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A bronze shield thought to belong to a king of Urartu has an inscription mentioning a previously unknown nation.

Archaeologists discovered a tavern dating to 2700 BC in the ancient city of Lagash.

“Two ancient clay tablets discovered in Iraq and covered from top to bottom in cuneiform writing contain details of a ‘lost’ Canaanite language that has remarkable similarities with ancient Hebrew.”

“The ancient Egyptians employed a host of exotic ingredients – some apparently imported from as far away as Southeast Asia – to mummify their dead.”

“A battleground fought over by ancient Egyptians and the Ptolemaic Kingdom and mentioned on the Rosetta Stone has been discovered.”

Papyrus conservator Helen Sharp explains how ancient Egyptian papyri have survived for so long.

Julien Cooper writes about the travels of Khety in the Sinai Peninsula during the 11th Dynasty.

On the Tikvah Podcast, Israeli rabbi and biblical scholar Joshua Berman talks about leading tours to Egypt. (“Things that you see from there you don’t see from here.”)

Life and the Afterlife: Ancient Egyptian Art from the Senusret Collection, on view at the Michael C. Carlos Museum from February 4 to August 6, 2023, is an exhibition about the power of ancient Egyptian objects to engage and inspire.”

Jason Colavito argues against displaying mummies in museums.

Webinar on Feb 8: “Secrets of Egypt’s Middle Kingdom Capital: el-Lisht,” by Sarah Parcak

“The 20th edition of the Annual Symposium on the Iranian Archaeology will take place in the National Museum of Iran,” with presentations of the latest archaeological research.

Zoom lecture on Feb 8: “Mercenary Soldiers in the Achaemenid World,” by John W. I. Lee

New release from RevelationMedia: Polycarp. Free to view if you enter your email address. (I don’t see another viewing option.)

Nominations are invited for the 2023 Biblical Archaeology Society Publication Awards, for books published in 2021 and 2022.”

ASOR is offering 40+ scholarships of $2,000 each for participation on ASOR-affiliated projects during the summer of 2023. The deadline to apply is February 15.

HT: Agade, Arne Halbakken, Explorator

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Two 3,800-year-old cuneiform tablets found in Iraq give first glimpse of Hebrew precursor.”

Asshur, the ancient religious capital of Assyria, will be flooded once construction is completed on a dam on the Tigris River.

Arab News looks at evidence of early Christianity in the Arabian Peninsula.

Mohy-Eldin Elnady Abo-Eleaz looks at how kings of the Late Bronze Age dealt with various kinds of “fake news.”

A Greek blacksmith is creating replicas of ancient armor for display in museums. I saw about a dozen of these last week in the Museum of Ancient Greek Technology in Athens.

Mark I. Pinsky reviews Eric M. Meyers’s autobiography, An Accidental Archaeologist: A Personal Memoir. Only $9.99 on Kindle.

Eric Meyers is interviewed by Eve Harow on the Rejuvenation podcast.

Alex Joffe grew the readership of ANE Today from zero to 42,000 over the last decade, and now he is stepping down. This provides him with the occasion to reflect on the challenge of getting archaeologists to write for normal people.

The Met has closed its galleries for Ancient Near Eastern and Cypriot Art for a two-year, $40 million renovation project.

The H.A.P.S. summer scholarship is possibly the first crowd-funded grant aimed at helping humanities Ph.D. students – specifically, those studying the Ancient Near East.”

New release: City of Caesar, City of God: Constantinople and Jerusalem in Late Antiquity, edited by Konstantin M. Klein and Johannes Wienand (De Gruyter, 2022; $127; free download).

New release: Naming and Mapping the Gods in the Ancient Mediterranean, edited by: Thomas Galoppin, Elodie Guillon, Max Luaces, Asuman Lätzer-Lasar, Sylvain Lebreton, Fabio Porzia, Jörg Rüpke, Emiliano Rubens Urciuoli, and Corinne Bonnet (De Gruyter, $196; free download)

New release: The Scribe in the Biblical World: A Bridge Between Scripts, Languages and Cultures, edited by Esther Eshel and Michael Langlois (De Gruyter, $100)

New release: The Solid Rock Hebrew Bible – “this edition prints the entire Hebrew text (in a traditional two-column layout and an easy-to-read 13-point font, with vowel points included for readers’ convenience) and includes adjustments made to the base text (the Leningrad Codex) in over 2,500 places.” $35 per printed volume, and free download.

ASOR webinar on Jan 26: “Antiquities Trafficking in the Age of Social Media: How Big Tech Facilitates and Profits from the Digital Black Market,” featuring Katie A. Paul and moderated by Eric Cline ($12).

Video recordings from the “Yahwism under the Achaemenid Empire” conference are now available (also on YouTube).

Speakers at the online Spring Bible & Archaeology Fest 2023 include Erez Ben-Yosef, Shimon Gibson, James Hoffmeier, Chris McKinny, Gary Rendsburg, Sarah Parcak, and others.

Amélie Kuhrt died on January 2.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Arne Halbakken, Gordon Dickson, Ted Weis, Wayne Stiles, Mondo Gonzales, Alexander Schick, Charles Savelle, Keith Keyser, Explorator

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There won’t be a roundup tomorrow, so today’s is a long one (with 30 items). I am grateful for tips this week from Agade, Keith Keyser, Arne Halbakken, Gordon Dickson, and Mark Hoffman. See the last item for a word about the future.

Archaeologists made some discoveries in preparing to open to the public the tomb of Salome, the traditional midwife of Jesus. The cave is situated along the route of the new Judean Kings Trail, which runs from Beersheba to Beit Guvrin.

“Israeli archaeologists have discovered the earliest evidence of cotton in the ancient Near East during excavations at Tel Tsaf, a 7,000-year-old town in the Jordan Valley.”

A group of schoolchildren discovered a Roman oil lamp while walking in Galilee.

“Israel is embarking on a challenge to make the mapping of archaeological sites tech-savvy using remote underground sensor technology in a move to cut costs and resources used up by extensive excavation.”

The NY Times looks at the hope for dating ancient remains offered by archaeomagnetism.

Some are seeking the Israeli government to turn the ruins of the Hasmonean and Herodian palaces at Jericho into a national park in order to preserve it and make it accessible to Israelis.

The Temple Mount Sifting Project has been making great progress, but they need financial support.

The Temple: Then and Now is a forthcoming five-episode video project from Bible Land Passages. They have just released a trailer.

Joseph Lauer has observed that most respectable news outlets have ignored the recent claims of Gershon Galil to have discovered five inscriptions in and around Hezekiah’s Tunnel. He links to one article (in Hebrew) which quotes Dr. Barkay as saying, “I haven’t seen anything yet that convinces me that this is true. We have to wait for a scientific publication and better photos that will clarify what is there.” Carl Rasmussen shares photos of the location of one of the alleged inscriptions.

ASOR webinar on Jan 12: “‘Earliest Inscription Found!’ Exposing Sensationalism in the Field of Ancient Inscriptions,” by Christopher Rollston ($12)

20 ancient tombs dating back to as early as 660 BC were uncovered in the city of New Damietta in Egypt’s Nile delta.”

“An ancient Egyptian painting [in a palace at Amarna] is so detailed, researchers can determine which species of birds were featured in it.”

Conservators in Iraq’s national museum are working to preserve and digitize 47,000 ancient manuscripts.

“Yale computer scientists, archaeologists, and historians are teaming up to uncover long-lost clues from the ancient city of Dura-Europos.”

More than half of the destructions dated to 1200 BC in the eastern Mediterranean world “were misdated, assumed, or simply invented out of nothing and are what we can call, false destructions.”

The Vatican Museums are returning three fragments of sculptures from the Parthenon that they have held for a long time.

Gifs can help to show the former glory of ancient ruins.

Juan Manuel Tebes asks why the Bible never mentions the Edomite god Qos. I think his answer is wrong, but it’s an interesting question.

Leon Mauldin tackles the question of who the deliverer of Israel was in the days of Jehoahaz and Jehoash. His conclusion is quite reasonable.

Jacob Sivak looks at some of the archaeological background to James Michener’s The Source.

An anonymous archaeologist explains why some archaeologists and scientists are carrying out their research anonymously.

A complete list of speakers and topics has been released for the 3rd annual Jerusalem University College online seminar. Speakers include Chris McKinny, Brad Gray, Jack Beck, and Hélène Dallaire.

Oscar White Muscarella, an archaeologist who argued vociferously that antiquities collectors and museums — including his longtime employer, the Metropolitan Museum of Art — were fueling a market in forgeries and encouraging the plundering of archaeological sites, died on Nov. 27.”

Erich Winter, professor emeritus of Egyptology at Trier University, died on Dec 17. A list of his publications is available here.

Ross Thomas, archaeologist and British Museum curator, died on Nov 14 at the age of 44.

Eric Meyers offers “a few inconvenient lessons of Hanukkah.”

Preserving Bible Times now has Zechariah and Elizabeth, by Doug Greenwold, available in audiobook format. (Also ebook)

The latest OnSite video from Biblical Archaeology Society explores Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity.

“Herod the Great-Villain of the Christmas Story” is the subject of the latest episode of Digging for Truth, with guest Bryan Windle. On Christmas day, “O Little Town of Bethlehem” will be released.

Who were the Magi? Bryan Windle provides an excellent and well-illustrated survey of the possibilities, and the strengths of each view.

I’ll have a “Top 10 of 2022” finished by Monday, but there will be no weekend roundups for the next 3-4 weeks while I travel around Turkey and Greece. I’m co-leading a group of 90 from The Master’s University, and I highly recommend our agent there, Tutku Tours.

Merry Christmas!

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“An archaeological dig in Nimrud, Iraq revealed an enormous palace door that belonged to the Assyrian King Adad-Nirari III during his rule from 810-783 BCE.”

Egyptian archaeologists working in the Fayoum area have discovered the first full-color portraits of mummies found in the last hundred years.

Fine jewelry from 1400 BC has been found on a young Egyptian woman buried in the Tombs of the Nobles at Amarna.

Virginia Verardi describes evidence discovered at a site in Syria that seems to have been a concealed murder.

Smithsonian Magazine addresses the question of who owns antiquities discovered in Egypt but now in museums in Europe and the US.

“Ancient Yemen: Incense, Art, and Trade” is a new exhibit at the Smithsonian that focuses on the area’s golden age in the Greco-Roman era.

“Saudi Arabia has announced the registration of 67 new archaeological and historical sites.”

New release: Late Bronze Age Painted Pottery Traditions at the Margins of the Hittite State (£55.00; pdf free)

Zahi Hawass will be going on a “Grand Lecture Tour” of a couple dozen US cities in May and June ($79 and up).

Jordan is planning to spend $100 million to develop the baptismal site at the Jordan River, including construction of a biblical village, restaurants, a museum, and “opportunities for pilgrims to have special quiet spiritual time.”

I’ll be back with part 3 of the weekend roundup tomorrow.

HT: Agade, Arne Halbakken, Ted Weis, Wayne Stiles, Charles Savelle, Keith Keyser, Gordon Dickson, Explorator

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“The ruins of an ancient Greek city [Skepsis] in Asia Minor have become visible for the first time in three decades due to a drought that has caused the water of the Bayramiç Dam to recede.”

“The Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities is implementing a project to restore the Great Hypostyle Hall in Karnak Temple in Luxor, in a bid to reveal the original colors of the Pharaonic inscriptions and subsequently draw more tourists and increase the country’s revenues.”

This year’s excavations have concluded at ancient Kition in Cyprus.

Egypt is calling on the British Museum to return the Rosetta Stone.

Ferrell Jenkins marks the 100th anniversary of the opening of King Tut’s tomb with several photos he took of the tomb in about 1978.

Jaafar Jotheri proposes reforms to the excavation license sections of the heritage law in Iraq.

The coins of “Roman emperor Sponsian” are still fake, says Koen Verboven. He gives seven reasons why.

The table of contents for the latest issue of BASOR is online.

Phillip Long has posted the biblical studies carnival for November.

The Appian Media team recently traveled to an authentic brick-making facility outside of Luxor, Egypt. They have released a completed scene of the “Out of Egypt” film for everyone to enjoy.

HT: Agade, Arne Halbakken, Ted Weis, Joseph Lauer, Explorator, Paleojudaica

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Archaeologists working at Saqqara discovered the pyramid of Queen Neith, a queen hitherto unknown in the historical record.

Archaeologists have found the earliest Egyptian tomb oriented to the winter solstice.

“A hoard of gold coins once thought to be fakes have been authenticated by researchers who say the artefacts reveal a long-lost Roman emperor.” The underlying journal article is here. Not all are convinced.

King Tut’s tomb was opened 100 years ago on Thursday.

BBC radio has aired “The Epic of Gilgamesh: A Quest for Immortality,” with Anmar Fadhil discussing the latest discoveries.

Hybrid lecture on Nov 29: “Trade in the Eastern Mediterranean of the 2nd and 1st millennia BCE—A Petrographic Perspective,” by Paula Waiman Barak. (Webex link)

The best-preserved Roman ruins in Morocco are at the site of Volubilis.

New release: “‘Now These Records are Ancient’: Studies in Ancient Near Eastern and Biblical History, Language and Culture in Honor of K. Lawson Younger, Jr.,” edited by James K. Hoffmeier, Richard E. Averbeck, J. Caleb Howard and Wolfgang Zwickel (Zaphon, €128).

National Geographic asked scholars why Noah’s Ark will never be found.

Ben Witherington has several blog entries about his recent trips to Turkey, Israel, Jordan, and Egypt.

Penn Museum has opened its new Eastern Mediterranean Gallery: Crossroads of Culture after an extensive renovation.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Arne Halbakken, Jared Clark, Paleojudaica, Ted Weis

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