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Archaeologists discovered a massive gateway near Persepolis that was built by Cyrus in honor of the conquest of Babylon.

A large-scale production brewery was found in Abydos, Egypt.

“The discovery of a rare ‘mud mummy’ from ancient Egypt has surprised archaeologists, who weren’t expecting to find the deceased encased in a hardened mud shell.

A CT study indicates that Pharaoh Seqenenre Taa II (558-1553 BC) died on the battlefield.

A researcher studied tomb reliefs and conducted dozens of experiments in order to discover how the ancient Egyptians baked bread.

A UNESCO jobs program is helping to restore Byzantine sites in Jordan.

Carl Rasmussen shares photos of Aizanoi in Turkey, where one of the best-preserved temples of the ancient world is located.

Greece Is lists the top 10 archaeological finds in Greece in 2020.

The Paphos Archaeological Museum in Cyprus has reopened after four years of renovations and delays.

Smithsonian Magazine: Iraq’s Cultural Museum in Mosul is on the road to recovery.

“The Encyclopædia Iranica Online is now freely accessible at Brill’s Reference Works Platform.”

5,000 photographs of Arabia taken by Sir Wilfred Thesiger between 1945 and 1950 have been digitized by the Pitt Rivers Museum.

“Excavating the History of the Bible: What Archeology Can Teach us About the Biblical World”—hosted by Dr. Andrew Mark Henry has launched on YouTube. The first episode provides an intro to biblical archaeology. The second is on the Canaanites.

A rare snowstorm covered Athens and its acropolis with several inches of snow.

HT: Agade, Ted Weis, Arne Halbakken, Keith Keyser, Explorator

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Archaeologists in western Turkey have found a hoard of 651 silver coins dating to the 1st century BC.

“Turkish archaeologists studying the ruins of the ancient town of Myra have found more than 50 terracotta figurines depicting humans, gods and animals.”

Carl Rasmussen shares photos of Adada, a city that Paul and Barnabas probably passed through on their first journey.

“Syrian authorities believe they have found the body of a top archaeologist who was killed by the Islamic State (IS) group in 2015 while he tried to protect the ancient city of Palmyra.”

Why were ostrich eggs so coveted by elites in the ancient Near East?

The builders of the Giza pyramids were locals who were paid for their work and who ate well.

Egypt is planning to open four museums this year, including the Grand Egyptian Museum in June.

Online lecture on Feb 22: “Presenting the Heritage of Jordan at The Jordan and The Petra Museums,” by Khairieh Amr

Edd Hodsdon: “Darius the Great: 9 Facts About The King Of Kings”

New from Eisenbrauns: A Handbook of Gods and Goddesses of the Ancient Near East Three Thousand Deities of Anatolia, Syria, Israel, Sumer, Babylonia, Assyria, and Elam, by Douglas R. Frayne and Johanna H. Stuckey, with illustrations by Stéphane D. Beaulieu. Save 30% with code NR21.

HT: Agade, Alexander Schick, Arne Halbakken, Keith Keyser, Ted Weis, Explorator

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An interesting and unique opportunity available this summer is the Global Smyrna Meeting on the Seven Churches of Revelation. Organized by Tutku Educational Travel, this week-long program (June 20-26) has two features that are especially noteworthy: (1) travel to the cities of all seven churches; (2) study with some of the best scholars of the New Testament.

Speakers include Mark Wilson, Ben Witherington, Mark Fairchild, Carl Rasmussen, Jeff Weima, Dana Harris, and Linford Stutzman.

The touring time is much more significant than with a tour group. For example, the schedule provides 4.5 hours touring of Pergamum with an archaeologist, 3 hours at Thyatira, 2.5 hours at Sardis with an archaeologist, and a lecture by an archaeologist at the Ephesus Museum. This is more concentrated time on these cities than any other tour I know of, and the pre-trip lectures enhance the experience even more.

You can find all the details here. As regards the travel situation, Turkey has been the most open of all the countries in the Middle East this past year, so I’m telling people that Turkey is the place to go in 2021. If you haven’t been to Cappadocia, you can add that as a pre-tour extension. If you have traveled with Tutku before, you know that everything they do is top-notch and the accommodations are excellent.

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A study by the Weizmann Institute dates the eruption of Santorini to 1630–1620 BC based on radiocarbon dating and an analysis of an olive branch’s growth rings.

Four water cisterns have been discovered under the acropolis of the classical city of Metropolis in western Turkey.

An ancient aqueduct near Troy is being restored, with hopes of attracting tourists.

Scholars searching for clues to Cleopatra’s appearance find conflicting data in Roman coins, Egyptian relief, and imperial propaganda.

Elaine Sullivan has created a 3D model of Saqqara that allows the viewer to jump through time to see the cemetery in different eras.

The BBC reports on ancient businesswomen involved in trade between Assur and Kanesh.

Covid-19 has led to an increase in looting of ancient sites in Iraq (6-min video).

You don’t have to wait until your next visit to the Edomite capital of Bozrah (Busayra) to view the new signs erected describing the temple, palace, and fortifications.

The world’s first hanging obelisk has been installed in the Grand Egyptian Museum.

The Acropolis Museum of Athens is the first museum in Greece to be fully digitized.

A portion of the imperial garden of Caligula’s palace in Rome is opening this spring to visitors.

New: Landscapes of Survival: The Archaeology and Epigraphy of Jordan’s North-Eastern Desert and Beyond, edited by Peter M.M.G. Akkermans (hardback, paperback, ebook, or read online for free)

In an interview on Jan 26, Katie Chin, Acquisitions Editor at Brill Publishers, will talk about why she accepts or rejects manuscripts, and about practical tools for increasing scholars’ chances of being published. Attendance is free but registration is required.

This new archaeological biography on Darius the Great provides background, photographs, and archaeological discoveries to illuminate the life of one of the most important rulers of Persia.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, A.D. Riddle, Arne Halbakken, Explorator, Alexander Schick

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AhramOnline explains why 2020 was a good year for Egyptian archaeology.

“Ramses and the Gold of the Pharaohs” is a new exhibition that has been approved by the Egyptian government to tour Houston, San Francisco, Boston, London, and Paris from 2021 to 2025.

Not all scholars are convinced that Salome’s dance floor in Herod’s palace at Macherus has been discovered.

A woman’s garden ‘stepping stone’ turns out to be an ancient Roman artifact.

Ancient Romans liked their fish very fresh, but salted fish and fermented fish sauces were especially popular with those less well-off.

CAMNES has announced its livestream lecture schedule for 2021.

Groningen-Leuven-Oxford Network Workshop on Hebrew Bible and Jewish Antiquity will be held on Mar 8 and 9. It is free and open to the public.

Kipp Davis is featured on The Book and the Spade as the “Dead Sea Scrolls Detective.”

Carl Rasmussen writes about a very unusual Roman building on the outskirts of ancient Tarsus.

Ferrell Jenkin’s latest post about the seven churches of Revelation includes a unique rooftop view of Thyatira as well as a new picture of the recently reconstructed stoa.

HT: Agade, Wayne Stiles

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Archaeologists are excavating a large defensive moat at an 9th-8th century BC Phoenicia colony in Spain.

“Curator St John Simpson reveals what happened after he saw a rare plaque from ancient Iraq on an online auction site.”

“Researchers have found evidence of the oldest gynaecological treatment on record, performed on a woman who lived in Ancient Egypt some 4,000 years ago.”

The first-ever archaeological replicas factory in Egypt is under construction.

Preparations are underway for transporting 22 royal mummies to the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization.

A neurologist in Iraq has spent more than 15 years photographing his country and sharing those pictures with the world.

Don McNeeley reports on the annual meeting of the Near East Archaeological Society held last month.

Michaeline Wilkins divided the Hebrew of the Song of Songs into male and female parts and then she and her husband read the text.

Zoom webinar on Dec 22: The Dead Sea Scrolls and the New Testament, by Lawrence H. Schiffman. Registration required.

Zoom lecture on Dec 23: Writing on the Wall: Graffiti and the Forgotten Jews of Antiquity, by Karen Stern

Thin End of the Wedge podcast: Nicolò Marchetti: Nineveh 2020. How and why archaeology?

A Roman warship is the latest Legos Ideas project to reach 10,000 supporters.

Susan Masten identifies the 10 most important ancient coins ever minted.

Ferrell Jenkins looks at three strata of paganism at Pergamum, the city “where Satan dwells.”

Tutku Tours has a few spots left for familiarization trips for professors this spring to Turkey and Jordan. Two great reasons to consider joining: (1) Mark Wilson is leading; (2) $1,990 includes air. (It costs almost that much just for the entrance ticket to Petra!)

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

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