Weekend Roundup, Part 1

Excavations of Ein Hanya in the Judean hills have concluded with an announcement of the discovery of an Israelite royal capital (proto-Aeolic?), a 4th century Greek drachma, and a Byzantine pool system. The site is associated in tradition with Philip’s baptism of the Ethiopian eunuch. The site will soon open as an archaeological park.

Eilat Mazar has returned to the Ophel to excavate, and this video shows a large cave she believes was in use during the First Temple period. An interview with Mazar includes an aerial photo with the excavation sites labeled.

A Roman tomb complex has been discovered in the northern Gaza Strip.

The ancient temple at Ain Dara, Syria, which is the closest parallel to Solomon’s temple, was heavily damaged in recent Turkish air strikes.

A radar scan is underway in King Tut’s tomb to determine if there are any hidden chambers.

Egypt announced the discovery of a 4,400-year-old tomb in good condition at Giza.

A man carrying a metal detector around the Nabatean ruins of Halutza was arrested for looting more than 150 Byzantine coins.

Five ancient statues stolen during Lebanon’s civil war are back on display in its National Museum.

The Museum of Ancient Greek Technology recently opened in Athens.

A new exhibition showing at the Carthage National Museum highlights the links between the Carthaginian and Etruscan civilisations before the Mediterranean came under Roman dominion.”

Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities is launching a project to document rare petroglyphs throughout the country. 

HT: Ted Weis, Agade, Joseph Lauer

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Weekend Roundup, Part 2

Haaretz reports on Steven Fine’s study that the reliefs of the Arch of Titus were originally painted in full color.

“The Arch of Titus – From Jerusalem to Rome and Back” is a new exhibition opening this week at the Center for Jewish History in Manhattan.

Have scientists discovered the body of Pliny the Elder?

Scientists at a university in Rome have determined what causes ancient parchments to develop purple spots and deteriorate. The journal article is here.

Mark Hoffman has created a list of free online Bible resource sites and downloadable Bible apps and programs.

Carl Rasmussen explains that the apostle Paul visited the area of modern Albania, probably on the Via Egnatia.

The Biblical Archaeology Society has a new streaming video site, with a 75%-off introductory offer.

The deadlines are approaching for many funded fellowships at the Albright Institute in Jerusalem.

Letters from Baghdad will be screened at the Oriental Institute Museum in Chicago on October 11.

The event is free, but registration is required.

Now free (pdf): The Assyrian Dictionary of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago

Now free (pdf): The City of Ebla: A Complete Bibliography of Its Archaeological and Textual Remains. (Click the small pdf icon to download).

Early reviews of Lois Tverberg’s forthcoming book are very positive, including my own.

HT: Joseph Lauer, Agade

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Weekend Roundup, Part 2

Haaretz (premium): “Archaeologists in Rome have uncovered the [very fragmentary] remains of a second triumphal arch dedicated to the emperor Titus and his success in putting down the Great Revolt of the Jews in the first century C.E.”

“The remains of a huge Roman temple, the size of St Paul’s Cathedral in London has been found by a Cambridge University archaeological team in central Italy.”

Philippe Bohstrom has written an interesting and well-illustrated article on the Greek site of Poseidonia (Paestum) in southern Italy.

“The location where the Greek naval forces had gathered before the historic sea battle of Salamis against Persians in 480 BC has been discovered.”

“A unique statue, possibly of Queen Tiye, the wife of King Amenhotep III and grandmother of King Tutankhamun, has been unearthed at her husband’s funerary temple in Kom El-Hittan on Luxor’s west bank.”

The intact tomb of the brother of a 12th Dynasty Elephantine governor has been uncovered, containing a range of funerary goods.”

Antiquities dealers in the US imported $100 million in artifacts from Egypt and Turkey last year.

In order to thwart the plundering of antiquities, Syrian archaeologists have begun painting their treasures with a clear, traceable liquid.


The New York Times previews the new “Mummies” exhibit at the American Museum of Natural
History in Manhattan.

The ABWG has a roundup of links for Awards for Books in Classics, Ancient Near East, and Antiquity.

HT: Ted Weis, Charles Savelle, Steven Anderson, Agade, Joseph Lauer

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Weekend Roundup

A new study concludes that the Roman siege ramp of Masada was never completed and thus was not used to conquer the site.


The Times of Israel has more on the latest discoveries at Omrit.

Syrian troops have recaptured Palmyra from ISIS and the latest damage is being assessed.

The site of the ancient temple of Artemis in Ephesus is suffering from neglect.

The Museum of Archaeological Excavations on Elephantine Island in Aswan has been re-opened after a six-year closure.

The National Museum of Egyptian Civilization in Cairo was opened to the public last week.

2,000 libraries around the world will receive true color photographs of the Sistine Chapel.

“A 19th-century view of the Egyptian temple complex of Karnak is to go on display at the British Museum for the first time this week.”

Wayne Stiles provides a brief history of the Temple Mount, with lots of photos.

John DeLancey of Biblical Israel Tours now has posts up for every day of his recent tour of Israel and Italy.

Gordon Govier interviews Randall Price about “Qumran Cave 12” on The Book and the Spade.

Gary Byers has written a well-illustrated post on the use of mudbricks in the Bible.

Steve Mason’s A History of the Jewish War, A.D. 66-74 is positively reviewed on the BMCR blog.

LandMinds interviews Guy Stiebel on his return to excavating Masada (40 min).

Eisenbrauns is offering 70-80% off dozens of feschriften, including The Fire Signals of Lachish (now
$21) and Exploring the Longue Duree (now $23).

The new issue of Biblical Archaeology Review includes articles on Laodicea and a banquet hall near
the Temple Mount.

BAS has launched a new video streaming site, with a special introductory offer of 75% off.

David Rubinger, photographer of the iconic scene of Israeli paratroopers at the Western Wall, has
died at the age of 92.

HT: Agade, Ted Weis, Paleojudaica

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Weekend Roundup, Part 2

The New York Times recounts the recent destruction of Palmyra and reviews a new online exhibit by The Getty Research Institute, “The Legacy of Ancient Palmyra.”

The search for hidden chambers in King Tut’s tomb continues this year.

A Japanese team has discovered the tomb of a royal scribe of Amenhotep III.

Ferrell Jenkins has posted on an attractive display of ossuaries at the Hecht Museum in Haifa.

Seth Rodriquez explains what happened to Judah after they were exiled.

Thomas Kiely of the British Museum reviews The Oxford Handbook of the Archaeology of the Levant c. 8000-332 BCE in the Oxford Handbooks in Archaeology series.

On the ASOR Blog, Anna-Latifa Mourad argues that the Hyksos were foreigners but not invaders.

Since 1833 there has been no mosque in Athens. Until this year.

Daniel Falk will be lecturing on “The Myth of the Dead Sea Scrolls” at Baylor University on Tuesday, February 21.

Alexander Schick will be lecturing at The Jordan Museum in Amman on Thursday, February 23, 5:00 pm, on “Uncovering the Scrolls: The Early and Late History of the Dead Sea Scrolls.” All are welcome.

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

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Weekend Roundup, Part 4

A new exhibit has opened at the Israel Museum entitled, “Behold the Man: Jesus in Israeli Art.”

Now on display in Australia is the British Museum’s famed bronze Head of Augustus from Meroë.

The Museum of Troy is scheduled to open later this year.

Though relations have recently been repaired between Turkey and Israel, there’s no movement towards returning the Siloam Inscription, Gezer Calendar, and Temple Balustrade Inscription to Jerusalem.

Silver objects from the Roman Empire, including the Berthouville Treasure, are on display at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston.

The Eastman Museum is continuing its efforts to bring online its vast photographic collection. For example, a search for “Jerusalem” returns 24 pages with early photos by T.H. McAllister, Charles
Chusseau-Flaviens, and the American Colony.

If you missed the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s exhibit, “Jerusalem 1000-1400: Every People Under Heaven,” you can see many photos here.

Once again in control of Palmyra, ISIS has destroyed the ancient theater and tetrapylon.

The Associated Press examines the destruction of Nimrud caused by ISIS. Agatha Christie would be very unhappy.

The Crusader castle known as Crac des Chevaliers has been damaged in the Syrian war, but the extent of destruction is currently unknown.

Armed Libyan citizens have mounted patrols to protect Leptis Magna, an ancient city of Rome.

A majority of the artifacts coming out of Syria are modern fakes.

Plans are underway for a restitution (reconstruction?) of the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus.

De Gruyter has made a number of its works published in 2016 open access.

Giovanni Garbini and Joseph Fitzmyer both passed away in the last month.

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

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Weekend Roundup

A stone bowl inscribed with the name “Hyrcanus” was discovered in the City of David. Since the name was common in the Hasmonean period, it is not clear if it belonged to one of the two rulers with this name. High-res images are available here.

A bronze coin with the image of Antiochus Epiphanes was discovered during maintenance work in the Citadel of David Museum in Jerusalem.

Mary Shepperson, a free-lance archaeologist working on five projects in Iraq, describes work in the new excavations of Charax Spasinou.

Archaeologists have discovered a large “lost city” about 150 miles north of Athens.

The Center for Ancient Middle Eastern Landscapes (CAMEL Lab) at the Oriental Institute of the
University of Chicago would like to announce that a substantial subset of its digital holdings of maps and geospatial data are now available for online public search and download.”

The Temple Mount Sifting Project is asking readers to Name That Find!

The IAA has completed a detailed survey of the village of Lifta ahead of its planned replacement by a new neighborhood.

Before and after photos reveals the significant war damage in the Syrian city of Aleppo.

Ferrell Jenkins recounts his 2002 visit to Aleppo and its museum.

New research suggests some ancient Egyptians believed a deceased woman had to briefly become male in the afterlife in order to be reborn. Reader Ted Weis notes that this theory corresponds with saying #114 in the Gospel of Thomas.

Egypt is trying to stop the auctioning of Egyptian relics around the world.

A stolen relief of Queen Hatshepsut has been restored to Egypt.

Bricks of ancient Babylon have been used in rebuilding houses in the area.

The Tower identifies “seven fascinating discoveries Israeli archaeologists made in 2016.”
Kudos to Dr. Chris McKinny!

Carl Rasmussen describes an “unknown” Christmas site near Bethlehem.

We wish all of our readers a Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah! We’ll be traveling for several weeks and roundups will return when we do.

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

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Weekend Roundup, Part 2

If you’re interested in excavating in Israel next year and need a scholarship, the Tel Burna team has compiled a list of opportunities.

A new exhibit on Khirbet el-Maqatir opens next month at the University of Pikeville.

Translation is the focus of an exhibit showing through March, 2017 at the Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations (MUCEM) in Marseille, France.

An Iranian archaeologist who has cataloged nearly 50,000 ancient paintings and engravings across Iran, many featuring the ibex deer, is hoping newfound access to the Western resources will reveal more insight into these works.

The British Museum has finished phase one to digitize their collection of Hebrew MSS.

K. Lawson Younger explains why he wrote a book on the Arameans.

Richard Averbeck has started a series of posts at the Carl F. H. Henry Center’s blog on Gen 1. The first and second posts are about the comparative method.

The ASOR Blog has a photo update on Nimrud following its liberation from ISIS.

HT: Ted Weis, A.D. Riddle

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Weekend Roundup

A tomb with a number of well-preserved frescoes from the Hellenistic or Early Roman periods has been discovered in northern Jordan.

A dozen sculptures recently unearthed at Perga are now on display in the Antalya Museum.

The BBC runs an interesting story on the Muslim families that lock and unlock the Church of the Holy Sepulcher each day.

“A crew of facial reconstruction experts have successfully recreated the face of a male who lived in the Biblical city of Jericho.”

Scanning technology has provided 3-D images of unwrapped mummies from ancient Egypt.

A pair of mummified knees are most likely those of the famously beautiful spouse of Pharaoh Ramses II.”

James Davila considers the reemergence of the Jordanian lead codices and links to an insider perspective.

Archaeologists working in the Wadi Feinan region of Jordan believe that they have found evidence of the world’s first polluted river.

The breed known as “Jacob’s sheep” have returned to Israel.

The Jerusalem Post runs a story on Douglas Petrovich’s theory that the earliest alphabet was Hebrew.

The US and Egypt have come to an agreement regarding the importing of looted archaeological artifacts.
Recent damage to the ancient site of Mari is discussed by archaeologist Pascal Butterlin in a short video (in French).

Relics looted from Syria’s ancient city of Palmyra have been recovered in Switzerland.

“Radiocarbon dating remains a reliable tool if it is supplemented by 13C measurements.”

“Why would the Lord first announce the Messiah’s birth to lowly shepherds?” Wayne Stiles explains.

In light of the recent excavation of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, Gordon Govier at Christianity Today explains why there are two competing sites for the place of Jesus’s burial.

The late Charles Ryrie’s Bible collection has been sold to various collectors for more than $7 million. 
Daniel Wallace was one of the bidders and he provides more details. I wonder how many of the 
purchases will show up in the Museum of the Bible.
The Westminister Bookstore has a big sale on the ESV Bible Atlas, described by them as “‘National Geographic’ meets world class Biblical Scholarship.” You can look inside here.

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

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Weekend Roundup

A couple of Israeli scholars are suggesting that the Hasmonean Hall (aka “Hall of the Freemasons”) in the Western Wall Tunnels may have served as a triclinium for Jerusalem’s city council.

Scientists working in Galilee have discovered caves used by rebels in the Jewish Revolt. For a more academic study, see this journal article.

The eastern temple of Ramses II at Karnak has been opened after restoration.

Excavations at Petra have revealed new information about the water systems that kept the city alive 2,000 years ago.

Municipal workers in Turkey’s Çanakkale province discovered gold jewelry in an 8th century BC sarcophagus.

Russia is sending a team of scientists to investigate World Heritage sites in Syria allegedly destroyed in the civil war.

The Basrah Museum is opening soon in a former palace of Saddam Hussein.

The Archaeological Museum of Kos re-opened up last month after renovation.

A competition is being held for the architectural design of the new Cyprus Museum in Nicosia.

The International Criminal Court in The Hague has ruled that destroying cultural antiquities is a war crime.

Wayne Stiles’s new post on the history and significance of Eilat is filled with lots of photos I really like.

Ferrell Jenkins shares a photo of a beautiful sunrise over the Sea of Galilee.


Haaretz reviews the best of archaeology in Israel this past (Jewish) year.

John S. (Jack) Holladay died last week. He was a long-time professor at the University of Toronto and he was involved in excavations at Gezer and in the Wadi Tumilat Project.

HT: Agade, Charles Savelle, Joseph Lauer

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