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“A team of archaeologists in Egypt has discovered the 4,300-year-old tomb of a man named Mehtjetju, an official who claimed that he had access to ‘secret’ royal documents.

Images of 46 birds arranged in two rows were discovered at the Temple of Esna in Luxor, Egypt, during an Egyptian-German expedition this month.”

A recently discovered tunnel at Basbük in southeastern Turkey has revealed [Neo-Assyrian] artwork depicting eight gods, three of which were labeled with Aramaic inscriptions.”

“A spectacular ancient mosaic floor that was part of a building from the Hellenistic period is among the important finds from excavations carried out recently at Fabrika Hill in Kato Paphos, Cyprus.”

Lexundria is a digital library of classical antiquity. Although most of the texts on this site can be found elsewhere on the internet, this project aims to make them accessible in a more research-friendly format.”

The Toronto Tribune interviews Steven Fine about the Arch of Titus in Rome.

“Preserving the Biblical Past: A History of Archaeology at La Sierra University” is a 95-minute presentation given at the university’s recent homecoming celebration. Highlights of their decades-long Jordan excavations include the “best-preserved 4-room house” (~17 min), a “King’s House” inscription (~25 min), and the “earliest Moabite national script” specimen (~37 min) resembling that of the Mesha Stele. At the end, they share plans for a new archaeological museum in Madaba.

New release: Pearl of the Desert: A History of Palmyra, by Rubina Raja (Oxford, 2022; $30).

New release: Tall Zirā´a. The 2018 and 2019 Excavation Campaigns. The Iron Age, Hellenistic and Early Roman Period in Area II, The Gadara Region Project (2001–2011). Final Report 9, edited by Katharina Schmidt. (Free download here)

BASONOVA Webinar on May 25: “Sacred Prostitution and the Cult of Aphrodite/Venus in Roman Corinth,” by Barbette Spaeth ($7)

Accordance has a big sale on both OT (5 vols) and NT (4 vols) sets of the Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary ($136 for all).

Recent episodes on Digging for Truth:

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Arne Halbakken, G. M. Grena

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Renovations at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher have revealed a medieval high altar that once stood in the center of the church.

A Byzantine-era mosaic floor from a Christian basilica in Nahariya has been restored and will be opened to the public. The 500-square meter mosaic includes 87 surviving medallions, with illustrations of flora, fauna, and scenes from everyday life. A video in Hebrew is here. BibleWalks has more photos of the church and the surrounding area.

A family hiking in the Harovit forest in central Israel discovered a beautiful mosaic from the Byzantine period.

The recently vandalized tomb of Joseph in Nablus has been restored.

Two girls were rescued when they accidentally entered a minefield in Nahal Tamar south of the Dead Sea.

Jodi Magness takes Amanda Borschel-Dan on a walking tour of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.

The Museum of the Bible and DIVE (Digital Interactive Virtual Experiences) will be conducting a virtual tour of the Via Dolorosa on April 20 ($20).

The lead tablet found on Mount Ebal is the subject of discussion in the latest episode of the Biblical World podcast.

“After decades of laying beside the sacred lake at Luxor’s Karnak Temple, a team of Egyptian restorers and archaeologists succeeded in re-erecting the restored Hatshepsut’s obelisk.”

“German researchers have tracked down and documented hundreds of antiquities located in Berlin museums that were looted from the island of Samos, Greece.”

“Scientists have debated the reason why Bronze Age wall paintings at the ancient settlement of Akrotiri on the Greek island of Santorini depict monkeys that existed thousands of miles away in Asia.”

The Jerusalem Post has a short interview with a curator of the Museum of the Bible on the role of biblical archaeology.

Expedition Bible has launched a new YouTube channel. In the first video, Joel Kramer goes to Tell Deir Alla to discuss the Balaam inscription.

Roy Albag has created a number of reconstructions of sites in Israel, including the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the Herodian Quarter’s palatial mansion, Solomon’s temple, and Herod’s palace in Jerusalem.

New release: Jerusalem and the Coastal Plain in the Iron Age and Persian Periods: New Studies on Jerusalem’s Relations with the Southern Coastal Plain of Israel/Palestine (c. 1200–300 BCE). Research on Israel and Aram in Biblical Times IV. Edited by Felix Hagemeyer (Mohr Siebeck, 119 €).

A number of Eilat Mazar’s publications are for sale, including her excavation reports of various sites in Jerusalem.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Arne Halbakken, A.D. Riddle, Alexander Schick

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A rare Phoenician sarcophagus dating to 600 BC was discovered on the outskirts of Rabat, Malta.

The “perfectly preserved” Ses Fontanelles wreck, discovered recently off the coast of Mallorca, is now giving “priceless insights into the Mediterranean of the fourth century AD and the crew’s daily lives.”

Egyptian archaeologists have discovered five water wells from the 13th century BC believed to have been part of the Horus Military Road.

The Iraq Museum in Baghdad has officially re-opened.

Rulers of the great kingdoms of the ANE in the Late Bronze period rarely met each other, for a variety of reasons, explains Mohy-Eldin E. Abo-Eleaz.

Turkish Archaeological News has a roundup of stories from the month of February.

“Artificial intelligence could bring to life lost texts, from imperial decrees to the poems of Sappho, researchers have revealed, after developing a system that can fill in the gaps in ancient Greek inscriptions and pinpoint when and where they are from.”

ARIADNE is a research infrastructure for archaeology… to support research, learning and teaching by enabling access to digital resources and innovative new services…by maintaining a catalogue of digital datasets, by promoting best practices in the management and use of digital data in archaeology, by offering training and advice, and by supporting the development of innovative new services for archaeology.”

Martha Sharp Joukowsky, excavator of the Great Temple in Petra, died in January.

Ghazi Bisheh, excavator of many sites in Jordan, died in January.

Carl Rasmussen has written a third part and a final part to his series on where the treasures of the Jerusalem temple went after AD 70.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Arne Halbakken, Alexander Schick, Explorator

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A cache of embalming materials was discovered in a tomb in Abusir dating to the 26th Dynasty.

A number of museums in Egypt are planned to open or re-open in 2022.

Marissa Stevens looks at structural similarities between two civilizations that had no contact with each other: Egypt’s New Kingdom and China’s Han Dynasty.

An Elamite inscription attributed to Xerxes has been discovered at Persepolis.

Tom Garlinghouse has written a primer on the ancient Persians.

More looting of Palmyra has occurred in recent days.

“The Jordanian Antiquities Ministry and the US Embassy in Jordan held a ceremony in Jordan’s capital, Amman, on Tuesday showcasing the objects that were ‘illegally smuggled from Jordan and obtained by an antiquities collector in the United States.’”

A shipwreck originating from the Greek island of Rhodes, dating back to the third century AD, was found in the depths of the Gulf of Fethiye.”

Carl Rasmussen shares photos of Vespasian’s Temple of Peace, where Josephus says he placed the golden vessels from the Jerusalem temple.

Tzilla Eshel suggests that there may have been multiple places named Tarshish in biblical times, on the basis of Phoenician inscriptions and the chemical fingerprint of silver.

The Database of Religious History “is intended as a platform for unprecedented academic collaboration, reflecting a commitment to rigorous, scholarly standards and a deep appreciation for interdisciplinary work in the sciences and humanities.” It is free and no registration is required.

ASOR webinar on March 8: “Where Are They Now?: A Preview of 2022 ASOR-Affiliated Fieldwork Projects,” with Michael Given, Xenia-Paula Kyriakou, Stephen Batiuk, Monique Roddy, Kent Bramlett, Friedbert Ninow, and Michael Hoff.

Online lecture on March 9: “How Did Roman Painters Create Frescoes?,” by John Clarke

ASOR webinar on March 20: “Uncovering What is Nubian Beneath the Veneer of Egyptianness: Excavating the Archives,” by Debora Heard.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Arne Halbakken, Explorator

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A Phoenician plaque, a stone pillar and the remains of boatsheds were unearthed as a result of 2021’s archaeological excavations in Kition-Pampoula, Cyprus.”

A bronze military diploma has been discovered in southeastern Turkey.

A new study has determined that a mummified fetus was preserved through acidification as the mother’s body decomposed.

“Five Roman artefacts from the ancient city of Palmyra, a site damaged during Syria’s decade-long conflict, were returned to Damascus on Thursday by a private Lebanese museum where they had been on display since 2018.”

“Turkey’s mercenaries continue to systematically destroy archaeological sites and everything related to the historical heritage of Syria.”

Archaeologists are surprised that Mesopotamians were cultivating millet centuries before the invention of large-scale irrigation.

Ramses the Great and the Gold of the Pharaohs, “an internationally touring exhibition that made its world premiere at the Houston Museum of Natural Science (HMNS) in November” is “a feat of technology, its layered display creating an immersive experience without the use of 3-D glasses.”

Apparently one of the “secrets” of Istanbul is the “Mosaic Museum of the Grand Palace of Constantinople.” It’s now on my list for my next visit.

The Historical Geography of the Biblical World unit is accepting paper proposals for the 2022 Annual Meeting in Denver.

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

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“Archaeologists working in the Wadi Al-Nasab region of the Sinai have uncovered the headquarters of a [copper and turquois] mining operation that dates back to the Middle Kingdom.

“After war and insurgency kept them away from Iraq for decades, European archaeologists are making an enthusiastic return in search of millennia-old cultural treasures.”

The only fresco preserved from the Greek classical world is in Paestum in southern Italy.

A newly restored gladiator helmet is on display at the Pompeii exhibition at the Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh.

A new archaeological institute will be opening in Gaziantep in southeastern Turkey.

In the first of a two-part article, Deb Hurn looks at the evidence for the location of Sodom.

The BAS Scholars Series begins on March 10 with Mark Goodacre speaking about the resurrection. This is the first of a quarterly virtual lecture series that will include Aren Maeir, Jodi Magness, and Joan Taylor.

Zoom lecture on Jan 22: “Modernity Meets Mesopotamia: An Ancient Assyrian Palace in Los Angeles.” I’ve driven by this outlet mall many times and wondered what the story was…

Christopher Rollston discusses the alleged Isaiah bulla on the Biblical World podcast.

In his final post on Paul’s shipwreck on Malta, Carl Rasmussen suggests where the ship ran aground.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Arne Halbakken, Wayne Stiles, Alexander Schick

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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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