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“Researchers in Saudi Arabia have discovered a sixth-century B.C.E. rock carving of the last Babylonian king, Nabonidus” along with a lengthy cuneiform inscription.

“Beneath the murky waves of the Venice Lagoon, researchers have discovered the remains of an ancient Roman road and other possible port facilities, like a dock, that may predate the founding of the Italian city.”

“A spectacular ancient mosaic floor that was part of a building from the Hellenistic period is among the important finds from excavations carried out recently at Fabrika Hill in Kato Paphos, Cyprus.” The photo is apparently not of the newly discovered mosaic.

NPR has a story on what lies below ground in Istanbul.

“Work has begun to refurbish the old Acropolis Museum near the iconic Parthenon temple and turn it into an exhibition space.”

“Held annually on [Turkey’s] Aegean coast, the Selcuk camel-wrestling festival is part of a nomadic legacy rooted in ancient Turkic tribes.”

“Between the years 193 – 235, the Roman Empire was ruled by a series of emperors who were originally Phoenicians.”

The new director of Michigan State University’s excavations at Isthmia has developed a new website to share both old and new research with the public. The website is here.

The US government has seized the Museum of the Bible’s Gilgamesh Tablet, declaring that it was illegally deported from Iraq.

Death by stoning is not so common these days, especially in the United States. But that’s how a gunman in Texas recently died.

Zoom lecture on August 29: “From Standing Stones to Sacred Emptiness: Textual and Visual Portrayals of Israel’s God,” by Theodore Lewis.

University College London and King’s College London are co-hosting an eLecture series in August, entitled Ancient Near Eastern Languages in Contact (ANELC). The first eLecture will take place on Wednesday 4 August from 16:00 until 17:00 BST (London), when Dr. Ohad Cohen of the University of Haifa will be speaking on “The Canaanite Melting Pot – The Theoretical Implications of ‘Languages in Contact’ to the Understanding of Late Biblical Hebrew.”

New release: The City of Babylon: A History, c. 2000 BC – AD 116, by Stephanie Dalley

HT: Agade, Arne Halbakken, Wayne Stiles, Joseph Lauer, Ted Weis, Explorator, Mark Hoffman, Roger Schmidgall, Paleojudaica

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Archaeologists believe that they have greater clarity about the roads in the southern Judean desert leading to Edom following the examination of a site near Nahal Gorer. The underlying journal article is available to PEQ subscribers.

Haaretz follows up on the Jerubaal inscription discovery with a report fashioned as a back-and-forth between David Vanderhooft and Christopher Rollston, with the former suggesting the inscription may have been Zerbaal or Ezerbaal, and the latter sticking with his original interpretation of Jerubaal.

Excavations are underway at el-Araj (Bethsaida?), and updates are posted daily on their website.

The 25th and final summer season of excavations at Tell es-Safi/Gath has concluded. They have had a remarkable run.

Haaretz surveys the debate between Erez Ben-Yosef and Israel Finkelstein on the effect of “architectural bias” in drawing conclusions about Israel’s United Monarchy.

Naama Yahalom-Mack writes about the history of iron in ancient Israel.

Naama Barak writes about the mystery of the 1,400 dog burials at Ashkelon during the Persian period.

Bryan Windle identifies the top three reports in biblical archaeology for the month of July.

Construction has begun on a new reception center at the traditional Shepherds’ Field site near Bethlehem.

A music historian plans to restore a 12th-century organ discovered beneath the Basilica of the Nativity in Bethlehem. The instrument is the oldest known example of a pipe organ.

Shea Sumlin is on the GTI podcast talking about what it was like to be one of the first tour groups to be back in Israel.

Joseph L. Rife reviews A Walk to Caesarea: A Historical-Archaeological Perspective, by Joseph Patrich.

2nd edition released: The Archaeology of Qumran and the Dead Sea Scrolls, by Jodi Magness.

One of the books on sale at Logos right now is the Zondervan Handbook of Biblical Archaeology, by Randall Price with H. Wayne House ($9).

John DeLancey’s new Institute of Biblical Israel is launching a new course on biblical archaeology tomorrow.

HT: Agade, Arne Halbakken, Wayne Stiles, Joseph Lauer, Ted Weis, Explorator, Mark Hoffman, Roger Schmidgall, Paleojudaica

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“Archeologists in Saudi Arabia have discovered the largest inscriptions in the Kingdom depicting the Babylonian King Nabonidus in the north-western city of Hail.”

Egypt has found remains of a military vessel from the Ptolemaic era at the ancient submerged port city of Thonis-Heracleio.

Treasures similar to those from King Tut’s tomb were allegedly found at a site recently discovered in southern Iraq.

“Turkey’s Izmir Archaeology Museum recently launched a new, unique exhibition centered around the historical artifact known as a ‘strigil,’ which 2,300 years ago was a tool used for cleansing the body by scraping off dirt, perspiration and oil.”

Lee Lawrence provides a well-illustrated introduction to the “meticulous, miniature world of Mesopotamian cylinder seals.”

Robert Deutsch is the guest this week on The Book and the Spade, discussing seals, seal impressions, and wet sifting.

Stephanie Lynn Budin takes issue with recent studies that assume that nude terracotta figurines are all related to fertility and childbirth.

New release: Egg Whites or Turnips? Archaeology and Bible Translation, by Paul J. N. Lawrence. The book has endorsements from Alan Millard and James Hoffmeier.

The Bible Mapper Blog has posted some new maps, with downloadable high-res versions:

HT: Agade, Charles Savelle, Ted Weis, Arne Halbakken, Joseph Lauer

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Two discoveries were announced this week that will both likely make the “top 10” list for 2021: a Jerubbaal inscription and a city wall of Jerusalem. Those will summarized at greater length here tomorrow and Monday.

Archaeologists have discovered remains of an uneaten pig in a house in the City of David dating to about 700 BC. The underlying journal article is here.

Two coins from the First and Second Jewish Revolts were discovered in an archaeological survey in eastern Benjamin. The survey report was published in the Near East Archaeological Society Bulletin.

Week 2 has concluded at the Tell es-Safi/Gath excavations, and Aren Maeir is faithful as always to post updates and photos. The most recent is here.

Eve Harow interviewed Aren Maeir on the Rejuvenation podcast.

Gordon Govier reviews the discoveries and developments in biblical archaeology this summer on The Book and the Spade podcast.

Once again, Bryan Windle has a post that you could adapt for a lecture or lesson, with his Top 10 Discoveries Related to Abraham.

“In ‘Legend of Destruction,’ Gidi Dar’s new film about the destruction of the Second Temple, artists David Polonsky and Michael Faust faced a serious challenge: make an animation movie composed entirely of still paintings. It took them eight years to complete” (Haaretz premium).

Glenn Schwartz believes that “the world’s first fully developed alphabetic writing arrived on the scene some 500 years earlier than what archaeologists have long believed.” Christopher Rollston offers his reflections.

New release: Ramat Raḥel VI: The Renewed Excavations by the Tel Aviv–Heidelberg Expedition (2005–2010). The Babylonian-Persian Pit, by Oded Lipschits, Liora Freud, Manfred Oeming, and Yuval Gadot. Save 30% with code NR21.

Excavation of the second Khufu Boat has concluded, and final restoration work is now being done at the Grand Egyptian Museum.

David Ian Lightbody writes about the origin of the cartouche in Old Kingdom Egypt.

Italian authorities have recovered 782 ancient artifacts stolen by a Belgian art collector.

“The Colosseum Archaeological Park reopens the House of the Vestal Virgins to the public fully on 6 July following an extensive restoration that began in 2013.”

The Museum with No Frontiers has launched a new website.

Here are some recent episodes on Digging for Truth:

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Ted Weis, Arne Halbakken, Steven Anderson, Charles Savelle, Roger Schmidgall, Explorator

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“Scientists have reconstructed the Eastern Mediterranean silver trade, over a period including the traditional dates of the Trojan War, the founding of Rome, and the destruction of Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem.”

A survey has located 11 new hills around Gobeklitepe, and a major study will be released in September. Tourism officials are referring to the area as “12 hills” and the “pyramids of southeast Turkey.”

An excavation of an underground complex in the Western Wall Tunnels is a candidate for an international award.

“For the first time, a large, commercial flour mill has joined scientists and other experts to revive the lost varieties of wheat of the Land of Israel.”

The oldest living olive tree is 3,000 years old and located on the island of Crete.

Carl Rasmussen explains, with photos, how the Lycian League was a model for the United States.

The first issue of the Jerusalem Journal of Archaeology is a special issue on “State Formation Processes in the 10th Century BCE Levant”, edited by A. Faust, Y. Garfinkel and M. Mumcuoglu. All 16 articles may be downloaded for free.

The SBL website has an updated list of works in their ANE Monographs series, all available for purchase or free download.

New release: The Archaeology of Daily Life: Ordinary Persons in Late Second Temple Israel, by David A. Fiensy

Cyndi Parker’s course on historical geography is now available on BiblicalTraining (free with registration).

Danya Belkin writes about 11 adventures in Israel, including rappelling, parasailing, wakeboarding, snorkeling, and camel riding.

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

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Notice to email subscribers: our previous service (feedburner) is shutting down, and we have migrated all existing subscribers to the follow.it service. You do not need to do anything to continue your subscription, but if you wish to modify it or take advantage of some new features, you now have more options.

A BBC Travel special reveals the scientific explanation to the deadly gases of the Ploutonion at Hierapolis. The story includes beautiful photos.

Excavations are underway at Claros, site of an ancient oracle in western Turkey.

After several years of restoration, the warren of corridors beneath the Colosseum floor has been opened to the public.

My Modern Met tells the story of a massive scale model of Rome that took about 35 years to build. Unfortunately, the Museum of Roman Civilization where it is housed has been closed for many years.

Caroline Wazer summarizes a recent study about slave collars in ancient Rome.

Brent Nongbri has written a guide to bookshops in Rome in the first century.

Greece has announced plans for five new or upgraded museums in Chios, Trikala, Sparta, Thyrreio and Ermioni.

A registry of all archaeological sites in Greece is now available online.

“Russia has begun a project to rehabilitate Syria’s ancient city of Palmyra in its latest efforts to gain a foothold in the country’s vital sectors.”

A CNN video documents the restoration of antiquities destroyed in the Beirut port blast.

“Egyptian police on Thursday arrested a former lawmaker and 17 other suspects on charges of illegal excavation and smuggling of 201 Pharaonic, Greek and Roman artifacts.”

Two people died while illegally excavating near the Giza pyramids.

Episode 1 of Ancient Lives on the Nile premieres on YouTube on July 9 at 5:00 pm Eastern.

Michele Cammarosano and Katja Weirauch explain the value and use of wax boards in the ancient Near East.

“The Painters of Pompeii” is an exhibit of 80 artifacts and artworks shown exclusively by the Oklahoma City Museum of Art from June 26 to October 17.

I found Bryan Windle’s interview of Mark Wilson to be very interesting and helpful.

HT: Agade, Ted Weis, Joseph Lauer, Arne Halbakken, Ferrell Jenkins, Gordon Franz, Charles Savelle, Alexander Schick, Explorator, Paleojudaica, Chris McKinny

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