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Archaeologists working on Mount Zion have discovered, for the first time ever, destruction levels from the Romans and the Babylonians in the same space. Shimon Gibson believes that the evidence from the Persian period suggests that Nehemiah’s wall included not only the City of David but also the Western Hill.

“Ground-penetrating radar is revealing the secrets of a Roman legion camp near Tel Megiddo, including the ancient camp’s amphitheater for combat training.”

Chris McKinny and Joe Uziel write about “The Millo: Jerusalem’s Lost Monument” in the forthcoming issue of Biblical Archaeology Review. They discuss the subject in a video interview with Nathan Steinmeyer.

Bible Archaeology Report has created a list of the top ten discoveries related to the book of Isaiah.

Jerusalem Seminary has been given a grant to provide discounts on tuition for their fall courses. The grant also enables increased scholarships.

Jordan has a severe water crisis.

A rockslide at the waterfall in Nahal David at En Gedi led to the death of an 8-year-old boy and injuries to eight others. The Yonatan Bar David mentioned in the article is from Yad HaShmonah.

Amnon Ben-Tor, the director of excavations at Hazor since 1990, died on Tuesday at the age of 88.

An expanded edition has just been released of Amnon Ben-Tor’s Hazor: Canaanite Metropolis, Israelite City (Israel Exploration Society, 180₪)

Conference on Sept 11-12 at Ariel University: “Boundaries and Influences in the Archeology of Israel and the Eastern Mediterranean”

Ferrell Jenkins shares photos of carob pods like those that were eaten by the prodigal son.

The Bible Mapper Blog is now the Bible Mapper Atlas, with more than 150 maps freely available. You can find lists organized by historical event and by region here.

HT: Agade, Arne Halbakken, John Black, Alexander Schick, Explorator

The recently collapsed section of the Roman aqueduct at Caesarea. Photo by Michael Schneider

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Archaeologists discovered an Akkadian tablet from 1800 BC during excavations of a palace in ancient Alalakh in southern Turkey.

Excavations of the tophet in Carthage uncovered “five gold coins from 2,300 years ago, tombstones and several urns with the remains of animals, infants and premature babies.”

Two new fragments of the Fasti Ostienses have been discovered in the Ostia Antica Archaeological Park.”

A 1st-century BC synagogue has been discovered in southwestern Russia. It stood for more than 500 years before it was likely destroyed.

“Coal miners in Serbia have discovered the remains of a large wooden boat likely used by the Romans to supply a nearby city and military headquarters on the empire’s frontier.”

“Once quiet backwater departments of Assyriology (sometimes called Sumerology or Mesopotamian studies) are suddenly hotbeds of innovation” with the help of AI.

“The ‘miracle’ plant Silphium consumed by Ancient Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians, which was thought to have become extinct two thousand years ago, has recently been rediscovered in Turkey by a professor, who thinks he’s found a botanical survivor.”

“The distinctive transdisciplinary approach of the recently established Yale Ancient Pharmacology Program (YAPP) may provide keys to [the] rediscovery” of the use of ancient plants.

Zoom tour on Aug 23: “The First Half of History: A Virtual Tour of the Yale Babylonian Collection,” by Ekhart Frahm and Agnete Lassen ($7)

Zoom lecture on Aug 31: “Who Really Invented the Alphabet?,” by Seth Sanders ($6/12). Season passes for the Friends of ASOR Webinar Series are now available. You can also purchase recordings from previous seasons’ webinars.

“The Corning Museum of Glass is pleased to announce its 61st Annual Seminar on Glass, a two-day program of online sessions that complements the special exhibition Dig Deeper: Discovering an Ancient Glass Workshop.” All are welcome, and there is no charge for the Oct 19-20 event.

New release: Scientific Traditions in the Ancient Mediterranean and Near East, edited by Sofie Schiødt, Amber Jacob and Kim Ryholt (NYU Press, $85)

New release: The Routledge Handbook of Museums, Heritage, and Death, edited by Trish Biers, Katie Stringer Clary (Routledge, $216/$46)

ACOR has signed agreements with the Jordanian Department of Antiquities to restore the Kerak Castle, the Byzantine church in Aqaba, and the Beit Ras Amphitheater.

Geoffrey Lenox-Smith describes what he saw on a tour in a “soft opening” of the Grand Egyptian Museum.

HT: Agade, Gordon Dickson, Al Sandalow, Will Varner, Arne Halbakken, Roger Schmidgall, Keith Keyser, Wayne Stiles, Explorator

The visit of a rabbi to Jerusalem was met with great excitement by his followers.

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Jerusalem Seminary is going strong, with more classes than ever being offered this fall. This is the first time they’re offering all three levels of Biblical Hebrew as a living language, all taught by believing Israeli teachers. And they have a number of other interesting courses. Here’s a brief rundown, with links for more information.

Biblical Hebrew as a Living Language (Level 1), US time slot taught by two JS Hebrew for the Nations certified Israeli teachers.

Biblical Hebrew as a Living Language (Level 1), Asia/Pacific time slot taught by two JS Hebrew for the Nations certified Israeli teachers.

Biblical Hebrew as a Living Language (Level 2), taught by two JS Hebrew for the Nations certified Israeli teachers.

Biblical Hebrew as a Living Language (Level 3), taught by two JS Hebrew for the Nations certified Israeli teachers.

Life and Land of Yeshua, taught by Gary Alley, MA.

Early Christian Worship in its Jewish Context, taught by Brittany Loewenstein, MM.

Faith, Ministry and Politics in the Middle East, facilitated by Dr. Philip Lanning.

Biblical Hebrew Reading Groups and Tutoring– read Biblical texts together guided by JS Hebrew for the Nations certified Israeli teachers, or sign up for one on one tutoring.

You can find all the details at the Jerusalem Seminary course catalog.

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Recent excavations in front of the edicule in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher revealed the 4th century arrangement of the rotunda.

Chris McKinny gives an overview of the results from Week 2 of excavations at Tel Burna.

Aren Maeir notes that excavations are also currently underway at Tell el-Hesi and Khirbet Summeily.

Archaeologists have invited the local community to help conserve the Middle Bronze gate at Gezer after last year’s fire.

William Hild, a participant in this summer’s excavation at Hyrcania, is guest on The Book and the Spade discussing the project.

Ruth Schuster writes about the treasures that were returned when the Israel Antiquities Authority announced an amnesty campaign. Enjoy the many photos, for you’ll never see these objects again as the IAA protects them in a vast storage center.

Ariel David reports on Garfinkel’s latest claim of Judah’s importance in the 10th century, including criticism from other archaeologists. Melanie Lidman has a similar story.

Tim Chaffey explains how Ernest Martin and Robert Cornuke “avoid key passages of Scripture, distort Josephus’ words, and ignore the findings of archaeologists” in their relocation of Solomon’s temple.

New release: Ancient Synagogues Revealed 1981-2022, edited by Lee I. Levine, Zeev Weiss, and Uzi Leibner (Israel Exploration Society, 300 NIS). You can see all the volumes in the long-running series on the IES website.

Hybrid conference on July 10-13 in Jerusalem: “Jerusalem: From Umbilicus Mundi to the Four Corners of the Earth and Back.” The conference brochure is here. The live broadcast will be here.

Zoom lecture on July 25: “Jesus in Galilee: An Archaeological Perspective,” by Eric Meyers

BBC Reel has released “Armageddon: The ancient city behind the biblical story.”

Chandler Collins considers what may be learned from 19th century travelers’ writings about their first views of Jerusalem.

HT: Agade, Arne Halbakken, Joseph Lauer, Explorator

The latest big hole in the ground opened to visitors is the Gezer water system. The descent gives you a new appreciation for the value of a secure source of water.

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“Israeli archaeologists have been left scratching their heads over the discovery of a large tomb containing dozens of skeletons, many of them women, who were buried more than 2,500 years ago in the midst of the Negev desert, at an ancient crossroad far from any known settlements at the time.”

According to Yosef Garfinkel, five sites in Judah indicate that Judah was expanding into the Shephelah already in the 10th century. The underlying journal article is here.

Chris McKinny provides an overview of all of the excavation areas at Tel Burna after their first week of their 13th season.

The Greek Reporter has a well-illustrated story on the Bird Mosaic and the sigma-shaped glass-gold table found in Caesarea.

Martine van den Berg reports on the first-ever “Friends of ASOR Tour to Israel and the Palestinian Territories.” They had quite a few experiences that the average tourist doesn’t get.

After a three-year renovation, Solomon’s Quarries/Zedekiah’s Cave has reopened to visitors. It now includes a multimedia show. The article includes a video report by i24 News.

Ron Simkins discusses “Creation and Ecology in Ancient Israel” on the Biblical World podcast.

Lisa LaGeorge gives a good answer to the question, “What difference does it make if I go to Israel?”

Ferrell Jenkins shares a photo of a beautiful view that he took in the Judean hill country between Bethlehem and Hebron.

Zoom lecture on July 12: “The King is Dead, Long Live the King: Murder, Poetry, and Scribal Culture in Ancient Egypt,” by Margaret Geoga ($7)

The NY Times reports on Christian tourism to Saudi Arabia, though the reporting seems limited to a single tour group.

A large Roman-period mosaic discovered near Homs, Syria, depicts Greek soldiers in the Trojan War as well as the god Neptune and forty of his mistresses.

A conference will be held at Oxford on July 5 entitled “The Aramaeans B.C.: History, Literature, and Archaeology”

The oldest completely hand-sewn boat in the Mediterranean dates to the Iron Age I and is remarkably well-preserved.

A fresco newly discovered at Pompeii looks like a pizza but is more likely a focaccia covered with fruit.

Bryan Windle reports on the top three stories in biblical archaeology for the month of June.

What do real archaeologists think of Indiana Jones?

HT: Agade, Arne Halbakken, Ted Weis

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Turkey has launched a new ship for underwater archaeology that is considered to be one of the largest archaeological vessels in the world.

NY Times: “A 2,000-year-old collection of medical tools, recently unearthed in Hungary, offer insight into the practices of undaunted, much-maligned Roman doctors.”

Melissa Cradic explains the value of the the open-access web exhibition, “Unsilencing the Archives: The Laborers of the Tell en-Naṣbeh Excavations (1926-1935).”

Zoom lecture on June 23, 10:00am ET: “Beyond Impressions: Cylinder Seals of the Neo-Assyrian Period as Experiential Object,” by Kiersten Neumann (Zoom link)

New release: Picturing Royal Charisma: Kings and Rulers in the Near East from 3000 BCE to 1700 CE, edited by Arlette David, Rachel Milstein, Tallay Ornan (Archaeopress, £32; open access ebook)

New release: Être et paraître. Statues royales et privées de la fin du Moyen Empire et de la Deuxième Période intermédiaire (1850-1550 av. J.-C.), by Simon Connor, is available for free here.

Walking The Text’s recommended resource of the month is Peoples of the New Testament World, by William A. Simmons. (Also available on Logos.)

If you are not familiar with the Lanier Center for Archaeology, you can find out more about their programs here.

New video from World History Encyclopedia: “The Famous Baths of the Roman Empire”

Mark Hoffman has been thinking about AI and biblical art.

HT: Agade, Explorator

The excavations at Shiloh are most impressive in terms of their size and enthusiastic workers. They are making good progress in achieving their goals, and I look forward to forthcoming announcements.

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