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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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Three major salvage excavations in Israel may be excavated by private companies and directed by archaeologists with little experience. (Haaretz premium)

They’re already recruiting for next summer’s excavations in Israel, and you can get all the information for digging at Shiloh here.

Aren Maeir visited the new excavations of Kiriath Jearim and was very impressed with what he saw, suggesting that the site “will become one of the most important excavations in Israel.”

Carl Rasmussen explains how a solar eclipse in 763 BC helps us to establish an absolute chronology for OT events.

Steven Weitzman answers the question, “Can Genetics Solve the Mystery of the Lost Ten Tribes of Israel?”

Israel’s Good Name reports on his Bar Ilan U tour of the City of David.

Ferrell Jenkins explains the Megiddo water system with a drawing he made and several photos (including a labeled aerial photo).

Wayne Stiles shows how Banias Falls is a picture of despair.

We were very encouraged by some positive words about the new Photo Companion to the Bible by Ferrell Jenkins, Andy Naselli, Leen Ritmeyer, Charles Savelle, and Luke Chandler. Luke writes,

There is nothing like this resource available for teachers today. I cannot recommend the Gospels Photo Companion to the Bible strongly enough.

The introductory special continues through Monday, August 21.

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The Preliminary Report for the 2017 excavation season at Tel Kabri has been posted.

ABR has provided a brief overview of discoveries at Shiloh this year.

ABR has posted Rodger C. Young’s article on “How Lunar and Solar Eclipses Shed Light on Biblical Events.”

Remove the tarps and launch the drone and this is what the excavations of Gath look like after this year’s digging was completed.

Israel’s Good Name reports on a university field trip to Tel Aroma and Mount Gerizim, including his encounters with birds and boars.

A team from Biblical Illustrator has made multiple trips to the Middle East to take photographs for their magazine.

The British Museum has uploaded a 3D model of the Rosetta Stone.

The IAA arrested five antiquities dealers in Jerusalem on charges related to selling $22 million of antiquities to Steve Green.

The Met has turned over to authorities a bull’s head that may have been looted from Lebanon.

Authorities seized an ancient Greek krater from the Met on suspicions it was looted from Italy.

Ferrell Jenkins explains the significance of Tisha B’Av.

Amnon Ben-Tor, who has been excavating at Hazor since 1957, is interviewed on the LandMinds Podcast.

Insights from Archaeology by David A. Fiensy has just been released by Fortress Press. The publisher’s site includes a free article from the book.

HT: Ted Weis, Charles Savelle, Agade

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The Jerusalem Post and Haaretz are reporting the collapse of an Israelite-period wall at Tel Dan following heavy rains. From the Jerusalem Post:

The stone wall, located near the entrance gate to the ancient city of Tel Dan, collapsed on top of five tombstones located at its base, according to the Israel Nature and Parks Authority. The wall was made of a combination of the original ancient stones and reconstructed pieces, the INPA said.

Rainfall last week was estimated at approximately 8 inches (200 mm). Authorities hope to rebuild the wall in the coming months.

The Post includes a photograph of the damage, but it’s difficult to see the location without some context. In the aerial photograph below, we have marked the area of the collapse.

The Iron Age city of Dan flourished during the reigns of the Israelite kings Jeroboam I, Ahab, and Jeroboam II.

Dan Iron Age gate aerial from southeast, ws040616068ed
Iron Age gate complex at Tel Dan;
photo by Bill Schlegel

HT: Joseph Lauer

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