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There won’t be a roundup tomorrow, so today’s is a long one (with 30 items). I am grateful for tips this week from Agade, Keith Keyser, Arne Halbakken, Gordon Dickson, and Mark Hoffman. See the last item for a word about the future.

Archaeologists made some discoveries in preparing to open to the public the tomb of Salome, the traditional midwife of Jesus. The cave is situated along the route of the new Judean Kings Trail, which runs from Beersheba to Beit Guvrin.

“Israeli archaeologists have discovered the earliest evidence of cotton in the ancient Near East during excavations at Tel Tsaf, a 7,000-year-old town in the Jordan Valley.”

A group of schoolchildren discovered a Roman oil lamp while walking in Galilee.

“Israel is embarking on a challenge to make the mapping of archaeological sites tech-savvy using remote underground sensor technology in a move to cut costs and resources used up by extensive excavation.”

The NY Times looks at the hope for dating ancient remains offered by archaeomagnetism.

Some are seeking the Israeli government to turn the ruins of the Hasmonean and Herodian palaces at Jericho into a national park in order to preserve it and make it accessible to Israelis.

The Temple Mount Sifting Project has been making great progress, but they need financial support.

The Temple: Then and Now is a forthcoming five-episode video project from Bible Land Passages. They have just released a trailer.

Joseph Lauer has observed that most respectable news outlets have ignored the recent claims of Gershon Galil to have discovered five inscriptions in and around Hezekiah’s Tunnel. He links to one article (in Hebrew) which quotes Dr. Barkay as saying, “I haven’t seen anything yet that convinces me that this is true. We have to wait for a scientific publication and better photos that will clarify what is there.” Carl Rasmussen shares photos of the location of one of the alleged inscriptions.

ASOR webinar on Jan 12: “‘Earliest Inscription Found!’ Exposing Sensationalism in the Field of Ancient Inscriptions,” by Christopher Rollston ($12)

20 ancient tombs dating back to as early as 660 BC were uncovered in the city of New Damietta in Egypt’s Nile delta.”

“An ancient Egyptian painting [in a palace at Amarna] is so detailed, researchers can determine which species of birds were featured in it.”

Conservators in Iraq’s national museum are working to preserve and digitize 47,000 ancient manuscripts.

“Yale computer scientists, archaeologists, and historians are teaming up to uncover long-lost clues from the ancient city of Dura-Europos.”

More than half of the destructions dated to 1200 BC in the eastern Mediterranean world “were misdated, assumed, or simply invented out of nothing and are what we can call, false destructions.”

The Vatican Museums are returning three fragments of sculptures from the Parthenon that they have held for a long time.

Gifs can help to show the former glory of ancient ruins.

Juan Manuel Tebes asks why the Bible never mentions the Edomite god Qos. I think his answer is wrong, but it’s an interesting question.

Leon Mauldin tackles the question of who the deliverer of Israel was in the days of Jehoahaz and Jehoash. His conclusion is quite reasonable.

Jacob Sivak looks at some of the archaeological background to James Michener’s The Source.

An anonymous archaeologist explains why some archaeologists and scientists are carrying out their research anonymously.

A complete list of speakers and topics has been released for the 3rd annual Jerusalem University College online seminar. Speakers include Chris McKinny, Brad Gray, Jack Beck, and Hélène Dallaire.

Oscar White Muscarella, an archaeologist who argued vociferously that antiquities collectors and museums — including his longtime employer, the Metropolitan Museum of Art — were fueling a market in forgeries and encouraging the plundering of archaeological sites, died on Nov. 27.”

Erich Winter, professor emeritus of Egyptology at Trier University, died on Dec 17. A list of his publications is available here.

Ross Thomas, archaeologist and British Museum curator, died on Nov 14 at the age of 44.

Eric Meyers offers “a few inconvenient lessons of Hanukkah.”

Preserving Bible Times now has Zechariah and Elizabeth, by Doug Greenwold, available in audiobook format. (Also ebook)

The latest OnSite video from Biblical Archaeology Society explores Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity.

“Herod the Great-Villain of the Christmas Story” is the subject of the latest episode of Digging for Truth, with guest Bryan Windle. On Christmas day, “O Little Town of Bethlehem” will be released.

Who were the Magi? Bryan Windle provides an excellent and well-illustrated survey of the possibilities, and the strengths of each view.

I’ll have a “Top 10 of 2022” finished by Monday, but there will be no weekend roundups for the next 3-4 weeks while I travel around Turkey and Greece. I’m co-leading a group of 90 from The Master’s University, and I highly recommend our agent there, Tutku Tours.

Merry Christmas!

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“An archaeological dig in Nimrud, Iraq revealed an enormous palace door that belonged to the Assyrian King Adad-Nirari III during his rule from 810-783 BCE.”

Egyptian archaeologists working in the Fayoum area have discovered the first full-color portraits of mummies found in the last hundred years.

Fine jewelry from 1400 BC has been found on a young Egyptian woman buried in the Tombs of the Nobles at Amarna.

Virginia Verardi describes evidence discovered at a site in Syria that seems to have been a concealed murder.

Smithsonian Magazine addresses the question of who owns antiquities discovered in Egypt but now in museums in Europe and the US.

“Ancient Yemen: Incense, Art, and Trade” is a new exhibit at the Smithsonian that focuses on the area’s golden age in the Greco-Roman era.

“Saudi Arabia has announced the registration of 67 new archaeological and historical sites.”

New release: Late Bronze Age Painted Pottery Traditions at the Margins of the Hittite State (£55.00; pdf free)

Zahi Hawass will be going on a “Grand Lecture Tour” of a couple dozen US cities in May and June ($79 and up).

Jordan is planning to spend $100 million to develop the baptismal site at the Jordan River, including construction of a biblical village, restaurants, a museum, and “opportunities for pilgrims to have special quiet spiritual time.”

I’ll be back with part 3 of the weekend roundup tomorrow.

HT: Agade, Arne Halbakken, Ted Weis, Wayne Stiles, Charles Savelle, Keith Keyser, Gordon Dickson, Explorator

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A team excavating in Luxor has uncovered a mummy in a wooden sarcophagus that dates to 1600 BC.

“Archaeologists have discovered a shrine in a temple in Egypt that describes a ritual never seen before.”

Six thousand artifacts taken from the Kerak Castle will be displayed in the city museum.

Syria announced the uncovering of a large, remarkable 1,600-year-old mosaic depicting scenes of the Trojan War.

New mosaics with various figures were unearthed during the ongoing excavations in the ancient city of Hadrianopolis, which is called the ‘Zeugma of Black Sea.’”

“Archaeologists may have found the sanctuary of the Samian Poseidon while they were conducting excavations at the Samicum Acropolis in Greece.”

The British Institute for the Study of Iraq is hosting an online international conference to mark the 100th anniversary of Sir Leonard Wooley’s first season of excavations at Ur.

Shai Gordin and Avital Romach explain the benefits of using computers to study ancient cuneiform texts.

New release: A Companion to the Hellenistic and Roman Near East, edited by Ted Kaizer (Wiley, £159; Amazon).

International Archaeology Day on October 22 will be celebrated at the Nashville Parthenon with a number of activities.

“An American tourist knocked over two ancient Roman busts in the Vatican Museums after he was told he couldn’t meet with Pope Francis.”

Our team has been working on a special little project, and we look forward to sharing that this week. By way of preview, I will say that it is a powerfully beautiful celebration of one of the most loved passages in all the Bible.

HT: Agade, Arne Halbakken, Ted Weis, Explorator

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New research confirms that a lost branch of the Nile River played a significant role in the construction of Giza’s pyramids.

“Egypt is celebrating the bicentenary of the decipherment of ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs and the creation of Egyptology with a batch of new events and a social media campaign.”

The exhibition “Ramses the Great and the Gold of the Pharaohs” is now on display at the de Young Museum in San Francisco.

An Italian team is set to return to excavations at Ebla, 12 years after war in Syria halted 47 years of uninterrupted digging. Though the archaeological site was not bombed, the ruins were seriously damaged by tunnels, trenches, and pillboxes. The Syrians for Heritage, however, are opposed to the University of Rome La Sapienza’s resumption of excavations at Ebla and Tell Ferzat. Ferrell Jenkins posts a couple photos from his visit to Ebla 20 years ago.

Archaeologists have identified more than 350 “kites” in northern Saudi Arabia and southern Iraq.

The scholars who deciphered Linear Elamite explain how they did it.

A new archaeological museum has opened in Isfahan, Iran.

New release: Weavers, Scribes, and Kings: A New History of the Ancient Near East, by Amanda H. Podany (Oxford, 2022; $35)

The Bible Mapper Blog continues to create and share free maps each week:

I’ll have more stories in part three of this weekend’s roundup tomorrow.

HT: Agade, Arne Halbakken, Joseph Lauer, Charles Savelle, Alexander Schick, Explorator

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“An ongoing underwater archaeological project [near Antikythera Island in Greece] most recently recovered a large marble head of a bearded male figure believed to be part of a statue of Hercules.”

Archaeologists discovered granite blocks from the time of Khufu at the temple of the Sun in Heliopolis, along with many other remains.

A study of cattle teeth discovered at Ur sheds light on the economy, health, and diet of ancient Mesopotamia.

Isabella Segalovich gives a brief history of women’s eyebrows in art.

Robyn Ramsden gives workshops on how to create your own Nag Hammadi codex.

“Italy has been so successful in recovering ancient artworks and artifacts that were illegally exported from the country it has created a museum for them.”

“The funerary portraiture from the city of Palmyra, in the eastern Roman Empire, is a rich and heterogenous display of identity dating to the first three centuries CE.”

“A new exhibit at the Israel Museum uses VR technology to bring back to life the rich heritage of the destroyed Great Synagogue of Aleppo.”

New release: The Archaeology of Iran from the Palaeolithic to the Achaemenid Empire, by Roger Matthews and Hassan Fazeli Nashli. Also available as a free download.

New release: A Guide to Scenes of Daily Life on Athenian Vases, by John Howard Oakley (University of Wisconsin Press, 2020). Summarized and reviewed here.

Carl Rasmussen shares photos of the only completely preserved chapel for emperor worship in the Roman world.

Joel Kramer’s latest video is about his visit to Babylon and how the prophecies against the city were fulfilled.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Arne Halbakken, Paleojudaica

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“A team of archaeologists in Egypt has discovered the 4,300-year-old tomb of a man named Mehtjetju, an official who claimed that he had access to ‘secret’ royal documents.

Images of 46 birds arranged in two rows were discovered at the Temple of Esna in Luxor, Egypt, during an Egyptian-German expedition this month.”

A recently discovered tunnel at Basbük in southeastern Turkey has revealed [Neo-Assyrian] artwork depicting eight gods, three of which were labeled with Aramaic inscriptions.”

“A spectacular ancient mosaic floor that was part of a building from the Hellenistic period is among the important finds from excavations carried out recently at Fabrika Hill in Kato Paphos, Cyprus.”

Lexundria is a digital library of classical antiquity. Although most of the texts on this site can be found elsewhere on the internet, this project aims to make them accessible in a more research-friendly format.”

The Toronto Tribune interviews Steven Fine about the Arch of Titus in Rome.

“Preserving the Biblical Past: A History of Archaeology at La Sierra University” is a 95-minute presentation given at the university’s recent homecoming celebration. Highlights of their decades-long Jordan excavations include the “best-preserved 4-room house” (~17 min), a “King’s House” inscription (~25 min), and the “earliest Moabite national script” specimen (~37 min) resembling that of the Mesha Stele. At the end, they share plans for a new archaeological museum in Madaba.

New release: Pearl of the Desert: A History of Palmyra, by Rubina Raja (Oxford, 2022; $30).

New release: Tall Zirā´a. The 2018 and 2019 Excavation Campaigns. The Iron Age, Hellenistic and Early Roman Period in Area II, The Gadara Region Project (2001–2011). Final Report 9, edited by Katharina Schmidt. (Free download here)

BASONOVA Webinar on May 25: “Sacred Prostitution and the Cult of Aphrodite/Venus in Roman Corinth,” by Barbette Spaeth ($7)

Accordance has a big sale on both OT (5 vols) and NT (4 vols) sets of the Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary ($136 for all).

Recent episodes on Digging for Truth:

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Arne Halbakken, G. M. Grena

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