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Archaeologists working at Azekah may have found traces of the Assyrian siege ramp used to conquer the city in 701 BC.

The Waqf filled in a hole that opened in the Temple Mount floor with concrete on Tuesday, raising concerns that possible archaeological findings may now be lost.” Zachi Dvira at the Temple Mount Sifting Project offers his thoughts on the possible significance of the now-filled opening, along with some rare photos of underground areas of the Temple Mount.

The Israel Museum has re-opened “with a coronavirus-safe approach that includes half-hour capsule tours of the museum’s permanent and current exhibits.”

Gordon Govier writes about the summer excavations in Israel that were not, and those that were.

Lawrence Schiffman writes on discoveries made in 2020 for Ami Magazine.

Usha, an ancient village in western Galilee, is the subject of a 6-minute news piece on Israel Daily. (Note: add “the Sanhedrin Trail” to your bucket list.)

Zvi Koenigsberg looks at the possible connection between the site(s) of Gilgal and the strange phenomenon of “footprints” on the eastern side of Israel.

Dan Warner is on The Book and the Spade this week talking about the Gezer water tunnel.

Biblical Israel Ministries and Tours has just released a brand-new resource that features beautiful aerial footage of more than 55 biblical sites in Israel and Jordan. The launch price is only $30 for the DVD and $45 for a higher-res version on a thumb drive. Individual high-res site videos are available for only $4 each.

HT: Agade, Ted Weis, Joseph Lauer

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A Canaanite fortress from the middle of the 12th century BCE (the days of the biblical judges), was unearthed in an excavation . . . outside Kiryat Gat.”

The headlines are more sensational, but the real story is this: a wall on Mount Zion dated by Bargil Pixner to the Iron Age does not date to the Iron Age. A revolution in our understanding of the size of Jerusalem in the time of Hezekiah is not warranted.

A hoard of 425 gold coins from the Abassid period was discovered by students working on an excavation in central Israel. There is a 2-minute video here.

Atlas Obscura has posted an article on the Sidonian Cave (Apollophanes Cave) at Beit Guvrin and one of its mysterious inscriptions.

The Legacy Hotel in Nazareth has a display of artifacts from the Bronze and Iron Ages that were discovered during the hotel’s construction.

The Daily Mail has a well-illustrated story on Rami Arav’s continued insistence that et-Tell is Bethsaida.

The ‘Digging for Identity’ program is a four-day journey for Israeli 10th-grade students, which includes taking part in an active archaeological dig” and more.

John DeLancey’s latest video focuses on Lachish.

Ralph Ellis provides his interpretation of the elephant mosaic discovered in the ancient Huqoq synagogue.

Aren Maeir and Nick Barksdale talk Philistines and DNA (12 min).

Bryan Windle highlights the “top three reports” in biblical archaeology for August. (He also wrote a nice resource review of our new 1 Samuel Photo Companion.)

HT: Agade, Ted Weis, Joseph Lauer, Alexander Schick

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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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An outdoor archaeological exhibit has been created near the beachfront of Ashkelon. There is a brief video showing the displayed artifacts here.

Ken Dark reviews the evidence for the inhabitation of Nazareth in the first century.

A company in the Golan Heights is raising locusts to help meet the world’s need for animal protein.

King Uzziah: An Archaeological Biography looks at matters of historicity, his expansion, and the earthquake in his reign.

Ferrell Jenkins asks how Bet Guvrin would look during a pandemic.

A creative agency has teamed with architects to digitally reconstruct 5 endangered World Heritage sites, including Jerusalem’s Temple Mount and Palmyra.

CoinWeek has a feature on the coins of Herod the Great.

John DeLancey has released a new video entitled “Visiting Ein Gedi.”

Some statues and reliefs were discovered in a salvage excavation near Mit-Rahina in Egypt.

This piece has a bit about Egypt’s relationship with gold as well as Zahi Hawass’s relationship with Tutankhamun.

A 2nd-century AD sarcophagus with a gold diadem was discovered in Izmir (biblical Smyrna) in a rescue dig.

The British Museum is looking for help in identifying various artifacts.

Westminster Books has a sale on books from Lexham Press, including Lexham Geographic Commentary on the Gospels and Lexham Geographic Commentary on Acts through Revelation ($24 ea.), both with contributions from the BiblePlaces team members.

Featured in ANE Today (but noted last year on this blog): “In Discovering New Pasts: The OI [Oriental Institute] at 100, 62 people, almost all faculty, staff, and volunteers, tell the story of the OI, past and present, and of their involvement with the Institute.” The book is available for purchase or free download here.

Recently reprinted:
Pioneer to the Past:
The Story of James Henry Breasted
, Archaeologist. $30 in print or free download.

HT: Agade, Charles Savelle, Explorator

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The big story of the week was the announcement of the discovery in Jerusalem of a large administrative complex that dates to the time of Kings Hezekiah and Manasseh. The site is located about 2 miles south of the Old City, and finds included more than 120 LMLK jar handles. There are more photos here, and a video with drone footage here. A 5-minute news story includes an interview with the archaeologist.

While most excavations in Israel are cancelled this summer, Tel Azekah’s dig begins today with 45 students expected to participate.

A new outdoor archaeological exhibit has been created in the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City, featuring 180 items previously scattered around the area.

A fifth century baptismal font that was stolen from its original site by antiquity looters has been located and returned” to Tel Tekoa. Palestinian authorities accuse Israel of stealing the item from Bethlehem.

John DeLancey’s latest teaching video focuses on Beth Shean.

Carl Rasmussen posts a couple of photos of the Intermediate Bronze tombs at Deir Mirzbaneh.

Le Destroit is apparently a Crusader fortress near Atlit. I’m guessing you missed it on your tour of Israel. The tour continues to a sunken vessel and to Tel Dor.

Joel Kramer has announced an Israel Study Tour for March 2021.

Bryan Windle identifies the Top Three Reports in Biblical Archaeology for July.

Magen Broshi died on July 14. Broshi was an archaeologist for the Israel Department of Antiquities and Museums as well as Curator of the Shrine of the Book, Israel Museum.

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

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**When we updated our blog design earlier this month, we accidentally broke the system that sends posts out by email. With that now fixed, we are re-posting the recent roundups, one part each day through Friday.**

The digs may have stopped, but the stories have not. With no roundups the last two weeks, I have more than 60 items of interest to share in the coming days.

A seal and a seal impression found in Jerusalem are rare discoveries from the Persian period.

“A Second Temple period Jewish ritual bath was discovered by chance last month in the Lower Galilee and a group of locals are trying to save it from its current destiny of destruction.” There’s a video report here.

“A new study carried out on pottery items uncovered in the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron suggests the cave . . . was used and visited as a pilgrimage site during the First Temple Period.”

A new study suggests that many cisterns in the Negev may date back not to the Iron Age but to the Bronze Age. (Journal article for purchase here.)

The cancelled archaeology department at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary has found a new home at Lipscomb University in Nashville.

Steven Ortiz, formerly of SWBTS, is interviewed by Bryan Windle in the latest in the Discussions with the Diggers series.

Mark Lanier, who helped bring the SWBTS program to Lipscomb, is interviewed on The Book and the Spade.

Moshe Garsiel has proposed a new theory to support the location of Tell es-Sharia as biblical Ziklag.

Aren Maeir visited the excavations at Tel Hadid, which along with Tell Abu Shusha and Tel Azekah, is one of the few excavations in Israel that were not cancelled this summer.

A study claims that buses and shuttles are a better solution than the planned Old City cable car project.

A couple of officials of the City of David organization give a 40-minute tour of the Siloam Pool and the Pilgrimage Road to the Temple Mount.

Biblical Israel Ministries and Tours is hosting a “Top 10 Israel Photos” contest and offering prizes.

Accordance is offering a number of its graphics collections at big discounts, including:

  • Bible Lands PhotoGuide (all 6): $74.90
  • Pictorial Library of Bible Lands: Cultural Images of the Holy Land: $24.90
  • Pictorial Library of Bible Lands: Trees, Plants, and Flowers of the Holy Land: $24.90
  • Historic Views of the Holy Land: Views That Have Vanished: $24.90
  • Historic Views of the Holy Land: American Colony Collection: $89.90
  • Virtual Tour to the Temple: $39.90
  • The Virtual Bible (Enhanced): 3D Reconstructions of the Biblical World: $19.90
  • The Add-On Bundles include many resources at very good prices ($59; $119).

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Alexander Schick, Ted Weis, Charles Savelle, Jared Clark, Explorator

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