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Palm trees grown from 2,000-year-old seeds have produced more than a hundred dates, beautiful and tasty. (The father is Methuselah, the mother Hannah.)

A high-tech analysis of 18 ostraca from Arad reveals that they were written by 12 different hands, attesting to a high level of literacy in the kingdom of Judah in the late 7th century BC. The underlying journal article is here.

“A collection of more than 13 intact and sealed coffins has been unearthed in Saqqara, the first step towards a huge discovery to be announced soon on site.”

“The Harvard Museum of the Ancient Near East (HMANE, formerly the Harvard Semitic Museum) has recently started posting 3D scans of its cuneiform collection on-line.”

With the help of some old photos of Qumran Cave 1, Brent Nongbri has identified a couple of unheralded excavators of the Dead Sea Scrolls caves.

“According to the ‘Deal of the Century’ map, hundreds of heritage and archaeology sites in Judea and Samaria are slated to be removed from Israeli control and transferred to the jurisdiction of the proposed Palestinian state.”

The Louvre is helping to restore security for the National Museum of Beirut following extensive damage in the August 4 explosion.

When Adam Henein died this spring, Egypt lost a highly regarded artist whose work included a major restoration of the Sphinx.

People who climb Egyptian antiquities “without a license” will be punished under a new law passed by the government.

Necho II, slayer of King Josiah, is the subject of the latest archaeological biography by Bryan Windle.

Steven Anderson has now finished making playlists for all of Omer Frenkel’s beautiful readings of the Hebrew Bible.

A man was detained when caught hunting gazelles in a park in Jerusalem.

Tim Challies reviews A Harvard Professor, a Con Man, and the Gospel of Jesus and draws implications for all with regard to discoveries that appear to contradict (or confirm) the Christian faith.

Jerusalem University College has announced that Dr. Oliver Hersey will become the next president when Dr. Paul Wright retires in 2021.

Jerusalem recently broke a 139-year-record for the hottest night (with a low of 88.7°F, 31.5°C).

I’ve had a chance to look more carefully at the new Biblical Israel by Air. The thumb drive includes two high-resolution video files (mp4), one narrated and one non-narrated, with 69 minutes of drone footage of beautiful sites including the Sea of Galilee, Joppa, Caesarea, Mount Carmel, Jordan River, Arbel, Capernaum, Dan, Beth Shean, Shiloh, Jericho, Masada, Mount Nebo (on a clear day!), Macherus, Petra, and 40 other sites. This remarkable collection is available at an introductory price of $45 (or $30 for the DVD).

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Keith Keyser, Wayne Stiles, Explorator

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Archaeologists working at Azekah may have found traces of the Assyrian siege ramp used to conquer the city in 701 BC.

The Waqf filled in a hole that opened in the Temple Mount floor with concrete on Tuesday, raising concerns that possible archaeological findings may now be lost.” Zachi Dvira at the Temple Mount Sifting Project offers his thoughts on the possible significance of the now-filled opening, along with some rare photos of underground areas of the Temple Mount.

The Israel Museum has re-opened “with a coronavirus-safe approach that includes half-hour capsule tours of the museum’s permanent and current exhibits.”

Gordon Govier writes about the summer excavations in Israel that were not, and those that were.

Lawrence Schiffman writes on discoveries made in 2020 for Ami Magazine.

Usha, an ancient village in western Galilee, is the subject of a 6-minute news piece on Israel Daily. (Note: add “the Sanhedrin Trail” to your bucket list.)

Zvi Koenigsberg looks at the possible connection between the site(s) of Gilgal and the strange phenomenon of “footprints” on the eastern side of Israel.

Dan Warner is on The Book and the Spade this week talking about the Gezer water tunnel.

Biblical Israel Ministries and Tours has just released a brand-new resource that features beautiful aerial footage of more than 55 biblical sites in Israel and Jordan. The launch price is only $30 for the DVD and $45 for a higher-res version on a thumb drive. Individual high-res site videos are available for only $4 each.

HT: Agade, Ted Weis, Joseph Lauer

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An archaeological survey team “has located an extensive series of mysterious openings cut high in a cliff inside the sacred valley south of the royal cemetery of Umm Al-Qaab.”

“Three mummified animals from ancient Egypt have been digitally unwrapped and dissected by researchers using high-resolution 3D scans.”

Smithsonian Magazine: “In the Land of Kush” provides an impressive tour of an area many of us will probably never be able to visit.

“Gold seekers have destroyed a 2,000-year-old historical site deep in the deserts of Sudan, according to officials.” Their use of heavy equipment destroyed all signs of the ancient site.

Mark Wilson reports on his recent visit to Pella in Jordan.

“The Defense Ministry has released some of the first photographs taken by Israel’s newest spy satellite, showing ancient ruins in the central Syrian city of Palmyra.”

A new video produced by the Metropolitan Museum of Art looks how how peoples of the ancient Near East responded to various adversities.

The University of Central Florida has compiled a list of Open Educational Resources for the Ancient Near East.

The 23rd Annual Bible and Archaeologist Fest will be a 2-day online seminar this year with many interesting speakers.

HT: Agade, Ted Weis, Joseph Lauer

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“The world’s longest marlstone cave, with an overall length of a mile, was recently found in the Dead Sea area.”

Erez Speiser has posted another walking tour, this one of the Old City of Jerusalem. He has created a good route that focuses on major sites in the Christian and Jewish Quarters.

Andy Cook of Experience Israel Now has begun podcasting and videocasting. The first three episodes are of the Valley of Elah, and at the conclusion of each he offers video footage for free download so that any teacher can use them in ministry.

“The Museum of the Bible in Washington, DC, is in discussions with the Iraqi government to reach a settlement regarding thousands of antiquities in its collection with suspicious or incomplete provenance.”

John DeLancey has created a new video that tours Masada.

Tyler Rossi explains how ancient and medieval coins were used as royal propaganda.

Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones lectures on “Locating the Women of Achaemenid Persia,” identifying rare representations of women in Persian iconography.

Save 92%: The Future of Biblical Archaeology, edited by James K. Hoffmeier and Alan Millard (Eerdmans, 2004). $2.99 at Christianbook.com.

New books:

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Paleojudaica

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A new study looks at the land of “Cabul” with the latest archaeological and geographical finds in order to better understand Solomon’s sale of the land. The underlying PEQ article is here (requires subscription or payment).

“Several recently discovered milestones, some carrying inscriptions, have offered new insights into the Incense Route that crossed the Negev during the antiquity, connecting the southern part of the Arabic peninsula to Gaza via Petra.” The underlying PEQ article is here.

“Radiocarbon dating is set to become more accurate than ever after an international team of scientists improved the technique for assessing the age of historical objects.”

“Archaeological investigations have revealed traces of the elaborate systems of fire beacons described in the Assyrian text.”

Apparently Emperor Augustus looked a lot like Daniel Craig. One artist is using ancient imagery, historical texts, and coinage to create photorealistic portraits of 54 Roman emperors.

A new book tells the story of how a Harvard professor got conned into claiming the discovery of the “Gospel of Jesus’s Wife.” Brent Nongbri offers his own review here.

Zoom Workshop: Reconsidering Babylon’s Ishtar Gate. To be held on Oct 2, 12:00-2:00 pm Eastern Time.

Lawrence Schiffman is offering a three-part class on “The Dead Sea Scrolls: New Perspectives on the Bible, Judaism and Christianity.” Registration is still available for parts 2 and 3. Part 1 is online here.

The next ASOR webinar will feature Susan Ackerman on “Priestesses in the Days of Solomon and Ahab.”

A new season of excavations has begun at Persepolis.

The absence of visitors at the British Museum has led to a pest problem.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Charles Savelle, Wayne Stiles

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The excavations at Azekah are unique this year not only because they weren’t cancelled, but all of the field supervisors are women and daycare is provided for the workers’ children.

The discovery of minerals in a building in the City of David is providing information about the earth’s magnetic field at the time of Jerusalem’s destruction in 586 BC. The underlying journal article is here.

A stone table from the Second Temple period was discovered in excavations near Beit El.

A new study suggests that Mount Adir in the Upper Galilee was a government center for a group of Canaanite settlers in the Iron I. The underlying BASOR article is here (requires subscription or payment).

Yuval Baruch, head of the Jerusalem division of the Israel Antiquities Authority and informally known as the “mayor of underground Jerusalem,” is profiled in The Jerusalem Post.

Following the excavation of a large tumulus south of Jerusalem, Ariel David writes about various theories that have been proposed for the 20 tumuli in the Jerusalem vicinity(Haaretz premium).

The Israel Museum has re-opened, and the Dead Sea Scrolls are back on display.

Jodi Magness is interviewed about Masada on the NC Bookwatch.

Winners have been selected for the Top 10 Picture contest at Biblical Israel Tours.

Carl Rasmussen shares some photos of well-preserved Crusader capitals in the Archaeology Museum of Nazareth.

Bible Land Passages is preparing to release a new documentary on Caesarea Maritima, and they have just posted two short trailers (1-min, 3-min) that provide a taste of what’s coming.

A couple of Oxford archaeologists have succeeded in getting the US to open up access to high-res satellite imagery of Israel.

Israel has experienced a couple days of unusual August rain.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Charles Savelle

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