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Restoration experts are very carefully moving several large columns and Corinthian capitals from the Garden of Gethsemane to the Terra Sancta Museum. The columns may have originally belonged to the Roman temple that Hadrian built over Jesus’s temporary tomb.

Archaeologists discovered one of the oldest known mosques in the world in a salvage excavation in the Negev city of Rahat.

The 12th season has begun at Tel Burna, and you can see their dig plan here and the most recent excavation update here.

Yet again: Israel’s Environmental Ministry recommends building a canal linking the Dead and Red Seas (subscription). A few days earlier Jordan decided to cancel the stagnating plan.

Zoom lecture on June 29: “Disease & Death in the Early 1st Century CE,” by Julie Laskaris ($7).

An online lecture on July 6 will discuss the work being done to open up access to satellite imagery over Israel.

In part 2 of his David and Goliath series, Brad Gray looks at the contrast between David and Saul (which is, in my opinion, the central point of the story).

In the latest Biblical World podcast episode, Oliver Hersey talks with Paul Wright about Jesus and Jezreel.

Regular readers know that I greatly appreciate the books of Lois Tverberg, and her recent post is helpful in explaining the difference between the Rabbi Jesus books and whether they should be read in any order. Her first “Rabbi Jesus” book was Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus.

Israel MyChannel has a number of videos with original 3D models of Jerusalem. For instance, this one gives a tour of Jerusalem in the time of Jesus. Impressive.

Upcoming DIVE (Digital Interactive Virtual Experiences) tours through the Museum of the Bible ($20 ea.):

  • The Southern Steps and the Davidson Center: July 13, 2022
  • Ancient Shiloh: August 10, 2022
  • Armageddon — The Valley of Megiddo: September 7, 2022
  • Masada: October 19, 2022
  • The Valleys of Jerusalem — Kidron and Hinnom: November 9, 2022
  • Caesarea: December 7, 2022

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Arne Halbakken

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Archaeologists have uncovered a Hellenistic farmstead in eastern Galilee that was abandoned in haste. They also found a significant agricultural settlement dating to the time of David and Solomon.

A brief article at The Jerusalem Post notes the discovery of game boards and game pieces from Gath that date to the 3rd millennium BC. The underlying PEQ article is available for purchase.

Moshe Gilead at Haaretz (premium) provides a lengthy explanation for why Ma’aleh Akrabim, “the most beautiful and dangerous road in Israel,” has been closed for five years.

The latest issue of Biblical Archaeology Review includes articles on Mt. Nebo, Merneptah’s destruction of Gezer, and the year 1177 BC. You can get a taste for the Mt. Nebo article and see many of its photos here.

Biblical Archaeology Review assistant editor Nathan Steinmeyer gives an on-site tour of Caesarea (6 min).

Bryan Windle’s top three reports for the month of May include excavations at Tel Timna, a Galilean farmstead, and Herod’s bathtubs.

Ellen Frankel wrote a mystery novel about the Dead Sea Scrolls that begins with the discovery of a key to crack the Copper Scroll.

The Sacred Thread is a forthcoming series that “explores the original context and culture of the Bible through a worldwide journey to uncover its meaning.” Created by Walking The Text and EvolveStudios, the first episode is now online (free to watch with registration).

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Arne Halbakken, Keith Keyser, Explorator

Ascent of Scorpions, Maale Aqrabbim modern road from above, tb042207882

Modern road of Maale Aqrabbim – “the most beautiful and dangerous road in Israel”

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The alabaster for two of Herod’s bathtubs was quarried not in Egypt but in the Te’omim cave in the Judean hills.

Excavators are claiming that the stump of a juniper tree, discovered near Eilat, may be the oldest Asherah ever found.

A new season of excavations has begun at the Apollonia-Arsuf Crusader fortress on the coast near Herzilya.

“In one of the biggest busts in Israeli history, the Israel Antiquities Authority’s theft prevention unit has recovered over 1,800 ancient artifacts from an unlicensed dealer in the central Israeli city of Modiin. Mostly coins and jewelry, the artifacts also included cuneiform tablets and bronze statuettes.”

Israel’s supreme court has “rejected four petitions against a controversial plan to build a cable car to Jerusalem’s historic Old City, shutting down the legal opposition route for opponents of the plan.”

A renovation project on an ancient Samaritan priestly residential compound is the first step in making the Mount Gerizim archaeological park more welcoming to tourists.

The latest issue of Tel Aviv includes several articles on Iron Age Jerusalem. The titles and abstracts are free, but access to the articles requires subscription.

Virtual tour on June 8: The Room of the Last Supper and Jerusalem, with Museum of the Bible and DIVE (Digital Interactive Virtual Experiences); $20

A colleague of mine at The Master’s University was honored last month by the publication of a festschrift: Written for Our Instruction: Essays in Honor of William Varner. Among the many interesting essays, two are of particular relevance to this blog:

  • “Where Did David Go? David’s Wilderness Wanderings and the Testing of God’s Son,” by Abner Chou (my new boss)
  • “‘What Have I Done in Comparison with You?’: The Itinerary of Gideon’s Pursuit of the Midianites in Judges 7–8,” by Chris McKinny (with additional color maps on Academia)

Andy Cook of Secrets from Ancient Paths has just posted “The life-saving lesson of Bet Shemesh” (5 min).

Joel Kramer at Expedition Bible has released some new videos (4-10 min ea.):

Bruce Cresson died last week. He was director or co-director of excavations at Aphek-Antipatris, Dalit, Ira, Uza, Radum, and Malhata.

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

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A $3 million grant will allow the National Campus for the Archaeology of Israel to open by the end of 2022, more than 8 years after its original schedule.

“A new study of trash heaps at rest stops along the ancient Incense Route in the Negev Desert shows it was a two-way street for trade.”

Hybrid conference on May 18: “The First International Academic Conference on New Studies in Temple Mount Research,” featuring many important scholars in Jerusalem studies. Registration and a small fee is required.

“Australia’s only academic program dedicated to the study of Ancient Israel was officially launched at the Australian Catholic University (ACU) last week.” The program will support a new archaeological excavation at Lachish.

In Haaretz, Ruth Schuster uses a recent essay published by Shimon Gibson to discuss the location of where Jesus was baptized. Don’t expect much; this is the worst article I’ve read this year.

Andy Cook has released a new video about the Dead Sea, including drone footage that shows how much the water has receded in the last century.

John DeLancey’s latest devotion from Israel is on Psalm 23. Another recent video shows his run up Masada’s Snake Path.

David Moster addresses the question, “What did ancient Hebrew sound like?” in a new 6-minute video.

Three Hebrew speakers—one Yemenite, one Samaritan, and one Israeli—have a 20-minute conversation to see if they can understand each other.

New release: His Inheritance – A Memorial Volume for Adam Zertal, edited by Ralph K. Hawkins, Erasmus Gaß, and Dror Ben-Yosef (Ugarit-Verlag, 2022).

Abigail Leavitt gives some background to the writing of her new book, The El-Burnat (A) Structure(s): Joshua’s Altar?

Philip Long is leading a tour around Israel now, and he describes some new sites in Jerusalem he visited earlier this week.

Aren Maeir shares photos from the (short) spring season at Tell es-Safi/Gath.

Walking the Text’s recommended resource of the month is Biblical Backgrounds. (I will have more to say about the resources of this fine organization soon, but I’m happy to spread the word now.)

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

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A nearly completely intact clay oil lamp from 2,300 years ago was found near a stone bath during recent conservation work at the Mount Gerizim National Park.”

Plans to construct a zip line near Haas Promenade south of Jerusalem’s Old City is facing criticism. There are also plans to build a pedestrian suspension bridge over the Hinnom Valley.

Zvi Koenigsberg argues that the discovery of the curse inscription supports his theory that the original “place that He will choose” was a temple on Mount Ebal.

Aren Maeir is interviewed in the History Channel of Israel’s “Whatever Happened to the Philistines?”

Zoom lecture on May 11: “Beer in Israel and the Ancient Near East: New Insights from Archaeology,” by Jennie Ebeling ($7).

Albright Institute hybrid workshop on May 12: “A Comparison of the Monastery at Tel Masos and Byzantine Monasteries in the Negev Desert,” by Rachel Bernstein. Register here.

Hybrid conference at Tel Aviv University on June 13: “Local and Regional Perspectives on Nomads in the Biblical World” (pdf schedule; Zoom link).

The early bird discount for the Infusion Bible Conference ends on June 3.

The latest free maps from Bible Mapper:

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

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Haaretz has an extended summary of an article by Shimon Gibson about the attraction of stone vessels to Jerusalemites in the Second Temple period.

Archaeologists found a rare bronze fork at Chorazin (Korazim).

“An expedition of scientists and artists, adventurers all, embarked on a four-day desert journey. Their goal: to retrace an ancient trade route that connected the Kingdom of Judah to the Kingdom of Edom” (Haaretz premium).

Joel Kramer is interviewed on Digging for Truth about his book, Where God Came Down: The Archaeological Evidence.

The Biblical Language Center, founded by Randall Buth, is offering live video classes this summer in biblical Hebrew and Koiné Greek.

Zoom lecture on April 27: “Tell es-Sultan, Ancient Jericho: Urban Diversity in Palestine,” by Prof. Lorenzo Nigro. Advance registration required.

Hybrid lecture at the Museum of the Bible on May 26: “Tel Shimron: New Research into a Biblical City,” by Daniel Master.

Now online: “Iconography on Hebrew Seals and Bullae Identifying Biblical Persons and the Apparent Paradox of Egyptian Solar Symbols,” by Benjamin Stanhope.

The Volunteer Guide for the Tel Burna Archaeological Project is now online, and they are still accepting applications.

Morris Proctor explains how to find all the relevant maps for a site using the Atlas feature in Logos Bible Software.

Bryan Windle gives a good survey of the possible locations of where Pilate sentenced Jesus to death and concludes with a very reasonable suggestion.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Charles Savelle, Arne Halbakken, Paleojudaica

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