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Many finds have been made during the course of excavations required by the Marmaray project, a railway tunnel connecting the Asian and European sides of Istanbul.

Archaeologists excavating at Istanbul’s Haydarpaşa Train Station have made a number of discoveries spanning three millennia.

New stone ram heads have been discovered in Luxor during the restoration of an ancient road.

“Egypt is using an international award it recently won for restoring the Eliyahu Hanavi Synagogue in Alexandria to promote tourism.”

“Slaves were primarily for credit, not for labor,” write Ella Karev and Seth Richardson in a piece entitled “Rethinking Slavery in the Ancient Near East.”

The Oxford School of Rare Jewish Languages is offering free courses in 12 Jewish languages, including Yiddish, Ladino, and Judeo-Arabic.

A 12-minute video of the British Institute of Persian Studies’s contribution to Iranian archaeology of the 1960s and 1970s was recently screened at the Institute’s 60th anniversary and is now online.

A trailer is online advertising a documentary about Susa that will be available on BBC Select.

“The 7 Churches of Revelation: Times of Fire” will be a “virtual cinema event” beginning on October 26.

The Amarna Letters are the subject of the latest podcast episode on the Biblical World, with Mary Buck and Chris McKinny.

Two new books on coins:

HT: Agade, Arne Halbakken, Joseph Lauer, Charles Savelle, Ted Weis

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“Archaeologists discovered private seating areas with names engraved on them during excavation at a 1,800-year-old amphitheater in the ancient city of Pergamon.”

Excavations of the ancient Greek city of Magnesia in western Turkey have revealed the entrance gate to the temple of Zeus.

“The discovery of a 3,500-year-old paving stone, described as the “ancestor” of Mediterranean mosaics, offers illuminating details into the daily lives of the mysterious Bronze Age Hittites.”

“An international research team conducting excavations in the city of Tyre has discovered a large Roman temple complex.”

“Freedivers off the coast of Spain have uncovered a treasure trove of 53 perfectly preserved gold coins from the Roman Empire, one of the largest collections ever found in Europe.”

A forensic artist has used genetic data to create 3D models of the faces of three men who lived in ancient Egypt more than 2,000 years ago.

In light of Hobby Lobby’s lawsuit against Dirk Obbink, The New York Times gives a summary of the story to date.

Now online: An exclusive sneak peek of ‘Times of Fire’ the first feature film in The 7 Churches of Revelation series.

Now on pre-pub for Logos: CSB Holy Land Illustrated Bible Notes ($20)

Accordance has a number of graphics resources on sale.

HT: Agade, Arne Halbakken, Charles Savelle, A.D. Riddle

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“Egyptian archaeologists have unearthed a collection of ancient tools that were used in religious rituals from the Temple of the Pharaohs (Boto) in Kafr El-Sheikh governorate north of Cairo.

The tomb of King Djoser in Saqqara has been reopened after restoration.

“A mass grave uncovered in Sidon, Lebanon, has shed new light on the Crusades and on the cruelty of medieval warfare.”

The United Nations announced that a 3,500-year-old tablet containing the Epic of Gilgamesh was returned this week to Iraq.

Most of Iran’s 746 museums have reopened after being closed due to Covid.

Istanbul’s Hisart Live History Museum covers a wide range of historical periods and features a large collection of diorama art.

“A team of Polish archaeologists in Nea Paphos, Cyprus have unearthed a 1,500-year-old two-sided amulet depicting a palindrome inscription written in ancient Greek.”

A digital interactive guide has been launched to provide visitors with information about the 205 archaeological museums in Greece.

Zoom lecture on Oct 6: “Alexander the Great: His Career, Character, and What Made Him ‘Great,’” by Jennifer Tobin.

Zoom webinar on Oct 13-15: “Work/Life: Institutions, Subjectivities and Human Resources in the Roman World,” hosted by the NYU Center for Ancient Studies.

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

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“Archeologists have uncovered a 3,500-year-old mosaic in central Turkey that could be one of the oldest in the world.”

Life-size camel sculptures discovered in Saudi Arabia are now believed to date not to the Roman period but to the Neolithic.

The best preserved shipwreck in the Adriatic Sea dates to the 2nd century BC and was discovered at a depth of only 8 feet.

Archaeologists are planning to excavate a Hittite temple in Kayalıpınar in Central Turkey.

“An ambitious effort to revive Izmir’s Jewish heritage is paying off as the Turkish city vies for a place on the UNESCO heritage list.”

The Times of Israel tells the story of two Israeli engineers who traveled to Iraq to restore the ancient tomb of the prophet Nahum.

Researchers are hoping that AI will one day speed up the translation of Egyptian hieroglyphs.

AramcoWorld has a well-illustrated feature story on Mohammedani Ibrahim, one of the first Egyptian archaeological photographers.

The Berlin State Museums have a new searchable blog page, “Museum and the City,” which includes blog posts on the ancient collections.

After a long COVID-enforced sabbatical, some tour groups are returning to the Middle East. John DeLancey has been posting daily summaries and photos of his Greece-Turkey-Italy tour, now through Day 13.

New release: The Story of the Apostle Paul, by J. Carl Laney

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

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Weekend Sale: Photo Companion to the Bible: 1 Samuel – only $49 with coupon SAMUEL

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Archaeologists discovered a Second Temple period quarry in northwest Jerusalem.

Regarding the recent story about the ancient Jerusalem weight which was falsely labeled to facilitate cheating, some scholars have observed that it was actually labeled correctly as an 8-gerah weight.

A secret tunnel under the slope of Mount Zion that was used by Israelis after Jordan captured the Old City in 1948 has now been opened to the public.

Israel has an “ark museum” of sorts, and Israel’s Good Name describes his visit to the Steinhardt Museum of Natural History in Tel Aviv in a well-illustrated blog post.

Dozens of installations used for the large-scale production of salt have been identified along the northern coasts of Israel.

The Ketef Hinnom silver amulets are the subject of an article in the most recent issue of Ink magazine, published by Tyndale House (pages 12-14).

Egypt is preparing to open the world’s largest open-air museum in Luxor.

“Using a leaf uncovered from the archaeological site of an ancient Egyptian temple, researchers . . . have successfully determined the ancient hybrid origin of some date palms.” The underlying journal article is here.

The National Museum of Beirut has reopened after a $175,000 restoration.

Excavations in eastern Turkey have revealed an unusual tomb belonging to an Urartian ruler who was buried with his dog, horses, cattle, and sheep.

“Out of the ashes of Pompeii, archaeologists recently pulled up a time capsule, though only the bronze hinges remained of what is being described as a ‘sorceress’ toolkit.’”

On December 6 and 13, John J. Collins will be giving a virtual lecture on “The Dead Sea Scrolls: The Light They Shed on Judaism and Christianity.” Registration is required and free.

Coming soon: Excavations in the City of David, Jerusalem (1995-2010), by Ronny Reich and Eli Shukron (Penn State University Press, 712 pages, $99.95).

This Week in the Ancient Near East wraps up the summer with a round-up episode.

The indoor model of 1st-century Jerusalem that was located at the Holy Land Experience in Orlando will be part of a new exhibit at the Ark Encounter. There’s a nice photo of the model here. And some others here.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Andy Cook, Charles Savelle, Arne Halbakken, Keith Keyser, G. M. Grena

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I’ve recently recommended Christopher Stanley’s A Rooster for Asklepios as an enjoyable way to enter the Greco-Roman world and all of its fascinating background to the New Testament. Frequently I found things clicking into place as he included some ancient custom or activity in the fictional story of a slave who journeys with his master to a healing sanctuary of Asklepios.

Early in the story, a young doctor is describing his previous employment at the temple of Asklepios in Hierapolis.

“The temple was always quite busy, as the springs attract vast numbers of people who wish to be cured. You might think that this would make it a good place for a physician to ply his trade,” he went on, “but it wasn’t.  Too many of the people whom I saw had waited until they were beyond healing before coming to the springs.  Many of them died there, while others left only to die at home.  If you’ve ever been to the city, you’ll know that the cemetery that runs along both sides of the main road contains far more tombs than you would expect for a city of its size.  Many of them belong to people from other cities who were too sick to travel home or who chose to stay and enjoy the comforts of the springs until their bodies gave out” (Kindle location 936; surfaced by Readwise).

This is a pretty obvious concept when you think about it, but I don’t know that I had ever thought about it. Hierapolis is an impressive city, not far from Laodicea, and the ancient cemetery is well worth some time exploring.

Hierapolis northern necropolis, tb041305056

Northern necropolis at Hierapolis

Hierapolis eastern necropolis, tb041305814

Buried tombs in eastern necropolis of Hierapolis

Hierapolis northern necropolis, shs031115195

Well-preserved tombs in the northern necropolis

For more about Hierapolis, see our page with photos and related websites.

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