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A Greco-Roman pottery workshop was recently discovered in Alexandria.

Restoration work is underway on the Ben Ezra synagogue in Cairo.

Mark Janzen and Chris McKinny begin a new series on Egypt and the Bible in the Biblical World podcast.

Jerry Pattengale of the Religion News Service reviews some of the recent controversy related to the claim that Tall el-Hammam was destroyed by a meteoric airburst.

Zoom webinar on April 24: “Preserving Cultural Heritage in Hisban and Umm al-Jimal, Jordan,” featuring Øystein LaBianca, Elizabeth Osinga, and Darrell Rohl.

Philip Boyes writes about the social context of writing in ancient Ugarit. His similarly titled book is available as an open access pdf.

The Jerusalem Post investigates the origins of the menorah etched into the staircase of the Celsus Library in Ephesus.

The 6th-century Imperial Gate of the Hagia Sophia has been vandalized.

American archaeologist Stephen Miller devoted his entire professional life to uncovering the secrets of Nemea and reviving ancient Greece’s Nemean Games.”

A new exhibition at the Landesmuseum Mainz showcases Roman technology including sewer systems, underfloor heating, and weatherproof concrete.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Charles Savelle, Arne Halbakken, Paleojudaica

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Haaretz has an extended summary of an article by Shimon Gibson about the attraction of stone vessels to Jerusalemites in the Second Temple period.

Archaeologists found a rare bronze fork at Chorazin (Korazim).

“An expedition of scientists and artists, adventurers all, embarked on a four-day desert journey. Their goal: to retrace an ancient trade route that connected the Kingdom of Judah to the Kingdom of Edom” (Haaretz premium).

Joel Kramer is interviewed on Digging for Truth about his book, Where God Came Down: The Archaeological Evidence.

The Biblical Language Center, founded by Randall Buth, is offering live video classes this summer in biblical Hebrew and Koiné Greek.

Zoom lecture on April 27: “Tell es-Sultan, Ancient Jericho: Urban Diversity in Palestine,” by Prof. Lorenzo Nigro. Advance registration required.

Hybrid lecture at the Museum of the Bible on May 26: “Tel Shimron: New Research into a Biblical City,” by Daniel Master.

Now online: “Iconography on Hebrew Seals and Bullae Identifying Biblical Persons and the Apparent Paradox of Egyptian Solar Symbols,” by Benjamin Stanhope.

The Volunteer Guide for the Tel Burna Archaeological Project is now online, and they are still accepting applications.

Morris Proctor explains how to find all the relevant maps for a site using the Atlas feature in Logos Bible Software.

Bryan Windle gives a good survey of the possible locations of where Pilate sentenced Jesus to death and concludes with a very reasonable suggestion.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Charles Savelle, Arne Halbakken, Paleojudaica

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Renovations at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher have revealed a medieval high altar that once stood in the center of the church.

A Byzantine-era mosaic floor from a Christian basilica in Nahariya has been restored and will be opened to the public. The 500-square meter mosaic includes 87 surviving medallions, with illustrations of flora, fauna, and scenes from everyday life. A video in Hebrew is here. BibleWalks has more photos of the church and the surrounding area.

A family hiking in the Harovit forest in central Israel discovered a beautiful mosaic from the Byzantine period.

The recently vandalized tomb of Joseph in Nablus has been restored.

Two girls were rescued when they accidentally entered a minefield in Nahal Tamar south of the Dead Sea.

Jodi Magness takes Amanda Borschel-Dan on a walking tour of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.

The Museum of the Bible and DIVE (Digital Interactive Virtual Experiences) will be conducting a virtual tour of the Via Dolorosa on April 20 ($20).

The lead tablet found on Mount Ebal is the subject of discussion in the latest episode of the Biblical World podcast.

“After decades of laying beside the sacred lake at Luxor’s Karnak Temple, a team of Egyptian restorers and archaeologists succeeded in re-erecting the restored Hatshepsut’s obelisk.”

“German researchers have tracked down and documented hundreds of antiquities located in Berlin museums that were looted from the island of Samos, Greece.”

“Scientists have debated the reason why Bronze Age wall paintings at the ancient settlement of Akrotiri on the Greek island of Santorini depict monkeys that existed thousands of miles away in Asia.”

The Jerusalem Post has a short interview with a curator of the Museum of the Bible on the role of biblical archaeology.

Expedition Bible has launched a new YouTube channel. In the first video, Joel Kramer goes to Tell Deir Alla to discuss the Balaam inscription.

Roy Albag has created a number of reconstructions of sites in Israel, including the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the Herodian Quarter’s palatial mansion, Solomon’s temple, and Herod’s palace in Jerusalem.

New release: Jerusalem and the Coastal Plain in the Iron Age and Persian Periods: New Studies on Jerusalem’s Relations with the Southern Coastal Plain of Israel/Palestine (c. 1200–300 BCE). Research on Israel and Aram in Biblical Times IV. Edited by Felix Hagemeyer (Mohr Siebeck, 119 €).

A number of Eilat Mazar’s publications are for sale, including her excavation reports of various sites in Jerusalem.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Arne Halbakken, A.D. Riddle, Alexander Schick

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“Work has begun on the reconstruction of some of the 50 massive marble columns of the basilica in the Ashkelon National Park as part of an overall facelift for the park, and next week the fourth [7.5-ton] pillar will be put in place.”

A volunteer group has begun cleaning up the archaeological sites in Tiberias in hopes of having a national park established for the ongoing protection of the ruins.

On the Mount Ebal curse tablet, Aren Maeir offers some initial thoughts. At Haaretz, Nir Hasson provides a general overview along with some criticisms of the artifact and questions about how it was uncovered and exported. Shawn Zelig Aster weighs in on the inscription’s possible significance. James Davila observes that if the claims are accurate, the amulet would be the earliest inscribed metal amulet by a good five centuries, but he thinks it unlikely that the inscription is a defixio amulet from the Persian period or later.

Biblical Archaeology Review assistant editor Nathan Steinmeyer gives a short video tour atop the walls of Jerusalem (5 minutes, with no 2x option).

“Imagine learning the Bible not as a religious exercise, but as local history. In Israeli public schools, that’s the reality.”

New release: The Jewish Quarter Excavations in the Old City of Jerusalem: Conducted by Nahman Avigad 1969-1982: Vol. VIII: Architecture and Stratigraphy: The Palatial Mansion: Areas F-2, P and P-2. Edited by Hillel Geva.

Hillel Geva has retired from director of the Israel Exploration Society, and Rona Avissar Lewis is now in charge.

“Giants in Judges” is the subject in the most recent episode of the Biblical World podcast with Chris McKinny and Kyle Keimer.

HT: Agade, Arne Halbakken, Alexander Schick, Joseph Lauer

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A new genizah discovered in the Cairo Jewish cemetery last month has been emptied by employees of the Egyptian Antiquities Authority.

“A man plowing his farm in Turkey’s central Çorum province discovered a rare 3,300-year-old ancient bracelet from the Hittite era.”

The Jerusalem Post profiles “Trowelblazers,” a project that celebrates “women’s contributions in the ‘digging sciences’ of archaeology, geology and paleontology.”

The Tower of the Winds in Athens is the oldest meteorological station in the world.”

The Lycian Way is a 335-mile marked hiking trail in southwestern Turkey that passes by 25 historical sites, including Myra and Patara.

New release: Bible Lore and the Eternal Flame: A Numismatic, Historical, and Archaeological Trip through Biblical Times, by Kenneth Bressett; foreword by David Hendin.

New release from Eisenbrauns: The 2006 Season at Tall al-‘Umayri and Subsequent Studies, edited by Larry G. Herr, Douglas R. Clark, Lawrence T. Geraty, and Monique D.
Vincent. Save 30% with code NR22.

Zoom lecture on April 13: “Digging Homer: The Mycenaean Palace at Iklaina & Birth of Greek Epic Poetry,” by Michael Cosmopoulos ($7).

Bible Mapper has released a number of new maps:

Joseph Blenkinsopp died on March 26.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Arne Halbakken, Explorator

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Hi-tech residue analysis of 6th-century BCE jug sherds shows that ancient Jerusalem’s elite imported vanilla from southeast Asia to flavor their wine.”

“Plans are underway to move Megiddo prison in order to excavate the Israeli church with the earliest mosaic dedicated to Jesus.” (I double-checked the date of this story; it says 2022, though it could have run in 2012.)

Nadav Shragai explains why Turkey’s President Erdogan will not return the Siloam Inscription to Jerusalem.

Christopher Rollston identifies some problems with the announcement of the Mount Ebal curse inscription. (Since the original posting, he has added an addendum regarding the “altar.”) Luke Chandler also urges caution.

A shipwreck discovered near Ma’agan Michael on the northern coast of Israel provides a rare view into commerce in the land of Israel circa AD 700.

Ruth Schuster tells the story of the first modern explorers to discover that the Dead Sea is below sea level.

Israel 21c lists 10 amazing Jewish archaeological finds that were discovered by accident.

A trailer has been posted for Gesher Media’s new documentary series, “In Those Days.” “This series will explore the biblical, historical, cultural, and archaeological backgrounds of the story of the tabernacle and the Ark of the Covenant from Mount Sinai to the building of the First Temple.”

The Jerusalem Post reviews Raiders of the Hidden Ark, by Graham Addison. The book is an account of Montague Parker’s ill-fated expedition to Jerusalem.

This Week in the Ancient Near East podcast: “The early Iron Age site of Har Adir in the mountains of the Upper Galilee is back in the news. Was this an 11th century fortress of a local polity or a bird watching sanctuary?”

Leen Ritmeyer illustrates the transformation of Peter’s house in Capernaum into a house church.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Arne Halbakken, Explorator

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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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