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The earliest evidence for the production of olives for eating has been found off the coast at Haifa.

The Bible Sleuth describes a relief that may provide a mention of the biblical David that is earlier than the Tel Dan Inscription and the Mesha Stele.

“Herod the Great Gardener” is the subject of this week’s episode on The Book and the Spade, with guest Kathryn Gleason.

A preliminary list of archaeological excavations in Israel this year is pretty short.

Renovation work has been completed at the Western Wall.

John DeLancey has created a video on Hezekiah’s Tunnel.

John Currid explains “Why We Dig: The Importance of Biblical Archaeology.”

Lawrence H. Schiffman looks at the evidence that connects John the Baptist with the Essenes/Qumran group and concludes that there is no reason to believe him was ever a member.

On Logos for $1.99: Unearthing the Bible: 101 Archaeological Discoveries That Bring the Bible to Life, by Titus Kennedy.

Ordinary Jerusalem, 1840-1940: Opening New Archives, Revisiting a Global City, edited by Angelos Dalachanis and Vincent Lemire. Available for free as a pdf.

David Hendin, author of Guide to Biblical Coins, talks about what makes a true collector.

The Jewish News looks back on early news stories of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Glenn J. Corbett is the new editor of Biblical Archaeology Review.

Online lecture on Feb 4: “Temples and Tabernacles: How the Ancient Israelites Worshipped,” by David Ilan.

Online lecture on Feb 10: “Exploring a 3D Model of the Ancient Beth Alpha Synagogue,” by Brad Erickson

Since Shmuel Browns wasn’t guiding tourists in 2020, he took lots of photographs, and he shares his favorite ones on his blog. My favorite is “Olive Tree in Shomron.”

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Arne Halbakken, Charles Savelle, Keith Keyser, Ted Weis, Alexander Schick

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Two female statues from the 4th century BC have been discovered near the Athens airport.

The removal of two millennia of detritus has revealed the beautiful colors of the temple of Esna.

More than 13 types of inscriptions from various civilizations are known in the Arabian Peninsula.

The Antiquarium at Pompeii has now been reopened permanently.

A remorseful thief returned some fake coins he stole from the Paestum museum.

National Geographic has a feature on what may have been the Roman empire’s most enduring contribution: a road network covering more than 200,000 miles.

CSNTM has announced a brand new manuscript viewer.

Smithsonian Magazine: Who Invented the Alphabet?

Judeans in Babylonia: A Study of Deportees in the Sixth and Fifth Centuries BCE, by Tero Alstola, published by Brill in 2019 in Culture and History of the Ancient Near East series. Available for free as a pdf.

Reviewed: Libraries before Alexandria: Ancient Near Eastern Traditions, by Kim Ryholt and Gojko Barjamovic.

Sinclair Hood, best known for his excavation of the Minoan Palace of Knossos, has died just shy of his 104th birthday.

I join John DeLancey to talk about the Top 10 Archaeological Discoveries of 2020. This interview builds on a list I wrote, but with added commentary and a few photos.

HT: Agade, Ted Weis, Joseph Lauer, Arne Halbakken, Mark Hoffman, Explorator

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Archaeologists working at Timna have discovered fabrics dyed in royal purple from the time of David and Solomon. The underlying journal article is here. An early report from 2016 is here.

A mosque excavated in Tiberias may date back to the earliest years of Islam.

Several clay tablets discovered in the 1960s at Tell Deir Alla have mystified scholars, but a recent study has led to a translation along with the recognition that this is the only Late Bronze Age alphabet known from Jordan.

An endowment has secured a collection of historic Hebrew texts for Oxford University.

A new app created by an Episcopal church in South Carolina allows users to traverse a 98-mile path that follows the Gospel of Luke. You can access the app here.

Smithsonian Magazine: The Best Board Games of the Ancient World

The Onion: Archaeologists Uncover Separate Team Of Archaeologists Digging Towards Them From Other Side Of Globe

New from Yale: Ancient Israel, from Its Beginnings through 332 BCE, edited by Jeffrey H. Tigay and Adele Berlin.

Robert Cargill is stepping down as editor of Biblical Archaeology Review.

This week on The Book and the Spade, Gordon Govier reviews archaeology plans for 2021.

Bryan Windle chooses the top four reports in biblical archaeology for this month.

John DeLancey and Biblical Israel Ministries & Tours have released a new collection of 380 enhanced aerial photos of Israel (and a few sites in Jordan). Each of the 55 sites featured in this collection have seven photos each in this set. It is now available for purchase in thumb drive or download formats.

HT: Agade, Ted Weis, Joseph Lauer, Arne Halbakken, Mark Hoffman, Explorator

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Several shipwrecks from the Roman period are being studied near the Greek island of Kassos.

Timothy H. Lim explains that while the Essenes living at Qumran preferred isolation, most Essenes did not.

In the 1930s, the Oriental Institute conducted a series of investigations throughout ancient Persia.

Discover magazine looks at the use of the number zero in ancient history.

A new exhibition has opened at the University of Pennsylvania: Invisible Beauty: The Art of Archaeological Science.

UC Berkeley has announced a new program entitled “Assyrian Studies.”

Digging Digital Museum Collections Series “has created a pedagogical resource that provides examples of learning activities based on online museum collections and resources.”

Eric Cline and Christopher Rollston are being succeeded as editors of BASOR by a team of four.

Now on Pre-Pub at Logos: The Oxford Handbook of Early Christian Archaeology.

John DeLancey gives a 12-minute tour of Caesarea Philippi.

Joel Kramer talks about how archaeology supports the Bible in an interview with Sean McDowell.

HT: Agade, Ted Weis, Arne Halbakken

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A study by the Weizmann Institute dates the eruption of Santorini to 1630–1620 BC based on radiocarbon dating and an analysis of an olive branch’s growth rings.

Four water cisterns have been discovered under the acropolis of the classical city of Metropolis in western Turkey.

An ancient aqueduct near Troy is being restored, with hopes of attracting tourists.

Scholars searching for clues to Cleopatra’s appearance find conflicting data in Roman coins, Egyptian relief, and imperial propaganda.

Elaine Sullivan has created a 3D model of Saqqara that allows the viewer to jump through time to see the cemetery in different eras.

The BBC reports on ancient businesswomen involved in trade between Assur and Kanesh.

Covid-19 has led to an increase in looting of ancient sites in Iraq (6-min video).

You don’t have to wait until your next visit to the Edomite capital of Bozrah (Busayra) to view the new signs erected describing the temple, palace, and fortifications.

The world’s first hanging obelisk has been installed in the Grand Egyptian Museum.

The Acropolis Museum of Athens is the first museum in Greece to be fully digitized.

A portion of the imperial garden of Caligula’s palace in Rome is opening this spring to visitors.

New: Landscapes of Survival: The Archaeology and Epigraphy of Jordan’s North-Eastern Desert and Beyond, edited by Peter M.M.G. Akkermans (hardback, paperback, ebook, or read online for free)

In an interview on Jan 26, Katie Chin, Acquisitions Editor at Brill Publishers, will talk about why she accepts or rejects manuscripts, and about practical tools for increasing scholars’ chances of being published. Attendance is free but registration is required.

This new archaeological biography on Darius the Great provides background, photographs, and archaeological discoveries to illuminate the life of one of the most important rulers of Persia.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, A.D. Riddle, Arne Halbakken, Explorator, Alexander Schick

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Analysis of soil from Herod’s palace garden in Jericho reveals that he raised “lush bonsai versions of pines, cypresses, cedars, olives and other trees.”

There is more here about the police bust of a major antiquities ring in central Israel.

Israel21c runs an interesting piece on the value and conservation of ancient mosaics in Israel.

With the mines removed, worshipers were able to celebrate Epiphany near the Jordan River for the first time in more than 50 years.

Roger D. Isaacs adds to the lists of top 10 Bible discoveries of 2020.

Because of travel restrictions, Jerusalem University College is offering for the first time ever its full slate of classes online, including courses on physical settings, cultural background, parables of Jesus, and history of the Second Temple period.

New: Heart of the Holy Land: 40 Reflections on Scripture and Place, by Paul H. Wright (and on Kindle)

New: Encountering Jesus in the Real World of the Gospels, by Cyndi Parker

New: Archaeology and Ancient Israelite Religion, edited by Avraham Faust. Hardback for purchase or free pdf. Individual essays are available here.

The Israel Film Archive has some short film clips of historic interest. They are in Hebrew, but visually interesting even if you don’t know Hebrew.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, A.D. Riddle, Arne Halbakken, Explorator, Alexander Schick

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