Iraq’s government reports that ISIS has bulldozed ancient Calah (modern Nimrud).

In light of ISIS’s recent destruction of Mosul, Iraq is vowing to protect ancient Babylon.

The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago has issued a statement.

Citizens of Iraq and Syria are working to protect their historic treasures from destruction by ISIS.

A project has begun to “use crowd-sourced imagery to digitally reconstruct the heritage that has been destroyed.”

Daniel Pipes argues that “the ISIS record fits into an old and common pattern of destruction of historical artifacts by Muslims.”

The U.S. government has returned more than 60 artifacts illegally smuggled out of Iraq, including the head of an Assyrian lamassu from the palace of Sargon II.

Egypt will no longer grant visas to individual tourists upon arrival. You will need to apply in advance from an Egyptian embassy. Or travel instead to Israel, Jordan, Turkey, or Greece.

The Associates for Biblical Research has just released a new video, Digging Up the Sin Cities of Sodom and Gomorrah.

How was Trajan’s Column in Rome constructed? National Geographic features a stop-motion video that suggests an method. It is quite an extraordinary accomplishment.

We’ll have more links tomorrow.

HT: Agade, Charles Savelle


A new “Rosetta Stone” has been discovered near Alexandria, with the text written in hieroglyphics and demotic script.

One hundred prehistoric cultic sites have been studied in the Eilat Mountains. The academic article on which the news story is based is available on academia.edu. And there are more photos here.

Roman-period mosaics have been discovered in an illicit excavation near Kerkenes, Turkey.

An unlooted Mycenean tomb has been excavated in central Greece from about 1200 BC.

The air pollution (aka “dust”) in Israel and the Middle East was extremely high this past week. Daily
Mail has some amazing photos and Exploring Bible Lands cites a relevant verse. Carl Rasmussen explains the positive effect.

The dust storm was followed by a snow/rain storm (with video). This storm exposed a large Byzantine storage jar on the beach of Yavne-Yam (with photo).

Since you’re reading this, you’re already familiar with one of the 5 Holy Land Blogs You Should Follow, by Wayne Stiles, but you may not be aware of all of the other ones.

Ferrell Jenkins is taking a closer look at Herod’s temples, beginning with the one at Caesarea Philippi (or better, Omrit?) and continuing with Caesarea on the Sea. Both posts are well illustrated.

The New York Times reports on questions about the origins of tablets from the Jewish exiles in Babylon now on display in Jerusalem.

An article in The Jewish Week describes some of what George Blumenthal has done to bring the world of biblical archaeology closer to all of us.

Which popular movies were filmed in Israel? Which ones were not? Those in the former category include “Exodus” and “Schindler’s List.” A longer list is available in this premium article at Haaretz.

Flames of Rome, by Paul L. Maier, is on sale for Kindle now for $1.99. This covers the period after Pontius Pilate and is also recommended if you like historical fiction from biblical times.

Just published: Robert Alter’s Strong As Death Is Love: The Song of Songs, Ruth, Esther, Jonah, and Daniel.

#5 on our list of Jerusalem favorites is Hezekiah’s Tunnel. The top four are coming on Monday on Twitter and Facebook.

HT: Jay Baggett, Charles Savelle, Agade, Joseph Lauer


Leen Ritmeyer continues his Temple Mount series with a look at the Early Muslim period. He has many illustrations, but the one I’ve always found most helpful in teaching is the comparison of the
Temple with the Dome of the Rock.

Two Egyptian mummies were found in a sewer near Minya.

Morgan Freeman will star in a remake of Ben-Hur.

The IAA arrested three men for antiquities theft at Ashkelon.

The International Business Times has a short profile of Tel Burna (Libnah?) with many graphics.

For the 40th anniversary of Biblical Archaeology Review, Hershel Shanks recounts the story of how the magazine began.

Pontius Pilate, by Paul L. Maier, is on sale for Kindle for $0.99. I recommend it.

Here’s a unique subject for a blogpost: Salem—What We Can Learn from Abraham’s Visit to Jerusalem, by Wayne Stiles.

Wayne is also offering signed copies of two of his excellent books. This is a great gift idea for yourself or someone else who has recently traveled to the Holy Land or who wishes that they could.

Eisenbrauns has reprinted all 11 volumes of the State Archives of Assyria (SAA) and State Archives of Assyria Studies (SAAS) and they are on sale this month.

The exhibition catalog for the new Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem exhibit is now available: By the Rivers of Babylon, The Story of the Babylonian Exile Jerusalem, by Filip Vukosavovic.

The Al-Arish National Museum in the North Sinai has been damaged in an attack by the militant group State of Sinai.

Ancient Romans ate meals that most Americans would recognize.

On Monday we’re beginning a series on Twitter of our 15 favorite places in Jerusalem. Follow us @BiblePlaces or on Facebook.

HT: Agade, Jay Baggett


The William G. Dever Archaeological Fellowship for Biblical Scholars is a travel-study award for “a qualified American untenured faculty member in the field of biblical studies who wants to acquire elementary, first-hand experience in field archaeology and research in Israel.”

Wayne Stiles explains how Kadesh Barnea helps us to know God’s will.

Jerusalem’s recent snowfall: SourceFlix shares some beautiful aerial footage.

Swedish archaeologists have found near Cairo a 2,500-year-old relief depicting two pharaonic deities.
And Czech archaeologists find tomb of previously unknown pharaonic queen Khentakawess.

The original volumes of the Tell en-Nasbeh (biblical Mizpah) excavation reports are now available online for the first time. The Bade Museum website includes a couple of other downloads that may be of interest.

And now published by Gorgias Press: “As for me, I will dwell at Mizpah …”: The Tell en-Nasbeh Excavations after 85 Years, edited by Jeffrey R. Zorn & Aaron J. Brody.

The Yale Babylonian Collection now has its own website.

The open access, electronic companion to Royal Inscriptions of the Neo-Assyrian Period, volume 3/2 (Eisenbrauns, 2014) is now online.

The authenticity of two Baruch son of Neriah bullae is rejected in a new article by Yuval Goren and
Eran Arie in BASOR vol. 372 (December 2014), pp. 147-158. (Abstract and article on JStor. And there’s free access to the entire issue via the BASOR website.)

“Patterns of Evidence: Exodus,” claims to solve the problem of lack of evidence, but it appears to do so by a major chronological revision. As far as I’m concerned, a movie showing on only one night (Jan 19, 7pm) in selected theaters doesn’t deserve much attention.

A full-scale sailing replica of the Ma‘agan Michael is now under construction. The original ship wrecked near Dor in 400 BC and was discovered in 1985.

Both portions of P46 have now been digitized and are available online.

Kevin Shillington has begun a series on Charles Warren on the Palestine Exploration Fund Blog.

Coming soon: Discovery House Bible Atlas, by John Beck.

HT: Ted Weis, Agade, BibleX

Mizpah outer wall, db6604081112
Tell en-Nasbeh, biblical Mizpah, in 1966
Photo by David Bivin