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What scholars once believed was an ancient synagogue near Khirbet Midras is actually a Roman temple. Haaretz has the story for subscribers.

A silver quarter-shekel from Year 4 of the First Jewish Revolt that was looted from the Elah Valley has now been returned to Israel. The coin is so rare that there are none in any of Israel’s museums.

With the announcement pending of the most beautiful mosaic floor ever discovered in the Gaza Strip, scholars are calling for greater protection of the area’s antiquities.

Bible History Daily’s latest OnSite video is of the Herodium. Nathan Steinmeyer has packed a lot of information and images into just over two minutes.

Chandler Collins has posted the first “Jerusalem Tracker,” with links to recent articles, books, lectures, and developments related to Jerusalem. This is like a roundup on steroids, all focused on one important city. (You can support his work here.)

The Museum of the Bible and DIVE (Digital Interactive Virtual Experiences) are hosting a virtual tour of Masada on October 19. Registration costs $20.

A new exhibition entitled “Arteology: The Power of the Ancients in Contemporary Forms” has opened near the Davidson Center in Jerusalem.

New release: The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Nag Hammadi Codices: Selected Papers from the Conference “The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Nag Hammadi Codices” in Berlin, 20–22 July 2018 (hardback $167; pdf free).

Martin Heide and Joris Peters write about “Camels in the Biblical World of the Ancient Near East.” Their evidence for their use over the millennia observes the use of domesticated camels in the time of Abraham.

In the latest episode of BiblicalWorld, “Chris McKinny and Mark Janzen discuss the early vs. late date for the date of the exodus, date of the conquest, the emergence of Israel in the land of Canaan, settlement patterns in Canaan, and biblical chronology.”

“The Kerem Tunnel, the first bicycle tunnel in Israel, has been inaugurated as part of the Jerusalem Ring Path, a 42-kilometer cycling route that surrounds the capital city.”

We have a good deal right now for the brand-new Photo Companion to Hebrews (only $39 for 1,950 photos). Or you can pick up all of the General Epistles for only $49 (4,800 photos).

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Arne Halbakken, Charles Savelle, Explorator

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Christopher Rollston urges caution regarding the authenticity of the Ishmael papyrus. James Davila doubts that a forger could have gotten ahold of blank papyrus from the Iron Age.

Nathan Steinmeyer has an exclusive interview with Joe Uziel about the recently discovered papyrus.

The journal article for the “Jerusalem Ivories” announced earlier this week is available in the latest issue of ‘Atiqot (direct link to article pdf).

Shimon Gibson’s recent article in PEQ on Montagu Parker’s “throne of Solomon” identifies 13 stone toilets from the Iron Age II discovered in the kingdom of Judah, including 7 excavated in Jerusalem (subscription). Haaretz has a paywalled story on the article.

Cynthia Shafer-Elliott’s second post on ancient Israel’s geographical context focuses on the topography of the land.

Sabine Kleiman argues that archaeological evidence alleged to support Hezekiah’s cultic reform does not in fact do so.

The NYTimes reports on vineyards in Israel’s Negev.

Wayne Stiles has announced tours for 2023, including two to Israel and Jordan and one to Greece and Turkey.

New release: In the Shadow of His Hand, by Donald Brake and Shelly Beach. This is a work of historical fiction, and the Kindle edition will be on sale for $1.99 on Wednesday only.

Biblical Israel Ministries and Tours has released supplemental Bible study material for their 27 video lessons.

Walking The Text’s recommended resource of the month is biblicalelearning.org.

New Bible Land Passage videos have been released: “The data and information gleaned from the disciplines of archaeology, geology, history, hydrology, climatology, epigraphy, horticulture, agriculture, and many others, offer numerous opportunities to demonstrate a connection between the facts deduced from these disciplines and the text of the Bible. The Connections series of Bible Land Passages is dedicated to researching and revealing the compelling connections between faith and fact inferred from the data and information discovered in the land of the Bible. Seven new, brief videos have been released on the Balustrade Inscriptions, Megiddo, City of David Underground, Chorazin, Mount Carmel, and more. Additional Connection videos will be released in the near future.”

HT: Agade, Arne Halbakken, Joseph Lauer, Charles Savelle, Alexander Schick, Explorator

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The University of the Holy Land has announced trips for next summer, including Historical Geography of the Bible: Jordan, with Dr. Ginger Caessens. This is a unique trip that covers the “other side” of the biblical lands in more depth than you’ll find anywhere else. I’ve participated myself and have recommended this study program many times in the past.

“A new exhibition titled ‘The Journey of the Holy Family’ – covering the voyage through Egypt taken by Jesus, Mary and Joseph as they sought refuge from King Herod – has been unveiled at Tell Basta Museum in the governorate of Sharqia[in Egypt].”

A study of King Tut’s sandals has revealed special foot straps to aid in walking, possibly related to foot deformities.

U.S. Customs seized the lid of an ancient Egyptian canopic jar when it arrived by post in Memphis, Tennessee.

“Greece has struck a complex deal for the eventual return from a US billionaire’s private collection of 161 top quality ancient Greek artifacts dating from more than 4,000 years ago.”

“Greek archaeologists are calling on Unesco to protect the Hagia Sophia, the religious and cultural site in Istanbul, Turkey.”

“The drop of the water levels in recent years has uncovered many archaeological and ancient sites that were submerged beneath the two historic rivers in Syria, Iraq and Turkey.”

“Dropping water levels revealed a massive complex of Roman ruins in Spain as Europe continues to struggle under a record-breaking drought.”

“An international research team led by Lund University in Sweden has developed a method that can accurately date human remains that are up to 10,000 years old by analyzing DNA with the help of AI.”

Leon Mauldin shares a couple of beautiful photos of Colossae.

HT: Agade, Arne Halbakken, Ted Weis, Wayne Stiles

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Bible Land Passages has just released “The City of David Underground: What’s inside Hezekiah’s Ancient Tunnel?” (8 min).

The Times of Israel has a nicely illustrated story by Aviva and Shmuel and Bar-Am on the excavations of Usha in western Galilee. The site is one of many along the Sanhedrin Trail that has been excavated by volunteers, mostly pre-army teens.

The southern wall of the Temple Mount is being illuminated in the evening as part of a new initiative to attract tourists for evening visits to the Jerusalem Archaeological Park.

The Biblical Archaeology Society has released a new ebook entitled The Dead Sea Scrolls: Past, Present, and Future. The book celebrates the 75th anniversary of the discovery with a number of articles by and interviews with leading scholars. (Requires email address)

Leen Ritmeyer shares photos and reconstruction drawings of the Arbel synagogue in Galilee.

Cynthia Shafer-Elliott gives an introduction to the geographical context of ancient Israel.

Experience Israel Now is celebrating their seventh anniversary.

Ferrell Jenkins shares photos that illustrate the beauty of the Bible Land.

“Unearth the Land of the Bible” is a 10-day tour sponsored by the Israel Ministry of Tourism to give American Christians exposure to archaeological sites and an opportunity to excavate.

The Caesarea Maritima International Conference 2022 will be held on October 22-26 at NYU’s Washington Square campus. (I don’t have a link at this time.)

New release: Ashkelon 9: The Hellenistic Period, by Kathleen J. Birney (Eisenbrauns; $140; save 30% with code NR22).

The Minerva Center for the Relations between Israel and Aram in Biblical Times has launched a Mini-MOOC, featuring shorter video clips (10-15 min) to introduce major topics of the Center’s research:

HT: Agade, Arne Halbakken, Ted Weis, Paul Mitchell

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Israel HaYom surveys the history of Shiloh along with the present quest to discover the location of the tabernacle. Scott Stripling believes he knows the location but is not sure he’ll ever be able to prove it.

“Archaeologists announced Tuesday the discovery of a 1,200-year-old estate in Israel’s southern Negev desert, boasting unique underground structures that allowed its owners to overcome the searing summer heat.”

Nathan Steinmeyer takes viewers to excavations at Tel Shimron in a 4-minute video that is the second in a series on excavating in the Bible lands. Tel Shimron is one of the largest sites in the Jezreel Valley region.

Archaeologists are excavating a fortified village in Samaria that existed at the end of the Bar Kochba Revolt. You can see a drone video of the site here and more information and photos here.

Writing for The Jerusalem Post, Aaron Reich’s article claims to provide “everything you need to know about the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.” It’s a decent introduction.

The oldest synagogue in Jerusalem is a non-rabbinic form of Judaism known as Karaism. Daniel J. Lasker has written a book about the subject, and his post on the ASOR Blog gives an introduction.

“Between the former rains (in autumn) and the latter rains (in spring) Israel receives all its rainfall. Except for this week, when it rained in summer!”

Ferrell Jenkins reports on a recent visit to Taanach.

There is a campaign to turn Hebron Road in Jerusalem into a “pedestrian-friendly space with cafes, bike paths, and more.”

Rejuvenation podcast: “Dr. Jodi Magness, the outstanding archaeologist, prolific writer and excellent educator, joins Eve Harow to talk about her renewed decade long excavation at the ancient Jewish village of Huqoq in the Galilee.”

Zoom lecture on Sept 15: “Flavians in Galilee (67 CE): Their Aims and Activities,” by Steve Mason

The Fall 2022 issue of Biblical Archaeology Review includes articles on Diaspora Jews living in Jerusalem in the 1st century, the lethal capabilities of slings, and the location of Magdala.

HT: Agade, Arne Halbakken, Joseph Lauer, Explorator, Paleojudaica

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Recent excavations are revealing details of the lives of middle-class inhabitants of Pompeii.

“Archaeologists have unearthed the remains of a Roman bridge from the Imperial era during an excavation alongside the Via Tiburtina in north-east Rome.”

The Getty Villa is returning one of its signature pieces, “Orpheus and the Sirens,” after it was determined that they were illegally excavated in Italy.

Deloitte estimates the value of Rome’s Colosseum to be $79 billion.

Carl Rasmussen shares photos he took of the recently renovated Mausoleum of Caesar Augustus (part 1, part 2).

The Brandeis magazine tells the story of recently retired classical archaeologist Ann Olga Koloski-Ostrow, at one time known as the “Queen of Latrines.”

There are some impressive Roman mosaics that few tourists visit in western Switzerland.

“Works being carried out in the town of Tomares in Spain have brought to light 19 Roman amphorae containing 600 kilos (1322.77 lbs.) of bronze coins from the 4th century.”

New exhibition in Trier, Germany: “The Fall of the Roman Empire” (until Nov 27).

The Museum of the Bible is hosting a new exhibit, “Samaritans: A Biblical People” from September 16 to January 1. The exhibition was created under the direction of Steven Fine and a panel discussion and documentary are part of the opening events.

The Center for Near Eastern Archaeology (CNEA) at La Sierra University is celebrating its 10th anniversary. The annual Archaeology Discover Weekend will be held on November 12 and 13.

New from Christopher D. Stanley: Paul and Asklepios: The Greco-Roman Quest for Healing and the Apostolic Mission (The Library of New Testament Studies)

New exhibition publication: David Roberts: Artist and Traveler, by John Olbrantz (Hallie Ford Museum of Art, Willamette University, 2022). Hardcover, 152 pages, 96 color illustrations, $45.

A complete list of speakers and topics for the 25th Annual Bible and Archaeology Fest (virtual, Oct 8-9) is now online and includes:

  • James Charlesworth, “Discovering the Tombs of David and Solomon After 50 Years of Searching”
  • Ralph Hawkins, “The Promise of the Conquest of Canaan in the Book of Exodus”
  • Thomas Levy, “Archaeological Science and Biblical Edom”
  • R. Steven Notley, “Byzantine Bethsaida and the House of St. Peter”
  • Shelley Wachsmann, “‘Some Went Down to the Sea in Ships…’: Ships, Boats, and Seafaring in Biblical Times”

HT: Agade, Arne Halbakken, Joseph Lauer, Explorator, Paleojudaica

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