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The Jerusalem Post has more about recent excavations that exposed part of Jerusalem’s Old City wall without a foundation but instead relied upon a “wonder of engineering”—a carefully calculated amount of earth packed against the base of the wall.

A new study of a fortress in Upper Galilee identifies it as the center of a local chiefdom in approximately 1100 BC. The underlying journal article may be purchased here.

A Crusader-era castle in northern Israel is being transformed into a mini-hotel.

With the Dead Sea level dropping more than 3 feet each year, the Israeli government is considering setting a level below which it may not fall.

“A soon-to-be-released docu-series will present a rare and researched look at one of the most perplexing Biblical topics: Nephilim (giants).”

Now online: Coin Deposits in Ancient Synagogues in Late Antique Palestine: A Digital Dissertation Project, by Tine Rassalle

“The Seventeenth International Orion Symposium, ‘(Con)textualPerspectives on the Dead Sea Scrolls,’ will take place from February 28 to March 3, 2022, online.”

National Geographic has released a special issue on The Dead Sea Scrolls: 75 Years Since Their Historic Discovery. Amazon’s “look-inside” feature has the table of contents and some photos, including one they printed upside-down.

Harry Moskoff believes that there are temple treasures hidden in the Vatican, and he tells stories of various people who allegedly saw them.

Kyle Keimer and Chris McKinny interview Andrew Lawler in the latest episode of the Biblical World podcast.

I am back for part 2 of “Esther in Susa” on Digging for Truth. In this episode we focus on discoveries related to the Bible in King Xerxes’s palace.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Alexander Schick, Explorator, Keith Keyser

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A new study authored in part by Chris McKinny and published in the Journal of Biblical Literature identifies the millo of Jerusalem with the fortifications around the Gihon Spring. The JBL article requires purchase, but Bible History Daily has a summary.

Henri Gourinard is writing a guidebook on the Emmaus Trail, and he provides a brief introduction to the trail for Bible History Daily.

A new Israeli reality TV show named “My Trip is Better” will pit five tour guides against each other in a five-day competition.

“Location, location, location” – Brad Gray explains the significance of geography in his “Lenses of Context” series for Walking the Text. The 20-minute episode includes many photos and maps.

Foreign archaeologists are returning to Gaza to restore archaeological sites and to train Palestinians in conservation (3-minute video).

Thousands of rare antiquities were confiscated . . . in a complex pre-dawn operation in the Nablus area on Monday following a months-long undercover investigation.”

NY Times: “For 10 days, a photojournalist drove across Jordan from north to south, visiting several of the country’s most treasured sites. Here’s what he saw.”

The Bible Mapper Blog has just posted its 100th map. The latest free maps include:

I join Henry Smith on the latest episode of Digging for Truth to talk about Queen Esther in Susa (25 min). In this first part of a two-part series, I describe the excavations of Susa, the layout of the city, and highlights of my visit to Iran.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Arne Halbakken, Explorator, Charles Savelle, Steve Ulrich, Keith Keyser

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“Archaeologists have discovered an ancient Egyptian shipwreck which proves the Greek Historian Herodotus was correct about the observations he made about Egyptian vessels nearly 25 centuries ago.”

“Evidence of ancient hybrid camels has been uncovered by archaeologists who were working to restore a temple in northern Iraq damaged by ISIS.”

Plans have been approved for a Museum of Underwater Antiquities in Piraeus, the ancient harbor of Athens.

“The attitude towards ancient theatres has changed” in Greece and work has been carried out on about 40 theaters in recent years.

The AP has some photos of the recent snowfall in Athens and Istanbul.

Magnesia’s “stadium of 30,000 seats is one of the most imposing and well-preserved ancient stadiums in Anatolia.”

“Ancient Egyptian wisdom and literary texts legitimize the domination of men over women, give advice regarding constraints on women, but also recommend avoiding women who are strangers or women who are adulterous.”

The Lapis Niger is an ancient sanctuary and a remnant of the Comitium in Rome, that some Romans believed was the venerated sacred tomb of the city’s legendary founder, Romulus.”

David Moster has posted a new video in which he explains how a real “secret code” in the Bible identifies a biblical place.

Carl Rasmussen has a few open spots on his May tour of Turkey, Greece, and Patmos. The itinerary looks outstanding.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Arne Halbakken, Explorator

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Construction work in the Gaza Strip has uncovered a Roman cemetery. There have been reports of looting.

Ongoing work at a quarry near Bethlehem has destroyed about 100 meters of a 1st-century aqueduct that brought water to Solomon’s Pools. There are calls on the government to stop the destruction.

Haaretz (premium) runs a short story about the Gal On Citadel, a Canaanite fortress in the Shephelah between Gath and Lachish. But, as Moshe Gilad writes, “it is advisable not to have too high expectations.”

Schoolchildren hiking in Nahal Besor discovered a coin with the head of Roman Emperor Valentinian I.

The latest episode of This Week in the Ancient Near East podcast questions whether there were really two synagogues in Magdala.

Peter Feinman surveys what prominent Egyptologists in the last century have thought about Israel’s exodus from Egypt.

Pharaoh Hophra ruled Egypt when Jerusalem fell to the Babylonians, and he is the subject of the latest archaeological biography on the Bible Archaeology Report.

A series of videos featuring Alexander Schick discussing the history of the Bible, Tischendorf, and the Dead Sea Scrolls is being released this month as the “focus series” by the Historical Faith Society (membership required).

On The Book and the Spade, John DeLancey discusses what’s new for tourists in Israel after returning from his first tour following Covid shutdowns.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Arne Halbakken, Explorator

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A Phoenician plaque, a stone pillar and the remains of boatsheds were unearthed as a result of 2021’s archaeological excavations in Kition-Pampoula, Cyprus.”

A bronze military diploma has been discovered in southeastern Turkey.

A new study has determined that a mummified fetus was preserved through acidification as the mother’s body decomposed.

“Five Roman artefacts from the ancient city of Palmyra, a site damaged during Syria’s decade-long conflict, were returned to Damascus on Thursday by a private Lebanese museum where they had been on display since 2018.”

“Turkey’s mercenaries continue to systematically destroy archaeological sites and everything related to the historical heritage of Syria.”

Archaeologists are surprised that Mesopotamians were cultivating millet centuries before the invention of large-scale irrigation.

Ramses the Great and the Gold of the Pharaohs, “an internationally touring exhibition that made its world premiere at the Houston Museum of Natural Science (HMNS) in November” is “a feat of technology, its layered display creating an immersive experience without the use of 3-D glasses.”

Apparently one of the “secrets” of Istanbul is the “Mosaic Museum of the Grand Palace of Constantinople.” It’s now on my list for my next visit.

The Historical Geography of the Biblical World unit is accepting paper proposals for the 2022 Annual Meeting in Denver.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Arne Halbakken, Keith Keyser, Charles Savelle

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Excavations at the “altar site” on Mount Ebal have uncovered an ancient amulet with Hebrew writing. There’s more about it in this lecture by Scott Stripling (beginning at about 34:38).

Zvi Koenigsberg recounts some of his story in working with Adam Zertal on the Mt. Ebal excavation, and the conclusion of the account provides more information about the recently discovered amulet.

Archaeologists are investigating a group of asphalt-coated skulls discovered in a cave in Nahal Hemer near the Dead Sea.

A 5th-century Byzantine church has been opened in Gaza after a three-year restoration project.

The Israeli government is allocating $3 million toward the preservation of archaeological sites in Judea and Samaria, with half of that allocated to reconstruction work at Sebastia (the ancient city of Samaria) and a significant amount to the winter palaces at Jericho.

Ruth Marks Eglash writes about the $50 million renovation project underway at Jerusalem’s Tower of David Museum, including the discovery that Suleiman’s Old City walls have no foundation.

Bryan Windle’s top 3 reports in biblical archaeology this month include two related to Egyptian pharaohs, a discovery on Mount Ebal, and a discoveries from a Jerusalem toilet.

Chris McKinny and Kyle Keimer discuss the geography of Judges in the latest episode of the Biblical World podcast.

Israel’s Good Name reports on a university trip to the site of Doq above Jericho and the Good Samaritan Museum. He includes many photos.

James Strange reflects on his work as an archaeologist and recent discoveries at Magdala. The story includes a 30-minute video interview.

Zoom webinar on Feb 10: “Tel Rehov: A Major Bronze and Iron Age City in the Jordan Valley,” with Amihai Mazar, Nava Panitz-Cohen, Nota Kourou, Naama Yahalom-Mack, and Robert Mullins.

Zoom webinar on Feb 20: “Excavations at Tel Gezer: A Personal Story,” with Sam Wolff.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a media blitz like that carried out by Andrew Lawler, author of Under Jerusalem. His latest story is on Christianity Today’s website.

There is something special about hiking in Israel.

Snow fell in Israel this week, from the Golan Heights to the hills around Jerusalem. The Times of Israel has photos. Haaretz (premium) has more.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Arne Halbakken, Keith Keyser, Charles Savelle

Jewish Quarter snow

Snow in the Jewish Quarter and on the Mount of Olives. Photo by Miriam Siebenberg

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Jerusalem model at the Israel Museum. Photo by a museum guard.

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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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