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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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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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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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The enclosure wall around the Mount Ebal altar has been restored. And Israel’s defense minister is not allowing a visit by the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.

Two stone sarcophagi from the 2nd or 3rd centuries AD were discovered at the Ramat Gan Safari Park.

I share a bit about my work with photo collections, both past and future, in the latest Scholar’s Chair interview at Bible Archaeology Report.

Chris McKinny talks about learning historical geography and archaeology in Israel on a new video produced by John DeLancey.

Erez Ben Yosef is interviewed by the Jerusalem Post about his years of excavating at Timna.

Zoom lecture tomorrow: “Archaeology and the Hidden Religious Culture of Israelite Women,” by Carol Meyers.

The NY Times has posted an obituary for Norman Golb, the unorthodox Dead Sea Scrolls scholar who died last month.

Assyrians used the policy of deportation in the Levant not to bolster its labor supply but in order to intimidate the population and put down revolts.

The Hazor team is accepting applications for its 31st season of excavations at this important Canaanite and Israelite site.

The Times of Israel reports on the 2018 re-discovery in Cairo of a Hebrew Bible written in the year 1028.

Snow fell in Jerusalem this week for the first time in six years, and some photos are posted by The Jerusalem Post, Al Jazeera, Haaretz, and The Times of Israel. Shmuel Browns took some beautiful photos of the snow in the Judean hills. Daily Sabah has photos from around the Middle East.

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

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Palm trees grown from 2,000-year-old seeds have produced more than a hundred dates, beautiful and tasty. (The father is Methuselah, the mother Hannah.)

A high-tech analysis of 18 ostraca from Arad reveals that they were written by 12 different hands, attesting to a high level of literacy in the kingdom of Judah in the late 7th century BC. The underlying journal article is here.

“A collection of more than 13 intact and sealed coffins has been unearthed in Saqqara, the first step towards a huge discovery to be announced soon on site.”

“The Harvard Museum of the Ancient Near East (HMANE, formerly the Harvard Semitic Museum) has recently started posting 3D scans of its cuneiform collection on-line.”

With the help of some old photos of Qumran Cave 1, Brent Nongbri has identified a couple of unheralded excavators of the Dead Sea Scrolls caves.

“According to the ‘Deal of the Century’ map, hundreds of heritage and archaeology sites in Judea and Samaria are slated to be removed from Israeli control and transferred to the jurisdiction of the proposed Palestinian state.”

The Louvre is helping to restore security for the National Museum of Beirut following extensive damage in the August 4 explosion.

When Adam Henein died this spring, Egypt lost a highly regarded artist whose work included a major restoration of the Sphinx.

People who climb Egyptian antiquities “without a license” will be punished under a new law passed by the government.

Necho II, slayer of King Josiah, is the subject of the latest archaeological biography by Bryan Windle.

Steven Anderson has now finished making playlists for all of Omer Frenkel’s beautiful readings of the Hebrew Bible.

A man was detained when caught hunting gazelles in a park in Jerusalem.

Tim Challies reviews A Harvard Professor, a Con Man, and the Gospel of Jesus and draws implications for all with regard to discoveries that appear to contradict (or confirm) the Christian faith.

Jerusalem University College has announced that Dr. Oliver Hersey will become the next president when Dr. Paul Wright retires in 2021.

Jerusalem recently broke a 139-year-record for the hottest night (with a low of 88.7°F, 31.5°C).

I’ve had a chance to look more carefully at the new Biblical Israel by Air. The thumb drive includes two high-resolution video files (mp4), one narrated and one non-narrated, with 69 minutes of drone footage of beautiful sites including the Sea of Galilee, Joppa, Caesarea, Mount Carmel, Jordan River, Arbel, Capernaum, Dan, Beth Shean, Shiloh, Jericho, Masada, Mount Nebo (on a clear day!), Macherus, Petra, and 40 other sites. This remarkable collection is available at an introductory price of $45 (or $30 for the DVD).

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Keith Keyser, Wayne Stiles, Explorator

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The excavations at Azekah are unique this year not only because they weren’t cancelled, but all of the field supervisors are women and daycare is provided for the workers’ children.

The discovery of minerals in a building in the City of David is providing information about the earth’s magnetic field at the time of Jerusalem’s destruction in 586 BC. The underlying journal article is here.

A stone table from the Second Temple period was discovered in excavations near Beit El.

A new study suggests that Mount Adir in the Upper Galilee was a government center for a group of Canaanite settlers in the Iron I. The underlying BASOR article is here (requires subscription or payment).

Yuval Baruch, head of the Jerusalem division of the Israel Antiquities Authority and informally known as the “mayor of underground Jerusalem,” is profiled in The Jerusalem Post.

Following the excavation of a large tumulus south of Jerusalem, Ariel David writes about various theories that have been proposed for the 20 tumuli in the Jerusalem vicinity(Haaretz premium).

The Israel Museum has re-opened, and the Dead Sea Scrolls are back on display.

Jodi Magness is interviewed about Masada on the NC Bookwatch.

Winners have been selected for the Top 10 Picture contest at Biblical Israel Tours.

Carl Rasmussen shares some photos of well-preserved Crusader capitals in the Archaeology Museum of Nazareth.

Bible Land Passages is preparing to release a new documentary on Caesarea Maritima, and they have just posted two short trailers (1-min, 3-min) that provide a taste of what’s coming.

A couple of Oxford archaeologists have succeeded in getting the US to open up access to high-res satellite imagery of Israel.

Israel has experienced a couple days of unusual August rain.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Charles Savelle

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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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