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Scholars at UNI Graz claim that a 3rd century BC papyrus has evidence of a binding, making it the oldest book in the world discovered. The press release is in German, but the video of the press conference is partly in English. Brent Nongbri offers some thoughts.

A network of stone walls along the Nile River provide evidence of ancient hydraulic engineering.

“A team of computer scientists and archaeologists from the University of Bologna in Italy has developed a new tool for identifying archaeological sites using artificial intelligence … [which] reached a predictive accuracy of over 80 percent.”

“A team of archaeologists and computer scientists from Israel has created an AI-powered translation program for ancient Akkadian cuneiform, allowing tens of thousands of already digitized tablets to be translated into English instantaneously.”

The square in Rome where Julius Caesar was assassinated has been opened to the public.

Renovations of the Carthage Museum will begin in 2025 and expand the exhibition space to three times the current size.

The book of Esther’s independence from classical sources makes it “more important as a historical source for Achaemenian history than has traditionally been assumed.”

“An ancient Hebrew Bible and more than 100 Roman coins were recovered by Turkish military police.” The photo with the article is not the seized manuscript.

New release: A Jew in the Roman Bathhouse: Cultural Interaction in the Ancient Mediterranean, by Yaron Z. Eliav (Princeton University Press, $45; save 30% with code P321).

New release: Wounded Tigris: A River Journey Through the Cradle of Civilization, by Leon McCarron (Simon & Schuster, $29)

New release: Famine and Feast in Ancient Egypt, by Ellen Morris (75 pages, Cambridge University Press, $22; free download until July 3).

In the latest episode of Thin End of the Wedge, Agnès Garcia-Ventura discusses the historiography of Assyriology.

Mark Janzen is guest on The Book and the Spade discussing the historicity of Moses.

Now that the Plutonium at Hierapolis (aka the gate to Hades) is open, Carl Rasmussen shares photos and explains what you are looking at and how the ancient rites were carried out.

HT: Agade, Alexander Schick

The worst experience in Jerusalem is walking through the drainage channel under the Siloam street. Unless you’re under 5 feet tall.

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Turkey has launched a new ship for underwater archaeology that is considered to be one of the largest archaeological vessels in the world.

NY Times: “A 2,000-year-old collection of medical tools, recently unearthed in Hungary, offer insight into the practices of undaunted, much-maligned Roman doctors.”

Melissa Cradic explains the value of the the open-access web exhibition, “Unsilencing the Archives: The Laborers of the Tell en-Naṣbeh Excavations (1926-1935).”

Zoom lecture on June 23, 10:00am ET: “Beyond Impressions: Cylinder Seals of the Neo-Assyrian Period as Experiential Object,” by Kiersten Neumann (Zoom link)

New release: Picturing Royal Charisma: Kings and Rulers in the Near East from 3000 BCE to 1700 CE, edited by Arlette David, Rachel Milstein, Tallay Ornan (Archaeopress, £32; open access ebook)

New release: Être et paraître. Statues royales et privées de la fin du Moyen Empire et de la Deuxième Période intermédiaire (1850-1550 av. J.-C.), by Simon Connor, is available for free here.

Walking The Text’s recommended resource of the month is Peoples of the New Testament World, by William A. Simmons. (Also available on Logos.)

If you are not familiar with the Lanier Center for Archaeology, you can find out more about their programs here.

New video from World History Encyclopedia: “The Famous Baths of the Roman Empire”

Mark Hoffman has been thinking about AI and biblical art.

HT: Agade, Explorator

The excavations at Shiloh are most impressive in terms of their size and enthusiastic workers. They are making good progress in achieving their goals, and I look forward to forthcoming announcements.

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Excavations in the Sarachane Archaeology Park in Istanbul uncovered a fragment of a statue of the Greek god Pan holding a flute.

Turkish Archaeological News rounds up the top stories in the month of May, including mention of three new museums to open in Kuşadası (ancient Ephesus)

Writing for Religion Unplugged, Kim Lawton reports on her recent travels to the seven churches of Revelation. She interviewed me as part of her research.

The Christian Post has a feature on places in Turkey related to the apostle Paul.

A retired garbage collector helped uncover two dozen bronze statues in central Italy.

Three more victims of the Vesuvius eruption were discovered recently at Pompeii.

The National Archaeological Museum of Naples will be opening a new branch in the city to display more of its collection.

Stephen DeCasien investigates the development of the naval ram in early maritime warfare.

Katerina Velentza describes her project to “interpret anew where, when, why and how sculptures were transported by sea in the ancient Mediterranean world.”

New video from the British Museum: “How the Greco-Persian Wars changed the way Athenians drank their wine” (16 min).

Terry Madenholm investigates how the ancient Greeks and Romans viewed suicide.

“Last week the American Academy in Rome launched a major update to the Arthur & Janet C. Ross Library’s Digital Humanities Center, giving the repository a new look and feel while increasing access to the collections and their research value in several important ways.” This resource is easily searchable, especially by location, with lots of old photos.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Arne Halbakken, Ted Weis, Stephanie Durruty, Wayne Stiles, Alexander Schick, Gordon Franz, Explorator

The Lod Mosaic Museum protects a beautiful Roman-era mosaic, but I think it’s unlikely to get many visitors, especially with the $10 entrance fee.

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“Researchers at Tel Aviv University (TAU) and Ariel University have developed an artificial intelligence model that can automatically translate Akkadian text written in cuneiform into English.”

A 2nd-century AD statue of Buddha discovered in the Egyptian port city of Berenike is helping scholars to understand ancient trade routes between India and Rome.

“Anemia was found to be common amongst children in ancient Egypt, following analyzation of child mummies found in different museums in Europe.”

The Greek Reporter has an update on excavations at Smyrna (Izmir).

Turkish Archaeological News has a roundup of stories for the month of April.

“Crete is showcasing its rich ancient history with three new archeological museums at Messara, Agios Nikolaos and Archanes.”

“An ancient Greek settlement dating back 2,500 years was discovered beneath Naples, Italy by using cosmic rays and lasers.”

“A meticulously reconstructed Pompeii bridal chariot that eluded the ancient city’s modern-day looters is a star of an ambitious new exhibition in Rome.”

“The Colosseum [in Rome] was built to commemorate the sacking and destruction of Jerusalem, and was funded by loot stolen from the ancient Jewish Temple in Jerusalem.”

Tourists will soon be able to travel to Pompeii via a high-speed train from Rome.

“In the Roman world, although the rule of the sea was a complicated matter, and the sea itself appeared as an uncivilised, untamed wilderness, Roman law was able to provide practical solutions to deal with real-life sea problems.”

In response to controversy over Netflix’s upcoming documentary series on Cleopatra, Egypt’s leading media production company is planning to create its own documentary.

New release: The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World: Science, Engineering and Technology, by Michael Denis Higgins (Oxford Academic, 360 pages, $35; Amazon)

New release: Ancient Persia and the Book of Esther: Achaemenid Court Culture in the Hebrew Bible, by Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones (Bloomsbury, 280 pages, $31; Amazon)

New exhibit at The British Museum: “Luxury and Power: Persia to Greece.” May 4 to August 13.

I’ll be traveling for the coming weeks, so there will not be another roundup until June. I hope to be able to post a book review or other update in the meantime.

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

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Archaeologists looking at satellite images have discovered three temporary Roman army camps in the northern Arabian desert, possibly evidence of a military campaign that led to the annexation of the Nabatean kingdom in AD 106.

“Archaeologists from the Leiden Turin Expedition to Saqqara have uncovered an ornate tomb dating to the early Ramesside period (c. 13th century BCE) that belonged to Panehsy, the overseer of the Temple of Amun.”

Bryan Windle gives the top three reports in biblical archaeology in the month of April.

“The Zeugma Mosaic Museum in Antep, southeastern Turkey, has reopened after being closed for over two months due to the devastating earthquakes that struck the area in February.”

Writing for Ami Magazine, Lawrence Schiffman considers the irony of ancient Jewish art work from Dura-Europos sitting in a museum in Damascus.

Helen Gries, a curator at the Vorderasiatisches Museum in Berlin, considers how “multiple narratives” come together in the Ishtar Gate of Babylon.

The Roman bust of Nero that was discovered in a Goodwill store in Texas is returning to Germany next month.

The Greek Reporter makes some suggestions as to why the ancient Greeks reclined to eat and drink.

BAS’s Bible & Archaeology Fest XXVI will be back in person as well as livestreamed on Nov 17-19 in San Antonio, Texas.

The latest video from Expedition Bible will likely be popular: Exodus Pharaoh Explained (22 min)

HT: Agade, Arne Halbakken, Explorator

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“Neo-Assyrian reliefs in the provinces tend to present the sacred using standardized Assyrian court motifs. A recently discovered relief at Başbük, however, offers a rare depiction of local gods in Assyrian court style but with traditional Syro-Anatolian motifs.”

“After the recent massive earthquakes, Türkiye’s Hatay Archaeology Museum stepped up efforts to protect its valuable artifacts from aftershocks by employing an in situ protection formula for heavy items and sending smaller artifacts to another museum for safekeeping.”

Archaeologists excavating a 2nd century AD villa in Rome discovered two mosaics depicting Medusa. The article does not include photos of the mosaics.

A previously unknown palimpsest fragment of Matthew 11-12 in Old Syriac has been found in the Vatican Library.

Drawing on James Hoffmeier’s recent BAR article, Marek Dospěl provides an overview of the archaeological and geological evidence for Jeremiah’s travels to Egypt.

The most lavish Mesopotamian tomb ever discovered belonged to a woman.

The Greek Reporter has the oldest photo of the Acropolis of Athens, taken in 1842.

Kim Phillips: “The sale of Codex Sassoon raises questions about what’s real and what’s hype about this important manuscript.”

New release on Logos: Manna Bible Maps Plus: Maps, Timelines, and Movies to Help Students Visualize Their Study of the Bible ($63). I have not used these and cannot offer an opinion as to their value.

Zoom lecture on April 19: “Evidence for Judean Exiles in Babylonia, 572–474 BCE,” by Laurie Pearce. Free but registration required.

The Database of Religious History is “a massive, standardized, searchable encyclopedia of the current best scholarly opinion on historical religious traditions and the historical record more generally.”

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

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