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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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Bryan Windle identifies the top three reports in biblical archaeology in December.

Funding has been allocated to install a new, retractable floor in the Colosseum of Rome. The restored version will include replicas of trapdoors, lifts and other mechanical elements.

Michael Arnold explains how Phoenicia’s banking and commerce allowed them to thrive in the Mediterranean world for a millennium.

A new project is examining the impact of dams on archaeology and heritage in the Middle East and North Africa.

New: Jerusalem and Other Holy Places as Foci of Multireligious and Ideological Confrontation, edited by Pieter B. Hartog, Shulamit Laderman, Vered Tohar, and Archibald L.H.M. van Wieringen

New: M. Campeggi, Karkemish. Report on the Investigations in the Area of the Halaf Kilns at Yunus, by M. Campeggi (fascicle for purchase; download free)

New: Zoara, the Southern Ghor of Jordan: A Guide to the Landscape and Heritage of the Lowest Place on Earth, by Konstantinos D. Politis (open access)

Francesco M. Benedettucci has created a very extensive listing of internet resources on the archaeology of Jordan. The latest updates are provided on his Academia page.

Mark Wilson has published an article in Adalya: “The Discovery of a Menorah in Attalia (Kaleici, Antalya) and its Significance for Jewish Communities in Pamphylia” (pdf).

Online lecture on Jan 5: Ido Koch will be speaking on “One Hundred Years of Assyrian Colonialism,” from the campaigns of Tiglath-pileser III to Ashurbanipal. To receive the Zoom link, write to write to [email protected].

Online lecture on Jan 14: Why are the Dead Sea Scrolls so Sensational?, by James Charlesworth

“Alex Joffe, JP Dessel, and Rachel Hallote announce a new podcast, This Week in the Ancient Near East. Recent episodes feature discussions of the role of a comet in ushering in plant and animal domestication, the discovery of cannabis and frankincense in a Judean temple, an Iron Age figurine suggested to depict the face of God, and other new and interesting finds.” Listen or subscribe on Podbean, Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts.

The latest on Thin End of the Wedge podcast: Daniel Nicky: Teaching Mesopotamia through music.

In a flashy new video, Aren Maeir invites you to join his team in excavating the Philistine city of Gath this coming summer.

Mike Beall and Mike Markowitz provide a tour of coins of the Bible in a 33-minute video conversation.

Carl Rasmussen gives some suggestions for enjoying what he considers to be the most beautiful museum in Athens: The New Acropolis Museum.

HT: Agade, Explorator, Ted Weis, Arne Halbakken, Paleojudaica, Ferrell Jenkins

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Archaeologists excavating a commercial market in Baalbek found a mosaic from the Roman period.

Though archaeologists have found some 80 thermopolia in Pompeii, they have only now (apparently) completely excavated an entire one. This article has lots of photos.

The Dead Cities, also called the ‘Forgotten Cities,’ are a series of ancient towns, monuments, and settlements located in North-Western Syria on the Aleppo plateau.”

A study has determined that Egyptian mummied baboons came from the area of modern Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia, and Yemen, suggesting that this was the area of ancient Punt.

In photos: The forgotten Nubian pyramids of Sudan

“Hidden beneath the sands of the Arabian Peninsula lie secrets dating back thousands of years that tell the story of the people of Arabia.”

Epic Iran is an exhibit opening in London in February that will showcase 5,000 years of Iranian culture.

The latest British Museum ancient city travel guide features the amazing Persepolis in the year 500 BC.

CNN looks at the history of the mausoleum of Augustus as preparations are made to open it as a tourist site in March.

New: The Royal Inscriptions of Sargon II, King of Assyria (721–705 BC), by Grant Frame. Use NR20 for 30% off.

New: The Restoration of the Nativity Church in Bethlehem, edited By Claudio Alessandri.

Aren Maeir’s recent lecture on Philistine Gath is online.

Daniel Master will be lecturing on Jan 7 by Zoom on the Philistines in an event hosted by The Museum of the Bible.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Explorator, Ted Weis

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Archaeologists have found a ritual bath from the first century at the traditional site of the Garden of Gethsemane.

Palestinian farmers have discovered a Hasmonean fortress that can be explored but not excavated.

Archaeologists have recreated a realistic ancient floor from the courts of the Jerusalem temple in Herod’s day.

“A unique Byzantine-era blessing token featuring baby Jesus was recently unveiled by the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.”

A new study in dental calculus reveals that “that ancient Mediterranean civilizations were importing everything from chickens to black pepper and vanilla from as far away as India and Indonesia.”

“An olive press in ancient Yodfat, in northern Israel, sheds light on the role of olive oil in Jews’ lives 2,000 years ago” (Haaretz premium).

“Long Live King David” is a new 1-hour documentary featuring Israel Finkelstein, Yossi Garfinkel, and Eilat Mazar.

Rami Arav recently discussed a pair of spooning skeletons he excavated at et-Tell, a Geshurite city near biblical Bethsaida.

Aren Maeir shares photos from his recent visit to the Museum of the Philistine Culture in Ashdod.

Gideon Avni will be lecturing on Jan 6 at 5pm GMT by Zoom on “Jerusalem between Late Antiquity and Early Islam—The Creation of a Multicultural City.” An announcement is not yet posted online, but you can register at the email address on this page.

The Carta Jerusalem Bible Reference Collection (13 vols) for Logos Bible Software ships soon.

Recordings of 2020 lectures for the Anglo-Israel Archaeological Society are available on their website.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Explorator

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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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