Archaeologists working along Highway 1 near Abu Ghosh discovered a cache of bronze coins from the time of the Persian invasion in AD 614.
A study of a core sample from 1,500 feet below the floor of the Dead Sea points to lengthy droughts in the past.
Carl Rasmussen highlights a video that allegedly shows the original stone wall of Jesus’s tomb inside the edicule.
“A World of Emotions: The Making of an Exhibition” describes the new exhibit at the Onassis Center in New York. Many photos are included.
Bible History Today has a preview of “Where Are the Royal Archives at Tel Hazor?” from the latest issue of BAR.
Philip F. Esler writes about the ancient Jewish woman that we know the most about: Babatha.
Timothy Lim explains what we know about the Dead Sea Scrolls 70 years after the initial discovery.
Wayne Stiles reveals how the events at Shechem teach us how to live more faithful lives.
HT: Gordon Franz, Ted Weis, Charles Savelle, Jared Clark, Agade, Joseph Lauer
The iron cage holding together the edicule built over the traditional tomb of Jesus has been removed in time for the Easter celebrations, but now scientists are warning that the structure is in danger of collapsing because the foundation is built on rubble. From Daily Mail:
The team that led the recent restoration work said the foundations are so shaky that they could suddenly give way. ‘When it fails, the failure will not be a slow process, but catastrophic,’ Antonia Moropoulou, from the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA), told National Geographic. […] Parts of the Edicule rest on steep and sloping bedrock was once the site of an ancient quarry, and the foundation mortar of the tomb has crumbled after decades of moisture exposure. The survey also pinpointed secret tunnels and channels that run directly beneath the Edicule. […] But the researchers are now calling for another $6.5million (£5.2million) to fix the fractured foundations surrounding the Edicule. They plan to remove the precarious stone paving surrounding the Edicule and excavate the 1,000-foot site underneath to install new sewage and rainwater drainage.
The article includes more of the history of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and many great photos from today’s unveiling.
For the first time in 70 years, the iron cage around the edicule built over the traditional tomb of Jesus has been removed. The British Mandatory authorities installed the girders as a temporary measure in 1947 while church leaders squabbled over a restoration plan.
Alexander Schick was in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher on Monday and took the photo below.
The renovations are scheduled to be completed in time for Easter next month. The most recent story I see about the restoration is this one by Nir Hasson in Haaretz (premium) last week.
A dozen sculptures recently unearthed at Perga are now on display in the Antalya Museum.
The BBC runs an interesting story on the Muslim families that lock and unlock the Church of the Holy Sepulcher each day.
“A crew of facial reconstruction experts have successfully recreated the face of a male who lived in the Biblical city of Jericho.”
Scanning technology has provided 3-D images of unwrapped mummies from ancient Egypt.
“A pair of mummified knees are most likely those of the famously beautiful spouse of Pharaoh Ramses II.”
James Davila considers the reemergence of the Jordanian lead codices and links to an insider perspective.
Archaeologists working in the Wadi Feinan region of Jordan believe that they have found evidence of the world’s first polluted river.
The breed known as “Jacob’s sheep” have returned to Israel.
The Jerusalem Post runs a story on Douglas Petrovich’s theory that the earliest alphabet was Hebrew.
Relics looted from Syria’s ancient city of Palmyra have been recovered in Switzerland.
“Radiocarbon dating remains a reliable tool if it is supplemented by 13C measurements.”
“Why would the Lord first announce the Messiah’s birth to lowly shepherds?” Wayne Stiles explains.
In light of the recent excavation of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, Gordon Govier at Christianity Today explains why there are two competing sites for the place of Jesus’s burial.
HT: Charles Savelle, Explorator, Ted Weis, Agade, Joseph Lauer
National Geographic has posted a new article on the continuing excavation of the traditional tomb of Jesus. The team was allowed 60 hours of study before they had to reseal the area.
When the marble cladding was first removed on the night of October 26, an initial inspection by the conservation team from the National Technical University of Athens showed only a layer of fill material underneath. However, as researchers continued their nonstop work over the course of 60 hours, another marble slab with a cross carved into its surface was exposed. By the night of October 28, just hours before the tomb was to be resealed, the original limestone burial bed was revealed intact.
During the past few days, the burial bed has been resealed in its original marble cladding and may not be exposed again for centuries or even millennia. “The architectural conservation which we are implementing is intended to last forever,” says Moropoulou. Before it was resealed, however, extensive documentation was performed on the surface of the rock.
“The surfaces of the rock must be looked at with the greatest care, I mean minutely, for traces of graffiti,” Biddle says, citing other tombs in the area that must have been of considerable importance because they are covered with crosses and inscriptions painted and scratched onto the rock surfaces.
“The issue of the graffiti is absolutely crucial,” Biddle says. “We know that there are at least half a dozen other rock-cut tombs below various parts of the church. So why did Bishop Eusebius identify this tomb as the tomb of Christ? He doesn’t say, and we don’t know. I don’t myself think Eusebius got it wrong—he was a very good scholar—so there probably is evidence if only it is looked for.”
The full article includes several photos.
HT: Ted Weis