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Aren Maeir and colleagues have written three articles in the forthcoming Israel Exploration Journal that raises questions about the Mount Ebal “curse inscription,” including “whether it is an inscription, its dating, its function (it is most probably a mundane lead fishing weight) and other issues.” The story is reported by The Jerusalem Post and Haaretz.

A new study of lion bones discovered at Tel Burna suggests that local leaders displayed them as trophies of their prowess. Ruth Schuster’s article includes a lot of more general information about lions in the ancient world.

Zoom lecture on Dec 6: “The Schooling of a Scribe in Ancient Israel,” by Christopher Rollston, hosted by the Anglo-Israel Archaeological Society.

The Near East Archaeological Society has a list of twenty papers given at the recent conference in San Antonio. Videos of three of the presentations have been posted:

  • The Kingdom of the Palastin: Sea Peoples of the North?, by Brian Janeway
  • The Late Date versus the Early Date at the Mount Ebal Altar, by Abigail Leavitt
  • Fifth Excavation Season at Shiloh, by Scott Stripling

Bryan Windle surveys the top three reports in biblical archaeology for the month of November.

Bible Mapper Atlas links to a series of free maps related to Christmas.

Carl Rasmussen is leading a “comprehensive 35-day Bible Study Tour to Israel/Jordan, Turkey, and Greece.” Participants can join one or more of the segments of the trip. (The Turkey portion looks particularly outstanding to me.)

Kristine Garroway discusses children in ancient Israel in the latest episode of Biblical World.

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

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A new study reports on some of the earliest evidence of warfare—424 biconical slingstones from the Early Chalcolithic period discovered at two sites in northern Israel.

Chandler Collins has produced his latest Jerusalem Tracker, with the latest news, publications, and media about the holy city.

The latest issue of DigSight, produced by the Institute of Archaeology at Southern Adventist University, has stories on a new museum exhibit, the inscribed ivory comb, and a new Archaeology and Cultural Background Study Bible.

The Biblical Archaeology Society has announced its publication awards for 2023 in the following categories:

  • Best Book on Archaeology
  • Best Dig Report
  • Best Book on the Hebrew Bible
  • Best Book on the New Testament

Bryan Windle discusses the top ten archaeological discoveries related to the book of Joshua on a latest episode of Digging for Truth.

Israel’s Good Name reports on a berry-picking expedition near Shiloh that he went on this summer.

James R. Strange is on The Book and the Spade discussing his new book, Excavating the Land of Jesus.

Jerusalem University College has announced its online courses for the spring semester, including:

HT: Agade, Arne Halbakken, Keith Keyser

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A mosaic in a 4th-century Roman villa in Cappadocia now measures 6,000 square feet, and they’re not done digging. (Most of the photos don’t seem to be showing up right now.) This article has a few images, and this one has a video made with still images.

“Turkey has unveiled a new archaeology research centre that includes the country’s first archaeometry laboratory and vast digital archive” in the city of Gaziantep.

“On the plateau overlooking the ancient Pyramids of Giza in Egypt, a major outdoor art exhibition brings together the work of 14 international contemporary artists who have created site-specific installations responding to the iconic monuments.”

Sara E. Cole writes about current research into the “Book of the Dead” texts in the Getty Collection.

New release: The Nubian Pharaohs of Egypt: Their Lives and Afterlives, by Aidan Dodson (AUC Press, $35)

New release: Women in Ancient Egypt: Revisiting Power, Agency, and Autonomy, edited by Mariam F. Ayad (AUC Press, $95)

Zoom lecture on Dec 5: “Crafting Luxury: Dress in Ancient Persia,” by Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones. “In conjunction with the British Museum’s recent exhibition Luxury and Power: Persia to Greece, it was decided to attempt to create the types of garments worn by the elite of the Persian court in the Achaemenid period.”

Rome Reborn 4.0 is a digital model of Rome as it appeared in the year AD 320. Users are able “to glide above the historic landmarks while listening to expert narrations about 43 monuments, temples, structures, and locations.”

One of the books highly discounted for Accordance right now is What the Old Testament Authors Really Cared About: A Survey of Jesus’ Bible, edited by Jason DeRouchie. This is my preferred textbook for Old Testament class, and I wrote the chapter on 1-2 Chronicles. On sale for $20. Amazon has it in hardcover for $47.

At a festschrift celebration, Gary Rendsburg gives a 20-minute presentation about his 45 years in academic life.

HT: Agade, Arne Halbakken

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A new dataset of radiocarbon dates from Gezer “provides an independent source of absolute dates that will allow researchers to better understand the events at Gezer and to place them in a regional perspective.” Of particular interest is that the Solomon gate dates to the time of Solomon, contrary to the Low Chronology promoted by Finkelstein who calls the study “meaningless.” The underlying journal article is here.

When the war began in Israel on October 7, Israel’s museums acted quickly to protect their most precious artifacts.

Avshalom Halutz writes a “short history of Gaza,” reviewing the last 5,000 years of the coastal city’s conflicts (Haaretz premium

Ariel David reports on the recent study that argues that Jerusalem’s Millo was “defensive complex that protected the ancient water spring of Jerusalem for centuries.”

Online lecture in the BAS Scholars Series on Dec 6: “The Life of Jesus Written in Stone: The Earliest Commemorative Churches in Roman Palestine,” by Jordan Ryan, Wheaton College ($10)

Online “gala event” on Dec 10: “New Discoveries in the Temple Mount Sifting Project Research,” with Zachi Dvira, Gabriel Barkay, Haim Shaham, Anat Mendel-Geberovich, and Mordechai Kedar

New release: From Nomadism to Monarchy? Revisiting the Early Iron Age Southern Levant, edited by Ido Koch, Oded Lipschits and Omer Sergi (Eisenbrauns, $100)

Jerusalem Seminary is offering a 6-week audit-only version of “Israel Matters: A Theology of People and Land,” with Gerald McDermott, for only $79. A full description is here.

Now online: A Biblical Archaeology Conference held last Saturday, hosted by the Institute for Creation Research, with presentations by Randall Price and Tom Meyer

Bible Mapper Atlas has added a number of new maps in the last few months:

HT: Agade, Arne Halbakken

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My longtime colleague William Varner has traveled to Israel more than 50 times, and a few years ago he worked with a team to film a complete tour. The resulting video series has been used with great effect in several courses at The Master’s University, and now TMU’s Center for Thinking Biblically has made the entire series available for free—no tuition required!

Here is a quick index of the eight sections, with notes to help you navigate to specific episodes.

Old Jerusalem (12 episodes, including the topography of Jerusalem, Church of the Holy Sepulcher, Christ Church, and the Tower of David Museum)

City of David (15 episodes, including Hezekiah’s Tunnel, Pool of Siloam, Davidson Museum, Kidron Valley tombs, and Southern Steps)

Temple Mount and more (19 episodes, including Mount of Olives, Jerusalem model, the Shrine of the Book, Western Wall Tunnel, Bethlehem, Herodium, and four episodes on Hebron)

Mount Zion and more (14 episodes, including Burnt House, Temple Institute, Via Dolorosa, Pools of Bethesda, Schindler’s Grave, and Garden Tomb)

Benjamin and Jericho (12 episodes, including Michmash, Wadi Qelt, High Place of Gibeon, and the Mount of Temptation)

Negev and more (22 episodes, including Gezer, Azekah, Lachish, Beersheba, Arad, Tabernacle Model, Masada, and Qumran)

Nazareth and more (17 episodes, including Caesarea, Mount Carmel, Megiddo, Jezreel, Mount Tabor, and Sepphoris)

Galilee and more (21 episodes, including Capernaum, Gamla, Caesarea Philippi, Dan, Beth Shean, Ai, Shiloh, and Mount Gerizim)

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A team of archaeologists “has found the oldest-known example of the use of organic red pigments to color an object—in this case, beads” discovered in a cave on Mount Carmel.

Expedition Bible tackles the question of where Jerusalem’s Temple Mount is (and where it is not). I’m glad to see them address this issue in light of much foolishness which is circulating.

The Israel Antiquities Authority presented an online lecture series this week, “We Will Not be Defeated: From Crisis to Revival in the Archaeology of the Land of Israel.” All are available on the IAA’s Facebook page:

In the newest episode in the Flora & Faith series, Brad Gray looks at the Atad tree, central to Jotham’s parable in Judges 9.

Exhibition at the Met: Maxime Du Camp’s Photographs of the Eastern Mediterranean and North Africa

Thomas West has created a list of the “25 best movies set in the ancient world.”

A statue of Cyrus the Great will be unveiled in Atlanta today.

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

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