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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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A trove of Phoenician artifacts was long ascribed to a single shipwreck. More likely they were tossed overboard [as votive offerings], and over centuries [7th-3rd c BC], a new study suggests.”

A wildfire recently threatened the Bronze Age site of Mycenae in Greece.

Annie Attia writes about what we know about epidemics in ancient Mesopotamia.

A team of researchers is using new technology to discover erased texts in the library of St. Catherine’s Monastery.

Some scholars are ridiculing Yosef Garfinkel’s theory that an anthropomorphic clay head from Khirbet Qeiyafa depicts the face of God.

Foy Scalf will be lecturing on Tuesday, Sept 8, on “Measuring Time: The Ancient Egyptian Invention of the Clock,” using artifacts from the University of Chicago’s Oriental Institute Museum.

New: A Classical Archaeologist’s Life: The Story so Far: An Autobiography, by John Boardman

The full-length production of “Caesarea by the Sea: Rome’s Capital in Israel” has just been released. As you may recall from the trailers, the video features 3D digital models of King Herod’s city. You can watch the 20-minute documentary for free at the Bible Land Passages website as well as on YouTube.

HT: Agade, Ted Weis, Joseph Lauer

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Archaeologists working at Azekah may have found traces of the Assyrian siege ramp used to conquer the city in 701 BC.

The Waqf filled in a hole that opened in the Temple Mount floor with concrete on Tuesday, raising concerns that possible archaeological findings may now be lost.” Zachi Dvira at the Temple Mount Sifting Project offers his thoughts on the possible significance of the now-filled opening, along with some rare photos of underground areas of the Temple Mount.

The Israel Museum has re-opened “with a coronavirus-safe approach that includes half-hour capsule tours of the museum’s permanent and current exhibits.”

Gordon Govier writes about the summer excavations in Israel that were not, and those that were.

Lawrence Schiffman writes on discoveries made in 2020 for Ami Magazine.

Usha, an ancient village in western Galilee, is the subject of a 6-minute news piece on Israel Daily. (Note: add “the Sanhedrin Trail” to your bucket list.)

Zvi Koenigsberg looks at the possible connection between the site(s) of Gilgal and the strange phenomenon of “footprints” on the eastern side of Israel.

Dan Warner is on The Book and the Spade this week talking about the Gezer water tunnel.

Biblical Israel Ministries and Tours has just released a brand-new resource that features beautiful aerial footage of more than 55 biblical sites in Israel and Jordan. The launch price is only $30 for the DVD and $45 for a higher-res version on a thumb drive. Individual high-res site videos are available for only $4 each.

HT: Agade, Ted Weis, Joseph Lauer

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An archaeological survey team “has located an extensive series of mysterious openings cut high in a cliff inside the sacred valley south of the royal cemetery of Umm Al-Qaab.”

“Three mummified animals from ancient Egypt have been digitally unwrapped and dissected by researchers using high-resolution 3D scans.”

Smithsonian Magazine: “In the Land of Kush” provides an impressive tour of an area many of us will probably never be able to visit.

“Gold seekers have destroyed a 2,000-year-old historical site deep in the deserts of Sudan, according to officials.” Their use of heavy equipment destroyed all signs of the ancient site.

Mark Wilson reports on his recent visit to Pella in Jordan.

“The Defense Ministry has released some of the first photographs taken by Israel’s newest spy satellite, showing ancient ruins in the central Syrian city of Palmyra.”

A new video produced by the Metropolitan Museum of Art looks how how peoples of the ancient Near East responded to various adversities.

The University of Central Florida has compiled a list of Open Educational Resources for the Ancient Near East.

The 23rd Annual Bible and Archaeologist Fest will be a 2-day online seminar this year with many interesting speakers.

HT: Agade, Ted Weis, Joseph Lauer

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A Canaanite fortress from the middle of the 12th century BCE (the days of the biblical judges), was unearthed in an excavation . . . outside Kiryat Gat.”

The headlines are more sensational, but the real story is this: a wall on Mount Zion dated by Bargil Pixner to the Iron Age does not date to the Iron Age. A revolution in our understanding of the size of Jerusalem in the time of Hezekiah is not warranted.

A hoard of 425 gold coins from the Abassid period was discovered by students working on an excavation in central Israel. There is a 2-minute video here.

Atlas Obscura has posted an article on the Sidonian Cave (Apollophanes Cave) at Beit Guvrin and one of its mysterious inscriptions.

The Legacy Hotel in Nazareth has a display of artifacts from the Bronze and Iron Ages that were discovered during the hotel’s construction.

The Daily Mail has a well-illustrated story on Rami Arav’s continued insistence that et-Tell is Bethsaida.

The ‘Digging for Identity’ program is a four-day journey for Israeli 10th-grade students, which includes taking part in an active archaeological dig” and more.

John DeLancey’s latest video focuses on Lachish.

Ralph Ellis provides his interpretation of the elephant mosaic discovered in the ancient Huqoq synagogue.

Aren Maeir and Nick Barksdale talk Philistines and DNA (12 min).

Bryan Windle highlights the “top three reports” in biblical archaeology for August. (He also wrote a nice resource review of our new 1 Samuel Photo Companion.)

HT: Agade, Ted Weis, Joseph Lauer, Alexander Schick

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Excavations in the old Givati parking lot in the City of David have continued this summer, with archaeologists uncovering a building destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BC.

Archaeologists working in southern Israel have been excavating a soap-making workshop from the Abbasid period, making it the oldest one known to date.

The board of ASOR has voted to remove “Oriental” from its name, though they have not yet decided on a new name for the organization.

What do journalists write about when most archaeologists aren’t digging this summer? You may have noticed that Rossella Tercatin at The Jerusalem Post is digging through recent journals and summarizing the results for a popular audience. Her latest articles include:

Statues worth millions of shekels were stolen from the Wilfrid Israel Museum in northern Israel.

Gary Byers is interviewed by Bryan Windle in the latest installment of the “Discussions with the Diggers” series.

Shmuel Browns is offering some of his spectacular photography now as large limited-edition prints.

Israel’s Good Name reports on his recent field trip to the ruins of the recently renovated Ashdod-Yam.

We just finished a volume with 3,000 photographs illustrating the book of 1 Samuel by chapter and verse. It’s a one-of-a-kind collection, and our launch price ends next week. Learn more about it here.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer

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