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A curious tour guide found a stash of ancient coins all lumped together on the beach of Atlit.

An Israeli girl found a Byzantine-era coin at the ancient site of Chorazin during a scavenger hunt game.

Haaretz (premium) posts some photos of recent finds made in the excavations of Azekah.

Construction has begun on a controversial elevator at the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron.

“New research based on the analysis of dozens of pottery vessels has suggested has shown that in the period between the Assyrian conquest and the Babylonian destruction, a new cultural group emerged in the biblical Kingdom of Judah.”

Live Science has a follow-up article on the 8th-century earthquake evidence found in Jerusalem with responses from scholars who agree with the earthquake conclusion.

Chris McKinny and Kyle Keimer discuss the site of Khirbet er-Ra‘i/Arai, including the “Jerubbaal” inscription and whether the site should be identified as biblical Ziklag.

The latest episode in This Week in the Ancient Near East podcast considers the significance of the “Jerubbaal” inscription.

There are more archaeological connections to the reign of King Jehoash than you might think, as Bryan Windle shows in his latest archaeological biography.

If you’re in Jerusalem this month or next, you can try out the ropes course or the zip line at the Tower of David Museum.

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

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Archaeologists believe that they have greater clarity about the roads in the southern Judean desert leading to Edom following the examination of a site near Nahal Gorer. The underlying journal article is available to PEQ subscribers.

Haaretz follows up on the Jerubaal inscription discovery with a report fashioned as a back-and-forth between David Vanderhooft and Christopher Rollston, with the former suggesting the inscription may have been Zerbaal or Ezerbaal, and the latter sticking with his original interpretation of Jerubaal.

Excavations are underway at el-Araj (Bethsaida?), and updates are posted daily on their website.

The 25th and final summer season of excavations at Tell es-Safi/Gath has concluded. They have had a remarkable run.

Haaretz surveys the debate between Erez Ben-Yosef and Israel Finkelstein on the effect of “architectural bias” in drawing conclusions about Israel’s United Monarchy.

Naama Yahalom-Mack writes about the history of iron in ancient Israel.

Naama Barak writes about the mystery of the 1,400 dog burials at Ashkelon during the Persian period.

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

Construction has begun on a new reception center at the traditional Shepherds’ Field site near Bethlehem.

A music historian plans to restore a 12th-century organ discovered beneath the Basilica of the Nativity in Bethlehem. The instrument is the oldest known example of a pipe organ.

Shea Sumlin is on the GTI podcast talking about what it was like to be one of the first tour groups to be back in Israel.

Joseph L. Rife reviews A Walk to Caesarea: A Historical-Archaeological Perspective, by Joseph Patrich.

2nd edition released: The Archaeology of Qumran and the Dead Sea Scrolls, by Jodi Magness.

One of the books on sale at Logos right now is the Zondervan Handbook of Biblical Archaeology, by Randall Price with H. Wayne House ($9).

John DeLancey’s new Institute of Biblical Israel is launching a new course on biblical archaeology tomorrow.

HT: Agade, Arne Halbakken, Wayne Stiles, Joseph Lauer, Ted Weis, Explorator, Mark Hoffman, Roger Schmidgall, Paleojudaica

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Two discoveries were announced this week that will both likely make the “top 10” list for 2021: a Jerubbaal inscription and a city wall of Jerusalem. Those will summarized at greater length here tomorrow and Monday.

Archaeologists have discovered remains of an uneaten pig in a house in the City of David dating to about 700 BC. The underlying journal article is here.

Two coins from the First and Second Jewish Revolts were discovered in an archaeological survey in eastern Benjamin. The survey report was published in the Near East Archaeological Society Bulletin.

Week 2 has concluded at the Tell es-Safi/Gath excavations, and Aren Maeir is faithful as always to post updates and photos. The most recent is here.

Eve Harow interviewed Aren Maeir on the Rejuvenation podcast.

Gordon Govier reviews the discoveries and developments in biblical archaeology this summer on The Book and the Spade podcast.

Once again, Bryan Windle has a post that you could adapt for a lecture or lesson, with his Top 10 Discoveries Related to Abraham.

“In ‘Legend of Destruction,’ Gidi Dar’s new film about the destruction of the Second Temple, artists David Polonsky and Michael Faust faced a serious challenge: make an animation movie composed entirely of still paintings. It took them eight years to complete” (Haaretz premium).

Glenn Schwartz believes that “the world’s first fully developed alphabetic writing arrived on the scene some 500 years earlier than what archaeologists have long believed.” Christopher Rollston offers his reflections.

New release: Ramat Raḥel VI: The Renewed Excavations by the Tel Aviv–Heidelberg Expedition (2005–2010). The Babylonian-Persian Pit, by Oded Lipschits, Liora Freud, Manfred Oeming, and Yuval Gadot. Save 30% with code NR21.

Excavation of the second Khufu Boat has concluded, and final restoration work is now being done at the Grand Egyptian Museum.

David Ian Lightbody writes about the origin of the cartouche in Old Kingdom Egypt.

Italian authorities have recovered 782 ancient artifacts stolen by a Belgian art collector.

“The Colosseum Archaeological Park reopens the House of the Vestal Virgins to the public fully on 6 July following an extensive restoration that began in 2013.”

The Museum with No Frontiers has launched a new website.

Here are some recent episodes on Digging for Truth:

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Ted Weis, Arne Halbakken, Steven Anderson, Charles Savelle, Roger Schmidgall, Explorator

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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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About the BiblePlaces Blog

The BiblePlaces Blog provides updates and analysis of the latest in biblical archaeology, history, and geography. Unless otherwise noted, the posts are written by Todd Bolen, PhD, Professor of Biblical Studies at The Master’s University.

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