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Forty years after it was discovered in Arbel by a private citizen, a Byzantine amulet featuring the name of the God of Israel has been turned over to the Israel Antiquities Authority.

“A new study scrutinizing 2,000 years of fish consumption in the ancient holy land has found that — despite clear Torah prohibitions — non-kosher finless and scaleless fish were generally eaten by all peoples, regardless of ethnic and religious affiliation.” The story is based on a Tel Aviv journal article.

Israel’s Good Name visited the northwest Negev and saw plenty of birds, several reservoirs, a couple of bridges, and animal parts falling from the sky.

On the bicentenary of Napoleon’s death, Stephane Cohen revisits his campaign in Palestine in 1799.

The director of the Israel Museum is stepping down after four years.

The summer issue of Biblical Archaeology Review includes articles on New Testament figures confirmed in archaeology, a history of the paleo-Hebrew script, and remembrances of Hershel Shanks.

The Biblical Archaeology Study Group of Tyndale House will be meeting virtually on June 30, with lectures on the Amorites, Ugarit, David’s scribes, and the exodus, by various scholars including Alan Millard and James Hoffmeier.

Webinar on May 31 and June 1: “Sheshonq (Shishak) in Palestine.” Registration required.

Webinar on June 17: “Reconsidering the Role of Nomads in Ancient Israel and Its World.” (Zoom link)

The first group of tourists to arrive in Israel for more than a year was a vaccinated group of theology students from Missouri. (Showing them all wearing masks is not good P.R.)

Eilat Mazar died on Tuesday at the age of 64 after a long illness. Following in the footsteps of her grandfather, Benjamin Mazar, her work focused especially on the City of David and southern Temple Mount excavations. A list of her publications is here.

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

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“Archaeologists have discovered a rare oil lamp, shaped like a grotesque face cut in half, at the foundation of a building erected in Jerusalem’s City of David shortly after the destruction of the Second Temple almost 2,000 years ago.”

Israel’s easing of coronavirus restrictions allowed hundreds of Christians to gather at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher for the Holy Fire ceremony.

Riots on the Temple Mount led to hundreds of injured Palestinians and policemen.

“Some 2,000 years ago, an individual scribe wrote at least eight of the Dead Sea Scroll manuscripts, making him the most prolific scribe ever identified.” The scholar’s conference presentation has been posted on YouTube.

Israel’s Good Name reports on his birdwatching trip to the Hulda Reservoir.

The Jerusalem Post reviews Yoel Elitzur’s Places in the Parasha – Biblical Geography and its Meaning.

The latest issue of Israel Museum Studies in Archaeology is now available (go to “Contents” for downloads).

The 24th Annual Bible and Archaeology Fest will be held on October 16 and 17 on Zoom, with a strong lineup of speakers.

Tali Erickson-Gini is interviewed on The Times of Israel podcast, focusing on her expertise on the Nabateans’ Incense Road.

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

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A “lost city” from the time of Amenhotep III has been discovered near Luxor. “After seven months of excavations, several neighborhoods have been uncovered, including a bakery complete with ovens and storage pottery, as well as administrative and residential districts.” The excavating team is hailing it as the “second most important archeological discovery since the tomb of Tutankhamun.”

The National Museum of Egyptian Civilization in Cairo opened on April 3, and Luxor Times has posted a 30-minute walking tour.

NPR has posted a number of photos of the spectacle dubbed “The Pharaohs’ Golden Parade.”

Hikers in the northwestern Negev discovered a rare Egyptian scarab amulet dating to the 9th–8th centuries BC.

500 caves have been excavated in the Judean wilderness in recent years, and it is estimated that it will take 2-3 years to finish what remains.

William A. Ross looks at what the recent Dead Sea Scrolls discovery means for Septuagint studies.

A bronze tablet from Yemen dating to the 1st century BC mentions a temple dedicated to a previously unknown god.

Visitors can now take a virtual tour of Baalbek that shows the site as it looks today as well as at its height in the Roman period.

Carl Rasmussen shares several photos of a well-preserved but seldom-visited portion of the Diolkos near Corinth.

April 13, 8:30 pm (Eastern): Steve Austin will be giving a special session on “Climate Change, Dead Sea Mud & Bible Chronology.” Registration is required, and the session will not be recorded.

April 14, 8:00 pm (Eastern): Lawrence Schiffman will be speaking about the newly discovered Dead Sea Scrolls.

April 14, 8:00 pm (Eastern): Beth Alpert Nakhai will be speaking on “The Real Lives of Women in Biblical Times.” Registration costs $7.

Thomas E. Levy provides a summary of William G. Dever’s life as recounted in his recently published autobiography.

Brunilde Ridgway’s review of John Boardman’s A Classical Archaeologist’s Life: The Story So Far: An Autobiography provides a good summary of an extraordinarily productive life.

“During the next three years, RINBE will create a complete and authoritative modern presentation of the entire corpus of the royal inscriptions of the six kings of the Neo-Babylonian Empire in print and in a fully annotated (linguistically tagged), open-access digital format.” Some is already available, including a pdf of The Royal Inscriptions of Amēl-Marduk (561–560 BC), Neriglissar (559–556 BC), and Nabonidus (555–539 BC), Kings of Babylon (Royal Inscriptions of the Neo-Babylonian Empire 2), by Frauke Weiershäuser and Jamie Novotny (and for sale here).

HT: Agade, Keith Keyser, Arne Halbakken, Ted Weis

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Bryan Windle reviews the top three reports in biblical archaeology in the month of March.

In a seven-minute video, Aren Maeir gives a quick overview of the archaeological process from start to finish.

Hannah Brown explains why spending a day or more at Timna Park in southern Israel is worthwhile.

Wayne Stiles is hosting a free webinar for the Passion Week, with an engaging look at Jesus’s final week, day by day.

An extract from the new CSB Holy Land Illustrated Bible identifies five incidents and three patterns in Pilate’s life that set the context for the trial of Jesus.

BibleTimeLines.com has an extensive collection of timelines, graphics, and videos, including a timeline for the Passion Week.

Jordan J. Ryan considers how Constantine’s Church of the Holy Sepulcher celebrated more than Jesus’s resurrection.

The Infusion Bible Conference is a 3-day event focusing on the context of the biblical world. I’ll be back again this year. Early registration ends soon. Church leaders can take advantage of the IBC Press Kit to share with their congregations. (The conference has a virtual option this year.)

Not the millennium: “Jerusalem’s Biblical Zoo is attempting damage control after kids saw a lion eat a bunny.”

HT: Agade, Ted Weis, Charles Savelle, Explorator, Arne Halbakken

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The cemetery at Qumran has recently been “reconstructed.” Photo courtesy of Michael Schneider in Jerusalem.

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An 11-year-old on a family hike in the Negev discovered a rare fertility figurine dating to about 500 BC.

Haaretz (premium) has a story about the debate over whether the Lachish gate shrine was a shrine, and if so, if it was desecrated by a toilet.

A new book by Idan Dershowitz argues that the scrolls of Moses Shapira, long believed to be forgeries, are actually the earliest Dead Sea Scrolls and were a “pre-canonical antecedent” of Deuteronomy. The book is available on Academia. Christopher Rollston argues that the scrolls are forgeries. Drew Longacre concurs.

A notice from the Hazor Excavations team indicates that foreigners will be permitted to volunteer in Israel this summer with proof of vaccination. The Gath registration webpage confirms this.

My new reflection on the Garden of Gethsemane is now available to members of Jerusalem Perspective.

The New York Times runs an obituary for Hershel Shanks.

Jerusalem University College has announced its newest program: The Christian Movement in the Mediterranean, with a two-week voyage tracing Paul’s voyages in the Mediterranean.

New: Ancient Israel’s Neighbors, by Brian R. Doak (Book 1 in Oxford’s Essentials of Biblical Studies series).

The early-bird discount for the Infusion Bible Conference ends on April 9. The topic is “Paul and His Roman World,” and the new location is Nashville.

HT: Agade, Ted Weis, Arne Halbakken, Keith Keyser, Explorator

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On their first day back to sifting, the Temple Mount Sifting Project discovered their first pur, just in time for Purim.

This Times of Israel article has some drone footage that clearly shows the damage to the Mount Ebal altar site. The article details the firestorm that erupted. The Jerusalem Post argues for protection for the site.

Conservators are injecting the stones of the Western Wall with grout to help them withstand the effects of weathering.

Erez Ben-Yosef and Elisabetta Boaretto are interviewed on the weekly podcast from The Times of Israel about Solomonic copper mines and radiocarbon dating.

Aren Maeir’s MOOC on “Biblical Archaeology: The Archaeology of Ancient Israel and Judah” returns on March 8. This will be the fourth run, and the course is free.

Online on March 6: A Virtual Tour of Israel: Haifa, a Shared City. Free registration is required.

Chris McKinny continues his discussion of historical geography and archaeology at sites in central Israel including Gezer, Masada, Qumran, Jericho, Shiloh, and Caesarea.

Dumbest tradition ever: After conquering the Promised Land, Joshua asked God if he could go to Mesopotamia to die.

Bible Archaeology Report’s top three for February: “something deciphered, something discovered and something damaged.”

In light of the oil disaster on Israel’s shore, Shmuel Browns shares a series of Coastline photos.

HT: Agade, Arne Halbakken, Chris McKinny

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