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An 11-year-old on a family hike in the Negev discovered a rare fertility figurine dating to about 500 BC.

Haaretz (premium) has a story about the debate over whether the Lachish gate shrine was a shrine, and if so, if it was desecrated by a toilet.

A new book by Idan Dershowitz argues that the scrolls of Moses Shapira, long believed to be forgeries, are actually the earliest Dead Sea Scrolls and were a “pre-canonical antecedent” of Deuteronomy. The book is available on Academia. Christopher Rollston argues that the scrolls are forgeries. Drew Longacre concurs.

A notice from the Hazor Excavations team indicates that foreigners will be permitted to volunteer in Israel this summer with proof of vaccination. The Gath registration webpage confirms this.

My new reflection on the Garden of Gethsemane is now available to members of Jerusalem Perspective.

The New York Times runs an obituary for Hershel Shanks.

Jerusalem University College has announced its newest program: The Christian Movement in the Mediterranean, with a two-week voyage tracing Paul’s voyages in the Mediterranean.

New: Ancient Israel’s Neighbors, by Brian R. Doak (Book 1 in Oxford’s Essentials of Biblical Studies series).

The early-bird discount for the Infusion Bible Conference ends on April 9. The topic is “Paul and His Roman World,” and the new location is Nashville.

HT: Agade, Ted Weis, Arne Halbakken, Keith Keyser, Explorator

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On their first day back to sifting, the Temple Mount Sifting Project discovered their first pur, just in time for Purim.

This Times of Israel article has some drone footage that clearly shows the damage to the Mount Ebal altar site. The article details the firestorm that erupted. The Jerusalem Post argues for protection for the site.

Conservators are injecting the stones of the Western Wall with grout to help them withstand the effects of weathering.

Erez Ben-Yosef and Elisabetta Boaretto are interviewed on the weekly podcast from The Times of Israel about Solomonic copper mines and radiocarbon dating.

Aren Maeir’s MOOC on “Biblical Archaeology: The Archaeology of Ancient Israel and Judah” returns on March 8. This will be the fourth run, and the course is free.

Online on March 6: A Virtual Tour of Israel: Haifa, a Shared City. Free registration is required.

Chris McKinny continues his discussion of historical geography and archaeology at sites in central Israel including Gezer, Masada, Qumran, Jericho, Shiloh, and Caesarea.

Dumbest tradition ever: After conquering the Promised Land, Joshua asked God if he could go to Mesopotamia to die.

Bible Archaeology Report’s top three for February: “something deciphered, something discovered and something damaged.”

In light of the oil disaster on Israel’s shore, Shmuel Browns shares a series of Coastline photos.

HT: Agade, Arne Halbakken, Chris McKinny

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The enclosure wall around the Mount Ebal altar has been restored. And Israel’s defense minister is not allowing a visit by the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.

Two stone sarcophagi from the 2nd or 3rd centuries AD were discovered at the Ramat Gan Safari Park.

I share a bit about my work with photo collections, both past and future, in the latest Scholar’s Chair interview at Bible Archaeology Report.

Chris McKinny talks about learning historical geography and archaeology in Israel on a new video produced by John DeLancey.

Erez Ben Yosef is interviewed by the Jerusalem Post about his years of excavating at Timna.

Zoom lecture tomorrow: “Archaeology and the Hidden Religious Culture of Israelite Women,” by Carol Meyers.

The NY Times has posted an obituary for Norman Golb, the unorthodox Dead Sea Scrolls scholar who died last month.

Assyrians used the policy of deportation in the Levant not to bolster its labor supply but in order to intimidate the population and put down revolts.

The Hazor team is accepting applications for its 31st season of excavations at this important Canaanite and Israelite site.

The Times of Israel reports on the 2018 re-discovery in Cairo of a Hebrew Bible written in the year 1028.

Snow fell in Jerusalem this week for the first time in six years, and some photos are posted by The Jerusalem Post, Al Jazeera, Haaretz, and The Times of Israel. Shmuel Browns took some beautiful photos of the snow in the Judean hills. Daily Sabah has photos from around the Middle East.

HT: Agade, Ted Weis, Arne Halbakken, Keith Keyser, Explorator

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A worker clearing a nature path at Nitzana (Nessana) in the Negev discovered a stone with a Greek inscription reading “Blessed Maria.”

A forthcoming article by David Ussishkin argues that there was no gate shrine at Lachish desecrated in the reign of Hezekiah.

Bill Barrick’s latest research trip post focuses on Tel Dan and includes a variety of images and a list of recommended resources.

The Crusader-era siege ramp around Ashkelon served another purpose: protecting the city from being overtaken by sand.

After an extended investigation, the Israel Antiquities Authority recovered thousands of looted artifacts in three raids in central Israel.

Evie Gassner looks at a lot of evidence in order to determine just how Jewish King Herod was.

Bruce Routledge will be lecturing on Jan 11, 11am CET, on “Iron Age Jordan: The Levant from a very different angle.” To register and receive a Zoom link, email [email protected].

Conversations in the Archaeology and History of Ancient Israel with Israel Finkelstein. This video series with a controversial archaeologist will be rolling out over the coming year. The initial videos (20-30 min. each) are available now.

Claus-Hunno Hunzinger died this week. He was the last living member of the original Dead Sea Scrolls team.

An obituary has been posted for Shlomo Bunimovitz who died last month.

Peter Goeman gives a good roundup of articles in the blogosphere in the latest biblical studies carnival.

HT: Agade, Andy Cook

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“A first ever First Temple-era gold granule bead was discovered during wet sifting of earth from the Temple Mount by a nine-year-old.”

Jamie Fraser and Caroline Cartwright give a very interesting account of the discovery and excavation of an olive oil factory in Gilead.

Israel’s Good Name shares his adventures at various sites in the western Jezreel Valley.

Leen Ritmeyer uses archaeological and textual sources to locate the Music Chamber in Herod’s temple.

Though most don’t believe that it is Mount Sinai, Har Karkom is home to 40,000 rock engravings.

According to Jeffrey Chadwick, the width of a gate at Gath is the same dimensions as the height of giant Goliath.

The release of Ken Dark’s new book has put in the news again the author’s theory that he has identified the house believed by the Byzantines to have been the house of Jesus.

“Visiting Sepphoris” is the latest video tour hosted by John DeLancey.

COVID restrictions have helped researchers excavating an underwater site off Israel to develop methods that will make future undersea excavation more precise and efficient.

A doctoral dissertation proposes that a silver shortage in Israel in the early Iron Age led to the creation of an alloy composed mainly of copper.

The next ASOR Zoom webinar: Eric Meyers, “Early Synagogues, Jesus, and Galilee—A Jewish Perspective,” on Dec 13, 7:30 EST.

Yesterday we released the Photo Companion to 1-2 Corinthians. These two volumes include 2,500 images.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Keith Keyser, Ted Weis, Ferrell Jenkins, Alexander Schick, Arne Halbakken

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The Tel Burna team has begun a survey of Khirbet ʿAter, a likely candidate for biblical Ether.

Bruno Soltic created a video on “Tel Burna – Week on a Dig,” featuring interviews with Itzick Shai, Steven Ortiz, Chris McKinny, and others.

Registration has now opened for next summer’s excavations at Tel Burna and Gath.

Sepphoris was an important city near Nazareth, and Wayne Stiles looks at its possible place in Jesus’s youth.

Bill Barrick posts about his visit to Sepphoris on a recent research trip, and he includes many photos.

Archaeology magazine has a feature on the dye industry at Tel Shikmona near Haifa.

Israel21c has identified “Israel’s best ancient toilets.”

Three individuals were arrested on suspicion of stealing antiquities from ancient Megiddo.

“In the hills of Timna in the Arava Desert, just north of Eilat, lies a secret lake that has become a magnet for some adventurous Israelis unable to travel abroad due to the coronavirus pandemic.”

Hebrew University has just released the first three volumes in the Tel Rehov final report series (scroll to the bottom).

Shalom Paul died earlier this week.

Israel’s Good Name made a number of outings this year to the Yavne dunes, finding it an ideal place for spotting birds, snakes, and other wildlife.

I am excited about this book forthcoming from Barry Beitzel: Where Was the Biblical Red Sea? Examining the Ancient Evidence. Beitzel defends the traditional location and shows why the Gulf of Aqaba hypothesis is impossible.

The Infusion Bible Conference (formerly the Institute of Biblical Context Conference) has just announced that the 2021 conference will be held in Franklin, Tennessee. This year’s topic is “Paul and His Roman World.”

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, G. M. Grena, Charles Savelle, Explorator

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