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

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.


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


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


ISIS has destroyed the Arch of Triumph in Palmyra.

The destruction of ancient monuments will now be considered a war crime in trials at The Hague.

An interdisciplinary team of scientists want to dig beneath the popular version of Pompeii to discover what life was really like.

Here’s more on the new lines discovered from the Gilgamesh Epic.

“Persepolis: Images of an Empire” is a special exhibit that opens next week at the Oriental Institute Museum.

Mordechai Aviam critiques Eldad Keynan’s recent article on the
“miqveh” in Upper Galilee.

The Jewish Chronicle catches up with Ron Tappy four years after he concluded excavations at Tel Zayit.

Howard R. Feldman shares a personal recollection about the Jehoash Affair on the ASOR Blog.

The Amphipolis tomb may have been the funeral shrine for Hephaestion, the closest friend of
Alexander the Great.

The Oxford Archaeology Image Database currently has 700 photos from nearly 30 sites in Iraq and it is seeking more contributions.

The first rainfall this season in Israel led to flash flood warnings in the Judean wilderness.

Netanyahu has suspended approval for the building of a museum in the Western Wall plaza.

Was the star of Bethlehem a comet? A new book makes a strong case.

A German team will repair a botched epoxy job on King Tut’s beard.

Leen Ritmeyer takes the New York Times to task for shoddy research on the Temple Mount.

Rachel Hallotte has dug up some interesting items from the attic of the Albright Institute.

HT: Agade, Ted Weis


Just posted: Preliminary Report of the 2015 Jezreel Expedition Field Season

A full schedule of speakers and topics for the Annual Bible and Archaeology Fest is now online. Eric Cline is the plenary speaker.

After the heat wave and brutal sandstorm, Israel this past week experienced lightning, hail, and flash floods. This is not typical September weather.

Near Eastern Archaeology‘s latest issue is devoted to “The Cultural Heritage Crisis in the Middle East.” It is available online for free to all.

Eisenbrauns has just released its fall catalog.

A new book: Distant Views of the Holy Land, by Felicity Cobbing and David Jacobson. 330 pages, 350 illustrations, $200. A free sample is available here.

Here’s more about Penn Museum’s new exhibit, “Sacred Writings: Extraordinary Texts of the Biblical World.”

This Wednesday, Sept 23, Brent Strawn of Emory University will give a lecture at Trinity Evangelical
Divinity School entitled “The Historical Psalms, Iconographically Considered.” The event will take place at 7:00 pm on Trinity’s campus, Hinkson Hall in Rodine Building. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Clashes on the Temple Mount have caused damage to Al Aqsa Mosque.

Aren Maeir is on the Book and the Spade talking about his excavations of Gath and the discovery of a large gate this season (part 1, part 2).

Egyptian security officials have ordered the shutdown of St. Catherine’s Monastery.

From ASOR: Can you pass this Sea of Galilee quiz?

The latest issue of Popular Archaeology includes articles on Gath and Magdala.

Ferrell Jenkins explains the significance of Mahanaim (mentioned 13x in the OT) and shares some photos.

HT: Agade, Charles Savelle, A.D. Riddle, Paleojudaica