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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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The big story of the week was the announcement of the discovery in Jerusalem of a large administrative complex that dates to the time of Kings Hezekiah and Manasseh. The site is located about 2 miles south of the Old City, and finds included more than 120 LMLK jar handles. There are more photos here, and a video with drone footage here. A 5-minute news story includes an interview with the archaeologist.

While most excavations in Israel are cancelled this summer, Tel Azekah’s dig begins today with 45 students expected to participate.

A new outdoor archaeological exhibit has been created in the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City, featuring 180 items previously scattered around the area.

A fifth century baptismal font that was stolen from its original site by antiquity looters has been located and returned” to Tel Tekoa. Palestinian authorities accuse Israel of stealing the item from Bethlehem.

John DeLancey’s latest teaching video focuses on Beth Shean.

Carl Rasmussen posts a couple of photos of the Intermediate Bronze tombs at Deir Mirzbaneh.

Le Destroit is apparently a Crusader fortress near Atlit. I’m guessing you missed it on your tour of Israel. The tour continues to a sunken vessel and to Tel Dor.

Joel Kramer has announced an Israel Study Tour for March 2021.

Bryan Windle identifies the Top Three Reports in Biblical Archaeology for July.

Magen Broshi died on July 14. Broshi was an archaeologist for the Israel Department of Antiquities and Museums as well as Curator of the Shrine of the Book, Israel Museum.

HT: Joseph Lauer, Agade, Ted Weis, Mark Hoffman

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**When we updated our blog design earlier this month, we accidentally broke the system that sends posts out by email. With that now fixed, we are re-posting the recent roundups, one part each day through Friday.**

The digs may have stopped, but the stories have not. With no roundups the last two weeks, I have more than 60 items of interest to share in the coming days.

A seal and a seal impression found in Jerusalem are rare discoveries from the Persian period.

“A Second Temple period Jewish ritual bath was discovered by chance last month in the Lower Galilee and a group of locals are trying to save it from its current destiny of destruction.” There’s a video report here.

“A new study carried out on pottery items uncovered in the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron suggests the cave . . . was used and visited as a pilgrimage site during the First Temple Period.”

A new study suggests that many cisterns in the Negev may date back not to the Iron Age but to the Bronze Age. (Journal article for purchase here.)

The cancelled archaeology department at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary has found a new home at Lipscomb University in Nashville.

Steven Ortiz, formerly of SWBTS, is interviewed by Bryan Windle in the latest in the Discussions with the Diggers series.

Mark Lanier, who helped bring the SWBTS program to Lipscomb, is interviewed on The Book and the Spade.

Moshe Garsiel has proposed a new theory to support the location of Tell es-Sharia as biblical Ziklag.

Aren Maeir visited the excavations at Tel Hadid, which along with Tell Abu Shusha and Tel Azekah, is one of the few excavations in Israel that were not cancelled this summer.

A study claims that buses and shuttles are a better solution than the planned Old City cable car project.

A couple of officials of the City of David organization give a 40-minute tour of the Siloam Pool and the Pilgrimage Road to the Temple Mount.

Biblical Israel Ministries and Tours is hosting a “Top 10 Israel Photos” contest and offering prizes.

Accordance is offering a number of its graphics collections at big discounts, including:

  • Bible Lands PhotoGuide (all 6): $74.90
  • Pictorial Library of Bible Lands: Cultural Images of the Holy Land: $24.90
  • Pictorial Library of Bible Lands: Trees, Plants, and Flowers of the Holy Land: $24.90
  • Historic Views of the Holy Land: Views That Have Vanished: $24.90
  • Historic Views of the Holy Land: American Colony Collection: $89.90
  • Virtual Tour to the Temple: $39.90
  • The Virtual Bible (Enhanced): 3D Reconstructions of the Biblical World: $19.90
  • The Add-On Bundles include many resources at very good prices ($59; $119).

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Alexander Schick, Ted Weis, Charles Savelle, Jared Clark, Explorator

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A sceptre about 3,200 years old made of copper and coated in silver leaf found in the biblical city of Lachish could be the first evidence of life-sized ‘divine statues’ in the Levant.”

Excavations of the underground Siloam Street have been (or were) halted after engineering instruments detected that the ground was moving.

Contrary to previous belief, chalkstone vessels continued to be used in the Galilee for several centuries after the destruction of the Jerusalem temple.

“Israeli archaeologists have published a 360-degree analysis of a rural, affluent Christian town in the Galilee that was most likely destroyed by Persian invaders in 613.”

Analysis of bird remains excavated in Jerusalem confirmed that specific species of birds – pigeons, doves – were indeed sacrificed in the Temple as the biblical text suggests. The story is based on an article in the latest issue of BASOR.

Roman and Byzantine mosaic floors provide insights into how humans restrained animals by the use of cages, ropes, knots, other tethering devices.

“A large number of archaeological sites in the West Bank, including many that are part of Jewish history and tradition, will be placed or remain under Palestinian control according to US President Donald Trump’s peace plan.”

An Explainer piece by Rossella Tercatin in the Jerusalem Post reveals who is in control of the archaeological sites in the West Bank.

Why is the Israel Museum still closed?

Ferrell Jenkins shares some photos and insights about the Judean wilderness.

Daniel Santacruz shares a dozen photos of wildflowers he took near his home in Maale Adumim.

This week we released volume #20 in the Pictorial Library of the Bible Lands. The Western Mediterranean collection focuses on Roman sites in Gaul (France) and Hispania (Spain) and includes more than 1,400 photos and 25 PowerPoints. The sale price ($25) ends on Tuesday.

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

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A scholarly study uses radiocarbon dating to determine that “Wilson’s Arch was initiated by Herod the Great and enlarged during the Roman Procurators, such as Pontius Pilatus, in a range of 70 years, rather than 700 years, as previously discussed by scholars. The theater-like structure is dated to the days of Emperor Hadrian and left unfinished before 132–136 AD.”

A 1,800-year-old fountainhead in the shape of a face was uncovered by chance by a visitor at the Tzipori [Sepphoris] National Park in the Galilee.”

Rami Arav discusses his excavations at et-Tell and a newly discovered moon god stele (Haaretz premium).

Excavations will not be possible at el-Araj (Bethsaida?) this summer because of the high water level. The article includes many photos.

NPR has a story on the Israeli and Jordanian sides of the tourist site for Jesus’s baptism, including a discussion of creating a new “soft crossing” to allow tourists to enter Jordan from the Israeli side.

A new study of the DNA of 35 fragments from the Dead Sea Scrolls is providing insight into the diverse origins of the parchments.

Mark Vitalis Hoffman has published an interesting article on “Jesus and Jerusalem and the ‘Things That Make for Peace.” He has also created a video to supplement the article.

Gabriel Barkay is on The Book and the Spade this week talking about the archaeology of Jerusalem’s Temple Mount.

Israel’s Good Name had a productive trip scouting out the birds and fish at the Beit Zayit Reservoir west of Jerusalem.

A Jerusalem Post piece looks at the resumption of tourism in Israel and the safety measures being put in place.

From boom to bust: with tourism in Israel all but gone, tour guides are considering their options.

The Winter 2019 issue of the ACOR Newsletter is now available (high-res; low-res).

The Bible and Interpretation provides a selection about ancient Moab and the Mesha Stele from the new book by Burton MacDonald.

Gulf News has a write-up on artifacts from Saudi Arabia that are featured in the traveling “Roads of Arabia” exhibit.

Smithsonian magazine has a long, well-illustrated piece on archaeological work in and around Aigai, Philip II’s capital of Macedon. A massive new museum is scheduled to open in January.

The latest historical city travel guide by the British Museum is of Athens in the 5th century BC.

Some stories on re-opening: excavations in Turkey, Vatican Museums, Rome’s Colosseum, Pompeii, Al Ula, Israel’s museums, the Temple Mount.

Two Asian lion cubs were recently born at the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo.

HT: Joseph Lauer, Chris McKinny, Agade, Keith Keyser, Steven Anderson, Charles Savelle, Explorator

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