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A tourist found an intact clay pot in Qumran Cave 53.

Steven Notley not only wants to convince you that Bethsaida was located at el-Araj but also that Peter’s house was there and not under an octagonal church in Capernaum.

Chris McKinny and Mary Buck discuss the discovery and significance of the Lachish Letters on the Biblical World podcast.

Online Colloquium on March 10: A Brief History of Tel Azekah: Towards the Tenth Excavation Season at the Site. Register at the excavation’s official website. Since a list of topics doesn’t seem to be online, I am including them here:

  • Opening Remarks, Oded Lipschits
  • The Shephelah in the 2nd Millennium BCE: A View from Tel Azekah, by Sabine Kleiman, Helena Roth & Oded Lipschits
  • The History of Azekah in the Light of the Coin Findings, by Manfred Oeming
  • Trouble Brewing from the North: Excavations in Area N1, by Josef Briffa
  • The House of the Rising Sun: the LB Temple of Area E3, by Nitsan Shalom & Hannah Ripps
  • When the Breeze Blows South: Life and Death in Area S1, by Alexandra Wrathall
  • Facing Azekah: The Entrance to the Tel from Area S3, by Helena Roth
  • Wild Wild West: Excavating the Unknown in Area W1, by Abra Spiciarich & Maddison Quail-Gates

ASOR’s Annual March Madness Challenge this year is to support The Levantine Ceramics Project—an open, interactive website focused on ceramics produced in the Levant from the Neolithic era through the Ottoman period.

Hybrid workshop on March 10: “Legacy Collections, White Levy, and the Case of Tel Yaqush,” by Yorke M. Rowan.

Enrollment in academic programs related to the land of Israel has dropped significantly in the last decade.

I am a guest again on Digging for Truth, this time discussing the Babylonian destruction of Jerusalem. In this first of two parts, our focus is on the situation in Judah’s final days, including the eyewitness testimony provided by the Lachish Letters.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Arne Halbakken, Explorator

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A Neolithic shrine has been discovered in Jordan’s eastern desert.

Remains from Alexander the Great’s siege of Gaza have been discovered in a cemetery.

Archaeologists have found remains from the Roman period, including catacombs, in Elazıg in eastern Turkey.

A pair of “exceptional” mosaics from the Roman period have been discovered in London.

One of the iron daggers in King Tut’s tomb apparently came from a meteor that landed in Syria.

Smithsonian magazine runs a feature story on the excavations at Troy.

Bible History Daily has a brief interview with Monique Roddy as she prepares for this summer’s excavations at Khirbat al-Balu‘a.

Chris McKinny and Kyle Keimer discuss the proposal that locates Sodom at Tall al-Hammam in the latest episode of the Biblical World podcast.

On the Thin End of the Wedge, Farouk al-Rawi reflects on his life as an archaeologist in Iraq.

Kasia Szpakowska writes about our knowledge of dreams in ancient Egypt.

The Mycenaean Atlas Project has added the complete Pleiades dataset, the harbor dataset from Arthur de Graauw, and the Topostext dataset from Brady Kiesling.

Carl Rasmussen thinks it is quite possible that Paul was sentenced to death in the Julia Basilica in Rome.

The latest issue of Biblical Archaeology Review includes articles on the origin of the Philistines, Herod’s palace at Caesarea Philippi, and finding the Red Sea.

Bryan Windle identifies the top three reports in biblical archaeology this month.

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

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A marble column from a Byzantine church was discovered by a beach patrol near Ashdod.

Tel Jarmuth (Yarmuth) is now surrounded by the fast-growing city of Beit Shemesh. The relationship between the community and the archaeologists may serve as a model for others.

A plan to expand the Jerusalem Walls National Park to include 68 additional acres, many on the Mount of Olives, has been shelved following opposition from church leaders.

The Times of Israel provides an overview of the $40 million renewal project of Jerusalem’s Tower of David Museum, slated to be finished by the end of this year.

Andrew Califf provides a fascinating look into “a day in the life of an antiquities crime-buster in Israel.”

i24News reports on lions in the Holy Land, including comments from Natan Slifkin, director of the Biblical Museum of National History.

Susan Schmidt has released a new video on “Hiking to the 11 Qumran Dead Sea Scroll Caves and Scrolls Trail.” This 6-minute tour not only introduces the new trail but it identifies where each of the 11 caves are located.

Ynet has an article about the new Dead Sea Scrolls Trail. The article is in Hebrew, but Google’s translation is pretty good.

Hybrid lecture on March 3 in Jerusalem: “The Foundation Date and Northern Defenses of Aelia Capitolina,” by Jodi Magness.

Zoom lecture on March 9: “Architectural Development of Ancient Galilean Synagogues,” by Paul Flesher.

Leen Ritmeyer has created a beautiful reconstruction drawing of the Magdala synagogue. His post provides more details about the synagogue, and a non-watermarked version of the reconstruction is available in his impressive image library.

Bible History Daily provides a summary of three pilgrimage paths from Galilee to Jerusalem, based on a recent BAR article by Jeffrey P. Garcia.

Oded Lipschits has been awarded the 2022 EMET Prize in Archaeology.

Israel is dropping its requirement for tourists to be vaccinated as of March 1.

How can photos, drone videos, and illustrations help you and your audience better understand the Bible? Brad Gray provides a valuable guide to a number of available resources and how they can be used (17 min).

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

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Artifacts discovered in the harbor of Caesarea provide evidence of Late Bronze trade relations between Cyprus and Sardinia. The underlying journal article is here.

The Met Museum in NYC will spend $40 million to renovate its ancient Near East and Cypriote galleries.

The Grand Egyptian Museum is inching closer to being complete.

Writing for The New Yorker, Casey Cep explains why we find such a minor pharaoh as King Tut so fascinating.

An archaeologist is using deep learning to develop a search engine for precise searches of archaeological records.

Johannes Hackl attempts to explain when Akkadian ceased as a language used by native speakers and when cuneiform writing came to an end.

Cheryl Kolander, a professional natural dyer, writes briefly about her research on Tyrian purple dye.

A mass grave of Crusaders in Sidon is the topic of This Week in the Ancient Near East podcast.

Members of the Historical Faith Society can view several recent videos with Alexander Schick, including:

  • The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Birth of Modern Israel
  • The Dead Sea Scrolls: Affirming the Word of God
  • Do the Dead Sea Scrolls Prove There was Only One Isaiah?

There will also be a free, live event with Alexander Schick and Timothy Mahoney talking about the history of the Bible and the Dead Sea Scrolls on Sun., Feb 27, at 4:00 pm US Eastern.

Sketchfab has a variety of 3D models available for viewing, including:

The John Henry Iliffe Collection of nearly 800 photographs is now available online. Iliffe’s career included being the Keeper of the Palestine Archaeological Museum (now the Rockefeller) in Jerusalem. Iliffe was also the author of A Short Guide to the Exhibition Illustrating the Stone and Bronze Ages in Palestine, published the year before the museum opened, available here in pdf format.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Alexander Schick, Explorator, Keith Keyser

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The Jerusalem Post has more about recent excavations that exposed part of Jerusalem’s Old City wall without a foundation but instead relied upon a “wonder of engineering”—a carefully calculated amount of earth packed against the base of the wall.

A new study of a fortress in Upper Galilee identifies it as the center of a local chiefdom in approximately 1100 BC. The underlying journal article may be purchased here.

A Crusader-era castle in northern Israel is being transformed into a mini-hotel.

With the Dead Sea level dropping more than 3 feet each year, the Israeli government is considering setting a level below which it may not fall.

“A soon-to-be-released docu-series will present a rare and researched look at one of the most perplexing Biblical topics: Nephilim (giants).”

Now online: Coin Deposits in Ancient Synagogues in Late Antique Palestine: A Digital Dissertation Project, by Tine Rassalle

“The Seventeenth International Orion Symposium, ‘(Con)textualPerspectives on the Dead Sea Scrolls,’ will take place from February 28 to March 3, 2022, online.”

National Geographic has released a special issue on The Dead Sea Scrolls: 75 Years Since Their Historic Discovery. Amazon’s “look-inside” feature has the table of contents and some photos, including one they printed upside-down.

Harry Moskoff believes that there are temple treasures hidden in the Vatican, and he tells stories of various people who allegedly saw them.

Kyle Keimer and Chris McKinny interview Andrew Lawler in the latest episode of the Biblical World podcast.

I am back for part 2 of “Esther in Susa” on Digging for Truth. In this episode we focus on discoveries related to the Bible in King Xerxes’s palace.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Alexander Schick, Explorator, Keith Keyser

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“More than 18,000 inscribed pottery ‘notepads’ are uncovered in the long-lost Egyptian city of Athribis, including shopping lists and lines written by students as a punishment”

The Khufu Boat Museum has been demolished, now allowing an unobstructed view of the Great Pyramid of Giza.

Joyce Tyldesley gives a fascinating account of the discovery of the famous Nefertiti bust, how it ended up in Germany, and why it has never been returned to Egypt.

Timed with Friday’s release of the movie, Smithsonian Magazine has an interesting story about how Agatha Christie’s love of archaeology influenced Death on the Nile.

Turkish Archaeological News reviews the discoveries made in Turkey in the month of January.

“A Tunisian history enthusiast is making dye from sea snail shells inspired by a school project decades ago on ancient Carthage and the purple coloring that brought fabulous wealth to the classical world.”

“Archaeologists in southern Italy announced last week that they unearthed two helmets, fragments of weapons and armor, bits of pottery and the remains of a possible temple to Athena at an archaeological excavation of the ancient Greek city of Velia.”

Andrew Knight-Hill has created a 18-minute instrumental composition featuring “beach soundscapes and choral works sung from portions of the ancient flood myth poem Atra-Hasis.”

Paul Collins questions whether the Sumerians were a distinct ethnic people group.

A 6-minute BBC video looks at the decipherment of cuneiform.

K. Lawson Younger is the guest on the Biblical World podcast, discussing parallelomania, Arameans, and ancient conquest accounts.

John DeLancey’s new book is now out: Connecting the Dots: Between the Bible and the Land of Israel. You can read my endorsement there. The pre-order discount has been extended to Feb 19, and shipping is free.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Arne Halbakken, Explorator, Charles Savelle, Steve Ulrich, Keith Keyser

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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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