A new agreement between Israel’s Finance Ministry and the Israel Antiquities Authority will speed up rescue excavations by allowing private companies to bid on carrying out the excavations.

Following the discovery of a Roman bathhouse in Amman, authorities have to decide whether to preserve the antiquities or construct the planned drainage channel.

Egypt has completed the restoration of a temple of Isis in Aswan.

A limestone relief from the Late Period was illegally excavated, stolen, smuggled out of Egypt, tracked through the internet, recovered in New York, and repatriated.

Examination of elephant tusk DNA found on a shipwreck reveals the impact of ivory trade on elephant herds in Africa.

An Achaemenid pedestal and base was discovered in a garden near Persepolis.

“Underwater excavation, borehole drilling, and modelling suggests a massive paleo-tsunami struck near the ancient settlement of Tel Dor between 9,910 to 9,290 years ago.”

Ariel David looks at how the Israelites went from being a people who worshipped idols to a people who did not (Haaretz premium).

Haaretz runs a story on a recent documentary that presents Israel Finkelstein’s views of Kiriath Jearim and how it rewrites biblical history.

Amanda Borschel-Dan provides a review of her 2020 articles “broken down into studies of provenance; who wrote the Bible and on what; how “pure science” is aiding archaeologists confirm historical events; and a number of “firsts” from deep in pre-history.”

Ken Dark clarifies his views about the house in the church crypt in Nazareth, noting that while the Byzantines believed they had found the childhood home of Jesus, there is no way to prove that.

‘Atiqot 101 (2020) is now online, including articles on an ancient pool next to the Pool of Siloam in the City of David.

The Met’s Imaging Department has created a short video showing the interior of a 19th-century model of Solomon’s temple.

HT: Agade, Explorator, Ted Weis, Arne Halbakken, Paleojudaica

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Archaeologists excavating a commercial market in Baalbek found a mosaic from the Roman period.

Though archaeologists have found some 80 thermopolia in Pompeii, they have only now (apparently) completely excavated an entire one. This article has lots of photos.

The Dead Cities, also called the ‘Forgotten Cities,’ are a series of ancient towns, monuments, and settlements located in North-Western Syria on the Aleppo plateau.”

A study has determined that Egyptian mummied baboons came from the area of modern Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia, and Yemen, suggesting that this was the area of ancient Punt.

In photos: The forgotten Nubian pyramids of Sudan

“Hidden beneath the sands of the Arabian Peninsula lie secrets dating back thousands of years that tell the story of the people of Arabia.”

Epic Iran is an exhibit opening in London in February that will showcase 5,000 years of Iranian culture.

The latest British Museum ancient city travel guide features the amazing Persepolis in the year 500 BC.

CNN looks at the history of the mausoleum of Augustus as preparations are made to open it as a tourist site in March.

New: The Royal Inscriptions of Sargon II, King of Assyria (721–705 BC), by Grant Frame. Use NR20 for 30% off.

New: The Restoration of the Nativity Church in Bethlehem, edited By Claudio Alessandri.

Aren Maeir’s recent lecture on Philistine Gath is online.

Daniel Master will be lecturing on Jan 7 by Zoom on the Philistines in an event hosted by The Museum of the Bible.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Explorator, Ted Weis

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Excavations have begun to unearth mosaics in a church built in AD 396 in Göktaş in southeastern Turkey.

27 wooden sarcophagi buried 2,500 years ago have been discovered in the ancient Saqqara necropolis near Cairo.

Alex Winston asks, What was life like for Jews under Byzantine rule?

In light of the ongoing excavations of Domus Aurea, Smithsonian Magazine considers whether Nero was as bad as people think.

A tourist crashed his drone inside of Rome’s Colosseum.

Zoom workshop: Reconsidering Babylon’s Ishtar Gate, with Helen Gries, Olof Pedersén, May-Sarah Zeßin, Kai Kaniuth, Emad Matin, Anastasia Amrhein, and Elizabeth Knott. Free registration is required.

Accordance has a couple of outstanding deals (60% or 97% off) for those crossing over from Wordsearch.

Leon Mauldin shares photos from his visits to Hebron.

Ferrell Jenkins captured a photo of Colossae that is probably the best I’ve ever seen.

Carl Rasmussen shares a photo of the Erastus Inscription at Corinth, along with another inscription still filled with metal.

HT: Keith Keyser, Agade, Joseph Lauer, Explorator

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A 6th century church or monastery was discovered near Mount Tabor.

A 7th century AD shipwreck near Kibbutz Ma’agan Michael has turned out to be “the largest maritime cargo collection of Byzantine and early Islamic pottery discovered in Israel.”

A “study of 10,000 seeds from Negev viticulture settlements illustrates how plague, climate change and socioeconomic depression in booming empire’s periphery point to its decline.” The underlying journal article is here.

“A group of Yeroham residents have banded together to refurbish a 2,000-year-old archaeological site that was recently defaced with graffiti.”

Jews in Jerusalem once prayed in the “Cave,” a synagogue destroyed when the Crusaders invaded, and today scholars debate whether it was located under the Temple Mount near Warren’s Gate or not.

The Temple Mount Sifting Project needs donations in order to continue operations.

An Israeli archaeologist believes that he has identified the location in the coastal plain where Richard the Lionheart defeated Saladin in the Third Crusade in 1191.

A fire broke out at the Susiya archaeological site near Hebron, but the ruins including the ancient synagogue were spared.

Yosef Garfinkel is claiming that male figurines discovered at various sites are representations of Yahweh.

On The Land and the Book, Charlie Dyer interviews a pastor who took an “Extreme Israel” trip

Israel’s Good Name reports on his recent trip to Eilat, Timna Park, and the Top 94 extreme park.

Israel’s Supreme Court is requiring evidence that the proposed Jerusalem cable car will actually boost tourism.

In a 51-minute interview, “ToI’s Jewish World and Archaeology editor Amanda Borschel-Dan speaks with Israel Antiquities Authority archaeologist Joe Uziel about the destruction of ancient Jerusalem in honor of the Tisha B’Av fast day.”

Ferrell Jenkins shares photos related to the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in AD 70.

“A Temple in Flames” is a dramatized recreation of the fall of Jerusalem in AD 70.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer

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