A Roman-period gate has been discovered at Beit Shearim (“house of gates”).

A study of LMLK seal impressions reveals that there was a massive spike in the earth’s magnetic field in the time of King Hezekiah. I expect that G. M. Grena will have more to say about this on his blog soon. (UPDATE: now online here.)

A preliminary report from the 2016 season at et-Tell (Bethsaida?) is now up at The Bible and Interpretation.

A man who fished a Persian-period amphora out of the sea at Ashdod has turned it over to authorities.

I enjoy seeing my photos (especially of more obscure sites) put to good use, and no one does it better than Wayne Stiles. This week he ventures over to Ein Parath.

Lawrence Schiffman has written an article for Ami Magazine on the discovery of Qumran’s 12th cave.

Liberty University has a story on their role in the Qumran excavations.

James VanderKam considers it a “bit premature to call it Qumran Cave 12.”

Gordon Govier talks with John DeLancey about Qumran Cave 12 and upcoming excavations in Israel on this week’s edition of The Book and the Spade.

Is Genesis History? is a new documentary showing on theaters on Thursday, February 23. I’ve heard good reports from those who have seen it.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Paleojudaica


Scott Stripling provides an account of the 21st and final season of excavations at Khirbet el-Maqatir, possible location of biblical Ai. They found a Bronze Age stele in the final week of excavations.

Breaking Israel News provides an illustrated report of Noam Arnon’s exploration of the caves below Hebron’s Machpelah 35 years ago.

A medieval building constructed atop the Byzantine-era synagogue at Huqoq may also have served as a synagogue.

Carl Rasmussen links to some new excavations in the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem.

Shem Tov Sasson brings his readers along on the annual two-day Bar Ilan University’s Archaeology tour, this year to the Aravah (part 1, part 2).

A large display of Greek ceramics is now on display at the Bible Lands Museum in Jerusalem.

The Louvre is planning to display some of its antiquities in Iran this spring.

“The European police have arrested 75 people and recovered about 3,500 stolen archaeological artifacts and other artworks as part of the dismantling of an international network of art traffickers.”

Iraqi authorities discovered more than 100 Assyrian artifacts in the home of an ISIS leader.
Critical Perspectives on the Practice of Digital Archaeology” is the title of a conference being held
on Friday and Saturday at Harvard.

The Center for the Study of Christianity at the Hebrew University is sponsoring a conference in June with the theme, “Origen’s Legacy in the Holy Land—A Tale of Three Cities: Jerusalem, Caesarea and Bethlehem.”

“Students should study Egyptology and Assyriology.”

If Israel was compared to the playing board of Monopoly, Wayne Stiles identifies “Boardwalk” as Tel Megiddo.

I recently returned from a great study tour led by Dr. Mark Wilson. If you’re looking for an outstanding opportunity to learn the biblical lands outside of Israel, he’s leading a May walking tour in Turkey and a September-October tour of Malta and Italy.

The latest episodes at The Book and the Spade include The Library at Herculaneum, with Brent Seales; Jesus and the Remains of His Day, with Craig Evans; and the Top 10 Biblical Archaeology Stories of 2016, with Clyde Billington.

There will be a one-night showing next month of the new documentary, “Is Genesis History?
Leen Ritmeyer notes a special offer by Carta Jerusalem that includes a discount as well as a free copy of a new biblical archaeology map of Jerusalem. I plan to post more on that map shortly.

We’re now on Instagram, posting a photo every day. We continue to do the same on Facebook and Twitter.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Charles Savelle


A stunning (!) 36-foot mosaic floor depicting scenes of ancient chariot races in the hippodrome has been revealed outside Nicosia in Cyprus.

Human skeleton remains of a teenage boy dating back to 11 BC have been found on Mt. Lykaion, a site honored as the birthplace of the Greek god Zeus.

The discovery of some rare artifacts in Perge has led to the creation of a special room in the Antalya Museum in Turkey.

After two years of occupation by ISIS, previously unknown Assyrian artifacts in the Syrian city Tal
Ajaja, or ancient Shadikanni have been found looted or destroyed.

A report by Live Science documents the death of children killed as a result of looting in Egypt.

A statue of Zeus lost in the 5th century has been re-created using a 3D printer.

Cal Thomas recommends the new “Ben Hur” movie, opening on Friday.

Ben-Hur the video game is available for free download for Xbox One.

Todd Hanneken has received a $325,000 grant to fund his use of Spectral RTI for the Jubilees Palimpsest Project.

“The Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts (CSNTM) is proud to announce the completion of our digitization project at the National Library of Greece (NLG).”

Wayne Stiles considers the value of biblical geography for apologetics.

HT: Joseph Lauer, Ted Weis, Agade, Charles Savelle

Cyprus Chariot Mosaic
Mosaic depicting chariot races excavated in Cyprus
Photo by the Associated Press

Repairs inside the Dome of the Rock are complete, and when they took photos this week, it was revealed that the reconstruction of the tile floor proposed by the Temple Mount Sifting Project is accurate.

The study of fish bones found in a 7th-century AD shipwreck near Dor indicates that a now-extinct subspecies of St. Peter’s fish was being transported on the boat (Haaretz premium).

Scholars are offering competing explanations for the massive trash dump in the Kidron Valley from the first century AD (Haaretz premium).

A jogger along the shore of Ashkelon discovered a 12th-century AD oil lamp.

Aren Maeir is providing daily updates of the excavation of Gath.

The Tel Burna team gives an update from the first two weeks of their season. Chris McKinny’s work on the LB cultic building looks particularly promising in the remaining two weeks.

Jennie Ebeling and Norma Franklin discuss several important facets of their excavations at Jezreel.

Luke Chandler discusses the possibility of a Judahite water system at Lachish and the need for funds to excavate it.

If you’re interested in a brief, well-illustrated study of the world’s largest stones used in construction projects, check out Tom Powers’s latest post.

Felicity Cobbing of the PEF was present at the opening of the Palestine Museum in Ramallah and shares her perspective.

The senior staff of the Ashkelon excavations is wrapping up their final season this month and beginning a new project at Tel Shimron with a geophysical survey this summer.

Appian Media was recently filming in Israel for their upcoming Following the Messiah video series.

They are posting updates on the project and their travels on their blog.

The Fifth Gospel is a new iBook that explores the land, the culture, and the archaeology of the Bible. It was designed for high school students and features maps, interactive quizzes, photos, and short film clips. Check it out on iTunes.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer


The Passover sacrifice was reenacted recently by Jewish priests-in-training. The Times of Israel article includes a graphic 3-minute video.

Wayne Stiles explains how God connected Passover, redemption, and the Holy Land. He also shows how archaeology helps us to understand the Passion Week.

BibleX shares how one can illustrate the triumphal entry using photos from the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands.

The Temple Mount Sifting Project found a finger from an Egyptian statue last week.

Leen Ritmeyer was recently interviewed on “Cry for Zion.” His blog lists some of the questions he was asked.

The Gazelle Valley Urban Wildlife Park opened in Jerusalem last week.

A.D. The Bible Continues airs Sunday evening on NBC. A trailer is online.

David Laskin visits sites related to King Herod in a travel piece in the New York Times.

Archaeologists have discovered an ancient Egyptian brewery in Tel Aviv.

Passages opened yesterday in Santa Clarita, California.

The Egyptian Museum in Turin, Italy, has re-opened after a five-year restoration. This is the only museum entirely devoted to Egyptian culture outside of Egypt.

A new technology will reduce the length of time required for carbon-14 dating from six weeks to two days.

Accordance’s 20% off sale ends on Monday (with code Celeb2). That discount applies to our own photo collections, including The American Colony Collection ($30 off), Views That Have Vanished, and the new ones: Cultural Images of the Holy Land and Trees, Plants, and Flowers of the Holy Land.

HT: Agade, Ted Weis, Joseph Lauer


Now online: Secrets of the Bible: The Fall of Jericho with Dr. Bryant Wood. (55 min)

Malerie Yolen-Cohen suggests 11 things to do in Israel that you may not have considered before.

The Holy Land Magazine is directed towards Christian tourists to Israel.

Ferrell Jenkins writes about Solomon’s Quarries in Jerusalem and the American missionary who discovered them in the 19th century.

Jenkins also shares a great quote from André Parrot who writes that “knowledge gained from books is certainly not enough, for names which are not attached to any reality are nothing more than ghosts.” Read the whole paragraph (and then book your next trip, or start a fund for your grandkid).

Turkish authorities are trying to figure out how to increase religious tourism to the site of ancient Ephesus.

The LA Times provides some background on the making of the Jerusalem 3D IMAX movie.

“The Siege of Masada” premieres on March 27 on the Smithsonian Channel. The one-hour special examines the evidence behind Josephus’ account.

Gerald McDermott addresses the question of whether the land of Israel should still be significant for Christians in a chapel message DTS.

HT: Agade, Jay Baggett, Ted Weis, Charles Savelle, Wayne Stiles