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Archaeologists have discovered dramatic evidence of the conflagration that destroyed Azekah circa 1130 BC, leading them to dub the site as a “small Pompeii.”

According to news reports, a rare Tyrian shekel was discovered during a renovation project at the Tower of David Museum. This is true, except that the coin is not a shekel and not rare. It is a silver tetradrachm of Demetrios II Nikator from Tyre with a date of SE 184 = 129/8 BC.

While undergoing conservation work, a large structural crack was discovered in Herod’s tower in the Citadel of David.

Justin Kelley’s BAR article on “The Holy Sepulchre in History, Archaeology, and Tradition” is summarized in Bible History Daily, where a detailed plan of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher is also provided.

Scholars are using high-tech imaging to understand thousands of hand-engraved crosses on the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.

A new “Emmaus Trail” allows walkers to travel the 11 miles (18 km) from Abu Ghosh to Nicopolis/Latrun. Leen Ritmeyer takes the occasion to propose that Emmaus should be identified with Bethel in the Old Testament.

David Moster has posted a new video that explains how to “make sense of the new Dead Sea Scrolls,” including a discussion of how important these discoveries are to biblical studies.

Randall Price is on The Book and the Spade discussing the new Dead Sea Scrolls discoveries.

The latest teaching video from John DeLancey is “The Life of Jesus – His Redemptive Purpose.”

New book: Jesus of Nazareth: Archaeologists Retracing the Footsteps of Christ, by Michael Hesemann. The author’s background and motivations are reported here.

Bryan Windle lists the top 10 discoveries related to Jesus.

Robert E. Cooley died on Thursday. During his career, he excavated Tel Dothan and helped to found the Near East Archaeological Society.

HT: Agade, Charles Savelle, Ted Weis, Arne Halbakken

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“The Book of the Dead in 3D” will open later this year at Berkeley’s Phoebe Apperson Hearst Museum of Anthropology. The interactive display will use virtual reality headsets to provide an immersive tour of Egypt’s death culture.

A robot captured 9 hours of video footage in traveling through the shaft of the Great Pyramid, discovering at the end a small chamber with elaborate symbols, but not yet solving the question of how the pyramids’ construction relates to the stars.

More has been published about the large animal cemetery located at the Roman port city of Berenice, Egypt.

The Alexander mosaic discovered at Pompeii will undergo a six-month process of restoration.

A man with a metal detector found a 2nd century AD Roman coin in British Columbia.

Mid-Atlantic Christian University and the Museum of the Albemarle in Elizabeth City, NC have partnered together to exhibit artifacts from Khirbet el-Maqatir, March 19 to November 13. The exhibit is entitled “Joshua, Judges, & Jesus: An Archaeological Journey Through the Bible.”

Preserving Bible Times’s 2 Crowns film premieres on March 29 (reservation required, but there is no charge). Watch the trailer here. Pastors can sign up for a sneak preview on March 22 here.

Sidnie White Crawford will be lecturing on “Scribes and Scrolls at Qumran: A New Synthesis” on Mar 17, 11:30 am (EDT; Zoom link). Her book on the subject is on Amazon.

With Palm Sunday approaching, Wayne Stiles looks at the road descending down the Mount of Olives and the walls on either side of it.

Clyde Billington is on The Book and the Spade this week, talking about olive oil, DSS DNA, and bananas.

Accordance Bible Software is offering a number of historical and cultural resources on sale now, including the American Colony Collection, Views That Have Vanished, Cultural Images of the Holy Land, and Carta’s “Understanding” Series.

George Bass, often called the father of underwater archaeology, died on March 2. His article on “The Development of Maritime Archaeology in The Oxford Handbook of Maritime Archaeology is online.

HT: Agade, Ted Weis, Arne Halbakken, Keith Keyser, Explorator, Charles Savelle

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A nearly intact 4-wheel ceremonial carriage has been found near Pompeii. Here’s a 3-D view and here’s a short video.

“Pompeii has completed a major restoration on a large fresco in the garden of the House of the Ceii, bringing back to life its intense colours, with the help of laser technology.”

A cemetery recently iscovered in Larnaca, Cyprus, was in use from the 12th century BC to the Roman period.

David Hendin provides a primer on silver shekels and half-shekels from Tyre, including addressing the difficult question of why these coins were chosen for use in the Jerusalem temple.

Discoveries in a tomb at Achziv may reflect the ancient “victory song” tradition evidenced in the accounts of Miriam, Deborah, Jephthah, David.

Drones equipped with multispectral cameras are providing clues of the path followed by water canals dug 2,000 years ago in Spain to support Roman-era gold mining operations.”

Pope Francis will be leading a prayer service at the ancient site of Ur. Iraqis hope the visit will help to bring back tourists.

The IAA website reviews the exhibition, “Owning the Past: From Mesopotamia to Iraq at the Ashmolean Museum.

David Moster explains what is the Bible’s most mispronounced letter, and how that plays out in the names of Jerusalem, Jericho, and other names.

The spring issue of Biblical Archaeology Review includes articles on the Holy Sepulcher, the “face of God,” and Auja el-Foqa.

Pinar Durgun provides tips for searching online museum collections.

Al Hoerth died in October. The Book and the Spade brings back an interview with him from 2006.

HT: Agade, Arne Halbakken, Chris McKinny, 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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A worker clearing a nature path at Nitzana (Nessana) in the Negev discovered a stone with a Greek inscription reading “Blessed Maria.”

A forthcoming article by David Ussishkin argues that there was no gate shrine at Lachish desecrated in the reign of Hezekiah.

Bill Barrick’s latest research trip post focuses on Tel Dan and includes a variety of images and a list of recommended resources.

The Crusader-era siege ramp around Ashkelon served another purpose: protecting the city from being overtaken by sand.

After an extended investigation, the Israel Antiquities Authority recovered thousands of looted artifacts in three raids in central Israel.

Evie Gassner looks at a lot of evidence in order to determine just how Jewish King Herod was.

Bruce Routledge will be lecturing on Jan 11, 11am CET, on “Iron Age Jordan: The Levant from a very different angle.” To register and receive a Zoom link, email [email protected].

Conversations in the Archaeology and History of Ancient Israel with Israel Finkelstein. This video series with a controversial archaeologist will be rolling out over the coming year. The initial videos (20-30 min. each) are available now.

Claus-Hunno Hunzinger died this week. He was the last living member of the original Dead Sea Scrolls team.

An obituary has been posted for Shlomo Bunimovitz who died last month.

Peter Goeman gives a good roundup of articles in the blogosphere in the latest biblical studies carnival.

HT: Agade, Andy Cook

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An Egyptian mummy with a woman’s portrait turned out to be a 5-year-old girl, based upon a study using high-resolution scans and X-ray microbeams.

SURA is a new project that will make available to the public 7,000 historic glass plate negatives from the Egyptological library of the Royal Museums of Art and History in Brussels.

“New analysis of a First Book of Breathing papyrus sheds light on its derivation from the Book of the Dead and postmortem deification in ancient Egypt.”

Wayne Stiles shares photos and looks at lessons to be learned from the pyramids of Giza.

Archaeologists are using artificial intelligence to analyze satellite images to identify ancient structures.

The Greek Reporter has created a short video showing the conservation and transportation of the mosaic of the Villa of Dionysus at Dion.

Carl Rasmussen shares photographs of Sinope, a likely recipient of Peter’s first epistle.

Gordon Govier asks, “Where are the other fake fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls?”

I just learned about thebiblesleuth.com, a weekly blog that links the Pentateuch with archaeological findings, following the Jewish annual reading cycle of the Torah. The blog is written in serial format, with the focus this year on the Iron Age IIA period (early Israelite monarchy).

In a three-minute video, John Currid answers the question, “Why is archaeology useful to Christians?”

Louise Pryke: “Nebuchadnezzar Explained: Warrior King, Rebuilder of Cities, and Musical Muse”

“Owning the Past: From Mesopotamia to Iraq” is a new exhibition at the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford.

Accordance’s Black Friday sale includes big savings on collections, including a number of graphics collections.

James Sanders died last month.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Keith Keyser, Ted Weis, Ferrell Jenkins, Alexander Schick, Arne Halbakken

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About the BiblePlaces Blog

The BiblePlaces Blog provides updates and analysis of the latest in biblical archaeology, history, and geography. Unless otherwise noted, the posts are written by Todd Bolen, PhD, Professor of Biblical Studies at The Master’s University.

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