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“Egyptian archaeologists have discovered five ancient painted tombs at a cemetery in Saqqara.”

John Currid explains the significance of the Dead Sea Scrolls 75 years after their discovery.

“In a sweeping global police operation targeting illegal trafficking in cultural objects earlier this month, INTERPOL arrested 52 people and seized 9,408 cultural artifacts from around the world including archaeological antiquities.”

“The Bible Seminary in Katy, Texas, is hosting an exhibit of over 170 artifacts from Israel at their exhibit titled ‘Joshua, Judges and Jesus.’”

A PhD archaeology student offers insights into pursuing a doctorate in the field.

There apparently were a few female gladiators in ancient Rome.

In a livestream event this week, Jack Green presented on “Archaeology, Community and Public Health in Palestine: Insights from the Olga Tufnell Archive.”

Webinar on April 3: “Back to the Field: Recent Discoveries & Summer Plans 2022,” with Lorenzo d’Alfonso, Kathryn Grossman, and James R. Strange.

“The Mesorah Heritage Foundation is celebrating the completion of the Schottenstein Edition of the Talmud Yerushalmi in English, a truly historic accomplishment in the Jewish world.” The release is accompanied by a 20-minute video, “The World of Talmud Yerushalmi.”

The Infusion Bible Conference has released a press kit to make it easy to share details about the conference with churches.

On the History in 3D YouTube channel: “Virtual Ancient Rome: Walking from the Colosseum to the Forum.”

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Arne Halbakken, G. M. Grena, Explorator

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Erez Ben-Yosef’s re-evaluation of the copper mines at Timna has significant consequences for the archaeological evidence for David and Solomon’s era, and David Spoede provides a useful introduction to his discoveries.

Ruth Schuster writes about the history of the date palm tree in the land of Israel.

Bible Archaeology Report: “This month’s news items include three finds related to names that were considered divine in the ancient world: Baal, Horus, and YHWH.”

Ferrell Jenkins shares a recent photo of Mount Hermon after a snowfall.

New release from Eisenbrauns: Megiddo VI: The 2010–2014 Seasons. 1,924 pages, 867 illustrations, $210 (with discount code NR22).

Jerusalem University College is offering three courses in its Online Summer Institute:

  • Egypt and the Old Testament, with Mark Janzen
  • Geographical Lenses on Ezekiel, with Elaine and Perry Phillips
  • The Jewish Context of Jesus and the New Testament, with Oliver Hersey and Joel Willitts

Logos has the Lexham Geographic Commentary digital set on sale for 55% off (2 volumes released; 4 forthcoming).

A tiny Hebrew curse inscription on a folded lead tablet was discovered in 2019 during the wet-sifting of material in the excavation dump on Mount Ebal. The text is written in paleo-Hebrew script, allegedly dating to the 12th century BC or earlier. The hour-long press conference can be watched here. Earlier reports of this discovery are noted here. A journal article is being written and will be published later this year. I will be curious to see how they argue that this was not a Hellenistic-era amulet written in old script; its discovery alongside Late Bronze and Iron Age pottery in a dump is not conclusive, especially at a site likely frequented by pilgrims. I continue to believe that the most sensational announcements require the most rigorous scrutiny, and the public is not well-served by claims not supported by scholarly publication.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Arne Halbakken, G. M. Grena, Explorator

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“An archaeological study of the floor under the Church of the Holy Sepulchre will be possible for the first time, after a two-year undertaking to repair and restore its pavement stones got underway in an inaugural ceremony on Monday.”

Turkish officials deny the report that Turkey will be returning the Siloam Inscription to Israel. The Jerusalem Post explains the history of this significant artifact.

The discovery of a thousand charred linseed at Tel Burna (Libnah?) has led to the suggestion that the economy of the Shephelah greatly changed after Sennacherib’s invasion.

A carved stele from the 4th millennium was lost in the storage area of the Israel Museum, but now after five years of restoration, it has been put on display for the first time.

Leen Ritmeyer’s post on Capernaum includes a number of beautiful reconstruction drawings.

Ferrell Jenkins is back in Israel and shares a photo of a sunrise over the Sea of Galilee.

A rare March snowfall blanketed Jerusalem and parts of Israel in white this week.

Andrew Lawler’s article for Scientific American on the history of excavations in Jerusalem would have convinced me not to read his book. (I did read it, and it’s much better than some of the revised history he presents here.)

A recent study concluded that “Evangelical Christian travelers would prefer to visit Israel on a trip led by a well-known Christian leader or Bible teacher.”

Video from the 2022 Azekah Conference is now online. You can listen to all seven talks in 1.5 hours.

New release: Excavating the Evidence for Jesus: The Archaeology of Christ and the Gospels, by Titus Kennedy (Harvest House, $25)

On sale at Faithlife: 30 Days in the Land with Jesus: A Holy Land Devotional, by Charles H. Dyer ($5.99).

I am back for part two of “The Babylonian Destruction of Jerusalem” on Digging for Truth (25 min). In this episode I talk about the extensive evidence of the 586 BC destruction, including numerous discoveries in the last five years.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, G. M. Grena, Explorator

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A rare Phoenician sarcophagus dating to 600 BC was discovered on the outskirts of Rabat, Malta.

The “perfectly preserved” Ses Fontanelles wreck, discovered recently off the coast of Mallorca, is now giving “priceless insights into the Mediterranean of the fourth century AD and the crew’s daily lives.”

Egyptian archaeologists have discovered five water wells from the 13th century BC believed to have been part of the Horus Military Road.

The Iraq Museum in Baghdad has officially re-opened.

Rulers of the great kingdoms of the ANE in the Late Bronze period rarely met each other, for a variety of reasons, explains Mohy-Eldin E. Abo-Eleaz.

Turkish Archaeological News has a roundup of stories from the month of February.

“Artificial intelligence could bring to life lost texts, from imperial decrees to the poems of Sappho, researchers have revealed, after developing a system that can fill in the gaps in ancient Greek inscriptions and pinpoint when and where they are from.”

ARIADNE is a research infrastructure for archaeology… to support research, learning and teaching by enabling access to digital resources and innovative new services…by maintaining a catalogue of digital datasets, by promoting best practices in the management and use of digital data in archaeology, by offering training and advice, and by supporting the development of innovative new services for archaeology.”

Martha Sharp Joukowsky, excavator of the Great Temple in Petra, died in January.

Ghazi Bisheh, excavator of many sites in Jordan, died in January.

Carl Rasmussen has written a third part and a final part to his series on where the treasures of the Jerusalem temple went after AD 70.

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

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An Israeli official claims that Turkey has agreed to return the Siloam Inscription to Israel. This inscription was discovered and removed from Hezekiah’s Tunnel in the 1880s. Those who know the history here will believe it when they see it.

“Three 1,500-year-old ‘magic’ incantation bowls and hundreds of other rare artifacts — some dating to the biblical period — were seized from an apartment in an ultra-Orthodox Jerusalem neighborhood under suspicion of illegal antiquities trade.”

Lawrence Schiffman suggests that Manetho’s records give evidence that the Israelite exodus was preserved in Egypt’s historical memory.

A new book in German gives the history of the Gihon/Siloam water system. The publisher’s website has a nice summary in English.

The Huqoq excavations were recently featured in National Geographic’s “100 Wonders of the World.”

I’m not quite sure why the Jerusalem Post published this short piece on Magdala.

A new documentary entitled “The Samaritans: A Biblical People,” by Moshe Alafi and Steven Fine, will be presented on March 27 at the Yeshiva University Museum. It will presumably be made more broadly available sometime after.

Save the date – May 18: “The First International Academic Conference  on New Studies in Temple Mount Research Hosted by The Menachem Begin Heritage Center, Jerusalem. Lectures will be in Hebrew or English, and the conference will be broadcast live. I don’t see details online yet (but see this), but speakers include Aharon Tavger, Tehilla Lieberman, David Gurevich, Avraham Solomon, Rina Avner, Peretz Reuven, Yuval Baruch, Dror Czitron, Joseph Patrich, David Jacobson, Nikos Kokkinos, Zachi Dvira, Gabriel Barkay, and others.

Logos has announced a number of solid Carta reference works available at pre-publication discount, including:

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

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A cache of embalming materials was discovered in a tomb in Abusir dating to the 26th Dynasty.

A number of museums in Egypt are planned to open or re-open in 2022.

Marissa Stevens looks at structural similarities between two civilizations that had no contact with each other: Egypt’s New Kingdom and China’s Han Dynasty.

An Elamite inscription attributed to Xerxes has been discovered at Persepolis.

Tom Garlinghouse has written a primer on the ancient Persians.

More looting of Palmyra has occurred in recent days.

“The Jordanian Antiquities Ministry and the US Embassy in Jordan held a ceremony in Jordan’s capital, Amman, on Tuesday showcasing the objects that were ‘illegally smuggled from Jordan and obtained by an antiquities collector in the United States.’”

A shipwreck originating from the Greek island of Rhodes, dating back to the third century AD, was found in the depths of the Gulf of Fethiye.”

Carl Rasmussen shares photos of Vespasian’s Temple of Peace, where Josephus says he placed the golden vessels from the Jerusalem temple.

Tzilla Eshel suggests that there may have been multiple places named Tarshish in biblical times, on the basis of Phoenician inscriptions and the chemical fingerprint of silver.

The Database of Religious History “is intended as a platform for unprecedented academic collaboration, reflecting a commitment to rigorous, scholarly standards and a deep appreciation for interdisciplinary work in the sciences and humanities.” It is free and no registration is required.

ASOR webinar on March 8: “Where Are They Now?: A Preview of 2022 ASOR-Affiliated Fieldwork Projects,” with Michael Given, Xenia-Paula Kyriakou, Stephen Batiuk, Monique Roddy, Kent Bramlett, Friedbert Ninow, and Michael Hoff.

Online lecture on March 9: “How Did Roman Painters Create Frescoes?,” by John Clarke

ASOR webinar on March 20: “Uncovering What is Nubian Beneath the Veneer of Egyptianness: Excavating the Archives,” by Debora Heard.

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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