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A 6th century church or monastery was discovered near Mount Tabor.

A 7th century AD shipwreck near Kibbutz Ma’agan Michael has turned out to be “the largest maritime cargo collection of Byzantine and early Islamic pottery discovered in Israel.”

A “study of 10,000 seeds from Negev viticulture settlements illustrates how plague, climate change and socioeconomic depression in booming empire’s periphery point to its decline.” The underlying journal article is here.

“A group of Yeroham residents have banded together to refurbish a 2,000-year-old archaeological site that was recently defaced with graffiti.”

Jews in Jerusalem once prayed in the “Cave,” a synagogue destroyed when the Crusaders invaded, and today scholars debate whether it was located under the Temple Mount near Warren’s Gate or not.

The Temple Mount Sifting Project needs donations in order to continue operations.

An Israeli archaeologist believes that he has identified the location in the coastal plain where Richard the Lionheart defeated Saladin in the Third Crusade in 1191.

A fire broke out at the Susiya archaeological site near Hebron, but the ruins including the ancient synagogue were spared.

Yosef Garfinkel is claiming that male figurines discovered at various sites are representations of Yahweh.

On The Land and the Book, Charlie Dyer interviews a pastor who took an “Extreme Israel” trip

Israel’s Good Name reports on his recent trip to Eilat, Timna Park, and the Top 94 extreme park.

Israel’s Supreme Court is requiring evidence that the proposed Jerusalem cable car will actually boost tourism.

In a 51-minute interview, “ToI’s Jewish World and Archaeology editor Amanda Borschel-Dan speaks with Israel Antiquities Authority archaeologist Joe Uziel about the destruction of ancient Jerusalem in honor of the Tisha B’Av fast day.”

Ferrell Jenkins shares photos related to the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in AD 70.

“A Temple in Flames” is a dramatized recreation of the fall of Jerusalem in AD 70.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer

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The big story of the week was the announcement of the discovery in Jerusalem of a large administrative complex that dates to the time of Kings Hezekiah and Manasseh. The site is located about 2 miles south of the Old City, and finds included more than 120 LMLK jar handles. There are more photos here, and a video with drone footage here. A 5-minute news story includes an interview with the archaeologist.

While most excavations in Israel are cancelled this summer, Tel Azekah’s dig begins today with 45 students expected to participate.

A new outdoor archaeological exhibit has been created in the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City, featuring 180 items previously scattered around the area.

A fifth century baptismal font that was stolen from its original site by antiquity looters has been located and returned” to Tel Tekoa. Palestinian authorities accuse Israel of stealing the item from Bethlehem.

John DeLancey’s latest teaching video focuses on Beth Shean.

Carl Rasmussen posts a couple of photos of the Intermediate Bronze tombs at Deir Mirzbaneh.

Le Destroit is apparently a Crusader fortress near Atlit. I’m guessing you missed it on your tour of Israel. The tour continues to a sunken vessel and to Tel Dor.

Joel Kramer has announced an Israel Study Tour for March 2021.

Bryan Windle identifies the Top Three Reports in Biblical Archaeology for July.

Magen Broshi died on July 14. Broshi was an archaeologist for the Israel Department of Antiquities and Museums as well as Curator of the Shrine of the Book, Israel Museum.

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

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**When we updated our blog design earlier this month, we accidentally broke the system that sends posts out by email. With that now fixed, we are re-posting the recent roundups, one part each day through Friday.**

The digs may have stopped, but the stories have not. With no roundups the last two weeks, I have more than 60 items of interest to share in the coming days.

A seal and a seal impression found in Jerusalem are rare discoveries from the Persian period.

“A Second Temple period Jewish ritual bath was discovered by chance last month in the Lower Galilee and a group of locals are trying to save it from its current destiny of destruction.” There’s a video report here.

“A new study carried out on pottery items uncovered in the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron suggests the cave . . . was used and visited as a pilgrimage site during the First Temple Period.”

A new study suggests that many cisterns in the Negev may date back not to the Iron Age but to the Bronze Age. (Journal article for purchase here.)

The cancelled archaeology department at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary has found a new home at Lipscomb University in Nashville.

Steven Ortiz, formerly of SWBTS, is interviewed by Bryan Windle in the latest in the Discussions with the Diggers series.

Mark Lanier, who helped bring the SWBTS program to Lipscomb, is interviewed on The Book and the Spade.

Moshe Garsiel has proposed a new theory to support the location of Tell es-Sharia as biblical Ziklag.

Aren Maeir visited the excavations at Tel Hadid, which along with Tell Abu Shusha and Tel Azekah, is one of the few excavations in Israel that were not cancelled this summer.

A study claims that buses and shuttles are a better solution than the planned Old City cable car project.

A couple of officials of the City of David organization give a 40-minute tour of the Siloam Pool and the Pilgrimage Road to the Temple Mount.

Biblical Israel Ministries and Tours is hosting a “Top 10 Israel Photos” contest and offering prizes.

Accordance is offering a number of its graphics collections at big discounts, including:

  • Bible Lands PhotoGuide (all 6): $74.90
  • Pictorial Library of Bible Lands: Cultural Images of the Holy Land: $24.90
  • Pictorial Library of Bible Lands: Trees, Plants, and Flowers of the Holy Land: $24.90
  • Historic Views of the Holy Land: Views That Have Vanished: $24.90
  • Historic Views of the Holy Land: American Colony Collection: $89.90
  • Virtual Tour to the Temple: $39.90
  • The Virtual Bible (Enhanced): 3D Reconstructions of the Biblical World: $19.90
  • The Add-On Bundles include many resources at very good prices ($59; $119).

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Alexander Schick, Ted Weis, Charles Savelle, Jared Clark, Explorator

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“A joint report by German and Syrian organisations has documented severe damage to Syria’s historical heritage and antiquities.” (Report on Academia)

“An ancient cave decorated with distinguished engravings depicting scenes of animals has been discovered at Wadi Al-Zulma in North Sinai.”

“The southern region of Najran [in Saudi Arabia] is set to become the largest open museum of rock inscriptions in the world.”

Egypt is proposing a merger of its tourism and antiquities departments.

“British anti-racism protestors called for the destruction of Egypt’s Giza Pyramids on Sunday, after tearing down a statue of a slave trader in the city of Bristol and throwing it in the Avon river.”

“A comparison between the names mentioned in the biblical book of Jeremiah and those appearing on archaeological artifacts from the period when the prophet is believed to have lived – around the sixth to seventh centuries BCE – offers support to its historicity.”

The British Museum blog: “Whip up a classical feast with nine recipes from ancient Greece and Rome.”

The latest British Museum travel guide is for Thebes in the 13th century BC.

New: Unearthing the Bible: 101 Archaeological Discoveries That Bring the Bible to Life, by Titus Kennedy. The author was on the Eric Metaxas show recently discussing the book.

Coming soon: The Case for Biblical Archaeology: Uncovering the Historical Record of God’s Old Testament People, by John D. Currid (also in Logos)

Carl Rasmussen shares photos of Aphrodisias, one of the most beautiful antiquity sites in Turkey and one that many tourists never see (including, sadly, your roundup writer).

“Windows into the Bible” is a new podcast by Marc Turnage that looks at geographical, cultural, historical, and spiritual contexts. I’ve been told the episode on Pilate is quite intriguing.

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

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A scholarly study uses radiocarbon dating to determine that “Wilson’s Arch was initiated by Herod the Great and enlarged during the Roman Procurators, such as Pontius Pilatus, in a range of 70 years, rather than 700 years, as previously discussed by scholars. The theater-like structure is dated to the days of Emperor Hadrian and left unfinished before 132–136 AD.”

A 1,800-year-old fountainhead in the shape of a face was uncovered by chance by a visitor at the Tzipori [Sepphoris] National Park in the Galilee.”

Rami Arav discusses his excavations at et-Tell and a newly discovered moon god stele (Haaretz premium).

Excavations will not be possible at el-Araj (Bethsaida?) this summer because of the high water level. The article includes many photos.

NPR has a story on the Israeli and Jordanian sides of the tourist site for Jesus’s baptism, including a discussion of creating a new “soft crossing” to allow tourists to enter Jordan from the Israeli side.

A new study of the DNA of 35 fragments from the Dead Sea Scrolls is providing insight into the diverse origins of the parchments.

Mark Vitalis Hoffman has published an interesting article on “Jesus and Jerusalem and the ‘Things That Make for Peace.” He has also created a video to supplement the article.

Gabriel Barkay is on The Book and the Spade this week talking about the archaeology of Jerusalem’s Temple Mount.

Israel’s Good Name had a productive trip scouting out the birds and fish at the Beit Zayit Reservoir west of Jerusalem.

A Jerusalem Post piece looks at the resumption of tourism in Israel and the safety measures being put in place.

From boom to bust: with tourism in Israel all but gone, tour guides are considering their options.

The Winter 2019 issue of the ACOR Newsletter is now available (high-res; low-res).

The Bible and Interpretation provides a selection about ancient Moab and the Mesha Stele from the new book by Burton MacDonald.

Gulf News has a write-up on artifacts from Saudi Arabia that are featured in the traveling “Roads of Arabia” exhibit.

Smithsonian magazine has a long, well-illustrated piece on archaeological work in and around Aigai, Philip II’s capital of Macedon. A massive new museum is scheduled to open in January.

The latest historical city travel guide by the British Museum is of Athens in the 5th century BC.

Some stories on re-opening: excavations in Turkey, Vatican Museums, Rome’s Colosseum, Pompeii, Al Ula, Israel’s museums, the Temple Mount.

Two Asian lion cubs were recently born at the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo.

HT: Joseph Lauer, Chris McKinny, Agade, Keith Keyser, Steven Anderson, Charles Savelle, Explorator

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For our readers who are professors or pastors and are ready to think about planning future trips for your classes or churches, I recommend you take a look at 2021’s familiarization tours offered by Tutku Educational Travel. These trips are subsidized with the hope that you’ll love your trip and come back with a group. It’s a good way to get a good introduction and be prepared to lead a tour. I’ve copied Tutku’s schedule below, and you will recognize the names of a number of excellent scholars. This is a great (and rare) opportunity to learn from the best in their fields. I’ve traveled with Tutku several times and highly recommend them.

BIBLICAL ISRAEL FAM TRIP          $2,190 land & air included

January 1-9, 2021

Tour Host: Dr. Carl Rasmussen      click for brochure

Greetings! The following is the handcrafted itinerary of the trip to Israel that Mary and I are leading in response to those who have  asked us to put together a “not for credit” study tour. I will be giving mini lectures along the way both on the bus and on the sites, drawing from my studies. I have spent 16 years of my adult life living in, and guiding, academic groups in Israel, Jordan, Greece, and Turkey (including living, teaching, and guiding in Jerusalem for 7 years)…


BIBLICAL EGYPT FAM TRIP          $2,990 land & air included

January 6-15, 2021

Tour Host: Dr. Jim Hoffmeier      click for brochure

Growing up in rural Egypt gave me a love for its people, history and culture, so that Egyptology and archaeology were my natural academic studies. On this tour we will visit ancient and modern wonders and  integrate Biblical history, with a goal of making connections  between Egyptian history and culture and the Bible.


BIBLICAL ITALY FAM TRIP          $2,990 land & air included

January 15-23, 2021

Tour Host: Dr. Mark Wilson      click for brochure

“And so we came to Rome!” Twice Luke announces this in the final chapter of Acts. Our tour will begin with Paul’s arrival at the port of Puteoli. Along the way we’ll see Herculaneum, a city destroyed by   Mt. Vesuvius and the archaeological treasures of the Naples Museum. We will then trace the Via Appia to the imperial city, actually walking on this “Queen of Roads” in several places. In Rome we will visit all the major monuments, especially those related to Peter and Paul. The Pio Christian Museum features special Jewish and Christian artifacts in the Vatican Museum. Lastly, we will visit the port of Ostia, whose well-preserved ruins include an early synagogue. Join me as we too come to Rome in the footsteps of the apostles!


BIBLICAL TURKEY FAM TRIP          $1,990 land & air included

March 5-13, 2021

Tour Host: Dr. Mark Wilson      click for brochure

Greetings! At this special trip, we will visit all 7 churches mentioned in Revelation 1-3 and places where New Testament books were written to and/or from! Thus, it is not a mere tour, but a hands on experience as we study the New Testament and its  Greco Roman background together! You will be amazed at what you will be learning along the way and March is perfect—not too hot, not too cool, and the wild flowers are in bloom in most parts of the country!


BIBLICAL GREECE FAM TRIP          $1,990 land & air included

March 6-14, 2021

Tour Host: Dr. Mark Fairchild      click for brochure

Join me for this brief introductory tour of the Biblical sites in Greece. We will travel to all of the ancient sites that were  associated with St. Paul’s journeys in Greece. Additionally, we will  visit other important historical sites along the way, such as the famous Delphic Oracle and the monastic community at Meteora. I invite you to accompany us on this odyssey to the birthplace of western civilization.


BIBLICAL JORDAN FAM TRIP          $1,990 land & air included

March 13-21, 2021

Tour Host: Dr. Mark Fairchild      click for brochure

Many prophets walked the land and performed miracles in Jordan. They bathed in the seas and rivers and trekked the desert. Trace their steps, marvel at the ruins of ancient civilizations, and re-live   history.  Home to Petra, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, and the Dead Sea, a finalist for the New Seven Wonders of Nature, Jordan offers one-in-a-lifetime vacation destinations you will not find anywhere else… Explore splendid desert castles or bathe in the restful waters of the Red Sea. Come see the beauty of the Kingdom’s treasures and experience the splendor that has dazzled visitors for centuries.

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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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