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A Greek inscription from the 5th century AD reading “Christ, born of Mary” was discovered in a salvage excavation in the Jezreel Valley.

Archaeologists discovered a marble statue of a ram dating to the Byzantine period at Caesarea.

Egyptian archaeologists have discovered a new group of 50 wooden sarcophagi at Saqqara, dating to the New Kingdom period.

“Alexandria University launched a new project to excavate and preserve underwater artifacts, in a bid to revive tourism and protect Egypt’s underwater heritage.”

“Tomas Libertiny, a Slovakian artist, has created a beautiful beeswax sculpture of Egyptian queen Nefertiti with the assistance of 60,000 honey bees.”

A Roman fort has been discovered near Aswan.

Ten maps can tell us a lot about the Sinai Peninsula.

Charles F. Aling is interviewed in the latest edition of the Scholar’s Chair at the Bible Archaeology Report.

Leen Ritmeyer provides a brief history of the Samaritan temple on Mount Gerizim, with many illustrations.

The Annual Yohanan Aharoni Day 2021 will be live on Zoom and Facebook on March 4. The topic is “The Forces that Shaped Jerusalem: Earth, Faith and People,” with sessions on landscape, religion, and the charismatic individual.

Conference recordings are now available from the recent conference “‘The Land That I Will Show You’: Recent Archaeological & Historical Studies of Ancient Israel.” (Playback speed is adjustable.)

HT: Agade, Ted Weis, Arne Halbakken

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A study by the Weizmann Institute dates the eruption of Santorini to 1630–1620 BC based on radiocarbon dating and an analysis of an olive branch’s growth rings.

Four water cisterns have been discovered under the acropolis of the classical city of Metropolis in western Turkey.

An ancient aqueduct near Troy is being restored, with hopes of attracting tourists.

Scholars searching for clues to Cleopatra’s appearance find conflicting data in Roman coins, Egyptian relief, and imperial propaganda.

Elaine Sullivan has created a 3D model of Saqqara that allows the viewer to jump through time to see the cemetery in different eras.

The BBC reports on ancient businesswomen involved in trade between Assur and Kanesh.

Covid-19 has led to an increase in looting of ancient sites in Iraq (6-min video).

You don’t have to wait until your next visit to the Edomite capital of Bozrah (Busayra) to view the new signs erected describing the temple, palace, and fortifications.

The world’s first hanging obelisk has been installed in the Grand Egyptian Museum.

The Acropolis Museum of Athens is the first museum in Greece to be fully digitized.

A portion of the imperial garden of Caligula’s palace in Rome is opening this spring to visitors.

New: Landscapes of Survival: The Archaeology and Epigraphy of Jordan’s North-Eastern Desert and Beyond, edited by Peter M.M.G. Akkermans (hardback, paperback, ebook, or read online for free)

In an interview on Jan 26, Katie Chin, Acquisitions Editor at Brill Publishers, will talk about why she accepts or rejects manuscripts, and about practical tools for increasing scholars’ chances of being published. Attendance is free but registration is required.

This new archaeological biography on Darius the Great provides background, photographs, and archaeological discoveries to illuminate the life of one of the most important rulers of Persia.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, A.D. Riddle, Arne Halbakken, Explorator, Alexander Schick

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AhramOnline explains why 2020 was a good year for Egyptian archaeology.

“Ramses and the Gold of the Pharaohs” is a new exhibition that has been approved by the Egyptian government to tour Houston, San Francisco, Boston, London, and Paris from 2021 to 2025.

Not all scholars are convinced that Salome’s dance floor in Herod’s palace at Macherus has been discovered.

A woman’s garden ‘stepping stone’ turns out to be an ancient Roman artifact.

Ancient Romans liked their fish very fresh, but salted fish and fermented fish sauces were especially popular with those less well-off.

CAMNES has announced its livestream lecture schedule for 2021.

Groningen-Leuven-Oxford Network Workshop on Hebrew Bible and Jewish Antiquity will be held on Mar 8 and 9. It is free and open to the public.

Kipp Davis is featured on The Book and the Spade as the “Dead Sea Scrolls Detective.”

Carl Rasmussen writes about a very unusual Roman building on the outskirts of ancient Tarsus.

Ferrell Jenkin’s latest post about the seven churches of Revelation includes a unique rooftop view of Thyatira as well as a new picture of the recently reconstructed stoa.

HT: Agade, Wayne Stiles

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Happy new year to everyone! May we walk wisely in the days ahead.

A new agreement between Israel’s Finance Ministry and the Israel Antiquities Authority will speed up rescue excavations by allowing private companies to bid on carrying out the excavations.

Following the discovery of a Roman bathhouse in Amman, authorities have to decide whether to preserve the antiquities or construct the planned drainage channel.

Egypt has completed the restoration of a temple of Isis in Aswan.

A limestone relief from the Late Period was illegally excavated, stolen, smuggled out of Egypt, tracked through the internet, recovered in New York, and repatriated.

Examination of elephant tusk DNA found on a shipwreck reveals the impact of ivory trade on elephant herds in Africa.

An Achaemenid pedestal and base was discovered in a garden near Persepolis.

“Underwater excavation, borehole drilling, and modelling suggests a massive paleo-tsunami struck near the ancient settlement of Tel Dor between 9,910 to 9,290 years ago.”

Ariel David looks at how the Israelites went from being a people who worshipped idols to a people who did not (Haaretz premium).

Haaretz runs a story on a recent documentary that presents Israel Finkelstein’s views of Kiriath Jearim and how it rewrites biblical history.

Amanda Borschel-Dan provides a review of her 2020 articles “broken down into studies of provenance; who wrote the Bible and on what; how “pure science” is aiding archaeologists confirm historical events; and a number of “firsts” from deep in pre-history.”

Ken Dark clarifies his views about the house in the church crypt in Nazareth, noting that while the Byzantines believed they had found the childhood home of Jesus, there is no way to prove that.

‘Atiqot 101 (2020) is now online, including articles on an ancient pool next to the Pool of Siloam in the City of David.

The Met’s Imaging Department has created a short video showing the interior of a 19th-century model of Solomon’s temple.

HT: Agade, Explorator, Ted Weis, Arne Halbakken, Paleojudaica

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Archaeologists are excavating a large defensive moat at an 9th-8th century BC Phoenicia colony in Spain.

“Curator St John Simpson reveals what happened after he saw a rare plaque from ancient Iraq on an online auction site.”

“Researchers have found evidence of the oldest gynaecological treatment on record, performed on a woman who lived in Ancient Egypt some 4,000 years ago.”

The first-ever archaeological replicas factory in Egypt is under construction.

Preparations are underway for transporting 22 royal mummies to the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization.

A neurologist in Iraq has spent more than 15 years photographing his country and sharing those pictures with the world.

Don McNeeley reports on the annual meeting of the Near East Archaeological Society held last month.

Michaeline Wilkins divided the Hebrew of the Song of Songs into male and female parts and then she and her husband read the text.

Zoom webinar on Dec 22: The Dead Sea Scrolls and the New Testament, by Lawrence H. Schiffman. Registration required.

Zoom lecture on Dec 23: Writing on the Wall: Graffiti and the Forgotten Jews of Antiquity, by Karen Stern

Thin End of the Wedge podcast: Nicolò Marchetti: Nineveh 2020. How and why archaeology?

A Roman warship is the latest Legos Ideas project to reach 10,000 supporters.

Susan Masten identifies the 10 most important ancient coins ever minted.

Ferrell Jenkins looks at three strata of paganism at Pergamum, the city “where Satan dwells.”

Tutku Tours has a few spots left for familiarization trips for professors this spring to Turkey and Jordan. Two great reasons to consider joining: (1) Mark Wilson is leading; (2) $1,990 includes air. (It costs almost that much just for the entrance ticket to Petra!)

HT: Ted Weis, Agade, Joseph Lauer, Mark Hoffman, Explorator

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The statue of a priest’s head was discovered in the western theater of Laodicea.

X-rays are revealing the insides of an Egyptian mummy.

Restoration of a 2,000 year old burial cave in Croatia revealed the tomb of a Greek warrior.

National Geographic runs a well-illustrated piece on the Emperor Hadrian’s relationship with the city of Athens.

New: The British Museum’s Excavations at Nineveh, 1846–1855, by Geoffrey Turner

“Nineveh’s renowned cultural heritage museum, known for the Islamic State’s disastrous attack on its treasures, has finally reopened to the public.”

A 3-D model recently made of the site of Mari “showed major vandalism of the Royal Palace and a huge amount of illegal excavation throughout the site.”

A collection of 25 photographs illustrate important archaeological sites in the UAE.

Assyriologist Veysel Donbaz is interviewed about ancient languages and tablets discovered in Turkey.

Chariots in ancient Egypt were ridden not only by men, but also certain women as well.

Online seminar: “‘An even more unexpected find’: The Synagogue of Dura-Europos and its place in local history,” with Ted Kaizer on Dec 16.

David Moster has posted the first video in a new series: “American Cities Named for the Bible.”

V. M. Traverso writes about the four earliest NT manuscripts, though the 1st century dates he gives are earlier than generally accepted.

An unparalleled collection of Judaica amassed by one of the greatest Jewish dynasties in the world and not seen in public for over a century is to be sold at auction.”

Phillip J. Long reviews A Rooster for Asklepios, by Christopher D. Stanley, the latest in the genre of scholarly novel. He highly recommends it as one of the best with “an interesting plot line which is rich in details illustrating the Greco-Roman world of mid-first century Asia Minor.”

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Ted Weis, Charles Savelle, Explorator

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