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“Archaeologists have uncovered the granite sarcophagus of a high-ranking official from the reign of Ramesses II at Saqqara.”

“Archaeologists in Egypt have uncovered a nearly 1,000-year-old cache of gold and silver coins behind a temple in Esna, a city located along the Nile River.”

Egyptian authorities are struggling with looting taking place in the area of ancient Memphis.

Writing for Archaeology magazine, Jason Urbanus explains how King Tutankhamun’s family forever changed the land of the Nile.

Newest episode on This Week in the Ancient Near East: “Sticky Fingers in the Valley of the Kings, or Howard Carter and the Case of King Tut’s Tomb.”

Michael Homan died last week.

Sarah C. Schaefer reflects on why Gustave Doré’s biblical illustrations are well-known but his name is not.

A new exhibit, High Tech Romans, is running at the Landesmuseum in Mainz, Germany, through January 15.

All 44 presentations from this year’s IBC Conference on “John: His Life, Legacy & Last Words” is now available as a digital download for $99.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Arne Halbakken, Keith Keyser

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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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Several magnificent 4th-century AD Roman sarcophagi will soon be on display in Ashkelon.

The site of ancient Samaria (Sebastia) has been damaged by arson and looters. The article discusses more broadly the destruction of archaeological sites in Judea and Samaria.

Artifacts discovered in a salvage excavation next to the Machpelah in Hebron may be buried to provide a path for disabled visitors.

Plans have been shelved that would have transformed the ruins of Lifta on the outskirts of Jerusalem into a residential and commercial area.

The arrest of three antiquities thieves in the West Bank resulted in the recovery of Roman and Byzantine coins, jewelry, doors, and a stone olive press.

Israel’s tourism industry is on it way to record highs.

“The Experience of Resurrection” is a new multimedia exhibition at the Franciscans’ Christian Information Center (CIC) located inside the Old City’s Jaffa Gate. The same Jerusalem Post article reports on several other new tours, including one which explores Wilson’s Arch.

After going on an international tour, the Magdala stone has returned home.

James McGrath reports on his tour of the region of Samaria, led by the grandson of the Samaritan high priest. This is part of a series entitled “In the Footsteps of John the Baptist.”

John DeLancey shares a video of the 1st-century pilgrimage road that runs from the Pool of Siloam to the Temple Mount.

The Temple Mount Sifting Project is seeking more financial support.

Ilan Ben Zion summarizes two views on the origins of the Philistines. Aren Maeir believes that Philistines came to the land of Canaan in a series of mass migrations, arriving from many locations in the eastern Mediterranean over many decades, whereas Daniel Master argues that they came from Crete around 1175 BC.

Joseph Aviram, long-time director of the Israel Exploration Society, died at the age of 106 (Haaretz premium).

Chandler Collins reports on the transformation of a mound of dirt in the Armenian Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City into a paved parking lot. He has done a great job with before-and-after photos. (You can support his work and gain some nice benefits by becoming a patron.)

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

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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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An ancient shipwreck near the northern Greek island of Alonissos will be the first in Greece to be made accessible to the public. It dates to the 5th century BC and was carrying 4,000 amphoras.

Three archaeological expeditions are working at Nineveh, and authorities plan to open the city to tourists next year.

“Scientists have fully sequenced the DNA of a Pompeii man killed during the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in A.D. 79.”

Judith Sudilovsky went on a tour of Turkey, and she reports on what she saw at Harran, the city where Abraham lived, at Urfa/Edessa, and at the Haleplibahçe Mozaik Museum.

“The United Kingdom and Greece have agreed to formal talks regarding the return of the Parthenon marbles.”

A former president of the Louvre has been charged with crimes related to the trafficking of Egyptian artifacts.

Amanda Claridge, archaeologist and author of Rome: An Oxford Archaeological Guide, died earlier this month.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Arne Halbakken, Keith Keyser, Explorator

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The alabaster for two of Herod’s bathtubs was quarried not in Egypt but in the Te’omim cave in the Judean hills.

Excavators are claiming that the stump of a juniper tree, discovered near Eilat, may be the oldest Asherah ever found.

A new season of excavations has begun at the Apollonia-Arsuf Crusader fortress on the coast near Herzilya.

“In one of the biggest busts in Israeli history, the Israel Antiquities Authority’s theft prevention unit has recovered over 1,800 ancient artifacts from an unlicensed dealer in the central Israeli city of Modiin. Mostly coins and jewelry, the artifacts also included cuneiform tablets and bronze statuettes.”

Israel’s supreme court has “rejected four petitions against a controversial plan to build a cable car to Jerusalem’s historic Old City, shutting down the legal opposition route for opponents of the plan.”

A renovation project on an ancient Samaritan priestly residential compound is the first step in making the Mount Gerizim archaeological park more welcoming to tourists.

The latest issue of Tel Aviv includes several articles on Iron Age Jerusalem. The titles and abstracts are free, but access to the articles requires subscription.

Virtual tour on June 8: The Room of the Last Supper and Jerusalem, with Museum of the Bible and DIVE (Digital Interactive Virtual Experiences); $20

A colleague of mine at The Master’s University was honored last month by the publication of a festschrift: Written for Our Instruction: Essays in Honor of William Varner. Among the many interesting essays, two are of particular relevance to this blog:

  • “Where Did David Go? David’s Wilderness Wanderings and the Testing of God’s Son,” by Abner Chou (my new boss)
  • “‘What Have I Done in Comparison with You?’: The Itinerary of Gideon’s Pursuit of the Midianites in Judges 7–8,” by Chris McKinny (with additional color maps on Academia)

Andy Cook of Secrets from Ancient Paths has just posted “The life-saving lesson of Bet Shemesh” (5 min).

Joel Kramer at Expedition Bible has released some new videos (4-10 min ea.):

Bruce Cresson died last week. He was director or co-director of excavations at Aphek-Antipatris, Dalit, Ira, Uza, Radum, and Malhata.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Arne Halbakken, G. M. Grena

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