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Excavations have resumed at the Tel Motza (Moza) temple on the outskirts of Jerusalem.

“A pool of water near the Dead Sea was recently found to have turned red.”

The Jerusalem Post surveys archaeological work and discoveries made during a year of Covid.

Bryant Wood gives an update on important biblical archaeological discoveries in 2021.

Newsweek’s list of 20 largest museums in the world includes the Israel Museum in spot #17.

Al Qarara Cultural Museum is the first private museum in the Gaza Strip.

Sergio & Rhoda go searching for Micah’s hometown in the Shephelah (30-min video).

On the Rejuvenation podcast, Shay Bar discusses his archaeological studies in tribal territory of Manasseh and the Jordan Valley.

ASOR webinar on October 7: “Digging the Divine?: Judahite Pillar Figurines and the Archaeology of Israelite Religion,” by Erin Denby

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

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Weekend Sale: Photo Companion to the Bible: 1 Samuel – only $49 with coupon SAMUEL.

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Archaeologists discovered a Second Temple period quarry in northwest Jerusalem.

Regarding the recent story about the ancient Jerusalem weight which was falsely labeled to facilitate cheating, some scholars have observed that it was actually labeled correctly as an 8-gerah weight.

A secret tunnel under the slope of Mount Zion that was used by Israelis after Jordan captured the Old City in 1948 has now been opened to the public.

Israel has an “ark museum” of sorts, and Israel’s Good Name describes his visit to the Steinhardt Museum of Natural History in Tel Aviv in a well-illustrated blog post.

Dozens of installations used for the large-scale production of salt have been identified along the northern coasts of Israel.

The Ketef Hinnom silver amulets are the subject of an article in the most recent issue of Ink magazine, published by Tyndale House (pages 12-14).

Egypt is preparing to open the world’s largest open-air museum in Luxor.

“Using a leaf uncovered from the archaeological site of an ancient Egyptian temple, researchers . . . have successfully determined the ancient hybrid origin of some date palms.” The underlying journal article is here.

The National Museum of Beirut has reopened after a $175,000 restoration.

Excavations in eastern Turkey have revealed an unusual tomb belonging to an Urartian ruler who was buried with his dog, horses, cattle, and sheep.

“Out of the ashes of Pompeii, archaeologists recently pulled up a time capsule, though only the bronze hinges remained of what is being described as a ‘sorceress’ toolkit.’”

On December 6 and 13, John J. Collins will be giving a virtual lecture on “The Dead Sea Scrolls: The Light They Shed on Judaism and Christianity.” Registration is required and free.

Coming soon: Excavations in the City of David, Jerusalem (1995-2010), by Ronny Reich and Eli Shukron (Penn State University Press, 712 pages, $99.95).

This Week in the Ancient Near East wraps up the summer with a round-up episode.

The indoor model of 1st-century Jerusalem that was located at the Holy Land Experience in Orlando will be part of a new exhibit at the Ark Encounter. There’s a nice photo of the model here. And some others here.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Andy Cook, Charles Savelle, Arne Halbakken, Keith Keyser, G. M. Grena

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The Jerusalem Seminary has announced their Inauguration of the School of the Bible on Wednesday (8 pm in Jerusalem, and livestream) featuring Gerald McDermott, Jeffrey Seif, and Baruch Brian Kvasnica.

They have also announced a great slate of classes for the fall semester. The school is located in the center of Jerusalem, but all of the courses this semester are being held online.

I previously recommended JS when it launched a pilot semester, and their Matthew and Hebrew courses received rave reviews (see the bottom of each page). I know a number of the professors related to Jerusalem Seminary, and they are seasoned scholars who have lived for many years (or all their lives) in Israel.

You can jump over to the course catalog for all the details, but I’ve copied a summary below. I will note two items in particular: (1) there is an audit option at a reduced price; and (2) if you’ve ever wanted to learn some Hebrew, this beginner’s course will be exceptional.

Biblical Hebrew as a Living Language (Level 1) – Learn Biblical Hebrew as a living language from Israelis (Hebrew for the Nations certified instructors) using an interactive spoken Biblical Hebrew methodology! 4 Credits (60 hours) 600 dollars ($450 audit).

Early Christian Worship in its Jewish ContextFrom Temple worship to ancient Christian liturgies, dig into the Jewish roots of Christian music and prayer. Taught by Brittany McCay, MA, uniquely qualified to weave together Jewish roots, early Christianity, music and worship. 3 credits, 450 dollars ($350 audit).

Israel Matters: A Theology of People and LandA history of theology concerning Israel and her Biblical significance taught by one of the world’s leading theologians, Dr. Gerald McDermott. 3 credits, 450 dollars ($350 audit).

The Gospel of Matthew in its First Century ContextLearn about Jesus and His Jewish world through Matthew’s eyes from Matthean expert, Dr. Noel Rabinowitz. 3 credits, 450 dollars ($350 audit).

Unfolding Proverbs: Translation and ContextFor advanced Biblical Hebrew students: Wycliffe expert on Biblical Hebrew poetry, Murray Salisbury, MA, unpacks the rich wisdom of Proverbs. 3 credits, 600 dollars ($450 audit).

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An ancient stone weight dug up in Jerusalem has been found to be far heavier than the amount written on its surface, leading archaeologists to assume it was used to cheat in trading.” The discovery was presented at a conference in Jerusalem on Thursday (video in Hebrew here).

A report has recently been published on the overt and covert involvement of Israelis in archaeological research in the West Bank between 1948 and 1967.

Work has begun to renovate the bridge leading from the Western Wall plaza to the Temple Mount.

A new app allows visitors to explore the archaeological remains of the Church of the Glorious Martyr recently excavated near Beth Shemesh. The latest issue of BAR has more information about the church, and Owen Jarus provides a summary.

Archaeologists working in Saqqara used ancient Egyptian technology to raise a sarcophagus to the surface (3-min video).

Archaeologists announced the discovery of a settlement in Alexandria dating back to the 2nd century BC, including a sculpture of Alexander the Great.

“One of the most important religious centers of the ancient world, the city of Akhmim in southern Egypt is presented in the exhibit Akhmim: Egypt’s Forgotten City, currently on display in the James Simon Gallery of the Berlin State Museums.”

The “wine of Lebanon” mentioned by the prophet Hosea was famous in antiquity. An article in The Ancient Near East Today describes some new archaeological evidence for the production of Phoenician wine.

The skull of a woman who underwent the world’s first brain surgery will be reconstructed using a beeswax technique.

Norwegian authorities “confiscated approximately 100 antiquities from the extensive collection of Martin Schøyen which Iraqi authorities believe were illicitly removed from their country.”

On Sept. 19, Yosef Garfinkel will be speaking in the next Friends of ASOR webinar on the topic of “David, Solomon, and Rehoboam’s Kingdom—The Archaeological Evidence.”

On Dec 1, Andrea Berlin will be speaking in the BAS Scholars Series on “The Rise of the Maccabees:What Archaeology Reveals About Antiquity’s Last Independent Jewish Kingdom.”

This week’s program on The Book and the Spade: Ashkelon basilica, Sussita theater, missing walls, with Clyde Billington.

Lois Tverberg takes a Hebraic look at the gospel and its surprising bearers.

“For the Jewish New Year, Joan Nathan composes a dish that pays tribute to foods that the biblical Canaanites might have eaten.”

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

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Normally, I say, “That was a great conference! Too bad you missed it!” But this time is different. In June, I attended the Infusion Bible Conference in Tennessee (formerly the Institute of Biblical Context, held in Michigan), with this year’s focus on “Paul and His Roman World,” and it was phenomenal. It’s only a three-day conference, but they have packed so much into this time that you walk away feeling that you’ve just had a semester-long course.image

The presentations are intentionally shorter, so a speaker will focus on a specific topic for 15 minutes, and then they’re off to the next subject. If you’re familiar with TED talks, the style is similar to that—tight, punchy, and well-prepared. But the topics are unlike any you’ll find at TED or on YouTube or even in most churches. (There’s a good reason for that: churches rightly prioritize teaching biblical passages, and this conference provides the cultural backgrounds for those biblical texts.)

I’m not posting about this just to tell you what a tremendous opportunity you missed, but to alert you to a second chance. The conference on “Paul and His Roman World” will be held again in the Denver area on November 8-10. They’ve never done a “repeat conference,” but I think the organizers were motivated by (1) how excellent this conference was; (2) the impact of Covid on people’s planning for summer travels; and (3) an enthusiastic invitation from a church in Colorado.

There are about 40 talks, including these:

  • A Clash of Kingdoms
  • What’s in a Name?
  • People Snapshots: Poor, Wealthy, Women, Slaves, etc.
  • The Roman and Christian Household Code
  • Roman View on Sexuality
  • Roman Religion and Emperor Worship
  • Roman Baths
  • “My Domus is Your Domus!”
  • Land and Sea Travel
  • Theater
  • Death, Hope, and Eternal Life
  • The Sanctity of Suffering

The three speakers are all outstanding: Brad Gray, Randy Smith, and Brad Nelson.

As I mentioned, everything is extremely well-prepared, and a tremendous benefit is that every conference attendee gets a conference notebook of 150 pages loaded with the speakers’ notes that frees you from extensive notetaking.

I recommend the IBC as the best conference I know of for understanding the cultural, historical, archaeological backgrounds of the Bible. Early bird registration is open now until September 30, and there is a virtual option as well.

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Archaeologists working at a construction site in a Tel Aviv suburb discovered a mosaic-floored winepress, a chandelier chain, and a hand-signed Byzantine gold coin.

The “Shema, servant of Jeroboam” seal impression announced last year is a fake. Yuval Goren claimed the seal was authentic after “years of strict laboratory testing,” but the object is in fact a common tourist replica.

A new study reveals that olive oil production in Philistia and the Judean Shephelah began earlier than thought and was significant in Judah after Sennacherib’s invasion. The journal article is available for purchase here.

“A large Roman-era sarcophagus dating to the 2nd or 3rd century CE excavated illegally at an unknown location in Israel has been returned to the Israel Antiquities Authority.”

In the OnScript Biblical World podcast, Chris McKinny and Kyle Keimer discuss the excavations of Tel Burna, including destructions by Shishak, Sennacherib, and Nebuchadnezzar.

Leen Ritmeyer’s latest post surveys Jerusalem and the Temple Mount in the Hellenistic period.

A lecture that Nancy Lapp gave in 2019 at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary is online. Entitled “Adventures and Discoveries from Half a Century of Life as an Archaeologist,” Nancy focuses mostly on her explorations with her husband Paul in the 1950s and 1960s, including driving from England to Shechem and on to India.

New release: Tel Reḥov, A Bronze and Iron Age City in the Beth-Shean Valley, Volume IV, Pottery Studies, Inscriptions and Figurative Art, by Amihai Mazar and Nava Panitz-Cohen (Qedem 62) (The Institute of Archaeology, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 2020). To order, contact the IES.

Now available: The Road Taken: An Archaeologist’s Journey to the Land of the Bible, by Seymour (Sy) Gitin. Save 30% with code NR21.

Navot Rom has a unique job, working the night shift as an archaeological inspector in the Old City of Jerusalem.

The Tell es-Safi team was doing more than digging this year, answering the “Jerusalema Challenge” with an impressive video showing off the team’s dancing skills.

HT: Agade, Arne Halbakken, G. M. Grena, Ted Weis, Explorator, Charles Savelle

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