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Nearly 20 years after a portion of the Pool of Siloam was discovered, the Israel Antiquities Authority has announced that the entirety of the pool will be exposed and opened to the public. The excavation follows the Supreme Court’s decision last year to not challenge a Jewish organization’s purchase of the land’s lease from the Greek Orthodox Church. Predictably, the Greek Orthodox Church is crying foul. The left-wing Emek Shaveh is unhappy. There is a nice artistic rendering of what the pool may look like here. A CBN video (with a passing appearance of Doug Bookman) shows a tractor clearing the area that has long been a garden.

The Jerusalem Post provides a good summary of the excavations of the Roman road from the Pool of Siloam to the Temple Mount, with the notice that 300 feet are yet to be excavated before the entire route can be opened to the public.

Jewish visits to the Temple Mount hit a modern record in 2022, with 51,483 going up to the holy site last year.”

Creating more tourist attractions in the City of David will only exacerbate the horrendous traffic problems to the area, writes Gil Zohar.

The Protestant Cemetery on Mount Zion was vandalized by a couple of thugs, damaging several grave markers including that of Bishop Gobat. Ynet has many photos of the damage as well as a video of the criminals in action.

“Russian President Vladimir Putin wants state ownership of the Maria Magdalena Monastery, the Ascension Monastery, and the Viri Galilaei Church (People of the Galilee) all situated on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem.”

Meir Panim has posted a one-hour virtual tour of Yad VaShem, Israel’s national holocaust memorial.

A spindle whorl with an intricate design is the 120,000 registered object in the Temple Mount Sifting Project.

A 6th-century Byzantine church with beautiful mosaics was uncovered in Jericho.

“A 9,000-year-old human skull discovered near the West Bank city of Jericho has a new face, thanks to technology and a multi-national research team.”

A coin from the Bar Kochba revolt was found recently during an archaeological dig in Murabba’at caves in the Nahal Darga Reserve in the Judean Desert.”

“An ancient fire pit, beside which lay eight ostrich eggs dating back over 4,000 years, was discovered in the Nitzana sand dunes in the Negev region.”

A virtual reality tour of Tel Dan, led by the voice of excavator Avraham Biran, is now available at UCSD’s Qualcomm Institute.

Moshe Gilad writes about his visit to the monasteries and ancient remains of Latrun (subscription).

The conference schedule is now posted for “Conrad Schick and His World,” hosted by the Albright Institute in Jerusalem on February 6-7. Registration closes on February 1 or when full, whichever comes first.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Arne Halbakken, Gordon Dickson, Ted Weis, Wayne Stiles, Mondo Gonzales, Alexander Schick, Charles Savelle, Keith Keyser, Explorator

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The Jerusalem Post has the story of a discovery that is potentially one of the top 10 of all time in biblical archaeology, if it is true. Gershon Galil, professor at Haifa University, claims that he has discovered and deciphered a couple of inscriptions in or near Hezekiah’s Tunnel that identify Hezekiah as the maker of the tunnel, give the very day of its construction, and describe other accomplishments of the king that agree with the biblical account. My hesitation is based in part on the fact that the article cites no other scholars and Galil has made some dubious claims—seeing inscriptions where others do not—in the recent past. And I’m always suspicious when a dramatic claim confirms the scholar’s previous conclusions, whether liberal or conservative. Luke Chandler has some additional information from Galil’s peer-reviewed Facebook page.

A wooden box containing 15 silver coins from the Maccabean period that was discovered earlier this year in the Judean Wilderness will go on display at the Hasmonean Museum. The IAA produced a 2-minute video of the discovery.

A rare, half-shekel coin from the Great Revolt from 66 CE to 70 CE during the Second Temple period has been discovered in Jerusalem’s Ophel excavations south of the Temple Mount.”

“The Tower of David Museum in Jerusalem recently unearthed dozens of bronze and iron arrowheads dating from around the time of the Maccabees.” They were found in a cardboard box sitting behind the air conditioner.

More than 60 tombs from the Roman period have been discovered in an ancient cemetery in the Gaza Strip.

The NPR’s “picture show” on the shrinking Dead Sea includes a number of striking photos.

Alan Rosenbaum describes his recent tour of the Western Wall Tunnels excavations, including an Israelite four-room house, the Great Bridge, and a mikveh.

Tom Powers recommends a new book entitled Nine Quarters of Jerusalem: A New Biography of the Old City, by Matthew Teller.

Israel expects to have 2.5 million tourists visit this year.

The Dan Pearl Hotel, opened near the Jaffa Gate in 1996, will be demolished to make way for a new hotel.

“Plans for a large recreational park in the Negev in southern Israel, an expected tourism hotspot likened to Israel’s answer to EuroDisney, are inching closer to the construction pipeline.”

Israel has been ranked the fifth safest country in the world for tourists to visit.

My university’s magazine has an article about my use of photographs in the classroom (page 48; or a simpler web version here). The short version: I think it’s a good idea.

HT: Agade, Arne Halbakken, Ted Weis, Wayne Stiles, Charles Savelle, Keith Keyser, Gordon Dickson, Explorator

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A lead sling bullet has been discovered in Yavne bearing an inscription showing that it may have belonged to a Greek soldier in the war against the Hasmoneans during the Hellenistic Period.”

The Times of Israel has more about the Roman road discovered in Galilee, with photos.

“In an unusual collaboration, archaeologists in Israel are working with police to analyze prints left on fifth- or sixth-century pottery shards.”

The Temple Mount Sifting Project recently had to “carry out excavations in landscaping terraces into which soil removed from the Temple Mount was placed for long-term storage about 15 years ago.”

Nava Panitz-Cohen explains what we know about various references in the Bible to pots, bowls, jugs, and other cookware.

In the latest video from Expedition Bible, Joel Kramer goes to Ketef Hinnom to look at the discovery of the oldest copy of Scripture.

Chandler Collins writes about the history of the discovery and significance of Robinson’s Arch in Jerusalem.

Meital Sharabi describes some of the sights to see in Nazareth.

Logos has Craig Evans’s “Jesus and Archaeology” mobile ed course on sale for $25.

John DeLancey is leading a tour next June that incorporates the “Gallelujah Festival” into its itinerary.

New release: An Accidental Archaeologist: A Personal Memoir, by Eric M. Meyers (Cascade, $30; Amazon).

The Institute of Biblical Culture has announced its 2023 Biblical Hebrew course.

ASOR webinar on Dec 15: “From Paganism to Christianity to Islam: The Transformation of Ancient Caesarea,” with Marsha Rozenblit, Yael Aron, Anna Iamim, and Jennifer Stabler.

Bryan Windle, who writes so many good posts at Bible Archaeology Review, is raising money so he can join next year’s excavation at Shiloh.

Carl Rasmussen shares photos from his recent visit to the theater/odeum at the Herodium.

In a well-illustrated post, Leen Ritmeyer explains why he believes that Jesus was born not in a cave but in the stable block of a large ancestral home in Bethlehem, possibly the “habitation of Chimham” mentioned in Jeremiah 41:17.

HT: Agade, Arne Halbakken, Gordon Dickson, Keith Keyser, Explorator

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Today we released a music video for Psalm 23, featuring the beautiful “Adonai Ro’i” song by Miqedem and illustrated with photos from our collection. The song is in Hebrew, the very words composed by David in ancient Judah 3,000 years ago, and played by a band of believers in Israel. I think it’s one of the best videos of Psalm 23 ever created.

You can watch the video here, and if you like it, it would be a great help if you could share, like, and comment. Thank you.

Title-slide-for-Psalm-23-video_r3th

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Forty-four pure gold coins were recently found hidden in a wall during excavations at the Banias archaeological site.” The coins were minted in the reigns of the last two Byzantine emperors before the Muslim conquest in AD 635.

Mahmoud Hawari has a brief report on the Khirbat al-Mafjar Archaeological Project at Jericho.

As a follow-up to his previous post about a 1st-century synagogue at Chorazin, Carl Rasmussen shares some photos taken earlier this week on the current restoration project.

Leen Ritmeyer shares a number of reconstruction drawings from the Double Gate in Jerusalem, which he identifies with the Beautiful Gate of Acts 3.

The Museum of the Bible and DIVE (Digital Interactive Virtual Experiences) are hosting a virtual tour of the Kidron and Hinnom Valleys on November 9. The cost is $20.

Ferrell Jenkins provides some history and photos of Tirzah, the second capital of the northern kingdom of Israel.

Zoom lecture on Oct 26: “One Site, Two Peoples: Phoenicians and Jews at Kedesh of the Upper Galilee,” by Andrea Berlin

Bryan Windle has written another well-illustrated archaeological biography, this one on Hazael, the Aramean king who boasted of defeating Israel and the “house of David” in the famous Tel Dan Inscription.

New release: Encyclopedia of Material Culture in the Biblical World. A New Biblisches Reallexikon, edited by Angelika Berlejung with P.M. Michèle Daviau, Jens Kamlah, and Gunnar Lehmann (Mohr Siebeck, $223).

Eretz Magazine has created a new travel guide to the Herodium, lavishly illustrated with photos, maps, and reconstructions.

New subscribers to Approaching Jerusalem (Chandler Collins) receive a free e-booklet, “Golden Heights: Five Accessible Panoramas of Jerusalem.”

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

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What scholars once believed was an ancient synagogue near Khirbet Midras is actually a Roman temple. Haaretz has the story for subscribers.

A silver quarter-shekel from Year 4 of the First Jewish Revolt that was looted from the Elah Valley has now been returned to Israel. The coin is so rare that there are none in any of Israel’s museums.

With the announcement pending of the most beautiful mosaic floor ever discovered in the Gaza Strip, scholars are calling for greater protection of the area’s antiquities.

Bible History Daily’s latest OnSite video is of the Herodium. Nathan Steinmeyer has packed a lot of information and images into just over two minutes.

Chandler Collins has posted the first “Jerusalem Tracker,” with links to recent articles, books, lectures, and developments related to Jerusalem. This is like a roundup on steroids, all focused on one important city. (You can support his work here.)

The Museum of the Bible and DIVE (Digital Interactive Virtual Experiences) are hosting a virtual tour of Masada on October 19. Registration costs $20.

A new exhibition entitled “Arteology: The Power of the Ancients in Contemporary Forms” has opened near the Davidson Center in Jerusalem.

New release: The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Nag Hammadi Codices: Selected Papers from the Conference “The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Nag Hammadi Codices” in Berlin, 20–22 July 2018 (hardback $167; pdf free).

Martin Heide and Joris Peters write about “Camels in the Biblical World of the Ancient Near East.” Their evidence for their use over the millennia observes the use of domesticated camels in the time of Abraham.

In the latest episode of BiblicalWorld, “Chris McKinny and Mark Janzen discuss the early vs. late date for the date of the exodus, date of the conquest, the emergence of Israel in the land of Canaan, settlement patterns in Canaan, and biblical chronology.”

“The Kerem Tunnel, the first bicycle tunnel in Israel, has been inaugurated as part of the Jerusalem Ring Path, a 42-kilometer cycling route that surrounds the capital city.”

We have a good deal right now for the brand-new Photo Companion to Hebrews (only $39 for 1,950 photos). Or you can pick up all of the General Epistles for only $49 (4,800 photos).

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

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