Weekend Roundup

The stories this week are about as random as I can remember, making it challenging to figure out a logical sequence. We’ll start with Jerusalem, and we’ll end with a photo that was popular this week on our Facebook/Twitter/Instagram stream.

Journalists were given a tour of the newly reopened Roman square underneath the Damascus Gate of Jerusalem.

With the water level up nearly 6 feet in the last month, Israeli authorities may have to open the dam of the Sea of Galilee for the first time since 1992. (There’s a beautiful sunrise photo at the end of this article.)

Nof Ginnosar and the Sea of Galilee are the focus of the latest in the “Life Lessons from Israel” video series.

“Russian Archaeology in the Holy Land,” by Yana Tchekhanovets and Leonid Belyaev, is the lead article in the latest issue of ANE Today.

Biblical Byways is offering a low-budget study tour of Israel for Spanish speakers in September.

A replica of a 2,600-year-old Phoenician ship finished its five-month transatlantic voyage last week when it arrived in Miami.

Archaeologists have recovered 1,400 cuneiform tablets from the lost Sumerian city of Irisagrig, but they don’t know where that ancient city was located.

The traditional tomb of Ezekiel (in Iraq, not the one in Iran) is again becoming a place of pilgrimage.

Saudi Arabia plans to create the world’s largest living museum in Al Ula by 2035.

For more than a decade now, “Athens-based photographer and animator Dimitris Tsalkanis has cultivated a sort of unusual hobby: recreating ancient Athens via 3D modeling software.”

An archaeologist in Spain is on trial for forging a third-century depiction of Jesus’s crucifixion.

Salman Abu Sitta will be lecturing in London on February 28 on the subject of the “1871 Survey of Western Palestine Revisited: The Visible and The Hidden.”

New book: Roman-Period and Byzantine Nazareth and Its Hinterland, by Ken Dark

Cynthia Shafer-Elliott talks about her recent book Food in Ancient Judah on the OnScript podcast.

Ferrell Jenkins shares photos of the atad tree, the worthless bramble mentioned in Jotham’s parable in Judges 9.

The archaeological biography on King Ahaz features an altar, a seal, and a toilet.

The Global Smyrna Meeting on the Seven Churches of Revelation offers lectures and sites visits given a whole host of popular teachers, including Mark Wilson, Ben Witherington, Mark Fairchild, Carl Rasmussen, and Dana Harris.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer

Wadi Lubban view northwest of Shiloh, db6604081205

This beautiful valley is located in the tribal inheritance of Ephraim, not far from Shiloh. Photo taken in 1966 by David Bivin.

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Weekend Roundup

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Archaeologists have published a report that they have discovered a “massive Iron II temple complex” at Moza, in use from 900 to 600 BC.

An Egyptian anchor discovered off the coast near Haifa is now on display at the Israel Museum. The impressive artifact features hieroglyphics and images.

Excavations at Tel Tsaf in the Jordan Valley have uncovered homes and food silos made of mudbrick and preserved since the Neolithic period.

“Archaeologists on Thursday unveiled 16 ancient Egyptian tombs filled with sarcophagi and other artifacts from a vast burial ground” near Minya in central Egypt.

Israeli researchers have successfully grown six trees from seeds discovered at the sites of Masada, Qumran, and Wadi Makkuk. The seeds date to the 4th century BC to the 2nd century AD, and like their predecessor Methuselah, they have been given biblical names. Photos here.

Shlomit Bechar argues that the Hazor complexes with standing stones were part of a “ruin cult.”

A professor has found a technique to solve quadratic equations that the ancient Babylonians used.

Laerke Recht takes a look at human sacrifices in the ancient Near East.

War has devastated a museum in Maaret al-Numa, Syria known for its Roman and Byzantine-era mosaics.

A terrorist near St. Anne’s Church fired shots toward the Temple Mount, wounding a policeman.

USA Today is having a contest for the Best Religious Museum in the USA. Nominees include the Museum of the Bible, the Ark Encounter, and the Biblical History Center.

The latest video in the “Life Lessons from Israel” is a 6-minute devotional video on Megiddo.

Upcoming events at the Albright Institute include a lecture by Israel Finkelstein on the excavations at Kiriath Jearim.

After renovations to steps and railings, the Ramparts Walk from the Damascus Gate to the Lions Gate of the Old City of Jerusalem has re-opened.

Agrippa II is the subject of Bryan Windle’s latest archaeological biography.

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

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Weekend Roundup

Israel has announced the creation of seven new nature reserves in the West Bank: Ariel Cave, Wadi Og, Wadi Malha, the Southern Jordan River, Bitronot Creek, Nahal Tirza, and Rotem-Maskiot.

The Mausoleum of Augustus in Rome is set to reopen this spring after being closed for 80 years.

The Grand Egyptian Museum, set to partially open in the coming months, expects more than 5 million visitors annually.

Passages, a Christian version of Birthright Israel, is on track to bring 10,000 students to Israel by the end of this year.

Carl Rasmussen shares his experience in using Global Entry for international travel.

A DNA analysis of the York Gospels was done using DNA extracted by using erasers.

Emily Master of The Friends of Israel Antiquities Authority is the featured guest on The Book and the Spade.

Available for pre-order: The Koren Tanakh of the Land of Israel: Exodus. There are early reviews here and here.

King David is the subject of Bryan Windle’s latest archaeological biography.

Shmuel Browns shares his favorite photos of the year and gives his readers a chance to vote on their favorite.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Mark Hoffman, Explorator

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Weekend Roundup

The Tel Moza website gives details for joining the spring excavation as well as background about recent discoveries.

A family volunteering at an excavation in Lower Galilee discovered remains of an iron industry from the 6th century AD.
Some of the latest discoveries from Shiloh are described in a somewhat disjointed article in the Jerusalem Post.
The “Tomb of the Kings” in Jerusalem has been reopened to visitors (again) by France, which owns the site. Access is allowed only to the outer courtyard.

Naama Sukenik explains how new technology is being used to provide insights into counterfeiting dyes in the ancient textile industry.
Mark Barnes looks at the significance of the Mount of Olives in the Bible, including some interesting comparisons and contrasts between David’s and Jesus’s time there.
Who is Gallio and why is he so important to New Testament history? Bryan Windle explains in a well-illustrated article.

The “world’s oldest natural pearl” has been discovered in excavations on an island near Abu Dhabi.

“Ancient Assyrian stone tablets represent the oldest known reports of auroras, dating to more than 2,500 years ago.”

“Life at the Dead Sea” is a new exhibit about the cultural history of the lowest place on the planet that recently opened at the State Museum of Archaeology Chemnitz.

An exhibit of Egypt’s southern neighbor, “Ancient Nubia Now,” is on display until January 2020 at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

Sculptures from the Torlonia Collection will go on public display for the first time ever at the Capitoline Museums in Rome beginning in March.
The Washington Pentateuch is going on display at the Museum of the Bible.
The archaeological museum in Basra is adding English labels in hopes of welcoming more international visitors.
Jaafar Jotheri provides an overview of excavations in Iraq in the last year.
A conference will be held at the Louvre on November 25 on Tappeh Sialk: A Key Site for the Archaeology of Iran.
Farrell Monaco will be lecturing on “Dining with the Romans” at the Walters Art Museum on November 10.
4,500 tourists watched the sun illuminate the face of Ramses II in the temple of Abu Simbel.
Wayne Stiles is leading a tour of Israel (and pre-tour to Egypt) in October 2020.
There will be no roundup next weekend.
HT: Ted Weis, Mike Harney, Joseph Lauer, Keith Keyser
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Weekend Roundup

If you don’t pay attention, you would think they’re finding all kinds of first-century streets in Jerusalem. But it’s the same one, again and again. The story this week, based on a journal article in Tel Aviv, is that the Siloam Street/Stepped Street/Pilgrim’s Path was built by Pilate. The date is based on the most recent coin, from AD 30/31, found in the fill under the pavement. Leen Ritmeyer rejects the study, saying that the road was actually built by Herod Agrippa II. That last link has a nice map that shows the location of the Herodian/Pilatian/Agrippian Road.

A three-year salvage excavation near Beth Shemesh uncovered a Byzantine Church with an inscription mentioning a “glorious martyr.” The mosaics are quite well-preserved, and there is an intact underground burial chamber. Some of the artifacts are featured in a new exhibition at the Bible Lands Museum in Jerusalem.

Excavators have found a second monumental gate at Hacilar.

These reports from Beirut are from last year, but I did not see them then:

Rachel Bernstein provides an update on the Temple Mount Sifting Project since its recent reboot and relocation.

Israel Finkelstein responds to the “discovery that changes everything we know about biblical Israel.”

Artificial intelligence is better at deciphering damaged ancient Greek inscriptions than humans are.

The ArcGIS Blog interviews Tom Levy and one of his students about their use of GIS and 3D modeling in their work in the copper mines of Faynan.

Officials in Thessaloniki are arguing about what to do with a “priceless” 6th century AD Byzantine site found during work on a subway tunnel.

Spanish experts have replicated for Iraq two Assyrian lamassu statues previously destroyed by ISIS.

Dirk Obbink denies the charges against him of selling items owned by the Egyptian Exploration Society.

Two scholarships are available for students interested in participating in February’s excavation of Timna’s copper mines.

An international conference entitled “Philistines! Rehabilitating a Biblical Foe” will be held on Nov 17 at Yeshiva University Museum. Registration is required.

‘Atiqot 96 (2019) is now online, with reports on excavations at Rosh Pinna, Mazor, and el-Qubeibe.

Biblical Israel Ministries and Tours has released the 16th video in their series, “It Happened Here.” This one features life lessons from Beth Shean.

Jim Hastings shows how he built a model of a gate of Ezekiel’s temple.

Ferrell Jenkins shares photos from his 1970 tour of Iraq.

Aron Tal reflects on the remarkable return of the ibex. There was a day, apparently, when there were no ibex to be found at En Gedi.

HT: Gordon Franz, Mark Hoffman, Agade, Ted Weis, Joseph Lauer, A.D. Riddle, Steven Anderson

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Weekend Roundup, Part 3

Archaeologists have uncovered the largest Early Bronze city in Israel. The site of En Esur is 160 acres in size and is located 7 miles (11 km) east of Caesarea.

A lengthy inscription discovered at Pompeii in 2017 has been translated. It describes a “massive coming-of-age party for a wealthy young man.”

In the ruins of the ancient Hittite capital, there is a large, beautiful green rock that is a mystery to archaeologists and visitors.

Christopher Rollston is using multispectral imagery to study ostraca discovered at Macherus in 1968.

“The British Library, the largest national library in the world by number of items cataloged, has for the first time ever put some of its rarest and most ancient religious texts online for the general public to be able to access them from around the world.”

In a 2015 article for a special edition of the BBC History Magazine now published online, Aren Maeir identifies 10 key discoveries from the Holy Land. (It seems to me to be cheating for one of those to be “the discoveries of Jerusalem.”)

A portion of the Istanbul Archaeology Museums has reopened after years of renovations.

250,000 objects from the Louvre will be moved over the next four years to a non-public storage facility in northern France.

A student volunteer describes her experiences at Hazor in the last three years.

Wayne Stiles recently led a tour to Rome, and he shares some of his observations and reflections here.

JJ Routley argues that there is such a thing as Christian archaeology.

Bryan Windle has begun a new series of archaeological biographies, and the first subject is King Hezekiah.

The Getty Trust is devoting $100 million over the next 10 years to protect endangered historical sites around the world through dialogue and conservation.

If you would like to volunteer for a winter excavation in Israel, registration is now open for the February season at Timna.

A new survey is aiming to shed light on the Nabateans who lived in what is now Saudi Arabia.

The Wadi Shuʿaib Archaeological Survey Project (WSAS) is a new project in the area northwest of Amman, Jordan.

Bryan Windle has posted a resource review of the Photo Companion to the Gospels, with a focus on how he has used the Luke volume in his preaching.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Ted Weis, Keith Keyser, Explorator

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Weekend Roundup, Part 2

A Greco-Roman building uncovered in northern Sinai was used as a seat for the ancient Senate.

King Tut’s gilded coffin has been transferred from Luxor to the new Grand Egyptian Museum where it will be restored before being put on display. New images have been released before the restoration begins.

Sara Ahmed reports on the Egyptian Collection at Leiden’s Rijksmuseum.

A salvage project in Cyprus has uncovered a large Hellenistic-era sanctuary.

The new archaeological museum at Troy has opened, and Carl Rasmussen has photos.

A statue of Alexander the Great, long lost in a museum storage room, has recently been re-discovered.

Gordon Franz has posted a new article: The apostle Paul and Dr. Luke on the Island of Cost: Sin, Sickness, and Death.

Sarah Parcak’s new book, Archaeology from Space, looks at the use of technology in archaeology.

Bryan Windle’s latest in the Footsteps series is “Three Things in Babylon Daniel Likely Saw.”

HT: Ted Weis, Agade

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Weekend Roundup, Part 2

Excavations in Alexandria have revealed a well-preserved mosaic floor from the Roman period.

An artificial reef and underwater museum is being created in the Red Sea waters of Aqaba from old military vehicles.

The Tetrapylon avenue at Aphrodisias will open soon, following the completion of excavations.

Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities June 2019 Newsletter provides the latest updates.

Four ancient Babylonian tablets at the British Museum were apparently used to calculate the motion of Jupiter.

An exhibition of looted archaeological artifacts is now on display at the Capitoline Museums.

A man who made more than half a million dollars by selling to a museum an “ancient Egyptian figurine” he made in his garden shed is sorry.

Mastic, from the island of Chios (cf. Acts 20:15), is getting a fresh look as a possible super-drug.

In an excerpt from her new book, Sarah Parcak asks, “Will the future of archaeology not require moving dirt?”

Jimmy Hardin discusses the latest discoveries at Macherus on The Book and the Spade.

In the final post in his series on Paul’s shipwreck on Malta, Carl Rasmussen shares photos of a more likely place than the traditional bay.

HT: Joseph Lauer, Agade, Charles Savelle, Mark Hoffman, Steven Anderson, Explorator

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Weekend Roundup

Researchers have constructed kilns to determine how iron was smelted in ancient Israel. (Haaretz premium)

New research has identified where refugees fleeing Mount Vesuvius’s eruption later settled.

The New York Metropolitan Museum of Art will return a recently purchased gold-gilded Egyptian coffin that turned out to be looted.

$55 million will be invested to renovate several sites in the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City, including the Burnt House, the Wohl Archaeological Museum, and the Tiferet Yisrael Synagogue.

A new museum will join the complex of tourist attractions at Latrun, this one honoring Jews who fought in WWII.

The Madaba Plains Project is celebrating 50 years of archaeological work in central Jordan.

Cyrene, Leptis Magna, and other antiquities sites in Libya are being neglected and vandalized since the fall of Gaddafi.

“Israel is hundreds of years overdue for a massive earthquake,” writes Ruth Schuster (Haaretz premium).

Sebastian Fink explains the significance of salt in ancient Mesopotamia.

Wayne Stiles: “The Judean Wilderness illustrates the greener grass we envy.”

Ferrell’s photo of the week is of the Appian Way that Paul traveled as he approached Rome.

Mark Barnes explains why Jesus was baptized in the Jordan River, with reference to the ministries of Elijah and Elisha.

Kings of Israel is a board game taking place in Israel (the Northern Kingdom) during the reign of its kings up until Israel’s destruction by Assyria. Players are on a team, with each person representing a line of prophets…” BibleX has a list of other Christian board games.

The Institute of Biblical Culture’s new course in March, “Daily Life in Ancient Israel,” will cover topics like agriculture, the calendar, tribalism, and lifecycles.

The topic of the Tyndale House Conference 2019 is “Exploring the Old Testament and Its World.”

HT: Agade, Ted Weis

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Weekend Roundup

A woman taking a stroll near Tel Beth Shean discovered that winter rains had exposed two Roman statues.

New technology now makes declassified US spy photos from the 1960s more useful for research in the Middle East. LiveScience tells the story, and you can explore the amazing Corona Atlas yourself.

A team of archaeologists and climbers scaled the cliffs of Sela in order to study a relief made by the Babylonian king Nabonidus.

Ruth Schuster surveys the archaeological evidence for the earthquake in the days of Uzziah mentioned by Amos and Zechariah (Haaretz premium).

Kyle Harper attempts to trace the origins of the Nazareth Inscription.

‘Serve the Gods of Egypt’ is an exhibition focusing on the Third Intermediate Period (1069-664 BC), now showing at the Museum of Grenoble, located in southeast France. 

Now online: Maps, drawings, and photographs from the American Research Center in Egypt (ARCE) Sphinx Project, 1979-1983.

The Fall 2018 issue of DigSight includes stories on the seal impression of Isaiah, new publications, recent finds, and upcoming events.

The Oriental Institute 2017–18 Annual Report is now available.

On the ASOR Blog, Claudio Ottoni asks, “Where do cats come from?”

Carl Rasmussen provides illustrations for Paul’s boxing metaphor.

Wayne Stiles explains why Peter’s trip to Caesarea was apparently inefficient and yet perfectly necessary.

A 4-minute video from the Today Show explains how NASA technology is being used to decipher Dead Sea Scrolls. The video includes footage inside Cave 1.

Owen Jarus suggests five archaeological discoveries to watch for in 2019.

The editors of The Bible and Interpretation have chosen their five best articles for 2018.

In a full article posted from Biblical Archaeology Review, Robert Cargill explains what a day on a dig looks like.

Jerusalem is one of the fastest growing tourist destinations in the world. Jordan’s tourism in 2018 was its second highest ever.

William B. Tolar of Fort Worth, Texas, a longtime professor of biblical backgrounds and archaeology [at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary], died Dec. 29.” He apparently led 80 trips to Israel.

There will be no roundup next weekend.

HT: Ted Weis, Agade, Mark Hoffman, Chris McKinny, Joseph Lauer, Paleojudaica, Bryan Windle

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