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The Times of Israel reports on the excavations of Kiriath Jearim, including the large platform wall they have discovered.

The archaeologists of Abel Beth Maacah provide a lavishly illustrated account of their first six years of excavation.

Ben Witherington believes that Magdala of Galilee, edited by Richard Bauckham, should be nominated for archaeological book of the year. That post begins a series of short Q&A posts with the editor.

A preliminary excavation report for Tel Yarmuth (biblical Jarmuth) describes the massive Early Bronze walls and plans to make a new archaeological park.

Two new exhibits are opening next week at the Hecht Museum at the University of Haifa.

The Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem has announced their spring lecture schedule. I suspect that all are in Hebrew.

Erez Speiser explains the four paths to get to the top of Masada.

The latest of Ferrell’s Favorite Fotos is a blended shot of the Jezreel Valley from an airplane.

Snow fell in Jerusalem this week for the first time in several years.

Thousands of Orthodox Christians celebrated Epiphany at the Jordan River yesterday.

Eisenbrauns has a sale on its titles in the History, Archaeology, and Culture of the Levant series.

“Searching for a King” premieres on Saturday in Indianapolis, and the event will be livestreamed on Facebook.

Die Ikonographie Palästinas/Israels und der Alte Orient (IPIAO). Eine Religionsgeschichte in Bildern Band 4: Die Eisenzeit bis zum Beginn der achämenidischen Herrschaft (The Iconography of Palestine/Israel and the Ancient Near East. A History of Religion in Pictures), by Silvia Schroer (970pp), is now available for purchase or as a free pdf.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Chris McKinny, Ted Weis, Charles Savelle

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Archaeologists have discovered a three-room burial cave in Tiberias, apparently from the first century BC or first century AD. Haaretz has more here.

“Two subterranean Byzantine period winepresses were discovered in recent excavations at Tzippori [Sepphoris] National Park.”

Gary Byers summarizes the third week of excavations at Shiloh. This week they found a scarab, seal impression, inkwell, and lots of walls.

Piles of ancient debris on the Temple Mount were moved this week, in violation of court order.


The Washington Post reports on the glass head discovered at Abel Beth Maacah.


The Times of Israel explains why the world premiere of the seals of Isaiah and Hezekiah is at a college in Oklahoma.

John DeLancey is writing daily updates for his current Israel-Jordan tour. Here is the latest one.

Wayne Stiles explains what the Canaanites, Hittites, Jebusites, and other –ites mean and why it matters.

The topic this week on The Land and the Book is “Traveling to Israel as a Child.”

There were heavy rains in Israel this week—in June!—and Aren Maeir has photos of water puddles at his favorite Philistine city.

I’ve just returned from the annual Institute of Biblical Context conference. The teaching was excellent, and it was great to meet so many others who love the biblical world (and photographs!).

HT: Joseph Lauer, Agade

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A headless statue of Aphrodite and a large mosaic were discovered during subway construction in Thessaloniki.

“Researchers have discovered the oldest figurative tattoos in the world on the upper arms of two ancient Egyptian mummies, the British Museum said.”

Iraqi authorities discovered 75 artifacts near the Shrine of the Prophet Abraham after a torrential rain.

Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities Newsletter for January 2018 has been published.

Rome was covered by a rare snowfall this week. Photos here.

The Frist Center in Nashville is hosting over 200 objects from the Roman Empire, courtesy of the British Museum.

Four Persian kings are buried in the necropolis of Naqsh-e Rustam, including Darius I.

A rare 2nd-3rd century AD Roman ivory relief of Greek mythology is for sale.

A Hungarian pilot has flown his stunt plane through the Corinth Canal.

Wayne Stiles explains how your mind is like an archaeological dig.

HT: Agade, Charles Savelle, Joseph Lauer, Ted Weis, Paul Mitchell, Mark Hoffman

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“The Legio camp [at Megiddo] is the only full-scale imperial Roman legionary base found so far in the eastern empire” and to date they’ve unearthed a monumental gate, a dedicatory inscription, and the cremated remains of a Roman soldier.

The first royal winery of King Herod was discovered at the Herodium. The story does not seem to be in the English press yet, but you can read a Google-translated version of the Israel Nature and Parks

Authority story here. UPDATE: I’ve posted Joseph Lauer’s improved translation here.

Some Israelis are accusing authorities of not protecting Herod’s palace at Jericho from destruction caused by the nearby building of homes.

A new exhibit at the Haifa Hostel tells the story of ancient Castra on the slopes of Mount Carmel.

A new exhibit at the Hecht Museum at the University of Haifa documents the transition of the city of Sussita (Hippos) from pagan to Christian.

The ASOR Blog has a well-illustrated piece on the Ottoman and Turkish history of Majdal Yābā (aka Migdal Aphek, Mirabel).

Leen Ritmeyer explains how Jerusalem’s garbage dump refutes the theory that the temple was built over the Gihon Spring.

New from Wayne Stiles: How to follow God by pondering amazing bird migrations in Israel.

Now published: The Elephant Mosaic Panel in the Synagogue at Huqoq, by Karen Britt and Ra’anan
Boustan. Authorized photos are available at National Geographic. Dr. Britt will lecture on the subject on Feb. 21 at UNC Asheville.

At The Book and the Spade, John DeLancey talks with Gordon Govier about Excavation Plans for 2018.

Israel’s Good Name describes his experience in an archaeological survey of Tel Goded (Moresheth-Gath?) in part 1 and part 2.

With 3.6 million tourists in 2017, Israel hit a new record. This was a 25% increase over 2016. For some trends in tourism between 1990 and 2011, see this booklet.

Israel saw lots of rain yesterday, but probably not the “100 inches” claimed in this article’s subhead.

Lawrence Stager died at the age of 74 after a fall at his home. He directed the excavations at Ashkelon for 30 years.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Keith Keyser, Charles Savelle

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Scientists have discovered a void in the Great Pyramid of Giza that is 100 feet long.

Archaeologists excavating in the Timna Valley have discovered remains of a pregnant Egyptian woman.

A swimmer in the Sea of Galilee found a Byzantine-era “chicken-shaped object.”

Young Gazans have begun a campaign on social media to stop the destruction of Tall es-Sakan.

An international team from Spain, Portugal, and the Palestinian Authority conducted excavations at Tirzah (Tell el-Farah North) last month in order to “1. to evaluate the state of conservation of the site in order to implement a program of protection and restoration; 2. topographical survey; 3. archaeological sounding on the Iron Age II sector.” (Not online, as far as I can tell.)

A paper in Astronomy and Geophysics by Colin Humphreys and Graeme Waddington dates the oldest solar eclipse yet recorded to October 30, 1207 BC and suggests this is the “sun-standing-still” event mentioned in Joshua 10. But this connection was proposed last year by H. Yizhaq, D. Vainstub, and U. Avner. The biblical texts, however, date Joshua’s conquest a couple of centuries earlier than this eclipse.

New research suggests that about 80% of antiquities available for sale online are looted or fake.

This week marked the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration and the 100th anniversary of a significant Australian victory over the Ottoman defenses at Beersheba.

A new release on an important subject with many nice photos: The Old Testament in Archaeology and History, edited by Jennie Ebeling, J. Edward Wright, Mark Elliott and Paul V. M. Flesher. Waco, TX:
Baylor University Press, 2017.

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

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A 6th-century mosaic discovered near the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem has a Greek inscription mentioning Emperor Justinian. A 1.5-minute video is here.

At Neve Tzuf, an 8-year-old girl discovered a coin from the Jewish Revolt inscribed “Holy Jerusalem.” (But I’ve heard doubts that the coin is genuine.)

Haaretz: “The discovery of masks and more cultic vessels has bolstered confidence that ritual activity was taking place 3,200 years ago at Libnah, a Canaanite city that would become Judahite in the biblical era.”

Ahramonline: “An Egyptian archaeological mission from the Ministry of Antiquities has uncovered five Roman tombs during excavation works carried out in Beir Al-Shaghala site in Dakhla Oasis in Egypt’s Western Desert.”

The pottery restorer of the Gath excavations shows how to restore an ancient pot in in a 1.5-minute video (but you might want to turn the sound off first).

Authorities have frozen plans to build a new neighborhood over the abandoned Arab village of Lifta.

Those who know the history here may get a kick out of Rami Arav’s declaration that “Archaeologists should be led by the evidence, and not force the evidence into their theories.” His new piece entitled “Bethsaida Controversy” is a frontal attack on the recent el-Araj claims.

Check out the latest www.HolyLandPhotos.org Newsletter from Carl Rasmussen here.

If you like this blog and you use Facebook, you might consider joining the “Nerdy Bible Backgrounds and Bible Geography Majors” group.

“Ancient Babylonians living almost 4,000 years ago could have predicted Monday’s total solar eclipse.” Here’s how.

Two of my partners on the new Photo Companion to the Bible witnessed the eclipse in different parts of the United States. Steven Anderson shares his experience here, and the photo below was taken by A.D. Riddle.

HT: Joseph Lauer, Mike Harney, Ted Weis, Agade

Total solar eclipse, totality, from center line in Makanda IL, adr1708215777
Total solar eclipse on August 21, 2017
Photo by A.D. Riddle
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