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A seal impression of an official of King Jeroboam II has been discovered. It is a smaller version of the famous seal found at Megiddo in 1904 (and later lost). UPDATE (Aug 2021): This item is actually a common tourist replica.

An archaeologist has brought to light a menorah engraved in a Second Temple period tomb on the outskirts of Mukhmas (biblical Michmash), home of Jonathan the Hasmonean. The press release is here, and a journal article is available here.

Authorities are opening several new areas to visitors to Herodium, including the arched stairway, foyer, and private theater.

The underground excavations in Jerusalem took top prize for “Oddities of the Underground” at the International Tunneling and Underground Space Association Awards.

Israel21c photographs 10 eye-catching sculptures around Tel Aviv.

Wayne Stiles looks at traditional sites associated with Jesus’s flight to Egypt.

Bridges to the Bible has created their first series of videos, focusing on the communal culture of the biblical world.

Jerusalem University College will be hosting its first-ever online seminar on January 10 and 11. The event is free and open to the public.

Now available from ACOR (free pdfs): Archaeology in Jordan 2: 2018 and 2019 Seasons, edited by Pearce Paul Creasman, John D.M. Green, and China P. Shelton. This publication features over 50 reports on archaeological fieldwork, conservation initiatives, and publication projects in Jordan.

New: My Nine Lives: Sixty Years in Israeli and Biblical Archaeology, by William G. Dever

Favorably reviewed in the NY Times: A World Beneath the Sands: The Golden Age of Egyptology, by Toby Wilkinson.

Ferrell Jenkins has a lengthy, informative post about the problem of emperor worship faced by the seven churches in Revelation.

Leen Ritmeyer’s post on the synagogue of Capernaum includes a number of beautiful reconstruction drawings.

Wrapping up her long-distance internship with the PEF, Jade Dang explains how the maps of the Survey of Western Palestine provide a fascinating snapshot of history.

December is the perfect month for an archaeological biography on Herod the Great.

“Who Were the Maccabees, Really? Hannukah, the Hasmoneans and Jewish Memory,” A Conversation with Prof. Joseph Angel and Prof. Steven Fine, Dec 15, 11 am EST.

In asking why Jews today do not read a scroll for Hanukkah, David Golinkin recalls that historically the Scroll of Antiochus was read, but he proposes beginning a new custom by reading 1 Maccabees 1-4.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Ted Weis, Charles Savelle, Explorator

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Archaeologists working near Beit El have discovered an ancient play die dating to the Second Temple period.

Scholars continue to discuss whether Judean Pillar Figurines were depictions of Asherah, fertility figurines, apotropaic symbols, or something else.

An article in Discover Magazine looks at the religious motivations of some archaeological projects in the last century.

A Jewish arsonist attempted to set fire to the Church of All Nations at the Garden of Gethsemane.

Christianity Today interviews Christopher Rollston about forgeries of biblical antiquities.

Drawing on the research of Shmuel Safrai, Brad Gray explains the educational system in Jesus’s day.

Carl Rasmussen’s “Encountering the Holy Land” is now available on Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, and Android TV.

Leen Ritmeyer has created a new image collection illustrating the Roman destruction of the Temple Mount.

HT: Joseph Lauer, Agade, Explorator, Charles Savelle

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Archaeologists have discovered a fortified building in the Golan Heights that dates roughly to the time of David and may have belonged to the kingdom of Geshur.

A cache of gold coins dating to the early Islamic period have been unearthed near the Western Wall plaza in Jerusalem.

Expansion of Beit El threatens to destroy remains of an ancient village.

Excavations at Caesarea Philippi (Banias) revealed a 2nd or 3rd century AD altar with a Greek inscription written by a pilgrim to the god Pan.

Bryan Windle has found a number of photos to illustrate the brief reign of King Jehoiachin, in his most recent archaeological biography.

A new film (in Hebrew) claims that the united kingdom was based in Israel, not Judah, and began in the 8th century, not 10th, based on Israel Finkelstein’s excavations of Kiriath Jearim.

Wayne Stiles looks to Ziklag for the secret of David’s spiritual success.

John Delancey’s latest video visits the City of David.

New from Eisenbrauns:

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Ted Weis

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Excavations at Khirbet Kafr Mer near Beit El have revealed dozens of jars and intact ceramic objects inside a repurposed underground reservoir.

“A new paper published last week in the PLOS ONE journal explains how trash mounds found in villages and agricultural settlements in the Negev from the Byzantine and Early Islamic periods show that there was a turning point in the management of herbivore livestock dung, a vital resource in the Negev.”

Egyptian artifacts in several Berlin museums have been damaged by vandals.

Pat McCarthy has written an article about reputed relics of Jesus that have undergone scientific scrutiny.

New: Go Now to Shiloh: A Biblical Theology of Sacred Space, by N. Blake Hearson

Albright Virtual Workshop: Discussions in response to:
The Archaeology of the Bronze Age Levant:
From Urban Origins to the Demise of City-States, 3700-1000 BCE,
Cambridge University Press, 2019, by Raphael Greenberg. Registration required.

The Badè Museum is hosting a series of lectures entitled “New Perspectives on Ancient Nubia.”

The Cyprus American Archaeological Research Institute has posted their online program for the coming months.

UCF has compiled a list of open educational resources for the ancient Near East.

This week on the GTI Tours podcast I talk with Rich Ferreira about the value of photographs in understanding and teaching the Bible.

HT: Agade, Ted Weis, G. M. Grena, Charles Savelle

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The excavations at Azekah are unique this year not only because they weren’t cancelled, but all of the field supervisors are women and daycare is provided for the workers’ children.

The discovery of minerals in a building in the City of David is providing information about the earth’s magnetic field at the time of Jerusalem’s destruction in 586 BC. The underlying journal article is here.

A stone table from the Second Temple period was discovered in excavations near Beit El.

A new study suggests that Mount Adir in the Upper Galilee was a government center for a group of Canaanite settlers in the Iron I. The underlying BASOR article is here (requires subscription or payment).

Yuval Baruch, head of the Jerusalem division of the Israel Antiquities Authority and informally known as the “mayor of underground Jerusalem,” is profiled in The Jerusalem Post.

Following the excavation of a large tumulus south of Jerusalem, Ariel David writes about various theories that have been proposed for the 20 tumuli in the Jerusalem vicinity(Haaretz premium).

The Israel Museum has re-opened, and the Dead Sea Scrolls are back on display.

Jodi Magness is interviewed about Masada on the NC Bookwatch.

Winners have been selected for the Top 10 Picture contest at Biblical Israel Tours.

Carl Rasmussen shares some photos of well-preserved Crusader capitals in the Archaeology Museum of Nazareth.

Bible Land Passages is preparing to release a new documentary on Caesarea Maritima, and they have just posted two short trailers (1-min, 3-min) that provide a taste of what’s coming.

A couple of Oxford archaeologists have succeeded in getting the US to open up access to high-res satellite imagery of Israel.

Israel has experienced a couple days of unusual August rain.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Charles Savelle

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A sceptre about 3,200 years old made of copper and coated in silver leaf found in the biblical city of Lachish could be the first evidence of life-sized ‘divine statues’ in the Levant.”

Excavations of the underground Siloam Street have been (or were) halted after engineering instruments detected that the ground was moving.

Contrary to previous belief, chalkstone vessels continued to be used in the Galilee for several centuries after the destruction of the Jerusalem temple.

“Israeli archaeologists have published a 360-degree analysis of a rural, affluent Christian town in the Galilee that was most likely destroyed by Persian invaders in 613.”

Analysis of bird remains excavated in Jerusalem confirmed that specific species of birds – pigeons, doves – were indeed sacrificed in the Temple as the biblical text suggests. The story is based on an article in the latest issue of BASOR.

Roman and Byzantine mosaic floors provide insights into how humans restrained animals by the use of cages, ropes, knots, other tethering devices.

“A large number of archaeological sites in the West Bank, including many that are part of Jewish history and tradition, will be placed or remain under Palestinian control according to US President Donald Trump’s peace plan.”

An Explainer piece by Rossella Tercatin in the Jerusalem Post reveals who is in control of the archaeological sites in the West Bank.

Why is the Israel Museum still closed?

Ferrell Jenkins shares some photos and insights about the Judean wilderness.

Daniel Santacruz shares a dozen photos of wildflowers he took near his home in Maale Adumim.

This week we released volume #20 in the Pictorial Library of the Bible Lands. The Western Mediterranean collection focuses on Roman sites in Gaul (France) and Hispania (Spain) and includes more than 1,400 photos and 25 PowerPoints. The sale price ($25) ends on Tuesday.

HT: Joseph Lauer, Charles Savelle, Agade, Ted Weis, Explorator

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