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Scholars are trying to understand four clay tokens discovered near the Temple Mount and unlike any known elsewhere in the Roman world.

The Hamas War has resulted in damage to many archaeological sites in Gaza, though some treasures have been protected in Switzerland for years.

“Nahal HaShofet, one of central Israel’s most popular outdoor destinations, reopened this week after extensive renovations costing 25 million shekels.”

A new project at Hazor is seeking to understand the transition from the Late Bronze Age to the Early Iron Age based on archaeological discoveries and biblical texts.

After Roman-era mosaics was discovered at Moza (Emmaus/Colonia) near Jerusalem and then removed by the authorities, nearby residents came together to create a replica of one of them to place in the center of their community.

On April 21, 1:00 pm Eastern, “The Megiddo Expedition invites you to a webinar: Megiddo: News from the Iron Age. In this webinar, the Megiddo Expedition Team Members will update you on the latest news from the Iron Age, including the Iron Age Gates, the search for the Iron Age Administrative Building, the time of Josiah, and our secret plans for the 2025 Season.” Register here; a recording will be available here.

The subject of the latest issue of ‘Atiqot is “Wine Production, Trade and Consumption in the Southern Levant.” All articles are posted online.

Available for pre-order: Capernaum: Jews and Christians in the Ancient Village from the Time of Jesus to the Emergence of Islam, by Wally V. Cirafesi (Fortress; Amazon $45; Logos $25).

Edward Lipiński, scholar of Aramaic and Phoenician studies, died last week.

Andy Cook has been in Jerusalem, and he filmed a video of the important excavations on the south side of the Temple Mount.

HT: Agade, Ted Weis, Arne Halbakken, Gordon Dickson, Gordon Franz

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Some newly discovered frescoes inspired by the Trojan War are among the finest ever to have been found at Pompeii.

Archaeologists working on the Greek island of Aegina have discovered a Mycenean building from the time of the kingdom’s decline.

Cats were known and domesticated in ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome, but are absent from the Bible and Second Temple literature. The Persians despised cats, but the Talmud tolerates them.”

For the occasion of last week’s solar eclipse, Carl Rasmussen brings back an explanation of how “the solar eclipse of June 15, 763 B.C. holds the key to the chronology of the Old Testament.”

Logos has some archaeology books available for pre-order:

Ferrell Jenkins shares a photo of three milestones taken at the Museum of Mediterranean Archaeology at the Gan Hashlosha (Sachne) park.

John DeLancey has released a bonus session in his Life of Christ in Context series focused on “Jesus in Jerusalem.” His talk includes many photos and illustrations.

HT: Agade, Arne Halbakken, Gordon Franz, Ted Weis

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Andy Cook was at the Pool of Siloam this week and he recorded a video showing the site now with the news that they have apparently discovered the eastern wall of the pool.

Sifting at the Pool of Siloam excavation revealed a gaming die dating from the 13th century AD.

The find of the month (from before the war began) at the Temple Mount Sifting Project is a piece of a Byzantine stone chancel screen. What was that doing on the Temple Mount?

“Israeli archaeologists have reconstructed a 6,000-year-old vessel made of elephant ivory, which had been shattered in antiquity and preserved inside a basalt stone container for millennia.”

Bible History Daily gives a summary of an article in the latest issue of BAR on a wealthy Iron Age house discovered in Jerusalem with hundreds of ivory fragments.

The latest issue of Jerusalem in Brief reports on a tomb from the time of Judah’s monarchy that was discovered near the center of the Old City. “This is the only undisputed Iron Age II tomb that has been revealed within the confines of the Old City.”

Israeli university students are using AI to read corrupted inscriptions in Hebrew and Aramaic.

“A rare six-legged mountain gazelle has been spotted in Israel. The male gazelle has an extra pair of legs growing from its back, but wildlife experts say it seems to be managing fine with the extra appendages.”

Bible Land Passages has just released a docuseries entitled “The Temple: Then and Now.” The five episodes feature on-location footage, beautiful drone imagery, and brand-new reconstructions. Each episode is 10-15 minutes long, and you can read a description for each and view them all at the Bible Land Passages website.

A new student academic journal that I oversee was published this week. The topics are mostly related to Isaiah, not biblical archaeology, but if that’s an interest, you can take a look. I’m very impressed with their work.

HT: Agade, Arne Halbakken, Gordon Franz, Ted Weis

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Archaeologists excavating at Philippi discovered a rare head of Apollo dating to about AD 200.

One of the oldest known codices in existence will be auctioned off in June. The Crosby-Schoyen Codex includes what may be the earliest known texts of 1 Peter and Jonah.

Elizabeth Knott explains how the Yale Babylonian Collection Seal Digitization Project used the latest photographic methods to document more than 14,000 seals and seal impressions. The Yale website has more details.

“Since 2002, more than a hundred ‘new’ Dead Sea Scroll fragments have appeared on the antiquities market. Most of these fragments are tiny and deteriorated and have later been revealed as modern forgeries. Nonetheless, they have been big business. In this database, we have catalogued all of them, providing information about their content, owners, alleged provenance, their place in the biblical corpus, size, and publication history.”

Morteza Arabzadeh Sarbanani explores the question of how Cyrus the Great really died. The article includes several beautiful photographs.

“How to Get a Good Night’s Sleep in Antiquity” is the latest episode on This Week in the Ancient Near East.

Next Stop Italy is hosting a virtual walking tour of the hidden treasures of Roman Assisi.

Phillip J. Long reviews the Lexham Geographical Commentary on the Pentateuch, edited by Barry Beitzel. The review includes a list of the 47 chapter titles and authors. He concludes that “these essays go beyond simple identifications of major locations, often dealing with the fine details of the text and larger biblical-theological questions. This volume will be a welcome addition to the library of any Old Testament student, whether professional or layperson.”

HT: Agade, Arne Halbakken, Gordon Franz

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“An archaeological site in the Jordan Valley that experts at the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) call a ‘prehistoric Garden of Eden’ was dedicated and opened to the public on Thursday.”

Israel has declared 42 acres surrounding the Herodium to be “state land.”

An unknown Hebrew letter was discovered in a Dead Sea Scroll, according to an announcement of the Academy of the Hebrew Language on April 1.

Abigail Leavitt describes her experience at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher on Easter morning.

Biblical Backgrounds has posted James Monson’s “The Way of the Cross” handout, used in teaching the Passion Weekend in Jerusalem forty years ago.

The top three reports in biblical archaeology in the month of April are a statue of Rameses II, discoveries at a temple at Azekah, and a Phoenician gold pendant found in Jerusalem.

The Times of Israel interviews Martin Goodman about his new book, Herod the Great: Jewish King in a Roman World.

The Spring 2024 issue of Biblical Archaeology Review includes articles on the Jerusalem Ivories, Azekah’s Canaanite temple, a wealthy residence in Jerusalem in the Iron Age, and the possible tomb of one of Jesus’s disciples.

“The twisting turning tales of Jerusalem, particularly of the environs of Agron Street, make for intriguing, compelling, and entertaining listening and viewing.”

Israeli tour guide Shmuel Browns talks about what he has been doing since the Hamas war largely shut down tourism in Israel.

Zoom lecture on April 17: “Searching for Solomon’s City: Recent Excavations at Tel Gezer,” by Steven Ortiz

New release: Kinneret II: Results of the Excavations at Tell el-ʽOrēme, 1994–2008 / Vol. 1: The Bronze Age, Iron Age II, Post-Iron Age Periods, and Other Studies, edited by Wolfgang Zwickel and Juha Pakkala (Ägypten und Altes Testament 120; Zaphon; 160 €)

I will be speaking this Wednesday in Jerusalem University College’s Culture Counts online lecture series on the topic of “The Psalms of David and Solomon.” This is one of my favorite subjects, and I’ll share some of my discoveries both from historical background as well as from the canonical arrangement of the Psalms. The lecture begins at 12:00 Eastern Time and will be followed by a Q&A. Registration is free and includes access to a recording of the lecture.

HT: Agade, Arne Halbakken, Gordon Franz

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“In a ceremonial nod to Purim, the Israel Antiquities Authority has disclosed to the public a ceramic jar fragment bearing a human face and dating back to the Persian period (4th-5th centuries BCE) that was discovered in 2019” in Jerusalem.

A high school student found an oil lamp at Mezad Tzafir that is nearly identical to one discovered by Nelson Glueck ninety years ago at the same location.

Archaeologists discovered a mastaba in an Old Kingdom necropolis at Dahshur.

“Archaeologists in Pompeii have unearthed an ancient building site that sheds light on construction techniques used by the Romans to make iconic structures such as the Colosseum and the Pantheon.”

“The only surviving funerary relief of the ancient Greek world depicting twin babies in the same arms was unveiled at the National Archaeological Museum of Athens and will be exhibited only for a few weeks.”

The British Museum went to court Tuesday against a former curator alleged to have stolen hundreds of artifacts from its collections and offered them for sale online.”

Kazuyuki Hayashi, a professor at Bethel Seminary, has been a supervisor at the Tel Shimron excavation since 2017.

Juan Tebes has been studying pilgrimage routes in the Levant and Hijaz.

Conflicting Jewish traditions place the tomb of Esther and Mordecai in Iran and Israel.

David Moster cut open an old pair of tefillin (phylacteries) to see what Scriptures are inside.

David Hendin, an expert in biblical coins, was interviewed on the Ancient Coin Hour.

Thomas Levy has been honored with a two-volume festschrift featuring research by more than 140 friends and colleagues. (It is a bit pricey, but chapters are available individually.)

The latest issue of Israel Museum Studies in Archaeology is online. One of the articles presents three architectural models from the museum’s collection.

Available for pre-order on Logos: Pondering the Spade: Discussing Important Convergences between Archaeology and Old Testament Studies, by David B. Schreiner

Webinar on April 4: “How did the dead die in Ancient Judah? Death as a social process in Iron Age tombs,” by Matthew Suriano

Webinar on April 18: “Amorites, Their Origins, and Their Legacy,” by Aaron Burke

Sara Japhet, longtime professor at Hebrew University, died this week.

“‘Art of Intimidation: Journey to Ancient Assyria’ is the Harvard Museum of the Ancient Near East augmented-reality Snapchat lens that brings to life the large casts of sculpted panels from the famed royal palaces of ancient Nineveh and Nimrud.” A video shows how it works.

For the Purim holiday, The Times of Israel profiles a 78-year-old baker who runs the last-of-its-kind Iraqi pastry shop in Israel.

A video of colorized footage from around the world in 1896 includes Jerusalem’s Jaffa Gate, Church of the Holy Sepulcher, West Jerusalem, and train station (start at 2:38).

Leen Ritmeyer explains how the tomb of Jesus was sealed.

Bible Archaeology Report proposes the top ten finds related to the death and resurrection of Jesus.

HT: Agade, Paul Mitchell, Arne Halbakken, Paleojudaica

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