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“Egypt has unveiled a major new archaeological find of 250 sarcophagi, 150 small bronze statues of gods and goddesses and other antiquities at the Saqqara necropolis.”

One of the more remarkable finds from the excavations of Satala in Turkey is an ornate bronze belt from an Urartian warrior.

Turkish authorities raided sites in 38 provinces in culmination of a yearlong investigation of an antiquities theft ring.

“The lost [Mittanian] city of ‘Zakhiku’ has resurfaced after spending decades underwater in the Mosul reservoir on the River Tigris in Iraq.”

Joel Kramer has found lots of sulfur balls at Numeira, a possible location of biblical Gomorrah.

Elon Heymans looks at the factors that led the use of silver and other precious metals as a form of currency at the beginning of the Iron Age in the ANE.

Greek Reporter: “Antioch on the Orontes, an ancient Greek city on the eastern side of the Orontes River, was one of the most glorious of all the Greek cities in the world.”

The Unsilencing the Archives Lectures from Badè Museum “explore the often-overlooked contributions made by Middle Easterners to archaeological excavations during the period of the British Mandate in Palestine.” The full series of 11 lectures is now online.

A 21-year-old punk broke into the Dallas Museum of Art and caused $5 million in damage, including the destruction of three ancient Greek vessels.

“Like us, the Romans were adept at scrolling — except they used actual, unwieldy scrolls. They would have loved OmnesViae, a handy online route planner, just for Roman roads.”

The Babylon Bee: “Archaeologists Have Just Discovered CONCLUSIVE PROOF Of The Bible.”

New release: Biblical and Ancient Near Eastern Studies in Honor of P. Kyle McCarter Jr., edited by Christopher Rollston, Susanna Garfein, and Neal H. Walls (SBL Press, $99). Free pdf download here (via AWOL).

BibleTelling’s Christian Storytelling Conference is being held in Jacksonville, Illinois, on June 23-25. The Story Concert will be broadcast live on Friday evening.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Ted Weis, Arne Halbakken, Deborah Hurn

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Archaeologists have discovered an inscription at Beit Shearim that proves that a convert to Judaism was buried in this elite cemetery.

“Archaeologists excavating at the base of the Legio VI Ferrata Roman Legion near Megiddo (known as Legio) believe they have found evidence of the first military amphitheater to be identified in the Southern Levant.”

Excavation work in preparation for a new elevator at the Western Wall plaza revealed an ancient ritual bath.

More remains of the lower aqueduct to Jerusalem are being exposed and restored in the Armon HaNatziv neighborhood in order to be incorporated into a public park.

Restoration of a small Hasmonean fortress in the Givat Shaul neighborhood in Jerusalem was recently completed.

Excavations will resume this summer at Lachish, with work focused on Iron IIA and Middle Bronze structures north of the Judean palace.

The ruins of Horvat Tefen in western Galilee are apparently part of a string of military fortress built by Alexander Jannaeus in the early 1st century BC.

“The Tel Moẓa Expedition Project is pleased to announce the creation of two scholarships to fund student participation in the 2022 excavation season at Tel Moẓa (5–23 September 2022).”

“An organization working to preserve Temple Mount antiquities warned this week that the [antiquities] have suffered great damage lately.”

“On Jerusalem Day, three archaeologists spoke to The Jerusalem Post about what it is like to work in a city with so much history underground and so much politics above ground.” The three archaeologists are Ronny Reich, Matthew Adams, and Zachi Dvira.

BAR recently interviewed Gideon Avni, head of the Archaeological Division of the Israel Antiquities Authority, about the practice of salvage excavations. This gives a helpful perspective on a majority of archaeological work in Israel.

David Lazarus begins a new series on the World of the Bible for Israel Today with an article on Jesus and tax collectors.

The early bird discount for the Infusion Bible Conference ends on Monday.

Logos/Faithlife is offering Going Places with God: A Devotional Journey Through the Lands of the Bible, by Wayne Stiles, for free this month. I recommend it.

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

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An ancient shipwreck near the northern Greek island of Alonissos will be the first in Greece to be made accessible to the public. It dates to the 5th century BC and was carrying 4,000 amphoras.

Three archaeological expeditions are working at Nineveh, and authorities plan to open the city to tourists next year.

“Scientists have fully sequenced the DNA of a Pompeii man killed during the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in A.D. 79.”

Judith Sudilovsky went on a tour of Turkey, and she reports on what she saw at Harran, the city where Abraham lived, at Urfa/Edessa, and at the Haleplibahçe Mozaik Museum.

“The United Kingdom and Greece have agreed to formal talks regarding the return of the Parthenon marbles.”

A former president of the Louvre has been charged with crimes related to the trafficking of Egyptian artifacts.

Amanda Claridge, archaeologist and author of Rome: An Oxford Archaeological Guide, died earlier this month.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Arne Halbakken, Keith Keyser, Explorator

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Archaeologists have uncovered a Hellenistic farmstead in eastern Galilee that was abandoned in haste. They also found a significant agricultural settlement dating to the time of David and Solomon.

A brief article at The Jerusalem Post notes the discovery of game boards and game pieces from Gath that date to the 3rd millennium BC. The underlying PEQ article is available for purchase.

Moshe Gilead at Haaretz (premium) provides a lengthy explanation for why Ma’aleh Akrabim, “the most beautiful and dangerous road in Israel,” has been closed for five years.

The latest issue of Biblical Archaeology Review includes articles on Mt. Nebo, Merneptah’s destruction of Gezer, and the year 1177 BC. You can get a taste for the Mt. Nebo article and see many of its photos here.

Biblical Archaeology Review assistant editor Nathan Steinmeyer gives an on-site tour of Caesarea (6 min).

Bryan Windle’s top three reports for the month of May include excavations at Tel Timna, a Galilean farmstead, and Herod’s bathtubs.

Ellen Frankel wrote a mystery novel about the Dead Sea Scrolls that begins with the discovery of a key to crack the Copper Scroll.

The Sacred Thread is a forthcoming series that “explores the original context and culture of the Bible through a worldwide journey to uncover its meaning.” Created by Walking The Text and EvolveStudios, the first episode is now online (free to watch with registration).

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Arne Halbakken, Keith Keyser, Explorator

Ascent of Scorpions, Maale Aqrabbim modern road from above, tb042207882

Modern road of Maale Aqrabbim – “the most beautiful and dangerous road in Israel”

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“A team of archaeologists in Egypt has discovered the 4,300-year-old tomb of a man named Mehtjetju, an official who claimed that he had access to ‘secret’ royal documents.

Images of 46 birds arranged in two rows were discovered at the Temple of Esna in Luxor, Egypt, during an Egyptian-German expedition this month.”

A recently discovered tunnel at Basbük in southeastern Turkey has revealed [Neo-Assyrian] artwork depicting eight gods, three of which were labeled with Aramaic inscriptions.”

“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.”

Lexundria is a digital library of classical antiquity. Although most of the texts on this site can be found elsewhere on the internet, this project aims to make them accessible in a more research-friendly format.”

The Toronto Tribune interviews Steven Fine about the Arch of Titus in Rome.

“Preserving the Biblical Past: A History of Archaeology at La Sierra University” is a 95-minute presentation given at the university’s recent homecoming celebration. Highlights of their decades-long Jordan excavations include the “best-preserved 4-room house” (~17 min), a “King’s House” inscription (~25 min), and the “earliest Moabite national script” specimen (~37 min) resembling that of the Mesha Stele. At the end, they share plans for a new archaeological museum in Madaba.

New release: Pearl of the Desert: A History of Palmyra, by Rubina Raja (Oxford, 2022; $30).

New release: Tall Zirā´a. The 2018 and 2019 Excavation Campaigns. The Iron Age, Hellenistic and Early Roman Period in Area II, The Gadara Region Project (2001–2011). Final Report 9, edited by Katharina Schmidt. (Free download here)

BASONOVA Webinar on May 25: “Sacred Prostitution and the Cult of Aphrodite/Venus in Roman Corinth,” by Barbette Spaeth ($7)

Accordance has a big sale on both OT (5 vols) and NT (4 vols) sets of the Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary ($136 for all).

Recent episodes on Digging for Truth:

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

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The alabaster for two of Herod’s bathtubs was quarried not in Egypt but in the Te’omim cave in the Judean hills.

Excavators are claiming that the stump of a juniper tree, discovered near Eilat, may be the oldest Asherah ever found.

A new season of excavations has begun at the Apollonia-Arsuf Crusader fortress on the coast near Herzilya.

“In one of the biggest busts in Israeli history, the Israel Antiquities Authority’s theft prevention unit has recovered over 1,800 ancient artifacts from an unlicensed dealer in the central Israeli city of Modiin. Mostly coins and jewelry, the artifacts also included cuneiform tablets and bronze statuettes.”

Israel’s supreme court has “rejected four petitions against a controversial plan to build a cable car to Jerusalem’s historic Old City, shutting down the legal opposition route for opponents of the plan.”

A renovation project on an ancient Samaritan priestly residential compound is the first step in making the Mount Gerizim archaeological park more welcoming to tourists.

The latest issue of Tel Aviv includes several articles on Iron Age Jerusalem. The titles and abstracts are free, but access to the articles requires subscription.

Virtual tour on June 8: The Room of the Last Supper and Jerusalem, with Museum of the Bible and DIVE (Digital Interactive Virtual Experiences); $20

A colleague of mine at The Master’s University was honored last month by the publication of a festschrift: Written for Our Instruction: Essays in Honor of William Varner. Among the many interesting essays, two are of particular relevance to this blog:

  • “Where Did David Go? David’s Wilderness Wanderings and the Testing of God’s Son,” by Abner Chou (my new boss)
  • “‘What Have I Done in Comparison with You?’: The Itinerary of Gideon’s Pursuit of the Midianites in Judges 7–8,” by Chris McKinny (with additional color maps on Academia)

Andy Cook of Secrets from Ancient Paths has just posted “The life-saving lesson of Bet Shemesh” (5 min).

Joel Kramer at Expedition Bible has released some new videos (4-10 min ea.):

Bruce Cresson died last week. He was director or co-director of excavations at Aphek-Antipatris, Dalit, Ira, Uza, Radum, and Malhata.

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

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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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