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The Antioch Seminar on Paul and Peter will be held from July 9 to 16, 2023. Mark Wilson is the program director, and the program includes visits to Antioch, Tarsus, Cyprus, Perga, and Antalya. This is a great opportunity to go deeper on an area of Turkey and Cyprus that is not on most tours.

Construction workers discovered a beautiful Roman mosaic in Hatay (near biblical Antioch on the Orontes).

The first four shrines of King Tut are now in their permanent location in the Grand Egyptian Museum.

“An analysis of the remains of a 2,000-year-old Egyptian mummy found that she may have suffered from nasopharyngeal cancer.”

“The reliefs at the Camel Site [in Saudi Arabia] thus provide unique insights into the yearly rhythm of the seasons and their symbolism for Neolithic populations.”

Webinar on August 28: “Columns as Cultural Capital: The Jordanian Practice of Gifting Archaeological Objects,” by Elizabeth R. Macaulay

HebrewPal (the Hebrew Palaeography Album) is a fully-searchable online database of Hebrew palaeography.”

Carl Rasmussen went to McDonalds near Rome in order to see a Roman road branching off from the via Appia. He shares photos. Also, Carl will be leading one large 33-day Bible Study Tour next year, divided into three segments.

Bible Mapper has created more free maps for everyone:

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Arne Halbakken

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Remains of a bridge over the Tiber built by Emperor Nero have been exposed by historically low levels of the river.

“Archaeologists have unearthed the ruins of what they believe was one of the greatest fire temples in Iran during the Sassanid age.”

A recent study of three Roman amphorae taken from a shipwreck revealed how Romans made wine.

Turkish Archaeological News posts a roundup of stories from the month of June.

“The mania for touring sites and treasures along the Nile is nearly as old as the pyramids of Giza. A recent wave of archaeological discoveries and museum openings has made the experience feel novel.” (subscription)

The new Archaeological Museum of Alexandroupolis has opened. The city is located near Greece’s border with Turkey.

The Met is now one of the most expensive museums in the world. The article lists other contenders.

“Two exhibitions at the Getty Villa explore the links between the Assyrian and the Persian Empires, which both revolved around powerful monarchs.” (subscription)

Zoom lecture on July 13: “Riddle of the Rosetta,” by Diane Josefowicz ($7)

New release: Moving on from Ebla, I Crossed the Euphrates: An Assyrian Day in Honour of Paolo Matthiae, edited by Davide Nadali, Lorenzo Nigro, Frances Pinnock (Archaeopress, 2022)

Carl Rasmussen shares photos of four emperor statues that were discovered in the cult room of the Augustales chapel at Herculaneum.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Explorator

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This year’s excavations at the Jewish synagogue of Huqoq in Galilee uncovered the first known depictions of Deborah and Jael.

“A professor at the University of Haifa claimed on Wednesday that he had deciphered a 3,500-year-old stone tablet discovered in Jerusalem more than a decade ago, contending that the artifact’s inscription was a curse against the city’s governor at the time.” In response, Christopher Rollston doubts whether it is an inscription at all, and he notes some troubling similarities with the Mount Ebal Lead Inscription.

A brush fire cleared the overgrowth at Tel Gezer but did not cause damage to the archaeological ruins. There are more photos and video (in Hebrew) here.

Week 3 has been the most productive week of excavations at Tel Burna this season.

Was Hezekiah’s Tunnel fitted with a sluice gate to allow water to flow into the Siloam Tunnel and Round Chamber? Chandler Collins summarizes a new theory and identifies some problems with it. You can also subscribe to Chandler’s new newsletter.

Bible History Daily has begun a series on excavations in biblical lands. The first post asks volunteers and students questions about their experiences in the ongoing excavations at Tel Hadid in the Tel Aviv area.

Jason Staples believes that from the exilic period on, the term “Jews” was a subset of the larger group of “Israelites.”

The Albright Institute has issued a call for applications for fellowships for the year 2023-2024.

New release: Women and the Religion of Ancient Israel, by Susan Ackerman (Anchor Yale Bible Reference Library, 2022). Also at Amazon.

New release: Encyclopedia of Material Culture in the Biblical World: A New Biblisches Reallexikon, edited by Angelika Berlejung (Mohr Siebeck, 2022).

Zoom lecture on July 14: “Water the Willow Tree: Memoirs of a Bethlehem Boyhood,” with book author George A. Kiraz talking with Sarah Irving and Jacob Norris.

Online on October 8-9: The 25th Annual Bible and Archaeology Fest, sponsored by the Biblical Archaeology Society and featuring more than 20 speakers.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Explorator

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Archaeologists working at Pompeii discovered the remains of a pregnant tortoise with her egg.

“Archeologists at the ancient Greek city of Kelenderis on the Turkish coast have, for the first time, discovered burial gifts, including glass bracelets, at a child’s grave along with a furnace for tile production.”

The National News has an illustrated story about a beautifully decorated tomb discovered a few years ago in the Decapolis city of Capitolias.

Asshur, the ancient capital of Assyria, will be flooded if construction work on a nearby dam is completed.

Hierapolis’s Plutonium (aka “gate to hell”) is now open to tourists for the first time. The vapors are still deadly, but visitors can approach the gate “from a safe distance” to peek into the portal to the underworld.

The Biblical Language Center is offering a number of live video classes in biblical Hebrew and Koiné Greek in the coming months.

Zoom lecture on July 14: “Food and Alcohol in the Hebrew Bible,” by Rebekah Walton

UCSD received a gift of $1 million to expand its program of archaeological studies of Israel and the eastern Mediterranean (subscription). Much of the money will go toward supporting cyber-archaeology.

Carl Rasmussen shares more photos of the only completely preserved building dedicated to the worship of Roman emperors in the 1st century.

Bryan Windle identifies the Top 3 Reports in Biblical Archaeology in the month of June as “stories related to the ancient empire of Mitanni, a Roman emperor, and a Jewish proselyte.”

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Arne Halbakken, Explorator

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The Shelby White & Leon Levy Lod Mosaic Archaeological Center has been dedicated, and the featured mosaic has returned after a world tour. “This is the Rolls Royce . . . the most visually impressive mosaic we have found.”

Scott Stripling is on The Book and the Spade with an excavation report from this year’s dig at Shiloh.

John DeLancey shares photos from his week of excavating Tel Dan.

Five marble statues from the Roman period have been put on display at the Tel Ashkelon National Park nearly 100 years after they were first excavated.

Australian Catholic University is partnering with the Israel Museum to create an interactive virtual showcase that will make the museum’s collection accessible worldwide.

The Times of Israel looks at challenges to archaeological discovery in the Gaza Strip.

The 2002 issue of ‘Atiqot includes excavation reports on Nain, Akko, Avdat, and more.

The Sea of Galilee will be the first natural lake in the world to be filled with desalinated water. This article has a good bit of information about the lake’s water levels.

“Numerous goddess figurines, ritual objects, as well as rich iconography, demonstrate that goddess worship was extremely important in the life of Israelite faith.”

BAS Quarterly Virtual Lecture on Sept 15: “The Archaeology of Qumran 75 Years after the Discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls,” by Jodi Magness ($10).

Jerusalem University College has released its slate of fall online courses, including:

  • Biblical Archaeology I, with Chris McKinny and Kyle Keimer
  • Contexts of the Holy City, with Chandler Collins
  • Cultural Backgrounds of the Bible, with Oliver Hersey

Writing for Bible History Daily, Steve Notley celebrates the life of Emanuel Hausman, founder of Carta Jerusalem.

I was a guest this week on the TheologyMom video podcast with Krista Bontrager, talking about “5 times geography shapes our view of the Bible.” I don’t think I had ever made a “top 5” list like this before, and I enjoyed pulling it together.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Arne Halbakken, Explorator

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Restoration experts are very carefully moving several large columns and Corinthian capitals from the Garden of Gethsemane to the Terra Sancta Museum. The columns may have originally belonged to the Roman temple that Hadrian built over Jesus’s temporary tomb.

Archaeologists discovered one of the oldest known mosques in the world in a salvage excavation in the Negev city of Rahat.

The 12th season has begun at Tel Burna, and you can see their dig plan here and the most recent excavation update here.

Yet again: Israel’s Environmental Ministry recommends building a canal linking the Dead and Red Seas (subscription). A few days earlier Jordan decided to cancel the stagnating plan.

Zoom lecture on June 29: “Disease & Death in the Early 1st Century CE,” by Julie Laskaris ($7).

An online lecture on July 6 will discuss the work being done to open up access to satellite imagery over Israel.

In part 2 of his David and Goliath series, Brad Gray looks at the contrast between David and Saul (which is, in my opinion, the central point of the story).

In the latest Biblical World podcast episode, Oliver Hersey talks with Paul Wright about Jesus and Jezreel.

Regular readers know that I greatly appreciate the books of Lois Tverberg, and her recent post is helpful in explaining the difference between the Rabbi Jesus books and whether they should be read in any order. Her first “Rabbi Jesus” book was Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus.

Israel MyChannel has a number of videos with original 3D models of Jerusalem. For instance, this one gives a tour of Jerusalem in the time of Jesus. Impressive.

Upcoming DIVE (Digital Interactive Virtual Experiences) tours through the Museum of the Bible ($20 ea.):

  • The Southern Steps and the Davidson Center: July 13, 2022
  • Ancient Shiloh: August 10, 2022
  • Armageddon — The Valley of Megiddo: September 7, 2022
  • Masada: October 19, 2022
  • The Valleys of Jerusalem — Kidron and Hinnom: November 9, 2022
  • Caesarea: December 7, 2022

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Arne Halbakken

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