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A cache of embalming materials was discovered in a tomb in Abusir dating to the 26th Dynasty.

A number of museums in Egypt are planned to open or re-open in 2022.

Marissa Stevens looks at structural similarities between two civilizations that had no contact with each other: Egypt’s New Kingdom and China’s Han Dynasty.

An Elamite inscription attributed to Xerxes has been discovered at Persepolis.

Tom Garlinghouse has written a primer on the ancient Persians.

More looting of Palmyra has occurred in recent days.

“The Jordanian Antiquities Ministry and the US Embassy in Jordan held a ceremony in Jordan’s capital, Amman, on Tuesday showcasing the objects that were ‘illegally smuggled from Jordan and obtained by an antiquities collector in the United States.’”

A shipwreck originating from the Greek island of Rhodes, dating back to the third century AD, was found in the depths of the Gulf of Fethiye.”

Carl Rasmussen shares photos of Vespasian’s Temple of Peace, where Josephus says he placed the golden vessels from the Jerusalem temple.

Tzilla Eshel suggests that there may have been multiple places named Tarshish in biblical times, on the basis of Phoenician inscriptions and the chemical fingerprint of silver.

The Database of Religious History “is intended as a platform for unprecedented academic collaboration, reflecting a commitment to rigorous, scholarly standards and a deep appreciation for interdisciplinary work in the sciences and humanities.” It is free and no registration is required.

ASOR webinar on March 8: “Where Are They Now?: A Preview of 2022 ASOR-Affiliated Fieldwork Projects,” with Michael Given, Xenia-Paula Kyriakou, Stephen Batiuk, Monique Roddy, Kent Bramlett, Friedbert Ninow, and Michael Hoff.

Online lecture on March 9: “How Did Roman Painters Create Frescoes?,” by John Clarke

ASOR webinar on March 20: “Uncovering What is Nubian Beneath the Veneer of Egyptianness: Excavating the Archives,” by Debora Heard.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Arne Halbakken, Explorator

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The Jerusalem Post has more about recent excavations that exposed part of Jerusalem’s Old City wall without a foundation but instead relied upon a “wonder of engineering”—a carefully calculated amount of earth packed against the base of the wall.

A new study of a fortress in Upper Galilee identifies it as the center of a local chiefdom in approximately 1100 BC. The underlying journal article may be purchased here.

A Crusader-era castle in northern Israel is being transformed into a mini-hotel.

With the Dead Sea level dropping more than 3 feet each year, the Israeli government is considering setting a level below which it may not fall.

“A soon-to-be-released docu-series will present a rare and researched look at one of the most perplexing Biblical topics: Nephilim (giants).”

Now online: Coin Deposits in Ancient Synagogues in Late Antique Palestine: A Digital Dissertation Project, by Tine Rassalle

“The Seventeenth International Orion Symposium, ‘(Con)textualPerspectives on the Dead Sea Scrolls,’ will take place from February 28 to March 3, 2022, online.”

National Geographic has released a special issue on The Dead Sea Scrolls: 75 Years Since Their Historic Discovery. Amazon’s “look-inside” feature has the table of contents and some photos, including one they printed upside-down.

Harry Moskoff believes that there are temple treasures hidden in the Vatican, and he tells stories of various people who allegedly saw them.

Kyle Keimer and Chris McKinny interview Andrew Lawler in the latest episode of the Biblical World podcast.

I am back for part 2 of “Esther in Susa” on Digging for Truth. In this episode we focus on discoveries related to the Bible in King Xerxes’s palace.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Alexander Schick, Explorator, Keith Keyser

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A new study authored in part by Chris McKinny and published in the Journal of Biblical Literature identifies the millo of Jerusalem with the fortifications around the Gihon Spring. The JBL article requires purchase, but Bible History Daily has a summary.

Henri Gourinard is writing a guidebook on the Emmaus Trail, and he provides a brief introduction to the trail for Bible History Daily.

A new Israeli reality TV show named “My Trip is Better” will pit five tour guides against each other in a five-day competition.

“Location, location, location” – Brad Gray explains the significance of geography in his “Lenses of Context” series for Walking the Text. The 20-minute episode includes many photos and maps.

Foreign archaeologists are returning to Gaza to restore archaeological sites and to train Palestinians in conservation (3-minute video).

Thousands of rare antiquities were confiscated . . . in a complex pre-dawn operation in the Nablus area on Monday following a months-long undercover investigation.”

NY Times: “For 10 days, a photojournalist drove across Jordan from north to south, visiting several of the country’s most treasured sites. Here’s what he saw.”

The Bible Mapper Blog has just posted its 100th map. The latest free maps include:

I join Henry Smith on the latest episode of Digging for Truth to talk about Queen Esther in Susa (25 min). In this first part of a two-part series, I describe the excavations of Susa, the layout of the city, and highlights of my visit to Iran.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Arne Halbakken, Explorator, Charles Savelle, Steve Ulrich, Keith Keyser

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Archaeologists working in the temple of Amenhotep III in Luxor have discovered remains of a pair of gigantic limestone colossi.

“A joint Egyptian-Italian Mission excavating near Aswan in Egypt has discovered a tomb from the Greco-Roman period containing twenty mummies.”

“Scientists found the first recorded example of a bandaged wound on a mummified body, which could offer more insight into ancient medical practices.”

“Scholars have concluded that King Tutankhamun was not murdered, after a lengthy investigation that seemed to refute popular theory.”

Joshua Berman says that marks of Egyptian culture in the Torah give evidence of the Israelites’ sojourn in Egypt.

Deb Hurn argues that the meteoric airburst theory for the destruction of Tall al-Hammam does not match various details in the biblical text for the destruction of Sodom.

The world’s largest mosaic is now open to the public underneath the newly built Antakya Museum Hotel (in biblical Antioch on the Orontes).

“A new study has revealed that some 4,500 years ago the ancient Mesopotamians were the first to create a hybrid animal, producing an entirely new beast by mating two different species.”

New technology is allowing scientists to better determine the sex of ancient skeletons.

Candida Moss writes about the relationship that ancient Romans had with their dogs.

A Hellenistic necropolis near Naples is opening to the public for the first time.

Nimes is my favorite Roman city in France, and National Geographic reviews some of the highlights.

Michael Shutterly has written a brief guide to the coins of the Persian kings.

Carl Rasmussen shares photos of what’s new at Laodicea—“a two hundred foot long, 25 foot high Frescoed Wall.”

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Explorator, Arne Halbakken

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“An ancient seal thought to belong to a Hittite prince and an ancient cuneiform tablet, both dating back over three millennia, were discovered in Turkey’s southern Hatay province.”

An iron face mask that would have been worn by an accomplished member of the Roman cavalry some 1,800 years ago has been unearthed in northern central Turkey.”

A study in the Temple of Hatshepsut reveals the production process for the reliefs, including the role of apprentices.

“Archaeologists conducting works at the Temple of Hatshepsut have made new discoveries in a subterranean tomb.”

Egypt has celebrated the reopening of the Avenue of the Sphinxes.

The Grand Egyptian Museum continues to receive artifacts, including 52 monumental pieces and 16 from King Tut’s treasures.

AramcoWorld has a series on spice migrations, including articles on ginger, cumin, cloves, nutmeg, pepper, and cinnamon.

Russia has begun the long process of restoring the ancient Arch of Triumph in Palmyra after it was destroyed by evil people.

A fortress from the empire of the Medes has been discovered in northeastern Iran.

Two spectacular gold Persian reliefs, once owned by the Shah of Iran, will be auctioned by Christies on December 8.

Greek City Times has a review of the 18 World Heritage Sites in Greece.

A 2,000-year-old mosaic that once belonged to Caligula and disappeared during World War II was recovered in New York City after it served as a coffee table for 50 years.

Italy has launched a cultural streaming platform.

The New Yorker has a feature story on the latest discoveries at Pompeii.

It’s apparently not OK for American tourists to break into the Colosseum at night to drink beer.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Ted Weis, Arne Halbakken, Charles Savelle, Explorator

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Archaeologists in Egypt have found proof that they are excavating a rare ancient sun temple, the third ever found and the first to be uncovered in 50 years.”

After a ten-year closure, Egypt has begun plans to restore the Aswan Museum on Elephantine Island.

Saudi Arabia has opened the Nabatean site of Hegra to foreign tourists for the first time ever. This detailed article about Petra’s little sister includes many beautiful photos.

Four known Mycenaean corbel arch bridges in the vicinity of Mycenae and Arkadiko villages in Greece are considered to be some of the world’s oldest bridges. Two of them are still in operation and have been so for at least 3,000 years.”

Lina Zeldovich has written the best article I’ve ever read on bathroom practices of ancient Romans.

Now online: “Propaganda, Power, and Perversion of Biblical Truths: Coins Illustrating the Book of Revelation,” by Gordon Franz

It is interesting to see the Tehran Times run a story about Susa without ignoring its role biblical history. (The Bible is effectively outlawed in Iran, and all websites related to the Bible, including this one, cannot be accessed.)

The Biblical Archaeology Society has announced its 2021 Publication Awards Winners.

“Holly Beers and David deSilva discuss life in the first century with Biblical World host Lynn Cohick. Holly and David both wrote novels that explore life on the ground in Ephesus, giving readers a unique opportunity to experience Paul’s world in a very personal way.”

HT: Agade, Ted Weis, Arne Halbakken, Keith Keyser, Andy Cook

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