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A team of archaeologists “has found the oldest-known example of the use of organic red pigments to color an object—in this case, beads” discovered in a cave on Mount Carmel.

Expedition Bible tackles the question of where Jerusalem’s Temple Mount is (and where it is not). I’m glad to see them address this issue in light of much foolishness which is circulating.

The Israel Antiquities Authority presented an online lecture series this week, “We Will Not be Defeated: From Crisis to Revival in the Archaeology of the Land of Israel.” All are available on the IAA’s Facebook page:

In the newest episode in the Flora & Faith series, Brad Gray looks at the Atad tree, central to Jotham’s parable in Judges 9.

Exhibition at the Met: Maxime Du Camp’s Photographs of the Eastern Mediterranean and North Africa

Thomas West has created a list of the “25 best movies set in the ancient world.”

A statue of Cyrus the Great will be unveiled in Atlanta today.

HT: Agade, Arne Halbakken, Charles Savelle, Ted Weis, Explorator, Paleojudaica

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Aren Maeir writes about the situation in Israel and how you can help.

A pair of scholars argue that “Azekah is the new name of Moresheth-Gath given to the city by Judahite rulers after taking control of the western Shephelah, not before the end of the ninth century BCE.”

“For the first time, ancient DNA has been recovered from the bodies of ancient Israelites living in the First Temple period.”

In his first Q&A, Chandler Collins answers questions about Jerusalem’s monasteries, the “palace of David,” and a proposed bema seat of Pilate.

In part 4 of the Flora and Faith series, Brad Nelson explains why Paul used the olive tree to explain the relationship between Jews and Gentiles in the church.

An article I wrote on Solomon’s coronation and coregency has been published in the Detroit Baptist Seminary Journal. I argue that there were three stages in his coronation and that there is no foundation for a two-year coregency.

Andy Naselli has collected some of the better videos of reconstructions of the tabernacle, Solomon’s temple, and Herod’s temple.

The Arch of Titus, built to celebrate the destruction of Jerusalem, was lit up this week in blue and white in solidarity with Israel.

HT: Agade, Ted Weis, Arne Halbakken, Explorator

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An American damaged several ancient Roman statues in the Israel Museum because they are “blasphemous” and “in violation of the Torah.” See below for a pre-attack photo of one statue (and see tomorrow’s roundup for another).

“Close to 1,000 Levites from around the world converged on Jerusalem’s southern wall near the Western Wall to partake in a momentous reenactment of the ancient Levitical choir of the Temple.” The story includes a couple of short videos.

“Some 10,000 people marched to Joshua’s Altar on Mt. Ebal on Monday to demand protection for archaeological sites in the West Bank and protest against declarations of sites in the West Bank as ‘Palestinian heritage sites.’”

Paleojudaica shows how headlines gradually sensationalized the discovery of (what is now) Alexander the Great’s escort.

A new video from Bible Scenes tours 50 different areas of the virtual 3D model of Herod’s Temple Mount. The timecodes make it easy to jump to any gate, courtyard, chamber, etc. Very impressive.

Aleteia has a list of the mosaic panels discovered in the Huqoq synagogue excavation.

An inscription discovered in Jerusalem suggests that there was a guild of artisans that called themselves the “sons of Daedalus.”

Olivier Poquillon is the new director of the École Biblique in Jerusalem.

Israel Museum Studies in Archaeology Occasional Publications 1 features an iconographic study of the fresco in the Abbey of the Tomb of Mary in the Valley of Jehoshaphat, within the socio-cultural context of Crusader Jerusalem.

The Codex Sassoon, purchased for $38 million in a recent auction, has arrived at the ANU Museum in Tel Aviv.

The Book and the Spade pulls out of the archive a 1996 interview with Anson Rainey about the House of David Inscription in context.

In celebration of his 45th wedding anniversary, Leen Ritmeyer shares how he met Kathleen and their early work together in the Byzantine monasteries in the Judean wilderness. He includes many photos and drawings.

HT: Agade, Ted Weis, Arne Halbakken, Charles Savelle, Explorator

Head of Athena from Tel Naharon, 2nd century AD; as displayed in the Israel Museum before this week’s vandalism
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In the 11th and final season at the Huqoq synagogue, Jodi Magness discovered additional sections of the Samson mosaic panels along with a new mosaic section with an enigmatic Hebrew inscription and an Aramaic inscription identifying the synagogue’s donors or artists. The site will now be developed into a tourist attraction.

“Skulls and lamps found in the Twins Cave in the Jerusalem Hills indicate that the cave was used for necromancy rituals” in Hellenistic and Roman times.

A new study has determined that Caesarea was destroyed by a giant tsunami in the aftermath of the AD 749 earthquake.

Tim Chaffey follows up his introductory article on the location of the temple with a more extended study, arguing that Ernest L. Martin and Robert Cornuke “are highly selective in their use of source material, even to the point where they remove the most relevant details from passages of Scripture.”

Nathan Steinmeyer describes how the Central Timna Valley Project conducts experiments to determine how people in the Chalcolithic period smelted copper.

Jamie Fraser has been appointed to be the new director of the Albright Institute in Jerusalem.

New release: The Excavations at Khirbet el-Maqatir: 1995–2001 and 2009–2016. Volume 2: The Late Hellenistic, Early Roman, and Byzantine Periods, edited by Scott Stripling and Mark A. Hassler (Archaeopress, £85; free download)

Chandler Collins writes about the “Russian Compound Plateau” in Jerusalem, including the recent excavation of a portion of the Third Wall there.

Carl Rasmussen has posted a new photo of the Methuselah date palm tree.

Ferrell Jenkins shares a new photo he took of the village of Nain, where Jesus raised a dead boy back to life.

Abigail Leavitt writes about her visits to the excavations at Tel Burna.

Israel’s Good Name provides a well-illustrated report on his visit to Ein Harod.

Your humble roundup writer teaches a Bible chapter a week nearly every Sunday morning (with photos), but he generally stays away from the pulpit. With the pastor on sabbatical and the situation desperate, my church lowered the standard. There’s not much geography or archaeology in a sermon on “Jesus the Servant,” but it is a subject I love very much.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Explorator

These men are hard at work restoring an ancient mosaic in the Church of the Multiplication of Loaves and Fish at Tabgha.

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Recent excavations in front of the edicule in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher revealed the 4th century arrangement of the rotunda.

Chris McKinny gives an overview of the results from Week 2 of excavations at Tel Burna.

Aren Maeir notes that excavations are also currently underway at Tell el-Hesi and Khirbet Summeily.

Archaeologists have invited the local community to help conserve the Middle Bronze gate at Gezer after last year’s fire.

William Hild, a participant in this summer’s excavation at Hyrcania, is guest on The Book and the Spade discussing the project.

Ruth Schuster writes about the treasures that were returned when the Israel Antiquities Authority announced an amnesty campaign. Enjoy the many photos, for you’ll never see these objects again as the IAA protects them in a vast storage center.

Ariel David reports on Garfinkel’s latest claim of Judah’s importance in the 10th century, including criticism from other archaeologists. Melanie Lidman has a similar story.

Tim Chaffey explains how Ernest Martin and Robert Cornuke “avoid key passages of Scripture, distort Josephus’ words, and ignore the findings of archaeologists” in their relocation of Solomon’s temple.

New release: Ancient Synagogues Revealed 1981-2022, edited by Lee I. Levine, Zeev Weiss, and Uzi Leibner (Israel Exploration Society, 300 NIS). You can see all the volumes in the long-running series on the IES website.

Hybrid conference on July 10-13 in Jerusalem: “Jerusalem: From Umbilicus Mundi to the Four Corners of the Earth and Back.” The conference brochure is here. The live broadcast will be here.

Zoom lecture on July 25: “Jesus in Galilee: An Archaeological Perspective,” by Eric Meyers

BBC Reel has released “Armageddon: The ancient city behind the biblical story.”

Chandler Collins considers what may be learned from 19th century travelers’ writings about their first views of Jerusalem.

HT: Agade, Arne Halbakken, Joseph Lauer, Explorator

The latest big hole in the ground opened to visitors is the Gezer water system. The descent gives you a new appreciation for the value of a secure source of water.

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Archaeologists have now finished a chronological mapping of Megiddo, with radiocarbon dates for the two dozen layers of habitation from the Early Bronze Age to the end of Iron II.

Archaeologists excavating a deep rock-hewn moat along the northern side of Jerusalem’s Old City walls have discovered a handprint carved into the stone.

Not all scholars agree that the name of David is on the Mesha Stele.

The Technion and the University of Haifa’s School of Archaeology and Maritime Cultures have launched a joint initiative to support cooperation between the two institutions in archaeological sciences, especially microarchaeological research.

“Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly promised King Abdullah II that the status quo on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem will be preserved.”

“Jerusalem’s Tower of David was never built to be accessible.” The Times of Israel gives the backstory on the ingenuity required to make the ancient fortress accessible to those with disabilities.

Chandler Collins writes about a significant geographical feature in Jerusalem that he calls the “Fortress Saddle.” This was the city’s most vulnerable area on its most vulnerable side.

The Mardigian Museum has opened in Jerusalem’s Armenian Quarter, documenting the community’s history and serving as a memorial to the Armenian Genocide.

“A riveting new exhibition, titled ‘Peace and War: The Assyrian Conquest of Lachish,’ will open on January 30 in the Lynn H. Wood Archaeology Museum on Southern Adventist University’s campus.” I’m not sure how much “peace” was involved in the Assyrian conquest.

Excavations at ancient Capitolias, a city of the Decapolis in modern Jordan, are shedding light on the production of glass in the Roman, Byzantine, and Umayyad periods.

A former director of the Citadel Museum in Amman, Jordan, was convicted of stealing 6,000 ancient coins and replacing them with forgeries.

Oded Lipschits will be giving a series of lectures in the UK in honor of the Anglo-Israel Archaeological Society’s Diamond Jubilee between February 20 and March 6. One of them will be online: “New Light on Jerusalem and its Surroundings during the Reign of King Manasseh,” on March 2. Registration required.

Preserving Bible Times has released The Bible: Its Land and Culture, Session 4, including Galilee aerial videos, cultural vignettes, and biblical culture.

Nathan Steinmeyer gives advice on finding the right archaeological dig to join. This is also the topic of an OnScript Biblical World podcast with Steinmeyer, Chris McKinny, and Kyle Keimer.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Arne Halbakken, Ted Weis, Explorator

Pool of Siloam excavations Jan 2023

Pool of Siloam excavations Jan 2023b

Excavations at the Pool of Siloam this week; photos by John Black

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