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The ancient language of Linear Elamite has been almost completely deciphered, about a century after its discovery. The journal article’s authors are not happy with the way the breakthrough was reported by the Smithsonian Magazine.

The world’s oldest bar joke dates to about 2000 BC, but no one knows why it was funny.

The British geologist sentenced to 15 years in Iraqi prison has had his conviction overturned, and he has left the country.

Kyle Keimer has written the first of a three-part series exploring the connection between feasting and kingship from the time of Saul to Jesus.

An Israeli researcher used a series of voyages in a replica of an ancient merchant ship, along with wind measurements over a period of 15 years, to determine how mariners sailed against the westerly winds in the Mediterranean (Haaretz subscription).

Here is another impressive list from Bryan Windle: Top Ten Discoveries Related to the Book of Daniel.

New release: The Hunt for Ancient Israel: Essays in Honour of Diana V. Edelman, edited by Cynthia Shafer-Elliott, Kristin Joachimsen, Ehud Ben Zvi, and Pauline A. Viviano (Equinox, 2022; $55-$110; Amazon).

New release from The Oriental Institute: “Like ‘Ilu Are You Wise”: Studies in Northwest Semitic Languages and Literatures in Honor of Dennis G. Pardee, edited by H. H. Hardy II, Joseph Lam, and Eric D. Reymond (Studies in Ancient Oriental Civilization 73). Free pdf download.

New release: The Ishtar Gate of Babylon: From Fragment to Monument, by Helen Gries (Schnell & Steiner, 2022), paperback, 80 pages, $15.

Norman Gottwald died earlier this year.

Aren Maeir explains why he has scaled down his excavations of Gath in the context of calling on all archaeologists to take seriously their responsibility to publish. He has written a longer article on the need for publishing for Palestine Exploration Quarterly.

Lois Tverberg shares some fascinating (and sobering) insights from her trip to Africa in “Learning to Read my Bible through Ancient Eyes – Rain and Sacrifice.” (See the post note at the bottom for a way you can help.)

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

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Recent excavations are revealing details of the lives of middle-class inhabitants of Pompeii.

“Archaeologists have unearthed the remains of a Roman bridge from the Imperial era during an excavation alongside the Via Tiburtina in north-east Rome.”

The Getty Villa is returning one of its signature pieces, “Orpheus and the Sirens,” after it was determined that they were illegally excavated in Italy.

Deloitte estimates the value of Rome’s Colosseum to be $79 billion.

Carl Rasmussen shares photos he took of the recently renovated Mausoleum of Caesar Augustus (part 1, part 2).

The Brandeis magazine tells the story of recently retired classical archaeologist Ann Olga Koloski-Ostrow, at one time known as the “Queen of Latrines.”

There are some impressive Roman mosaics that few tourists visit in western Switzerland.

“Works being carried out in the town of Tomares in Spain have brought to light 19 Roman amphorae containing 600 kilos (1322.77 lbs.) of bronze coins from the 4th century.”

New exhibition in Trier, Germany: “The Fall of the Roman Empire” (until Nov 27).

The Museum of the Bible is hosting a new exhibit, “Samaritans: A Biblical People” from September 16 to January 1. The exhibition was created under the direction of Steven Fine and a panel discussion and documentary are part of the opening events.

The Center for Near Eastern Archaeology (CNEA) at La Sierra University is celebrating its 10th anniversary. The annual Archaeology Discover Weekend will be held on November 12 and 13.

New from Christopher D. Stanley: Paul and Asklepios: The Greco-Roman Quest for Healing and the Apostolic Mission (The Library of New Testament Studies)

New exhibition publication: David Roberts: Artist and Traveler, by John Olbrantz (Hallie Ford Museum of Art, Willamette University, 2022). Hardcover, 152 pages, 96 color illustrations, $45.

A complete list of speakers and topics for the 25th Annual Bible and Archaeology Fest (virtual, Oct 8-9) is now online and includes:

  • James Charlesworth, “Discovering the Tombs of David and Solomon After 50 Years of Searching”
  • Ralph Hawkins, “The Promise of the Conquest of Canaan in the Book of Exodus”
  • Thomas Levy, “Archaeological Science and Biblical Edom”
  • R. Steven Notley, “Byzantine Bethsaida and the House of St. Peter”
  • Shelley Wachsmann, “‘Some Went Down to the Sea in Ships…’: Ships, Boats, and Seafaring in Biblical Times”

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

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A statue head dated to the 2nd century AD was unearthed during the excavations at the Ancient Smyrna Theater.”

Archaeologists found the VIP seats of the ancient amphitheater of Pergamum.

Archaeologists have discovered a gladiator burial ground in near Adana in Turkey.

Restoration has begun on the floor mosaics of the ancient synagogue of Sardis.

The main building and exhibition halls of the Istanbul Archaeology Museums were opened last month after extensive renovations. Renovations continue on the Museum of the Ancient Orient, the Tiled Kiosk Museum and the northern wing of the Classical Building.

This article has some nice photos of the world’s largest mosaic, now part of the Antakya Museum Hotel in the ancient Antioch on the Orontes.

BBC: “More than 85m beneath the famous fairy chimneys of Cappadocia lies a massive subterranean city [Derinkuyu] that was in near-constant use for thousands of years.”

The Turkish Archaeological News surveys the top stories for the month of July.

New release: Excavations at Karkemish II. The Inner West Gate in Area N, by S. Mantellini and S. Pizzimenti (Ante Quem 2021). Free pdf downloads of entire series here.

“Greek archaeologists have discovered a virtually intact grave of an ancient noblewoman buried with her golden jewellery at a Roman burial monument in the island of Sikinos.”

“The majestic ancient Greek monument unearthed in Northern Greece in 2012 and known as the Amphipolis Tomb could open for visitors by the end of 2022.”

Ancient Athens 3D has created a video with a beautiful virtual model of the Parthenon.

Giovanna Dell’ortho describes some of the sites in Thessaloniki.

“Ancient Greeks had a great love and respect for their dogs, cherishing them as companions, protectors, and hunters, as evidenced by several dog tombstones discovered over the centuries.”

Archaeologists believe they have found a mega-monument at the ancient burial mound of Laona in Cyprus.

National Geographic takes a road trip through western Cyprus (requires registration).

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

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Two ancient Egyptian sarcophagi were opened live at a press conference.

Restoration work has been completed on the gold shrine at the mortuary temple of Ramses III at Medinet Habu.

Chelsey Cook discusses three mysteries about Egypt’s ancient pyramids (how were they built, what’s inside, and why they stopped).

A newly discovered letter by Alan Gardiner indicates that Howard Carter stole artifacts from King Tut’s tomb before it was officially opened.

Mattias Karlsson writes for the ASOR Blog about relations between the Neo-Assyrian empire and Egypt, especially in the 7th century BC.

Some researchers believe that typhoid fever and plague were contributing factors in the collapse of the Old Kingdom of Egypt and the Akkadian empire.

Zoom lecture on August 26: “Unpacking Tutankhamun’s Wardrobe,” by Rosalind Janssen

New release: Egypt and the Classical World: Cross-Cultural Encounters in Antiquity, edited by Jeffrey Spier and Sara E. Cole (Getty Publications, 2022). Free pdf download (open right sidebar for other options).

Brent Nongbri argues that Codex Sinaiticus dates not to AD 360 but to anytime between the early 4th and early 5th centuries AD, making it an ideal candidate for radiocarbon analysis.

Assaf Kleiman has written an extensive piece on Hazael’s oppression of Israel. (My take is a bit different—and longer.)

The Jordan Times provides a brief summary of papers presented at the 15th International Conference on the History and Archaeology of Jordan.

“Ancient Abila, located about 12km northeast of Irbid, [Jordan,] is a case study for scholars who want to track pilgrim itineraries in the Late Antiquity.”

John DeLancey has posted a 360-degree video of the walk up Macherus and a visit of the ruins.

Analysis of animal and plant remains is allowing archaeologists to identify the season in which a site was destroyed. The underlying journal article is here.

Accordance has many Carta works on sale through today, including The Sacred Bridge, The Raging Torrent, The Quest, Eusebius’s Onomasticon, and the “Understanding” Series.

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

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The oldest-to-date medical recipes from Hippocrates were recently discovered by monks at the St. Catherine’s Monastery in South Sinai, Egypt.”

“The shaft tomb of the ancient Egyptian dignitary Wahibre-mery-Neith . . . has shed light on ‘globalisation’ in the ancient world.”

“Cyprus has opened its first underwater archaeological park, offering visitors a glimpse of history at one of the eastern Mediterranean’s best preserved ancient harbors.” There’s a video here.

“Most archaeologists study dead societies but ethnoarchaeologists look at living ones. On Cyprus, studying modern potters has yielded important insights into the past, including some that are unpredictable.”

The NY Times has a story about the new Museum of Rescued Art in Rome.

Eli Tadmor looks at ancient Assyrian texts to determine their view of abortion.

Just in case you were looking for a guide to the best road trips in Egypt, Lonely Planet wrote one.

“The Oriental Institute is currently undergoing the process of addressing issues surrounding our name, we are taking actions that will ultimately result in the renaming of the institution. As this process unfolds, we will continue to refer to our institution under the abbreviation, The OI.”

New release from SBL Press: Tiglath-Pileser III, Founder of the Assyrian Empire, by Josette Elayi, $35. (I found her book on Sennacherib to be quite interesting.)

New release: King of the World: The Life of Cyrus the Great, by Matt Waters (Oxford University Press, $28)

Turkey’s Culture and Tourism Ministry has made a list of 11 impressive sarcophagi in museums around the country.

Carl Rasmussen explains how the Ara Pacis Augustae (Altar of Augustan Peace) illustrates one aspect of “the fulness of time.”

There will be no roundups while I travel the next few weeks. If you’ll be at the Infusion Bible Conference in Tennessee, stop by our table and say hello.

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

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“Archaeologists from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem say they have made numerous discoveries, including an ornate first-century villa with its own ritual bath, after a project began to increase access for disabled people to Jerusalem’s Western Wall.”

Elon Gilad surveys the discussion over Gershon Galil’s reading of an ancient inscription discovered in Jerusalem, if it even is an inscription. Galil and Eli Shukrun were interviewed about the matter on i24 News recently.

David Ussishkin believes that Khirbet Qeiyafa was a vast walled cultic compound.

Israel is dedicating $1 million to the restoration of Tel Gezer after the recent fire. Steve Ortiz talks about the effects of the fire on The Book and the Spade.

The season at Tel Burna has concluded, and they have posted a summary of the results from each area with lots of photos.

For the OnScript Biblical World podcast, Chris McKinny interviews Tel Burna’s excavation director Itzick Shai on location during the dig.

i24 News has a 4-minute segment on “Tel Aviv’s hidden gems of antiquity.”

Nathan Steinmeyer writes about the recent restorations at Tel Ashkelon, including ongoing work of the basilica and odeon.

The Times of Israel’s original ‘Into the Land’ docuseries investigates two sensational objects that some have labeled as forgeries—the James Ossuary and the Jehoash Inscription (18 min).

A sale of Zondervan Academic resources for Logos includes the Zondervan Handbook of Biblical Archaeology, by Randall Price, for $8.99. Several of Gary Burge’s Ancient Context, Ancient Faith books are also for sale.

Rivka Merhav, pioneer curator of Neighboring Cultures at the Archaeology Wing of The Israel Museum, died this week (obituary in Hebrew).

Richard Freund, excavator of et-Tell (“Bethsaida”), died last week. The link is worth clicking just for the photo.

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

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