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Bryan Windle identifies the top three reports in biblical archaeology in December.

Funding has been allocated to install a new, retractable floor in the Colosseum of Rome. The restored version will include replicas of trapdoors, lifts and other mechanical elements.

Michael Arnold explains how Phoenicia’s banking and commerce allowed them to thrive in the Mediterranean world for a millennium.

A new project is examining the impact of dams on archaeology and heritage in the Middle East and North Africa.

New: Jerusalem and Other Holy Places as Foci of Multireligious and Ideological Confrontation, edited by Pieter B. Hartog, Shulamit Laderman, Vered Tohar, and Archibald L.H.M. van Wieringen

New: M. Campeggi, Karkemish. Report on the Investigations in the Area of the Halaf Kilns at Yunus, by M. Campeggi (fascicle for purchase; download free)

New: Zoara, the Southern Ghor of Jordan: A Guide to the Landscape and Heritage of the Lowest Place on Earth, by Konstantinos D. Politis (open access)

Francesco M. Benedettucci has created a very extensive listing of internet resources on the archaeology of Jordan. The latest updates are provided on his Academia page.

Mark Wilson has published an article in Adalya: “The Discovery of a Menorah in Attalia (Kaleici, Antalya) and its Significance for Jewish Communities in Pamphylia” (pdf).

Online lecture on Jan 5: Ido Koch will be speaking on “One Hundred Years of Assyrian Colonialism,” from the campaigns of Tiglath-pileser III to Ashurbanipal. To receive the Zoom link, write to write to [email protected].

Online lecture on Jan 14: Why are the Dead Sea Scrolls so Sensational?, by James Charlesworth

“Alex Joffe, JP Dessel, and Rachel Hallote announce a new podcast, This Week in the Ancient Near East. Recent episodes feature discussions of the role of a comet in ushering in plant and animal domestication, the discovery of cannabis and frankincense in a Judean temple, an Iron Age figurine suggested to depict the face of God, and other new and interesting finds.” Listen or subscribe on Podbean, Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts.

The latest on Thin End of the Wedge podcast: Daniel Nicky: Teaching Mesopotamia through music.

In a flashy new video, Aren Maeir invites you to join his team in excavating the Philistine city of Gath this coming summer.

Mike Beall and Mike Markowitz provide a tour of coins of the Bible in a 33-minute video conversation.

Carl Rasmussen gives some suggestions for enjoying what he considers to be the most beautiful museum in Athens: The New Acropolis Museum.

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

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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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Archaeologists have found a ritual bath from the first century at the traditional site of the Garden of Gethsemane.

Palestinian farmers have discovered a Hasmonean fortress that can be explored but not excavated.

Archaeologists have recreated a realistic ancient floor from the courts of the Jerusalem temple in Herod’s day.

“A unique Byzantine-era blessing token featuring baby Jesus was recently unveiled by the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.”

A new study in dental calculus reveals that “that ancient Mediterranean civilizations were importing everything from chickens to black pepper and vanilla from as far away as India and Indonesia.”

“An olive press in ancient Yodfat, in northern Israel, sheds light on the role of olive oil in Jews’ lives 2,000 years ago” (Haaretz premium).

“Long Live King David” is a new 1-hour documentary featuring Israel Finkelstein, Yossi Garfinkel, and Eilat Mazar.

Rami Arav recently discussed a pair of spooning skeletons he excavated at et-Tell, a Geshurite city near biblical Bethsaida.

Aren Maeir shares photos from his recent visit to the Museum of the Philistine Culture in Ashdod.

Gideon Avni will be lecturing on Jan 6 at 5pm GMT by Zoom on “Jerusalem between Late Antiquity and Early Islam—The Creation of a Multicultural City.” An announcement is not yet posted online, but you can register at the email address on this page.

The Carta Jerusalem Bible Reference Collection (13 vols) for Logos Bible Software ships soon.

Recordings of 2020 lectures for the Anglo-Israel Archaeological Society are available on their website.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Explorator

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Archaeologists are excavating a large defensive moat at an 9th-8th century BC Phoenicia colony in Spain.

“Curator St John Simpson reveals what happened after he saw a rare plaque from ancient Iraq on an online auction site.”

“Researchers have found evidence of the oldest gynaecological treatment on record, performed on a woman who lived in Ancient Egypt some 4,000 years ago.”

The first-ever archaeological replicas factory in Egypt is under construction.

Preparations are underway for transporting 22 royal mummies to the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization.

A neurologist in Iraq has spent more than 15 years photographing his country and sharing those pictures with the world.

Don McNeeley reports on the annual meeting of the Near East Archaeological Society held last month.

Michaeline Wilkins divided the Hebrew of the Song of Songs into male and female parts and then she and her husband read the text.

Zoom webinar on Dec 22: The Dead Sea Scrolls and the New Testament, by Lawrence H. Schiffman. Registration required.

Zoom lecture on Dec 23: Writing on the Wall: Graffiti and the Forgotten Jews of Antiquity, by Karen Stern

Thin End of the Wedge podcast: Nicolò Marchetti: Nineveh 2020. How and why archaeology?

A Roman warship is the latest Legos Ideas project to reach 10,000 supporters.

Susan Masten identifies the 10 most important ancient coins ever minted.

Ferrell Jenkins looks at three strata of paganism at Pergamum, the city “where Satan dwells.”

Tutku Tours has a few spots left for familiarization trips for professors this spring to Turkey and Jordan. Two great reasons to consider joining: (1) Mark Wilson is leading; (2) $1,990 includes air. (It costs almost that much just for the entrance ticket to Petra!)

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

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An intact oil lamp from the Hasmonean period was discovered on the Siloam/Pilgrimage Road in the City of David.

An oil lamp workshop from the 4th century AD, first found in the 1930s, has been rediscovered at Beth Shemesh.

“A complete rare, early Islamic-era oil lamp workshop from ancient Tiberias on the shores of the Sea of Galilee has gone on display at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.”

Renovation works at the “Tower of David” in Jerusalem is leading to new discoveries.

Archaeologists conducting salvage digs in Jaffa over the last decade discovered a baby buried in a jar, Phoenician burials, Hellenistic farms, a Byzantine winepress, and more. Haaretz provides a summary; the full issue of Atiqot is available here.

Excavations in Amman, Jordan, have uncovered Roman baths and a crematorium near the city’s amphitheater.

Haaretz reports on the Herodian palace at Macherus where  archaeologists believe that have located the place where Salome danced before Antipas.

This article from April has some additional information and photos about the work of Ken Dark in Nazareth.

Chris McKinny is interviewed on Windows to the Bible. Part 1 looks at the story of David and Goliath (and more), and part 2 focuses on Saul’s death on Mount Gilboa and its aftermath.

The list of speakers and topics has been released for the Jerusalem University College’s online seminar.

Craig Dunning shares his thoughts on the new 1-2 Corinthians volume in the Photo Companion to the Bible series.

Yesterday Dr. Eugene Merrill, an esteemed mentor of mine, celebrated 60 years of marriage to his beloved, Dr. Janet Merrill. Many people know of Dr. Merrill’s prolific writing ministry, his decades of teaching at DTS, and his wise leadership at ETS, but fewer people know how he faithfully loves and serves his wife daily. He is a model to be emulated in every way.

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

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The statue of a priest’s head was discovered in the western theater of Laodicea.

X-rays are revealing the insides of an Egyptian mummy.

Restoration of a 2,000 year old burial cave in Croatia revealed the tomb of a Greek warrior.

National Geographic runs a well-illustrated piece on the Emperor Hadrian’s relationship with the city of Athens.

New: The British Museum’s Excavations at Nineveh, 1846–1855, by Geoffrey Turner

“Nineveh’s renowned cultural heritage museum, known for the Islamic State’s disastrous attack on its treasures, has finally reopened to the public.”

A 3-D model recently made of the site of Mari “showed major vandalism of the Royal Palace and a huge amount of illegal excavation throughout the site.”

A collection of 25 photographs illustrate important archaeological sites in the UAE.

Assyriologist Veysel Donbaz is interviewed about ancient languages and tablets discovered in Turkey.

Chariots in ancient Egypt were ridden not only by men, but also certain women as well.

Online seminar: “‘An even more unexpected find’: The Synagogue of Dura-Europos and its place in local history,” with Ted Kaizer on Dec 16.

David Moster has posted the first video in a new series: “American Cities Named for the Bible.”

V. M. Traverso writes about the four earliest NT manuscripts, though the 1st century dates he gives are earlier than generally accepted.

An unparalleled collection of Judaica amassed by one of the greatest Jewish dynasties in the world and not seen in public for over a century is to be sold at auction.”

Phillip J. Long reviews A Rooster for Asklepios, by Christopher D. Stanley, the latest in the genre of scholarly novel. He highly recommends it as one of the best with “an interesting plot line which is rich in details illustrating the Greco-Roman world of mid-first century Asia Minor.”

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

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