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Researchers investigating a perfectly circular structure submerged under the Sea of Galilee are considering a possible connection to the tomb of Aqhat in Ugaritic mythology. The underlying journal article is here.

Mark Hoffman writes about the new “Timelapse in Google Earth,” with a couple of suggested views to check out.

Chris McKinny is on the Out of Zion podcast discussing the biblical and geographical backgrounds related to crossing the Jordan River.

Wendy Slaninka continues the fascinating story of her grandfather, James Leslie Starkey, excavator of Lachish.

Sudarsan Raghavan writes about the latest discoveries at Saqqara for the Washington Post.

“Pharaonic history provides us with well-documented cases of condemnation of the memory of specific individuals – what we today call damnatio memoriae.”

A project using artificial intelligence has determined that the Great Isaiah Scroll was written by two scribes, not one (Times of Israel, Jerusalem Post, Haaretz premium, journal article).

New: Babylon: The Great City, by Olof Pedersén (Zaphon, 2021). Available in hardcover (44 €) and pdf (free).

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Arne Halbakken, Ferrell Jenkins, Keith Keyser, Explorator, G. M. Grena

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“Archaeologists digging in the ancient Canaanite settlement of Lachish have unearthed a 3,500 year old pottery shard inscribed with what they believe is the oldest text found in Israel that was written using an alphabetic script” (Haaretz; Times of Israel; Daily Mail; underlying journal article)

Israel’s Good Name shares his latest adventure traipsing around the fields and reservoir of Zorah (Tzora) near Beth Shemesh in search of birds and more.

Haaretz premium: “The Eshkol Forest provides a bird’s-eye view of the Jordan Valley” and Sea of Galilee.

The Israel Antiquities Authority archive is preserving and digitizing materials from the British Mandate era. The site includes lots of documents and photos, mostly in English.

Zoom lecture on April 26: “New Discoveries from the Judaean Desert Caves,” by Eitan Klein, co-director of the Judaean Desert Cave Archaeological Project.

A new episode produced by the City of David YouTube channel features the silver amulets discovered at Ketef Hinnom (2 min).

Writing for Christianity Today, Kelsa Graybill describes five ways biblical geography shapes our view of God’s mission. Kelsa also has a new podcast with recent episodes on the Sorek Valley, the Hill Country of Judah, and Between Gerizim and Ebal.

We have just released 2 Samuel in the Photo Companion to the Bible series. This resource is recommended by Luke Chandler, Carl Rasmussen, Charles Savelle, and others. There is a $50 discount for a few more days.

HT: Agade, Keith Keyser, Alexander Schick, Arne Halbakken, Charles Savelle

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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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An 11-year-old on a family hike in the Negev discovered a rare fertility figurine dating to about 500 BC.

Haaretz (premium) has a story about the debate over whether the Lachish gate shrine was a shrine, and if so, if it was desecrated by a toilet.

A new book by Idan Dershowitz argues that the scrolls of Moses Shapira, long believed to be forgeries, are actually the earliest Dead Sea Scrolls and were a “pre-canonical antecedent” of Deuteronomy. The book is available on Academia. Christopher Rollston argues that the scrolls are forgeries. Drew Longacre concurs.

A notice from the Hazor Excavations team indicates that foreigners will be permitted to volunteer in Israel this summer with proof of vaccination. The Gath registration webpage confirms this.

My new reflection on the Garden of Gethsemane is now available to members of Jerusalem Perspective.

The New York Times runs an obituary for Hershel Shanks.

Jerusalem University College has announced its newest program: The Christian Movement in the Mediterranean, with a two-week voyage tracing Paul’s voyages in the Mediterranean.

New: Ancient Israel’s Neighbors, by Brian R. Doak (Book 1 in Oxford’s Essentials of Biblical Studies series).

The early-bird discount for the Infusion Bible Conference ends on April 9. The topic is “Paul and His Roman World,” and the new location is Nashville.

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

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An intact oil lamp from the Hasmonean period was discovered on the Siloam/Pilgrimage Road in the City of David.

An oil lamp workshop from the 4th century AD, first found in the 1930s, has been rediscovered at Beth Shemesh.

“A complete rare, early Islamic-era oil lamp workshop from ancient Tiberias on the shores of the Sea of Galilee has gone on display at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.”

Renovation works at the “Tower of David” in Jerusalem is leading to new discoveries.

Archaeologists conducting salvage digs in Jaffa over the last decade discovered a baby buried in a jar, Phoenician burials, Hellenistic farms, a Byzantine winepress, and more. Haaretz provides a summary; the full issue of Atiqot is available here.

Excavations in Amman, Jordan, have uncovered Roman baths and a crematorium near the city’s amphitheater.

Haaretz reports on the Herodian palace at Macherus where  archaeologists believe that have located the place where Salome danced before Antipas.

This article from April has some additional information and photos about the work of Ken Dark in Nazareth.

Chris McKinny is interviewed on Windows to the Bible. Part 1 looks at the story of David and Goliath (and more), and part 2 focuses on Saul’s death on Mount Gilboa and its aftermath.

The list of speakers and topics has been released for the Jerusalem University College’s online seminar.

Craig Dunning shares his thoughts on the new 1-2 Corinthians volume in the Photo Companion to the Bible series.

Yesterday Dr. Eugene Merrill, an esteemed mentor of mine, celebrated 60 years of marriage to his beloved, Dr. Janet Merrill. Many people know of Dr. Merrill’s prolific writing ministry, his decades of teaching at DTS, and his wise leadership at ETS, but fewer people know how he faithfully loves and serves his wife daily. He is a model to be emulated in every way.

HT: Ted Weis, Agade, Joseph Lauer, Mark Hoffman, Explorator

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The Tel Burna team has begun a survey of Khirbet ʿAter, a likely candidate for biblical Ether.

Bruno Soltic created a video on “Tel Burna – Week on a Dig,” featuring interviews with Itzick Shai, Steven Ortiz, Chris McKinny, and others.

Registration has now opened for next summer’s excavations at Tel Burna and Gath.

Sepphoris was an important city near Nazareth, and Wayne Stiles looks at its possible place in Jesus’s youth.

Bill Barrick posts about his visit to Sepphoris on a recent research trip, and he includes many photos.

Archaeology magazine has a feature on the dye industry at Tel Shikmona near Haifa.

Israel21c has identified “Israel’s best ancient toilets.”

Three individuals were arrested on suspicion of stealing antiquities from ancient Megiddo.

“In the hills of Timna in the Arava Desert, just north of Eilat, lies a secret lake that has become a magnet for some adventurous Israelis unable to travel abroad due to the coronavirus pandemic.”

Hebrew University has just released the first three volumes in the Tel Rehov final report series (scroll to the bottom).

Shalom Paul died earlier this week.

Israel’s Good Name made a number of outings this year to the Yavne dunes, finding it an ideal place for spotting birds, snakes, and other wildlife.

I am excited about this book forthcoming from Barry Beitzel: Where Was the Biblical Red Sea? Examining the Ancient Evidence. Beitzel defends the traditional location and shows why the Gulf of Aqaba hypothesis is impossible.

The Infusion Bible Conference (formerly the Institute of Biblical Context Conference) has just announced that the 2021 conference will be held in Franklin, Tennessee. This year’s topic is “Paul and His Roman World.”

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, G. M. Grena, Charles Savelle, Explorator

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