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Archaeologists discovered a Second Temple period quarry in northwest Jerusalem.

Regarding the recent story about the ancient Jerusalem weight which was falsely labeled to facilitate cheating, some scholars have observed that it was actually labeled correctly as an 8-gerah weight.

A secret tunnel under the slope of Mount Zion that was used by Israelis after Jordan captured the Old City in 1948 has now been opened to the public.

Israel has an “ark museum” of sorts, and Israel’s Good Name describes his visit to the Steinhardt Museum of Natural History in Tel Aviv in a well-illustrated blog post.

Dozens of installations used for the large-scale production of salt have been identified along the northern coasts of Israel.

The Ketef Hinnom silver amulets are the subject of an article in the most recent issue of Ink magazine, published by Tyndale House (pages 12-14).

Egypt is preparing to open the world’s largest open-air museum in Luxor.

“Using a leaf uncovered from the archaeological site of an ancient Egyptian temple, researchers . . . have successfully determined the ancient hybrid origin of some date palms.” The underlying journal article is here.

The National Museum of Beirut has reopened after a $175,000 restoration.

Excavations in eastern Turkey have revealed an unusual tomb belonging to an Urartian ruler who was buried with his dog, horses, cattle, and sheep.

“Out of the ashes of Pompeii, archaeologists recently pulled up a time capsule, though only the bronze hinges remained of what is being described as a ‘sorceress’ toolkit.’”

On December 6 and 13, John J. Collins will be giving a virtual lecture on “The Dead Sea Scrolls: The Light They Shed on Judaism and Christianity.” Registration is required and free.

Coming soon: Excavations in the City of David, Jerusalem (1995-2010), by Ronny Reich and Eli Shukron (Penn State University Press, 712 pages, $99.95).

This Week in the Ancient Near East wraps up the summer with a round-up episode.

The indoor model of 1st-century Jerusalem that was located at the Holy Land Experience in Orlando will be part of a new exhibit at the Ark Encounter. There’s a nice photo of the model here. And some others here.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Andy Cook, Charles Savelle, Arne Halbakken, Keith Keyser, G. M. Grena

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I’ve recently recommended Christopher Stanley’s A Rooster for Asklepios as an enjoyable way to enter the Greco-Roman world and all of its fascinating background to the New Testament. Frequently I found things clicking into place as he included some ancient custom or activity in the fictional story of a slave who journeys with his master to a healing sanctuary of Asklepios.

Early in the story, a young doctor is describing his previous employment at the temple of Asklepios in Hierapolis.

“The temple was always quite busy, as the springs attract vast numbers of people who wish to be cured. You might think that this would make it a good place for a physician to ply his trade,” he went on, “but it wasn’t.  Too many of the people whom I saw had waited until they were beyond healing before coming to the springs.  Many of them died there, while others left only to die at home.  If you’ve ever been to the city, you’ll know that the cemetery that runs along both sides of the main road contains far more tombs than you would expect for a city of its size.  Many of them belong to people from other cities who were too sick to travel home or who chose to stay and enjoy the comforts of the springs until their bodies gave out” (Kindle location 936; surfaced by Readwise).

This is a pretty obvious concept when you think about it, but I don’t know that I had ever thought about it. Hierapolis is an impressive city, not far from Laodicea, and the ancient cemetery is well worth some time exploring.

Hierapolis northern necropolis, tb041305056

Northern necropolis at Hierapolis

Hierapolis eastern necropolis, tb041305814

Buried tombs in eastern necropolis of Hierapolis

Hierapolis northern necropolis, shs031115195

Well-preserved tombs in the northern necropolis

For more about Hierapolis, see our page with photos and related websites.

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Archaeologists working at a construction site in a Tel Aviv suburb discovered a mosaic-floored winepress, a chandelier chain, and a hand-signed Byzantine gold coin.

The “Shema, servant of Jeroboam” seal impression announced last year is a fake. Yuval Goren claimed the seal was authentic after “years of strict laboratory testing,” but the object is in fact a common tourist replica.

A new study reveals that olive oil production in Philistia and the Judean Shephelah began earlier than thought and was significant in Judah after Sennacherib’s invasion. The journal article is available for purchase here.

“A large Roman-era sarcophagus dating to the 2nd or 3rd century CE excavated illegally at an unknown location in Israel has been returned to the Israel Antiquities Authority.”

In the OnScript Biblical World podcast, Chris McKinny and Kyle Keimer discuss the excavations of Tel Burna, including destructions by Shishak, Sennacherib, and Nebuchadnezzar.

Leen Ritmeyer’s latest post surveys Jerusalem and the Temple Mount in the Hellenistic period.

A lecture that Nancy Lapp gave in 2019 at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary is online. Entitled “Adventures and Discoveries from Half a Century of Life as an Archaeologist,” Nancy focuses mostly on her explorations with her husband Paul in the 1950s and 1960s, including driving from England to Shechem and on to India.

New release: Tel Reḥov, A Bronze and Iron Age City in the Beth-Shean Valley, Volume IV, Pottery Studies, Inscriptions and Figurative Art, by Amihai Mazar and Nava Panitz-Cohen (Qedem 62) (The Institute of Archaeology, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 2020). To order, contact the IES.

Now available: The Road Taken: An Archaeologist’s Journey to the Land of the Bible, by Seymour (Sy) Gitin. Save 30% with code NR21.

Navot Rom has a unique job, working the night shift as an archaeological inspector in the Old City of Jerusalem.

The Tell es-Safi team was doing more than digging this year, answering the “Jerusalema Challenge” with an impressive video showing off the team’s dancing skills.

HT: Agade, Arne Halbakken, G. M. Grena, Ted Weis, Explorator, Charles Savelle

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A 7th-century BC temple facade with Phrygian writing was discovered in western Turkey.

Restoration work is underway in the Hypostyle Hall of the Karnak Temple.

Betina Faist provides an introduction to legal practices in the Neo-Assyrian empire.

Farmers and artisans in Egypt are struggling to keep alive the ancient tradition of making papyrus.

ArtDaily has a photo essay of how the ancient technique of making papyrus paper continues today in Egypt (temporary link; see under “The Best Photos of the Day.”)

“From ancient Egypt to the Persian Empire, an ingenious method of catching the breeze kept people cool for millennia.”

The Jerusalem Post article about the discovery of the actual Trojan Horse is a hoax based on a satirical report in 2014.

Alexandra Ariotti reviews the history of Jews on the island of Crete, from before Paul’s travels there to the present day.

Free download: Guide to Ancient Near Eastern Art, by Ruth Ezra, Beth Harris, and Steven Zucker (Smarthistory, 2019).

Daily Sabah gives a short profile of Timothy Harrison, an archaeologist who has been excavating Tell Tayinat for nearly 20 years.

After 20 years of red ink, the Holy Land Experience in Orlando has permanently closed. (See our list of Bible-Related Attractions in the US.)

HT: Agade, Ted Weis, Arne Halbakken, Joseph Lauer

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A massive boundary stone marking the city limits of ancient Rome in the 1st century AD was discovered near the mausoleum of Augustus during construction work.

The monumental entrance gate of the Zeus Temple’s sanctuary in the ancient city of Aizanoi, located in the Çavdarhisar district of western Kütahya province, Turkey, was unearthed during recent excavations.”

The latest discovery from the submerged ancient city of Thonis-Heracleion are fruit baskets from the 4th century BC.

Egypt moved the 4,600-year-old solar boat of Pharaoh Khufu from its old home near the Great Pyramid to the soon-to-open Grand Egyptian Museum.

A new study concludes a tablet from the Old Babylonian period is the oldest example of applied geometry.

17,000 looted artifacts were returned to Iraq from the Museum of the Bible and Cornell University.

A 3-min clip from a BBC documentary on the Persians focuses on the ziggurat of Chogha Zanbil, one of the best preserved ancient ziggurats.

Zoom lecture on August 11: “From Sanctuary to Synagogue,” by Robert Stieglitz.

On pre-publication sale at Logos: Biblical Illustrator Treasury

HT: Agade, Ted Weis, Arne Halbakken, Charles Savelle, Andy Cook, Roger Schmidgall, Explorator

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“Researchers in Saudi Arabia have discovered a sixth-century B.C.E. rock carving of the last Babylonian king, Nabonidus” along with a lengthy cuneiform inscription.

“Beneath the murky waves of the Venice Lagoon, researchers have discovered the remains of an ancient Roman road and other possible port facilities, like a dock, that may predate the founding of the Italian city.”

“A spectacular ancient mosaic floor that was part of a building from the Hellenistic period is among the important finds from excavations carried out recently at Fabrika Hill in Kato Paphos, Cyprus.” The photo is apparently not of the newly discovered mosaic.

NPR has a story on what lies below ground in Istanbul.

“Work has begun to refurbish the old Acropolis Museum near the iconic Parthenon temple and turn it into an exhibition space.”

“Held annually on [Turkey’s] Aegean coast, the Selcuk camel-wrestling festival is part of a nomadic legacy rooted in ancient Turkic tribes.”

“Between the years 193 – 235, the Roman Empire was ruled by a series of emperors who were originally Phoenicians.”

The new director of Michigan State University’s excavations at Isthmia has developed a new website to share both old and new research with the public. The website is here.

The US government has seized the Museum of the Bible’s Gilgamesh Tablet, declaring that it was illegally deported from Iraq.

Death by stoning is not so common these days, especially in the United States. But that’s how a gunman in Texas recently died.

Zoom lecture on August 29: “From Standing Stones to Sacred Emptiness: Textual and Visual Portrayals of Israel’s God,” by Theodore Lewis.

University College London and King’s College London are co-hosting an eLecture series in August, entitled Ancient Near Eastern Languages in Contact (ANELC). The first eLecture will take place on Wednesday 4 August from 16:00 until 17:00 BST (London), when Dr. Ohad Cohen of the University of Haifa will be speaking on “The Canaanite Melting Pot – The Theoretical Implications of ‘Languages in Contact’ to the Understanding of Late Biblical Hebrew.”

New release: The City of Babylon: A History, c. 2000 BC – AD 116, by Stephanie Dalley

HT: Agade, Arne Halbakken, Wayne Stiles, Joseph Lauer, Ted Weis, Explorator, Mark Hoffman, Roger Schmidgall, Paleojudaica

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