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The first-ever discovery of a soldier bearing the title of “Emperor’s protector” was made on a sarcophagus found in western Turkey.

“A 2nd-century funerary altar marking the remains of a 13-year-old girl was discovered in Rome.”

Hundreds of engraved stones and fragmented bas-relief carvings have recently been discovered in the ruined Tachara Palace” in Persepolis.

“Analysis of Bronze Age daggers has shown that they were used for processing animal carcasses and not as non-functional symbols of identity and status, as previously thought.”

“Lebanon’s tourism ministry inaugurated on Friday a Phoenician museum in the coastal city of Jounieh.”

Pharaoh So is the last of five Egyptian pharaohs in Bryan Windle’s archaeological biography series.

Chris Stantis writes about warriors and warrior burials in the ancient Near East.

Bible History Daily provides an introduction to a current BAR magazine article on dig workers in the Middle East. The article itself derives from more extensive reporting in Allison Mickel’s Why Those Who Shovel Are Silent: A History of Local Archaeological Knowledge and Labor.

“A British tourist could face the death penalty in Iraq after being accused of smuggling artifacts out of the country.”

A new study concludes that the Shroud of Turin is similar to a piece of fabric found at Masada in the 1st century AD.

The Ancient World Online has updated its extensive list of Oriental Institute Open Access Publications.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Arne Halbakken, Ryan Jaroncyk, Jared Clark, Charles Savelle, Explorator

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A nearly completely intact clay oil lamp from 2,300 years ago was found near a stone bath during recent conservation work at the Mount Gerizim National Park.”

Plans to construct a zip line near Haas Promenade south of Jerusalem’s Old City is facing criticism. There are also plans to build a pedestrian suspension bridge over the Hinnom Valley.

Zvi Koenigsberg argues that the discovery of the curse inscription supports his theory that the original “place that He will choose” was a temple on Mount Ebal.

Aren Maeir is interviewed in the History Channel of Israel’s “Whatever Happened to the Philistines?”

Zoom lecture on May 11: “Beer in Israel and the Ancient Near East: New Insights from Archaeology,” by Jennie Ebeling ($7).

Albright Institute hybrid workshop on May 12: “A Comparison of the Monastery at Tel Masos and Byzantine Monasteries in the Negev Desert,” by Rachel Bernstein. Register here.

Hybrid conference at Tel Aviv University on June 13: “Local and Regional Perspectives on Nomads in the Biblical World” (pdf schedule; Zoom link).

The early bird discount for the Infusion Bible Conference ends on June 3.

The latest free maps from Bible Mapper:

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

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“Egyptian archaeologists have uncovered the remains of a temple to the god Zeus Kasios in North Sinai at the Tel al-Farma archaeological site, the ancient city of Pelusium.”

Subterranean limestone vaults have been discovered in Osuna, where the Phoenicians who lived on the Iberian peninsula 2,500 years ago laid their dead.”

The Wall Street Journal has a number of photos of the new underground city discovered in Midyat, Turkey.

“For centuries, historians believed that any physical evidence of the pivotal Battle of the Aegates was long gone. Then came a chance discovery – which led to dozens of shipwrecks.”

Enrico Giovanelli writes about scarabs that have been discovered in pre-Roman Italy.

“Tel Aviv University (TAU) renewed its academic relations with Turkey this week,” with plans to corroborate on various regional matters including archaeology.

Just released: “Paul’s Passion Renewed: A Visit to Corinth,” with Randall Smith. Filmed on location and produced by Kerugma Productions.

New in Tyndale Bulletin: “The Hebrew Exodus from and Jeremiah’s Eisodus into Egypt in the Light of Recent Archaeological and Geological Developments,” by James K. Hoffmeier

ASOR is offering members significantly discounted prices on some of its books.

Esagil Games provides “fun games and teaching tools about ancient Mesopotamia.”

“Persia: Ancient Iran and the Classical World” is a new exhibit at the Getty Villa, with artifacts from the British Museum and the Louvre on display until August 8.

Bryan Windle: “This month, the top three reports in biblical archaeology were about a New Testament-site, an Old Testament-era female Pharaoh, and one of the most famous relics of all-time.”

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Arne Halbakken, Brian Morley

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Renovations at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher have revealed a medieval high altar that once stood in the center of the church.

A Byzantine-era mosaic floor from a Christian basilica in Nahariya has been restored and will be opened to the public. The 500-square meter mosaic includes 87 surviving medallions, with illustrations of flora, fauna, and scenes from everyday life. A video in Hebrew is here. BibleWalks has more photos of the church and the surrounding area.

A family hiking in the Harovit forest in central Israel discovered a beautiful mosaic from the Byzantine period.

The recently vandalized tomb of Joseph in Nablus has been restored.

Two girls were rescued when they accidentally entered a minefield in Nahal Tamar south of the Dead Sea.

Jodi Magness takes Amanda Borschel-Dan on a walking tour of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.

The Museum of the Bible and DIVE (Digital Interactive Virtual Experiences) will be conducting a virtual tour of the Via Dolorosa on April 20 ($20).

The lead tablet found on Mount Ebal is the subject of discussion in the latest episode of the Biblical World podcast.

“After decades of laying beside the sacred lake at Luxor’s Karnak Temple, a team of Egyptian restorers and archaeologists succeeded in re-erecting the restored Hatshepsut’s obelisk.”

“German researchers have tracked down and documented hundreds of antiquities located in Berlin museums that were looted from the island of Samos, Greece.”

“Scientists have debated the reason why Bronze Age wall paintings at the ancient settlement of Akrotiri on the Greek island of Santorini depict monkeys that existed thousands of miles away in Asia.”

The Jerusalem Post has a short interview with a curator of the Museum of the Bible on the role of biblical archaeology.

Expedition Bible has launched a new YouTube channel. In the first video, Joel Kramer goes to Tell Deir Alla to discuss the Balaam inscription.

Roy Albag has created a number of reconstructions of sites in Israel, including the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the Herodian Quarter’s palatial mansion, Solomon’s temple, and Herod’s palace in Jerusalem.

New release: Jerusalem and the Coastal Plain in the Iron Age and Persian Periods: New Studies on Jerusalem’s Relations with the Southern Coastal Plain of Israel/Palestine (c. 1200–300 BCE). Research on Israel and Aram in Biblical Times IV. Edited by Felix Hagemeyer (Mohr Siebeck, 119 €).

A number of Eilat Mazar’s publications are for sale, including her excavation reports of various sites in Jerusalem.

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

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A boat dating to 2000 BC has been excavated near the ancient city of Uruk in Iraq.

Scientists used a mass spectrometer to identify the smells of ancient food residues in jars discovered in the Deir el-Medina necropolis.

Greek graffiti on a statue of Ramses II at Abu Simbel dates to the reign of Pharaoh Psammetichus (circa 590 BC).

Turkish Archaeological News highlights the top stories for the month of March, including the restoration of the “Serpent Column” in Istanbul.

Chariot racing in the Roman world was “the ancient version of NASCAR, except that it was a lot more dangerous.”

“Researchers in Sweden are using virtual reality (VR) to envision what a lavishly decorated home in Pompeii might have looked like before its destruction in 79 C.E.”

“It is now certain that ancient Greek sculptors used bright colors, as well as gold and ivory, to further beautify the magnificent structures they created.”

Researchers believe they now know the date the Antikythera mechanism was first set ticking—December 23, 178 BC.

New from Brill: Queen Berenice: A Jewish Female Icon of the First Century CE, by Tal Ilan. “This is a biography of Queen Berenice, the daughter of King Agrippa I, sister of King Agrippa II, wife of two kings and lover of the emperor designate Flavius Titus.”

Andrea Nicolotti provides a bit of a teaser on Bible History Daily from his recent book, The Shroud of Turin: The History and Legends of the World’s Most Famous Relic (Waco: Baylor Univ. Press, 2020).

HT: Agade, Arne Halbakken, Alexander Schick, Joseph Lauer

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“Work has begun on the reconstruction of some of the 50 massive marble columns of the basilica in the Ashkelon National Park as part of an overall facelift for the park, and next week the fourth [7.5-ton] pillar will be put in place.”

A volunteer group has begun cleaning up the archaeological sites in Tiberias in hopes of having a national park established for the ongoing protection of the ruins.

On the Mount Ebal curse tablet, Aren Maeir offers some initial thoughts. At Haaretz, Nir Hasson provides a general overview along with some criticisms of the artifact and questions about how it was uncovered and exported. Shawn Zelig Aster weighs in on the inscription’s possible significance. James Davila observes that if the claims are accurate, the amulet would be the earliest inscribed metal amulet by a good five centuries, but he thinks it unlikely that the inscription is a defixio amulet from the Persian period or later.

Biblical Archaeology Review assistant editor Nathan Steinmeyer gives a short video tour atop the walls of Jerusalem (5 minutes, with no 2x option).

“Imagine learning the Bible not as a religious exercise, but as local history. In Israeli public schools, that’s the reality.”

New release: The Jewish Quarter Excavations in the Old City of Jerusalem: Conducted by Nahman Avigad 1969-1982: Vol. VIII: Architecture and Stratigraphy: The Palatial Mansion: Areas F-2, P and P-2. Edited by Hillel Geva.

Hillel Geva has retired from director of the Israel Exploration Society, and Rona Avissar Lewis is now in charge.

“Giants in Judges” is the subject in the most recent episode of the Biblical World podcast with Chris McKinny and Kyle Keimer.

HT: Agade, Arne Halbakken, Alexander Schick, Joseph Lauer

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