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Scientists say that fish teeth discovered near the Jordan River provide the oldest evidence of fire-cooked food.

“The Theft Prevention Unit of the Israeli Antiquities Authority caught three Bedouins red-handed destroying historical items at an archaeological site near Negev town of Rahat.”

A study of crosses carved on pillars in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher has determined that they were made by Armenian priests in the 16th century.

Aviva and Shmuel Bar-Am take readers on a tour of the ruins of Gezer.

Israel21c provides a list of 10 important sites in Jerusalem’s ancient history.

Shmuel Browns shares photos from his visit to the Dagon fortress and monastery at Qarantal.

The winter issue of Biblical Archaeology Review includes stories on the Mesha Stele and David’s kingdom, Judah’s stamped jar handles, and the calculation of the date of Christmas.

The BAS Winter Symposium will be held on Sat., Feb 11, with the topic of “Gods, Religion, and Cult in Ancient Israel.” Speakers include Theodore J. Lewis, Erin Darby, Mary Joan Leith and Christopher Rollston.

Aren Maeir’s course on Biblical Archaeology is a finalist for the 2022 edX Prize.

The 2023 JUC Online Seminar’s theme is “Explore the Gap: Stories in Context.” The free event will be held on February 3 and 4.

New release: The Holy Land Devotional: Inspirational Reflections from the Land Where Jesus Walked, by John A. Beck (Baker; $20). This looks like a great Christmas gift idea.

HT: Agade, Arne Halbakken, Joseph Lauer

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Geomagnetic surface surveys at Khirbet al-Minya on the northwestern shore of the Sea of Galilee have revealed an earlier Jewish or Christian settlement.

A new study of the Solomonic-era copper mines at Timna reveals that the enterprise came to a sudden halt around 850 BC because the miners overexploited the sparse desert acacia and white broom trees used to fuel their furnaces (Haaretz subscription).

Carl Rasmussen links to a video that shows evidence for a first-century synagogue at Chorazin. He also shares a photo of the synagogue in 1967 before reconstruction began.

Here is a video of the 7th-8th century AD shipwreck recently discovered off the coast of Israel.

“Hundreds of ancient decorated toga pins, earrings, rings and figurines of animals and idols were found in the home of a man who used to be an antiquities dealer in northern Israel.”

Albright Institute lecture on Oct 27: “The Austrian Expedition to Tel Lachish (2017-2022),” by Katharina Streit & Felix Höflmayer. Register to join by Zoom here.

Marc Zvi Brettler explains the Hakhel Ceremony, in which the assembly gathers together every seven years to read the Torah. This event will be celebrated at the Western Wall on October 11.

Ferrell Jenkins shares a photo of sheep grazing near Tirzah, the second capital of the northern kingdom.

HT: Agade, Keith Keyser, Arne Halbakken

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Christopher Rollston urges caution regarding the authenticity of the Ishmael papyrus. James Davila doubts that a forger could have gotten ahold of blank papyrus from the Iron Age.

Nathan Steinmeyer has an exclusive interview with Joe Uziel about the recently discovered papyrus.

The journal article for the “Jerusalem Ivories” announced earlier this week is available in the latest issue of ‘Atiqot (direct link to article pdf).

Shimon Gibson’s recent article in PEQ on Montagu Parker’s “throne of Solomon” identifies 13 stone toilets from the Iron Age II discovered in the kingdom of Judah, including 7 excavated in Jerusalem (subscription). Haaretz has a paywalled story on the article.

Cynthia Shafer-Elliott’s second post on ancient Israel’s geographical context focuses on the topography of the land.

Sabine Kleiman argues that archaeological evidence alleged to support Hezekiah’s cultic reform does not in fact do so.

The NYTimes reports on vineyards in Israel’s Negev.

Wayne Stiles has announced tours for 2023, including two to Israel and Jordan and one to Greece and Turkey.

New release: In the Shadow of His Hand, by Donald Brake and Shelly Beach. This is a work of historical fiction, and the Kindle edition will be on sale for $1.99 on Wednesday only.

Biblical Israel Ministries and Tours has released supplemental Bible study material for their 27 video lessons.

Walking The Text’s recommended resource of the month is biblicalelearning.org.

New Bible Land Passage videos have been released: “The data and information gleaned from the disciplines of archaeology, geology, history, hydrology, climatology, epigraphy, horticulture, agriculture, and many others, offer numerous opportunities to demonstrate a connection between the facts deduced from these disciplines and the text of the Bible. The Connections series of Bible Land Passages is dedicated to researching and revealing the compelling connections between faith and fact inferred from the data and information discovered in the land of the Bible. Seven new, brief videos have been released on the Balustrade Inscriptions, Megiddo, City of David Underground, Chorazin, Mount Carmel, and more. Additional Connection videos will be released in the near future.”

HT: Agade, Arne Halbakken, Joseph Lauer, Charles Savelle, Alexander Schick, Explorator

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Israel HaYom surveys the history of Shiloh along with the present quest to discover the location of the tabernacle. Scott Stripling believes he knows the location but is not sure he’ll ever be able to prove it.

“Archaeologists announced Tuesday the discovery of a 1,200-year-old estate in Israel’s southern Negev desert, boasting unique underground structures that allowed its owners to overcome the searing summer heat.”

Nathan Steinmeyer takes viewers to excavations at Tel Shimron in a 4-minute video that is the second in a series on excavating in the Bible lands. Tel Shimron is one of the largest sites in the Jezreel Valley region.

Archaeologists are excavating a fortified village in Samaria that existed at the end of the Bar Kochba Revolt. You can see a drone video of the site here and more information and photos here.

Writing for The Jerusalem Post, Aaron Reich’s article claims to provide “everything you need to know about the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.” It’s a decent introduction.

The oldest synagogue in Jerusalem is a non-rabbinic form of Judaism known as Karaism. Daniel J. Lasker has written a book about the subject, and his post on the ASOR Blog gives an introduction.

“Between the former rains (in autumn) and the latter rains (in spring) Israel receives all its rainfall. Except for this week, when it rained in summer!”

Ferrell Jenkins reports on a recent visit to Taanach.

There is a campaign to turn Hebron Road in Jerusalem into a “pedestrian-friendly space with cafes, bike paths, and more.”

Rejuvenation podcast: “Dr. Jodi Magness, the outstanding archaeologist, prolific writer and excellent educator, joins Eve Harow to talk about her renewed decade long excavation at the ancient Jewish village of Huqoq in the Galilee.”

Zoom lecture on Sept 15: “Flavians in Galilee (67 CE): Their Aims and Activities,” by Steve Mason

The Fall 2022 issue of Biblical Archaeology Review includes articles on Diaspora Jews living in Jerusalem in the 1st century, the lethal capabilities of slings, and the location of Magdala.

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

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A lot happened while I was away, and it’s going to take five or six days (!) to catch up. Let’s get to it.

Archaeologists excavating el-Araj discovered a mosaic in the Byzantine church that mentions the “chief and commander of the heavenly apostles,” further strengthening the site’s claim to be Bethsaida, the hometown of Peter. They are hoping to find an inscription mentioning Andrew in the October excavation.

“Archaeologists working at Tel Shiloh earlier this summer discovered piers that they believe formed a door into a gate complex at the northern edge of the biblical city.” Scott Stripling thinks this is the gate where Eli died.

Also at Shiloh, archaeologists discovered five intact storage jars from the Late Roman or Byzantine eras.

Excavations have begun at Kh. Tibnah, possibly Joshua’s city of Timnath-heres. Early discoveries include a Roman spearhead. Also, there is a dispute over ownership of the site (subscription).

The first Roman military amphitheater ever found in Israel was recently uncovered at Megiddo.

Matthew Adams talks about the excavations this summer at Megiddo on The Book and the Spade.

A Byzantine convent dedicated to Hannah was recently re-discovered at Horbat Hani in central Israel. There are some nice photos here.

A collection of 530 astragali (animal knucklebone gaming dice) from the Hellenistic period were discovered at Maresha-Bet Guvrin with names inscribed of Aphrodite, Eros, Hermes, Hera, and Nike.

A volunteer at the Temple Mount Sifting Project discovered what may have been a cheater’s die, with the number 5 where the number 4 should have been.

“A bronze Roman coin dating back 1,877 years with the symbol of the Cancer zodiac sign and a Moon goddess was discovered at Carmel Beach in Haifa.”

Computer calculations of 70 CE Roman arsenal uncovered in excavations in Jerusalem demonstrate veracity of Jewish historian Josephus’s report of intense fighting near Third Wall.”

Lior Schwimer has reviewed nearly 15,000 panels of Negev rock art with more than 50,000 carvings.

Steven Ortiz is a guest on the Biblical World podcast, talking with Chris McKinny about the Lanier Archaeological Center at Lipscomb University, the Gezer Archaeological Project, and the Tel Burna Archaeological Project (28 min).

Bryan Windle identifies the top 3 reports in biblical archaeology for the month of July.

Registration for Jerusalem University College’s fall online courses ends on Monday.

HT: Agade, Arne Halbakken, Joseph Lauer

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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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