fbpx

Geomagnetic surface surveys at Khirbet al-Minya on the northwestern shore of the Sea of Galilee have revealed an earlier Jewish or Christian settlement.

A new study of the Solomonic-era copper mines at Timna reveals that the enterprise came to a sudden halt around 850 BC because the miners overexploited the sparse desert acacia and white broom trees used to fuel their furnaces (Haaretz subscription).

Carl Rasmussen links to a video that shows evidence for a first-century synagogue at Chorazin. He also shares a photo of the synagogue in 1967 before reconstruction began.

Here is a video of the 7th-8th century AD shipwreck recently discovered off the coast of Israel.

“Hundreds of ancient decorated toga pins, earrings, rings and figurines of animals and idols were found in the home of a man who used to be an antiquities dealer in northern Israel.”

Albright Institute lecture on Oct 27: “The Austrian Expedition to Tel Lachish (2017-2022),” by Katharina Streit & Felix Höflmayer. Register to join by Zoom here.

Marc Zvi Brettler explains the Hakhel Ceremony, in which the assembly gathers together every seven years to read the Torah. This event will be celebrated at the Western Wall on October 11.

Ferrell Jenkins shares a photo of sheep grazing near Tirzah, the second capital of the northern kingdom.

HT: Agade, Keith Keyser, Arne Halbakken

Share:

Israel HaYom surveys the history of Shiloh along with the present quest to discover the location of the tabernacle. Scott Stripling believes he knows the location but is not sure he’ll ever be able to prove it.

“Archaeologists announced Tuesday the discovery of a 1,200-year-old estate in Israel’s southern Negev desert, boasting unique underground structures that allowed its owners to overcome the searing summer heat.”

Nathan Steinmeyer takes viewers to excavations at Tel Shimron in a 4-minute video that is the second in a series on excavating in the Bible lands. Tel Shimron is one of the largest sites in the Jezreel Valley region.

Archaeologists are excavating a fortified village in Samaria that existed at the end of the Bar Kochba Revolt. You can see a drone video of the site here and more information and photos here.

Writing for The Jerusalem Post, Aaron Reich’s article claims to provide “everything you need to know about the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.” It’s a decent introduction.

The oldest synagogue in Jerusalem is a non-rabbinic form of Judaism known as Karaism. Daniel J. Lasker has written a book about the subject, and his post on the ASOR Blog gives an introduction.

“Between the former rains (in autumn) and the latter rains (in spring) Israel receives all its rainfall. Except for this week, when it rained in summer!”

Ferrell Jenkins reports on a recent visit to Taanach.

There is a campaign to turn Hebron Road in Jerusalem into a “pedestrian-friendly space with cafes, bike paths, and more.”

Rejuvenation podcast: “Dr. Jodi Magness, the outstanding archaeologist, prolific writer and excellent educator, joins Eve Harow to talk about her renewed decade long excavation at the ancient Jewish village of Huqoq in the Galilee.”

Zoom lecture on Sept 15: “Flavians in Galilee (67 CE): Their Aims and Activities,” by Steve Mason

The Fall 2022 issue of Biblical Archaeology Review includes articles on Diaspora Jews living in Jerusalem in the 1st century, the lethal capabilities of slings, and the location of Magdala.

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

Share:

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

Share:

A lot happened while I was away, and it’s going to take five or six days (!) to catch up. Let’s get to it.

Archaeologists excavating el-Araj discovered a mosaic in the Byzantine church that mentions the “chief and commander of the heavenly apostles,” further strengthening the site’s claim to be Bethsaida, the hometown of Peter. They are hoping to find an inscription mentioning Andrew in the October excavation.

“Archaeologists working at Tel Shiloh earlier this summer discovered piers that they believe formed a door into a gate complex at the northern edge of the biblical city.” Scott Stripling thinks this is the gate where Eli died.

Also at Shiloh, archaeologists discovered five intact storage jars from the Late Roman or Byzantine eras.

Excavations have begun at Kh. Tibnah, possibly Joshua’s city of Timnath-heres. Early discoveries include a Roman spearhead. Also, there is a dispute over ownership of the site (subscription).

The first Roman military amphitheater ever found in Israel was recently uncovered at Megiddo.

Matthew Adams talks about the excavations this summer at Megiddo on The Book and the Spade.

A Byzantine convent dedicated to Hannah was recently re-discovered at Horbat Hani in central Israel. There are some nice photos here.

A collection of 530 astragali (animal knucklebone gaming dice) from the Hellenistic period were discovered at Maresha-Bet Guvrin with names inscribed of Aphrodite, Eros, Hermes, Hera, and Nike.

A volunteer at the Temple Mount Sifting Project discovered what may have been a cheater’s die, with the number 5 where the number 4 should have been.

“A bronze Roman coin dating back 1,877 years with the symbol of the Cancer zodiac sign and a Moon goddess was discovered at Carmel Beach in Haifa.”

Computer calculations of 70 CE Roman arsenal uncovered in excavations in Jerusalem demonstrate veracity of Jewish historian Josephus’s report of intense fighting near Third Wall.”

Lior Schwimer has reviewed nearly 15,000 panels of Negev rock art with more than 50,000 carvings.

Steven Ortiz is a guest on the Biblical World podcast, talking with Chris McKinny about the Lanier Archaeological Center at Lipscomb University, the Gezer Archaeological Project, and the Tel Burna Archaeological Project (28 min).

Bryan Windle identifies the top 3 reports in biblical archaeology for the month of July.

Registration for Jerusalem University College’s fall online courses ends on Monday.

HT: Agade, Arne Halbakken, Joseph Lauer

Share:

Excavations at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher have revealed rock layers of a stone quarry used for the construction of Constantine’s church. A press release from the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land gives more details about all of the excavation works in progress.

“An Israel Antiquities Authority bust in the northern Israeli city of Afula late last week yielded thousands of ancient coins and arrowheads.”

The Druze military fortress on Mount Arbel will open after being closed for a year and a half for conservation work.

The Museum of the Bible and DIVE are offering a virtual tour of Shiloh on August 10 ($20).

John DeLancey just returned from volunteering at the Tel Dan excavation, and he shares his experiences on The Book and the Spade.

Bryan Windle has created a well-illustrated archaeological biography of King Menahem. (If you don’t remember who that is, you’ll be reminded in the first paragraph.)

Cynthia Shafer Elliott writes about the first post in a series on the geographical context of ancient Israel, looking at Israel’s place in the ANE.

Leen Ritmeyer notes the publication of JewishQuarter Excavations, Volume VIII, focused on the Palatial Mansion. Leen has created a beautiful new reconstruction drawing of the mansion, available in his image library for only $6.

Glamping is increasingly popular in Israel, including rooftop options in Jerusalem.

I watched Gesher Media’s “The Philistines: Warriors to the West” and was very impressed with the high-quality production, featuring top archaeologists, an interesting storyline, and (my favorite!) stunning aerial footage. For $7.99, you can stream it anytime.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Arne Halbakken

Share:

The Shelby White & Leon Levy Lod Mosaic Archaeological Center has been dedicated, and the featured mosaic has returned after a world tour. “This is the Rolls Royce . . . the most visually impressive mosaic we have found.”

Scott Stripling is on The Book and the Spade with an excavation report from this year’s dig at Shiloh.

John DeLancey shares photos from his week of excavating Tel Dan.

Five marble statues from the Roman period have been put on display at the Tel Ashkelon National Park nearly 100 years after they were first excavated.

Australian Catholic University is partnering with the Israel Museum to create an interactive virtual showcase that will make the museum’s collection accessible worldwide.

The Times of Israel looks at challenges to archaeological discovery in the Gaza Strip.

The 2002 issue of ‘Atiqot includes excavation reports on Nain, Akko, Avdat, and more.

The Sea of Galilee will be the first natural lake in the world to be filled with desalinated water. This article has a good bit of information about the lake’s water levels.

“Numerous goddess figurines, ritual objects, as well as rich iconography, demonstrate that goddess worship was extremely important in the life of Israelite faith.”

BAS Quarterly Virtual Lecture on Sept 15: “The Archaeology of Qumran 75 Years after the Discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls,” by Jodi Magness ($10).

Jerusalem University College has released its slate of fall online courses, including:

  • Biblical Archaeology I, with Chris McKinny and Kyle Keimer
  • Contexts of the Holy City, with Chandler Collins
  • Cultural Backgrounds of the Bible, with Oliver Hersey

Writing for Bible History Daily, Steve Notley celebrates the life of Emanuel Hausman, founder of Carta Jerusalem.

I was a guest this week on the TheologyMom video podcast with Krista Bontrager, talking about “5 times geography shapes our view of the Bible.” I don’t think I had ever made a “top 5” list like this before, and I enjoyed pulling it together.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Arne Halbakken, Explorator

Share: