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Restoration experts are very carefully moving several large columns and Corinthian capitals from the Garden of Gethsemane to the Terra Sancta Museum. The columns may have originally belonged to the Roman temple that Hadrian built over Jesus’s temporary tomb.

Archaeologists discovered one of the oldest known mosques in the world in a salvage excavation in the Negev city of Rahat.

The 12th season has begun at Tel Burna, and you can see their dig plan here and the most recent excavation update here.

Yet again: Israel’s Environmental Ministry recommends building a canal linking the Dead and Red Seas (subscription). A few days earlier Jordan decided to cancel the stagnating plan.

Zoom lecture on June 29: “Disease & Death in the Early 1st Century CE,” by Julie Laskaris ($7).

An online lecture on July 6 will discuss the work being done to open up access to satellite imagery over Israel.

In part 2 of his David and Goliath series, Brad Gray looks at the contrast between David and Saul (which is, in my opinion, the central point of the story).

In the latest Biblical World podcast episode, Oliver Hersey talks with Paul Wright about Jesus and Jezreel.

Regular readers know that I greatly appreciate the books of Lois Tverberg, and her recent post is helpful in explaining the difference between the Rabbi Jesus books and whether they should be read in any order.

Israel MyChannel has a number of videos with original 3D models of Jerusalem. For instance, this one gives a tour of Jerusalem in the time of Jesus. Impressive.

Upcoming DIVE (Digital Interactive Virtual Experiences) tours through the Museum of the Bible ($20 ea.):

  • The Southern Steps and the Davidson Center: July 13, 2022
  • Ancient Shiloh: August 10, 2022
  • Armageddon — The Valley of Megiddo: September 7, 2022
  • Masada: October 19, 2022
  • The Valleys of Jerusalem — Kidron and Hinnom: November 9, 2022
  • Caesarea: December 7, 2022

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Arne Halbakken

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Archaeologists have excavated two Late Bronze tombs belonging to wealthy families near Hala Sultan Tekke on Cyprus.

“New excavations of the ancient complex of Girsu in Iraq, led by the British Museum, have the potential to rewrite accepted histories of the development in Mesopotamia.”

“The pyramids in Egypt are more famous, but the ones in Sudan hide royal burial sites that archaeologists can explore—as long as they don’t mind swimming.” (National Geographic; requires email registration)

“The Lost Heritage Atlas initiative is dedicated to collecting the history and memory of those archaeological sites, monuments, sacred places or cultural items that have been completely destroyed.

A rapid change of climate did not cause the fall of the Akkadian empire.

New releases: The Oxford History of the Ancient Near East: Volume II: From the End of the Third Millennium BC to the Fall of Babylon and The Oxford History of the Ancient Near East: Volume III: From the Hyksos to the Late Second Millennium BC, by Karen Radner, Nadine Moeller, and D. T. Potts. $150 each (slightly cheaper at Amazon)

thetruesize.com allows you to easily compare the sizes of countries. Israel, for example, is smaller than any of its neighbors.

“Jordan’s Tourism and Antiquities Ministry plans to encourage visits to Madaba after the Arab League designated the city as the Arab Capital of Tourism” for 2022.

The Greek Reporter lists six lesser-known archaeological sites to visit near Athens.

Carl Rasmussen shares about a funny thing that happened on his way to the temple of Apollo at Didyma.

Mark Hoffman reports on the creation of three new Pauline pilgrimage paths in Greece to open in the next couple of years. Anyone want to go hiking?

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Arne Halbakken, Explorator

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A recent study found evidence for the domestication of olive trees dating back to 7,000 years ago.

A visitor center under construction at the Armon Hanatziv Promenade [south of Jerusalem’s Old City] will use smart technology to allow visitors to optically zoom in to different landmarks of the modern city as well as see a virtual reality view of how the landscape looked thousands of years ago.”

Rabbi Mordechai Becher writes about how the Dead Sea Scrolls speak to Jews in the 21st century.

The latest issue of Near Eastern Archaeology is all about Tel Rehov. Abstracts of the articles are available online.

Amanda Borschel-Dan will be interviewing Joe Uziel and Jodi Magness in Jerusalem on July 6 about “how archaeology unveils hidden clues into what actually happened during the destructions of the First and Second Temples.”

Virtual Workshop at the Albright Institute on June 23: “Perspectives on the Persian Period,” with Carl S. Ehrlich, Mary Joan Winn Leith, Yigal Levin, and Katja Soennecken

Walking the Text’s recommended resource this month is the brand-new Rose Guide to the Feasts, Festivals, & Fasts of the Bible, edited by Paul H. Wright. It is in stock at Christianbook (and cheaper than Amazon).

New release: Water the Willow Tree: Memoirs of a Bethlehem Boyhood, by George A. Kiraz (Gorgias Press, 2022).

David Barrett, creator of Bible Mapper, has just released TimeGlider, “a free, online, scrollable, searchable timeline of Bible events. With a few button clicks you can even generate a hyperlink to display your own custom event on the timeline, and you can embed this link in digital resources (Word documents, web pages, emails, etc.) to show your event within its chronological context.”

Charles Savelle and Leon Mauldin offer kind words about the value of the 1 & 2 Kings volumes in the Photo Companion to the Bible. The introductory pricing ends today.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Arne Halbakken

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Claudia Chotzen describes her experience as a volunteer excavating the En Gedi synagogue 50 years ago.

The Institute of Biblical Culture is beginning a year-long biblical Hebrew course in July, and you can receive $300 off with coupon BIBLEPLACES.

Jerusalem University College has a number of excellent study options, including Historical and Geographical Settings of the Bible, Jesus and His Times, and Pastor and Parishoner trips.

Bible Archaeology Report: Top Ten Discoveries Related to the Book of Judges. It’s fun to try to make some guesses before reading through.

The latest from Walking the Text with Brad Gray: David and Goliath: Guard Your Shephelah (20 min)

Virtual lecture on June 19: Aren Maeir will be speaking on “New Views on the Philistines: What Archaeology Reveals about Goliath and His Peers” in the BAS Scholars Series ($10).

On sale for Kindle: Zondervan Essential Atlas of the Bible, by Carl Rasmussen

Our team spent years developing the Photo Companion to 1 & 2 Kings, and we finally released it this week. Woohoo!

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Arne Halbakken, Explorator

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An ancient shipwreck near the northern Greek island of Alonissos will be the first in Greece to be made accessible to the public. It dates to the 5th century BC and was carrying 4,000 amphoras.

Three archaeological expeditions are working at Nineveh, and authorities plan to open the city to tourists next year.

“Scientists have fully sequenced the DNA of a Pompeii man killed during the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in A.D. 79.”

Judith Sudilovsky went on a tour of Turkey, and she reports on what she saw at Harran, the city where Abraham lived, at Urfa/Edessa, and at the Haleplibahçe Mozaik Museum.

“The United Kingdom and Greece have agreed to formal talks regarding the return of the Parthenon marbles.”

A former president of the Louvre has been charged with crimes related to the trafficking of Egyptian artifacts.

Amanda Claridge, archaeologist and author of Rome: An Oxford Archaeological Guide, died earlier this month.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Arne Halbakken, Keith Keyser, Explorator

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The alabaster for two of Herod’s bathtubs was quarried not in Egypt but in the Te’omim cave in the Judean hills.

Excavators are claiming that the stump of a juniper tree, discovered near Eilat, may be the oldest Asherah ever found.

A new season of excavations has begun at the Apollonia-Arsuf Crusader fortress on the coast near Herzilya.

“In one of the biggest busts in Israeli history, the Israel Antiquities Authority’s theft prevention unit has recovered over 1,800 ancient artifacts from an unlicensed dealer in the central Israeli city of Modiin. Mostly coins and jewelry, the artifacts also included cuneiform tablets and bronze statuettes.”

Israel’s supreme court has “rejected four petitions against a controversial plan to build a cable car to Jerusalem’s historic Old City, shutting down the legal opposition route for opponents of the plan.”

A renovation project on an ancient Samaritan priestly residential compound is the first step in making the Mount Gerizim archaeological park more welcoming to tourists.

The latest issue of Tel Aviv includes several articles on Iron Age Jerusalem. The titles and abstracts are free, but access to the articles requires subscription.

Virtual tour on June 8: The Room of the Last Supper and Jerusalem, with Museum of the Bible and DIVE (Digital Interactive Virtual Experiences); $20

A colleague of mine at The Master’s University was honored last month by the publication of a festschrift: Written for Our Instruction: Essays in Honor of William Varner. Among the many interesting essays, two are of particular relevance to this blog:

  • “Where Did David Go? David’s Wilderness Wanderings and the Testing of God’s Son,” by Abner Chou (my new boss)
  • “‘What Have I Done in Comparison with You?’: The Itinerary of Gideon’s Pursuit of the Midianites in Judges 7–8,” by Chris McKinny (with additional color maps on Academia)

Andy Cook of Secrets from Ancient Paths has just posted “The life-saving lesson of Bet Shemesh” (5 min).

Joel Kramer at Expedition Bible has released some new videos (4-10 min ea.):

Bruce Cresson died last week. He was director or co-director of excavations at Aphek-Antipatris, Dalit, Ira, Uza, Radum, and Malhata.

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

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About the BiblePlaces Blog

The BiblePlaces Blog provides updates and analysis of the latest in biblical archaeology, history, and geography. Unless otherwise noted, the posts are written by Todd Bolen, PhD, Professor of Biblical Studies at The Master’s University.

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