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“Archaeologists digging in the ancient Canaanite settlement of Lachish have unearthed a 3,500 year old pottery shard inscribed with what they believe is the oldest text found in Israel that was written using an alphabetic script” (Haaretz; Times of Israel; Daily Mail; underlying journal article)

Israel’s Good Name shares his latest adventure traipsing around the fields and reservoir of Zorah (Tzora) near Beth Shemesh in search of birds and more.

Haaretz premium: “The Eshkol Forest provides a bird’s-eye view of the Jordan Valley” and Sea of Galilee.

The Israel Antiquities Authority archive is preserving and digitizing materials from the British Mandate era. The site includes lots of documents and photos, mostly in English.

Zoom lecture on April 26: “New Discoveries from the Judaean Desert Caves,” by Eitan Klein, co-director of the Judaean Desert Cave Archaeological Project.

A new episode produced by the City of David YouTube channel features the silver amulets discovered at Ketef Hinnom (2 min).

Writing for Christianity Today, Kelsa Graybill describes five ways biblical geography shapes our view of God’s mission. Kelsa also has a new podcast with recent episodes on the Sorek Valley, the Hill Country of Judah, and Between Gerizim and Ebal.

We have just released 2 Samuel in the Photo Companion to the Bible series. This resource is recommended by Luke Chandler, Carl Rasmussen, Charles Savelle, and others. There is a $50 discount for a few more days.

HT: Agade, Keith Keyser, Alexander Schick, Arne Halbakken, Charles Savelle

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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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Yesterday, 22 ancient Egyptian royal mummies were paraded through Cairo on their way to the new museum.

D. Clint Burnett discusses various references to inscriptions in the New Testament as well as the value of inscriptions in interpreting the New Testament and early Christianity.

Modern development and looting is taking its toll on the ancient Greek city of Cyrene in Libya.

The Times Insider column looks back into references to Moshe Shapira in The New York Times in the late 1800s.

Webinar on April 14: “Why Pottery Matters: Judean Storage Jars and the Qumran Sect,” by Jodi Magness (Zoom link)

Webinar on April 15: “A Toast to Ancient Greek Wine Drinking,” with Kathleen Lynch

Webinar on April 18 sponsored by the Friends of ASOR: “Archaeogaming: Why Video Games Deserve Their Own Archaeology.”

Webinar on April 22: John Curtis and his fellow curators give an overview of the soon-to-open Epic Iran exhibit in London.

Mark Wilson’s presentation on Hierapolis for the Tutku Guide Seminar is now online. He is followed on the same video by Mark Fairchild’s presentation on Paul’s little-known ministry in Cilicia.

“The online edition of the Amarna Letters aims to make transliterations, translations, and glossaries of the letters and administrative texts available to both scholars and the wider public.” The letters to and from the Levant, excluding Phoenicia, are now available.

Free download until April 13: Migration Myths and the End of the Bronze Age in the Eastern Mediterranean, by A. Bernard Knapp, published by Cambridge University Press.

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

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Archaeologists have discovered dramatic evidence of the conflagration that destroyed Azekah circa 1130 BC, leading them to dub the site as a “small Pompeii.”

According to news reports, a rare Tyrian shekel was discovered during a renovation project at the Tower of David Museum. This is true, except that the coin is not a shekel and not rare. It is a silver tetradrachm of Demetrios II Nikator from Tyre with a date of SE 184 = 129/8 BC.

While undergoing conservation work, a large structural crack was discovered in Herod’s tower in the Citadel of David.

Justin Kelley’s BAR article on “The Holy Sepulchre in History, Archaeology, and Tradition” is summarized in Bible History Daily, where a detailed plan of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher is also provided.

Scholars are using high-tech imaging to understand thousands of hand-engraved crosses on the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.

A new “Emmaus Trail” allows walkers to travel the 11 miles (18 km) from Abu Ghosh to Nicopolis/Latrun. Leen Ritmeyer takes the occasion to propose that Emmaus should be identified with Bethel in the Old Testament.

David Moster has posted a new video that explains how to “make sense of the new Dead Sea Scrolls,” including a discussion of how important these discoveries are to biblical studies.

Randall Price is on The Book and the Spade discussing the new Dead Sea Scrolls discoveries.

The latest teaching video from John DeLancey is “The Life of Jesus – His Redemptive Purpose.”

New book: Jesus of Nazareth: Archaeologists Retracing the Footsteps of Christ, by Michael Hesemann. The author’s background and motivations are reported here.

Bryan Windle lists the top 10 discoveries related to Jesus.

Robert E. Cooley died on Thursday. During his career, he excavated Tel Dothan and helped to found the Near East Archaeological Society.

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

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A well-preserved Roman arena, partially buried and hidden by vegetation, has been discovered in the ancient city of Mastaura, in Western Turkey.

A new study suggests it only took fifteen minutes after the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius for the city of Pompeii to be engulfed in its lethal plume.

The ancient Diolkos of Corinth is being restored. The stone-paved road was once used for transporting ships across the isthmus. The well-illustrated article includes a video showing the Diolkos in operation.

Restoration work has begun at Alexandria, Egypt, on the sea wall, lighthouse, and ancient bridge.

NewScientist has a brief report on the excavations of Berenike, ancient Egypt’s southernmost port.

The NY Times has a feature on the forgotten pyramids of Sudan, with some beautiful photos.

BBC: “Kelly Grovier explores how images depicting a staged lion hunt were used to proclaim a king’s greatness.”

Webinar on April 12 and 13: “Jehu’s Tribute: What Can Biblical Studies Offer Assyriology?” Free registration is required.

Now online: The Archaeological Gazetteer of Iran: An Online Encyclopedia of Iranian Archaeological Sites, a free open-access online encyclopedia maintained by UCLA.

Ancient Iran: A Digital Platform provides various resources including timeline, maps, teaching tools, and photos.

The Louvre announced it now has more than half a million objects from its collection available to view online. The museum has hundreds of important objects related to biblical history.

Mark Wilson is on The Book and the Spade discussing the latest excavations at Laodicea, including an alleged house church.

“For Israelis, this year, Passover marks a celebration of freedom from virus.”

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

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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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