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A rare gold bead was discovered by a teenage volunteer in excavations on the “Pilgrimage Road” leading from the City of David to the Temple Mount.

Israel’s driest winter in 60 years ended with a week of heavy rainfall throughout the country. The recent rains filled Herod’s pools at the Tower of David Museum in Jerusalem. If you look at the photos, you’ll see that “filled” is a bit generous, but there is water where there usually is not.

“An extraordinary physical reconstruction of a Nabataean woman who lived in the Arabian peninsula more than 2,000 years ago has gone on display to the public.”

“Inside el-Janab Cave near Nablus, archaeologists have found first-ever solid evidence of Muslims fleeing Mongol forces sweeping through the Levant in 1260.”

The Book & The Spade is celebrating a remarkable 40-year run with an anniversary celebration in a live webinar on Wednesday, featuring Scott Stripling, a reflection back on the last four decades of biblical archaeology, and some prize giveaways.

Chandler Collins has posted the second issue of the Jerusalem Tracker, with an extensive roundup of news publications, and media related to Jerusalem from the last six months.

King Jehoram of Israel, the son of Ahab and victim of Jehu, is the subject of Bryan Windle’s latest archaeological biography.

In part 3 of Teaching The Text’s series on Ruth, Brad Gray explores the early encounters between Ruth and Boaz.

Volume 14 of the open-access e-journal Negev, Dead Sea and Arava Studies has been published. The articles are in English, Hebrew, and French.

New release: The Bible and Music, by James F. McGrath. Free download in several formats.

HT: Agade, Arne Halbakken, Explorator

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Bryan Windle highlights the top three reports in biblical archaeology in January 2023.

Expedition Bible’s latest video considers whether the archaeological evidence supports the authenticity of the traditional tomb of Lazarus in Bethany.

Carl Rasmussen shares some musings from his recent tour of Israel.

In preparing a map for the Bible Mapper Blog, David Barrett identified the hill of Ammah in the pool of Gibeon story (2 Sam 2) with el-Qubeiba, which has also been identified as the Emmaus of Luke 24.

Antiquities police caught a couple of thieves at the bottom of a pit, after they had already caused irreversible damage to a 1st-century winepress in western Galilee.

Antiquities thieves who had discovered an ancient sarcophagus at the site of Samaria were caught by authorities.

Aren Maeir has collected a number of videos where he discusses the Philistines and his excavations of the city of Gath.

The Israel Antiquities Authority has begun moving into its new home at the Jay and Jeanie Schottenstein National Campus for the Archaeology of the Land of Israel in Jerusalem.

The Great Isaiah Scroll arrived at what is now known as the Albright Institute on February 19, 1948. To celebrate the 75th anniversary, Marcello Fidanzio will be lecturing on Qumran Cave 1 and the Great Isaiah Scroll on February 21 at the Israel Museum.

“The Tel Shimron Experience is a 5-day, 6-night archaeological excursion in Israel where you will have the opportunity to participate in a real archaeological dig.” The price is similar to a 3-week half-season, so you are effectively paying for the privilege of a shorter commitment.

A heygo tour of “The Colosseum Inside” is planned for tomorrow morning.

HT: Agade, Arne Halbakken, Explorator

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“Accumulated disquiet among Israeli archaeologists over the widespread publication of sensational claims regarding ostensibly newly deciphered, once-in-a-lifetime biblical inscriptions in Jerusalem has spilled over into an open letter.”

A recent episode of This Week in the Ancient Near East discusses the way in which new alleged inscriptions in Hezekiah’s Tunnel were announced.

Israeli archaeologists discovered the oldest hoards of silver, attesting to its use as currency some centuries earlier than previously thought. The underlying journal article is here.

Excavations at Khirbat el-Masani revealed the remains of a Byzantine monk whose neck, hands, and feet bore heavy iron rings, perhaps as a symbol of his ascetic lifestyle.

“Newly uncovered remains of fabrics from the Far East dating to some 1,300 years ago in Israel’s Arava region suggest the existence of a previously unknown ‘Israeli Silk Road.’”

The United States has returned an 8th century BC cosmetic spoon, probably taken from the region of Hebron, to the Palestinian government. This the first such repatriation of an antiquity by the US to the Palestinian Authority.

The Palestinian Authority is apparently planning to construct homes on the area of the altar on Mount Ebal.

Walking The Text has begun a mini-series on Ruth, with a number of helpful maps and illustrations.

El-Araj, possibly Bethsaida, is the latest site featured in the “Digging In” series of the Biblical Archaeology. The article includes a 6-minute video taken on location.

Hybrid lecture on Jan 26: “Byzantine Bethsaida and the House of St. Peter,” by R. Steven Notley and Mordechai Aviam, at the Museum of the Bible.

New from Eisenbrauns: Yotvata: The Ze’ev Meshel Excavations (1974–1980) The Iron I “Fortress” and the Early Islamic Settlement, by Lily Singer-Avitz and Etan Ayalon

Aaron Demsky provides a extensive discussion of the location of Rachel’s tomb, concluding that it was near the border of Benjamin and Ephraim.

GTI Tours is offering a study tour specifically designed for those who have visited Israel before, with a variety of experiences most tourists don’t have.

The BAS Scholars Series includes four lectures, with a discount for purchase of all four:

  • Mar 5: “Holy City Hotspot: Exploring Jerusalem’s Acropolis,” with Andrew Lawler
  • June 4: “A Wise Woman and a Bearded Man: Ten Seasons of Excavation at Tel Abel Beth Maacah,” with Nava Panitz-Cohen
  • Sept 28: “Free Health Care Is a Miracle: Psalm 8, Jesus, and the Jerusalem Temple,” with Amy-Jill Levine
  • Dec 6: “The Life of Jesus Written in Stone: The Earliest Commemorative Churches in Roman Palestine,” with Jordan Ryan

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Arne Halbakken, Gordon Dickson, Ted Weis, Wayne Stiles, Mondo Gonzales, Alexander Schick, Charles Savelle, Keith Keyser, Explorator

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A seven-word inscription on an ivory comb discovered at Lachish and dated to about 1600 BC is the earliest Canaanite sentence ever found. “The inscription is a plea, a wish, or a desire that the small comb be successful in getting rid of the irritating lice.” The press release is here, and the underlying journal article is here.

Christopher Rollston: “Restorations are *not* a Good Foundation for Dramatic Proposals: Reflections on the New, So-called, “Hezekiah” Inscription.”

Two episodes have been released in Legio 2022, a documentary series about one of the excavations in the Jezreel Valley Regional Project.

Museum of the Bible and DIVE are hosting a virtual tour of Caesarea on December 7 ($20).

“A new multi-faceted project by the Yeshiva University Center for Israel Studies introduces the Samaritans to a wide and varied audience, and explores how they have managed to survive for millennia despite efforts by conquering powers to erase them.”

The Tel Burna Excavation Project has unveiled their 2023 season poster.

Yuval Gadot will give this year’s Howard Lecture at the University of Georgia on November 14 on “New Revelations from Zion: the Archaeology of Jerusalem from the Great Age of Reform.”

Mordechai Aviam will lecture on “Finding Bethsaida: From Biblical Jewish Village to the Church of the Apostles” on November 15, 7 pm, in New York City.

“Jerusalem: City of Change: New Archaeological Work, New Views, New Issues” is the title of a conference to be held at Boston University on November 16.

Friends of ASOR webinar on Dec 1: “Something from the Time of Jesus? Tourists, Souvenirs, and Buying the Holy Land,” with Morag M. Kersel ($12).

Jodi Magness will be giving the Schweich Lectures on Biblical Archaeology at The British Academy on December 5, 6, and 8, on the subject of “Ancient Synagogues.” The lectures will be recorded and posted and will also be published in book form.

New from Eisenbrauns: Tel Miqne 10/1: Tel Miqne-Ekron Excavations 1994–1996, Field IV Upper and Field V, The Elite Zone Part 1: Iron Age IIC Temple Complex 650, by Seymour (Sy) Gitin, Steven M. Ortiz, and Trude Dothan (30% off with code NR22).

The ASOR Blog has preliminary results of the Academic Genealogies of Near Eastern Scholars (AGNES) Project.

HT: Agade, Arne Halbakken, Joseph Lauer, Jared Clark, Wayne Stiles, A.D. Riddle, Explorator

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Israel plans to build hotels, guest villas, and a conference center on manmade islands in the Dead Sea.

Archaeologists carrying out a survey on Mount Zion discovered a graffiti inscription of Knight Adrian von Bubenberg, a Swiss hero who made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem in 1466.

“The 2022 International Bible Marathon was held over the Sukkot holiday in the Shiloh bloc of communities in Samaria, with both its starting and ending points in Ancient Shiloh.”

The Caesarea Maritima International Conference 2022 runs from Sunday to Wednesday. A full program is online, and both in-person and webinar attendance is free. The lectures of Hohlfelder, Burrell, and Schiffman look particularly interesting.

Gordon Govier interviews Steve Ortiz, Cynthia Shafer-Elliott, and Jonathan Greer about Israel’s ArchaeoTourism Initiative.

It’s not April 1st, but you wouldn’t know it from the Jerusalem Post’s story identifying Solomon as Pharaoh Shishak.

Jonathan Klawans takes his readers to Tel Dan in the Site-Seeing column in the latest issue of Biblical Archaeology Review.

Saar Tauber Tamir suggests five places to visit in Israel that are not as well-known.

The latest episode of This Week in the Ancient Near East looks at the ivory furniture decorations recently discovered in Jerusalem.

The Friends of ASOR Tour to Israel next year visits 27 sites and museums in 13 days, with an impressive list of tour guides. The website describes the full program.

New release: The Ancient Israelite World, edited by Kyle H. Keimer and George A. Pierce (Routledge, $200; Amazon)

Chris McKinny’s My People as Your People: A Textual and Archaeological Analysis of the Reign of Jehoshaphat is marked down to $9 now on Amazon, from $80 (hardcover). I suspect after a few copies sell, the price will jump back up.

Online courses have been announced for JUC’s spring semester, including:

  • Archaeology of the Galilee, with Chris McKinny and Kyle Keimer
  • Geographical Voices in the Psalms, with Paul Wright
  • Literature of Ancient Israel’s Neighbors, with Bryan Beyer
  • Physical Settings of the Bible, with Chandler Collins

Classes are beginning soon at the Biblical Language Center (Randall Buth) and the Jerusalem Seminary.

My topic on the latest episode of Digging for Truth is “The Bible and the Karnak Temple.”

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

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Forty-four pure gold coins were recently found hidden in a wall during excavations at the Banias archaeological site.” The coins were minted in the reigns of the last two Byzantine emperors before the Muslim conquest in AD 635.

Mahmoud Hawari has a brief report on the Khirbat al-Mafjar Archaeological Project at Jericho.

As a follow-up to his previous post about a 1st-century synagogue at Chorazin, Carl Rasmussen shares some photos taken earlier this week on the current restoration project.

Leen Ritmeyer shares a number of reconstruction drawings from the Double Gate in Jerusalem, which he identifies with the Beautiful Gate of Acts 3.

The Museum of the Bible and DIVE (Digital Interactive Virtual Experiences) are hosting a virtual tour of the Kidron and Hinnom Valleys on November 9. The cost is $20.

Ferrell Jenkins provides some history and photos of Tirzah, the second capital of the northern kingdom of Israel.

Zoom lecture on Oct 26: “One Site, Two Peoples: Phoenicians and Jews at Kedesh of the Upper Galilee,” by Andrea Berlin

Bryan Windle has written another well-illustrated archaeological biography, this one on Hazael, the Aramean king who boasted of defeating Israel and the “house of David” in the famous Tel Dan Inscription.

New release: Encyclopedia of Material Culture in the Biblical World. A New Biblisches Reallexikon, edited by Angelika Berlejung with P.M. Michèle Daviau, Jens Kamlah, and Gunnar Lehmann (Mohr Siebeck, $223).

Eretz Magazine has created a new travel guide to the Herodium, lavishly illustrated with photos, maps, and reconstructions.

New subscribers to Approaching Jerusalem (Chandler Collins) receive a free e-booklet, “Golden Heights: Five Accessible Panoramas of Jerusalem.”

HT: Agade, Arne Halbakken, Alexander Schick, Ted Weis, Explorator, Paleojudaica

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