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There won’t be a roundup tomorrow, so today’s is a long one (with 30 items). I am grateful for tips this week from Agade, Keith Keyser, Arne Halbakken, Gordon Dickson, and Mark Hoffman. See the last item for a word about the future.

Archaeologists made some discoveries in preparing to open to the public the tomb of Salome, the traditional midwife of Jesus. The cave is situated along the route of the new Judean Kings Trail, which runs from Beersheba to Beit Guvrin.

“Israeli archaeologists have discovered the earliest evidence of cotton in the ancient Near East during excavations at Tel Tsaf, a 7,000-year-old town in the Jordan Valley.”

A group of schoolchildren discovered a Roman oil lamp while walking in Galilee.

“Israel is embarking on a challenge to make the mapping of archaeological sites tech-savvy using remote underground sensor technology in a move to cut costs and resources used up by extensive excavation.”

The NY Times looks at the hope for dating ancient remains offered by archaeomagnetism.

Some are seeking the Israeli government to turn the ruins of the Hasmonean and Herodian palaces at Jericho into a national park in order to preserve it and make it accessible to Israelis.

The Temple Mount Sifting Project has been making great progress, but they need financial support.

The Temple: Then and Now is a forthcoming five-episode video project from Bible Land Passages. They have just released a trailer.

Joseph Lauer has observed that most respectable news outlets have ignored the recent claims of Gershon Galil to have discovered five inscriptions in and around Hezekiah’s Tunnel. He links to one article (in Hebrew) which quotes Dr. Barkay as saying, “I haven’t seen anything yet that convinces me that this is true. We have to wait for a scientific publication and better photos that will clarify what is there.” Carl Rasmussen shares photos of the location of one of the alleged inscriptions.

ASOR webinar on Jan 12: “‘Earliest Inscription Found!’ Exposing Sensationalism in the Field of Ancient Inscriptions,” by Christopher Rollston ($12)

20 ancient tombs dating back to as early as 660 BC were uncovered in the city of New Damietta in Egypt’s Nile delta.”

“An ancient Egyptian painting [in a palace at Amarna] is so detailed, researchers can determine which species of birds were featured in it.”

Conservators in Iraq’s national museum are working to preserve and digitize 47,000 ancient manuscripts.

“Yale computer scientists, archaeologists, and historians are teaming up to uncover long-lost clues from the ancient city of Dura-Europos.”

More than half of the destructions dated to 1200 BC in the eastern Mediterranean world “were misdated, assumed, or simply invented out of nothing and are what we can call, false destructions.”

The Vatican Museums are returning three fragments of sculptures from the Parthenon that they have held for a long time.

Gifs can help to show the former glory of ancient ruins.

Juan Manuel Tebes asks why the Bible never mentions the Edomite god Qos. I think his answer is wrong, but it’s an interesting question.

Leon Mauldin tackles the question of who the deliverer of Israel was in the days of Jehoahaz and Jehoash. His conclusion is quite reasonable.

Jacob Sivak looks at some of the archaeological background to James Michener’s The Source.

An anonymous archaeologist explains why some archaeologists and scientists are carrying out their research anonymously.

A complete list of speakers and topics has been released for the 3rd annual Jerusalem University College online seminar. Speakers include Chris McKinny, Brad Gray, Jack Beck, and Hélène Dallaire.

Oscar White Muscarella, an archaeologist who argued vociferously that antiquities collectors and museums — including his longtime employer, the Metropolitan Museum of Art — were fueling a market in forgeries and encouraging the plundering of archaeological sites, died on Nov. 27.”

Erich Winter, professor emeritus of Egyptology at Trier University, died on Dec 17. A list of his publications is available here.

Ross Thomas, archaeologist and British Museum curator, died on Nov 14 at the age of 44.

Eric Meyers offers “a few inconvenient lessons of Hanukkah.”

Preserving Bible Times now has Zechariah and Elizabeth, by Doug Greenwold, available in audiobook format. (Also ebook)

The latest OnSite video from Biblical Archaeology Society explores Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity.

“Herod the Great-Villain of the Christmas Story” is the subject of the latest episode of Digging for Truth, with guest Bryan Windle. On Christmas day, “O Little Town of Bethlehem” will be released.

Who were the Magi? Bryan Windle provides an excellent and well-illustrated survey of the possibilities, and the strengths of each view.

I’ll have a “Top 10 of 2022” finished by Monday, but there will be no weekend roundups for the next 3-4 weeks while I travel around Turkey and Greece. I’m co-leading a group of 90 from The Master’s University, and I highly recommend our agent there, Tutku Tours.

Merry Christmas!

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The University of Pennsylvania, in partnership with an Iraqi team, has announced the discovery of seven very fine wall reliefs from the time of King Sennacherib in Nineveh. The team is also actively reconstructing the ancient city’s Mashki Gate, which was destroyed by militants a few years ago.

“An ancient Christian monastery possibly dating as far back as the years before Islam spread across the Arabian Peninsula has been discovered on an island off the coast of the United Arab Emirates.”

Archaeological work is underway near the Church of St. Peter in Antioch on the Orontes.

The fourth of five excavation seasons at Amphipolis has concluded, and this story summarizes the latest discoveries.

“An intact skeleton of a woman lying next to a stunning necklace and other important artifacts from the Early Minoan era (circa 2,600 BC), were unearthed recently at the archaeological site of Sisi on Crete.”

“Archivists have uncovered a long-lost historical relic hidden underneath a Christian manuscript: the earliest known map of the stars.”

“We, a group of Egyptologists, IT scholars and enthusiasts, have started an initiative to promote the digitization of Egyptian texts as open, re-usable data. Inspired by the great ORACC, we call ourselves ORAEC, Open Richly Annotated Egyptian Corpus.”

Brent Nongbri reviews the new exhibition at the Cheater Beatty Library called “First Fragments: Biblical Papyrus from Roman Egypt.” It looks worth adding Ireland to your travel list for 2023.

John DeLancey has posted a 360 Interactive Video in the Colosseum in Rome. It provides a great perspective of this ancient slaughterhouse.

The Greek Reporter lists the top 20 archaeological sites in the country. It is a good list.

Ferrell Jenkins posts a photo of the Appian Way south of Rome.

Robert Miller died last month.

HT: Agade, Arne Halbakken, Ted Weis, Joseph Lauer, Wayne Stiles, Explorator

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A virtual tour has been posted of the Assyrian canal and rock-reliefs at the Faida Archaeological Park in northern Iraq.

Teach Ancient Egypt is a library of free teaching resources for learners of all kinds. Browse videos, lesson plans, coloring pages, slides, language-learning materials, and more—created and vetted by Egyptologists and other experts.”

“A new exhibition at the British Library explores the diverse and remarkably enduring legends that have sprung up about Alexander [the Great], and the ways successive cultures have shaped stories of him to their own ends.”

A one-minute video gives a preview of the 1st-century Jerusalem model coming to the Ark Encounter.

Classical artworks were originally full of color, and this 6-minute BBC video questions whether that reality has been intentionally suppressed in modern times.

Art & Object lists ten of the most significant underwater finds made in recent decades.

Ferrell Jenkins shares photos of Corinth, Cenchrea, and Isthmia.

John P. Meier, a theologian and biblical commentator who wrote the multi-volume ‘A Marginal Jew,’ died Oct. 18, 2022.”

Burton MacDonald, best known for his survey work in Jordan, died on October 20.

The Bible Society of Taiwan has published a Chinese (Traditional Script) edition of the Satellite Bible Atlas. Also, the English edition is available once again after a delay caused by printer supply chain issues.

HT: Agade, Arne Halbakken, Alexander Schick

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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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