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Hi-tech residue analysis of 6th-century BCE jug sherds shows that ancient Jerusalem’s elite imported vanilla from southeast Asia to flavor their wine.”

“Plans are underway to move Megiddo prison in order to excavate the Israeli church with the earliest mosaic dedicated to Jesus.” (I double-checked the date of this story; it says 2022, though it could have run in 2012.)

Nadav Shragai explains why Turkey’s President Erdogan will not return the Siloam Inscription to Jerusalem.

Christopher Rollston identifies some problems with the announcement of the Mount Ebal curse inscription. (Since the original posting, he has added an addendum regarding the “altar.”) Luke Chandler also urges caution.

A shipwreck discovered near Ma’agan Michael on the northern coast of Israel provides a rare view into commerce in the land of Israel circa AD 700.

Ruth Schuster tells the story of the first modern explorers to discover that the Dead Sea is below sea level.

Israel 21c lists 10 amazing Jewish archaeological finds that were discovered by accident.

A trailer has been posted for Gesher Media’s new documentary series, “In Those Days.” “This series will explore the biblical, historical, cultural, and archaeological backgrounds of the story of the tabernacle and the Ark of the Covenant from Mount Sinai to the building of the First Temple.”

The Jerusalem Post reviews Raiders of the Hidden Ark, by Graham Addison. The book is an account of Montague Parker’s ill-fated expedition to Jerusalem.

This Week in the Ancient Near East podcast: “The early Iron Age site of Har Adir in the mountains of the Upper Galilee is back in the news. Was this an 11th century fortress of a local polity or a bird watching sanctuary?”

Leen Ritmeyer illustrates the transformation of Peter’s house in Capernaum into a house church.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Arne Halbakken, Explorator

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Biblical Archaeology Review seems to have dispensed with its annual “dig issue,” but the first issue of the year has a story about how various archaeologists think COVID-19 may affect the future of archaeology. The full story from the magazine is now online.

What was thought to be a Phoenician harbor in Sicily turns out to be a “gigantic sacred pool in honor of Baal that operated during the city’s Phoenician period, from the 8th to the 5th centuries B.C.E.” The article includes a nice map showing Phoenician colonies throughout the Mediterranean.

The new archaeologist in charge of Pompeii is hoping that visitors will look at the ancient city through the lens of its complex social stratification.

With Purim last week, Judith Sudilovsky writes about the Persian King Xerxes, known in the Hebrew Bible as Ahasuerus.

Tirhakah, the Cushite King of Egypt, is the latest subject of Bryan Windle’s series of bioarchaeographies.

Jordan has a number of important or impressive churches worth visiting.

Zoom lecture on March 23: “Phoenicians’ Cultural Influence in the Levant/Israel,” by Carolina Lopez-Ruiz ($7)

Webinar on April 6-7: Biblical Studies in Memory of Baruch A. Levine. I don’t see the schedule online, but I can forward it to anyone who asks. Or you will likely receive it when you register.

The webinar on “Colossae, Colossians, and Archaeology” that you may have missed because of its Sunday morning timing is now posted on YouTube.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Charles Savelle, Explorator

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“An archaeological study of the floor under the Church of the Holy Sepulchre will be possible for the first time, after a two-year undertaking to repair and restore its pavement stones got underway in an inaugural ceremony on Monday.”

Turkish officials deny the report that Turkey will be returning the Siloam Inscription to Israel. The Jerusalem Post explains the history of this significant artifact.

The discovery of a thousand charred linseed at Tel Burna (Libnah?) has led to the suggestion that the economy of the Shephelah greatly changed after Sennacherib’s invasion.

A carved stele from the 4th millennium was lost in the storage area of the Israel Museum, but now after five years of restoration, it has been put on display for the first time.

Leen Ritmeyer’s post on Capernaum includes a number of beautiful reconstruction drawings.

Ferrell Jenkins is back in Israel and shares a photo of a sunrise over the Sea of Galilee.

A rare March snowfall blanketed Jerusalem and parts of Israel in white this week.

Andrew Lawler’s article for Scientific American on the history of excavations in Jerusalem would have convinced me not to read his book. (I did read it, and it’s much better than some of the revised history he presents here.)

A recent study concluded that “Evangelical Christian travelers would prefer to visit Israel on a trip led by a well-known Christian leader or Bible teacher.”

Video from the 2022 Azekah Conference is now online. You can listen to all seven talks in 1.5 hours.

New release: Excavating the Evidence for Jesus: The Archaeology of Christ and the Gospels, by Titus Kennedy (Harvest House, $25)

On sale at Faithlife: 30 Days in the Land with Jesus: A Holy Land Devotional, by Charles H. Dyer ($5.99).

I am back for part two of “The Babylonian Destruction of Jerusalem” on Digging for Truth (25 min). In this episode I talk about the extensive evidence of the 586 BC destruction, including numerous discoveries in the last five years.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, G. M. Grena, Explorator

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A rare Phoenician sarcophagus dating to 600 BC was discovered on the outskirts of Rabat, Malta.

The “perfectly preserved” Ses Fontanelles wreck, discovered recently off the coast of Mallorca, is now giving “priceless insights into the Mediterranean of the fourth century AD and the crew’s daily lives.”

Egyptian archaeologists have discovered five water wells from the 13th century BC believed to have been part of the Horus Military Road.

The Iraq Museum in Baghdad has officially re-opened.

Rulers of the great kingdoms of the ANE in the Late Bronze period rarely met each other, for a variety of reasons, explains Mohy-Eldin E. Abo-Eleaz.

Turkish Archaeological News has a roundup of stories from the month of February.

“Artificial intelligence could bring to life lost texts, from imperial decrees to the poems of Sappho, researchers have revealed, after developing a system that can fill in the gaps in ancient Greek inscriptions and pinpoint when and where they are from.”

ARIADNE is a research infrastructure for archaeology… to support research, learning and teaching by enabling access to digital resources and innovative new services…by maintaining a catalogue of digital datasets, by promoting best practices in the management and use of digital data in archaeology, by offering training and advice, and by supporting the development of innovative new services for archaeology.”

Martha Sharp Joukowsky, excavator of the Great Temple in Petra, died in January.

Ghazi Bisheh, excavator of many sites in Jordan, died in January.

Carl Rasmussen has written a third part and a final part to his series on where the treasures of the Jerusalem temple went after AD 70.

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

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An Israeli official claims that Turkey has agreed to return the Siloam Inscription to Israel. This inscription was discovered and removed from Hezekiah’s Tunnel in the 1880s. Those who know the history here will believe it when they see it.

“Three 1,500-year-old ‘magic’ incantation bowls and hundreds of other rare artifacts — some dating to the biblical period — were seized from an apartment in an ultra-Orthodox Jerusalem neighborhood under suspicion of illegal antiquities trade.”

Lawrence Schiffman suggests that Manetho’s records give evidence that the Israelite exodus was preserved in Egypt’s historical memory.

A new book in German gives the history of the Gihon/Siloam water system. The publisher’s website has a nice summary in English.

The Huqoq excavations were recently featured in National Geographic’s “100 Wonders of the World.”

I’m not quite sure why the Jerusalem Post published this short piece on Magdala.

A new documentary entitled “The Samaritans: A Biblical People,” by Moshe Alafi and Steven Fine, will be presented on March 27 at the Yeshiva University Museum. It will presumably be made more broadly available sometime after.

Save the date – May 18: “The First International Academic Conference  on New Studies in Temple Mount Research Hosted by The Menachem Begin Heritage Center, Jerusalem. Lectures will be in Hebrew or English, and the conference will be broadcast live. I don’t see details online yet (but see this), but speakers include Aharon Tavger, Tehilla Lieberman, David Gurevich, Avraham Solomon, Rina Avner, Peretz Reuven, Yuval Baruch, Dror Czitron, Joseph Patrich, David Jacobson, Nikos Kokkinos, Zachi Dvira, Gabriel Barkay, and others.

Logos has announced a number of solid Carta reference works available at pre-publication discount, including:

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

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A Neolithic shrine has been discovered in Jordan’s eastern desert.

Remains from Alexander the Great’s siege of Gaza have been discovered in a cemetery.

Archaeologists have found remains from the Roman period, including catacombs, in Elazıg in eastern Turkey.

A pair of “exceptional” mosaics from the Roman period have been discovered in London.

One of the iron daggers in King Tut’s tomb apparently came from a meteor that landed in Syria.

Smithsonian magazine runs a feature story on the excavations at Troy.

Bible History Daily has a brief interview with Monique Roddy as she prepares for this summer’s excavations at Khirbat al-Balu‘a.

Chris McKinny and Kyle Keimer discuss the proposal that locates Sodom at Tall al-Hammam in the latest episode of the Biblical World podcast.

On the Thin End of the Wedge, Farouk al-Rawi reflects on his life as an archaeologist in Iraq.

Kasia Szpakowska writes about our knowledge of dreams in ancient Egypt.

The Mycenaean Atlas Project has added the complete Pleiades dataset, the harbor dataset from Arthur de Graauw, and the Topostext dataset from Brady Kiesling.

Carl Rasmussen thinks it is quite possible that Paul was sentenced to death in the Julia Basilica in Rome.

The latest issue of Biblical Archaeology Review includes articles on the origin of the Philistines, Herod’s palace at Caesarea Philippi, and finding the Red Sea.

Bryan Windle identifies the top three reports in biblical archaeology this month.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Keith Keyser, Arne Halbakken, Alexander Schick

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