Sunday, July 20, 2014

Weekend Roundup, Part 2

A new museum has opened at Hisham’s palace (Khirbet al-Mafjar) in Jericho.

A temple to the Urartian god Haldi has been discovered in northern Iraq.

A painting from the tomb of a priest in the Old Kingdom was discovered near the Giza pyramids.

You can read an update on the recent developments at the Temple Mount Sifting Project. The summary includes a series of photos of various sets of objects found.

The Tel Burna team ended their season by taking photos from a helicopter drone. The post shows the whole process.

Roman roads and milestones in Judaea and Palaestina are the focus of a new website produced by the Kinneret College on the Sea of Galilee and the Israeli Milestone Committee.

Raphael Golb will spend two months in the slammer for his crimes of criminal impersonation and forgery.

“The Archaeology of Music” is the subject on this week’s episode of The Book and the Spade.

Biblical Archaeology Society has a summer sale, including the entire BAR Archive on DVD for $99.95.

HT: Jack Sasson, Ted Weis

Hisham's palace gate from east, tb051106670

Hisham’s palace gate
Photo from Samaria and the Center

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Saturday, July 19, 2014

Weekend Roundup, Part 1

SourceFlix has posted a video taken by drone of the Old City and Temple Mount of Jerusalem.

Excavators at Jezreel discovered an amethyst scarab that likely came from Jezebel’s homeland.

Amnon Rosenfeld died in a car accident in Israel last week. Earlier this month he wrote “The Antiquities Game – Behind the Trial of the Century.” The article is long but has a number of valuable insights.

With Gaza in the news again, Ferrell Jenkins discusses its biblical significance.

The excavators at Gath had a very interesting day on Thursday.

Abram K-J has found a free digital Greek edition of Eusebius’s Onomasticon.

Rik Wadge and Steve Shermett host a series on biblical archaeology entitled Rocks, Shovels, and Manuscripts on God’s Learning Channel. The most recent episodes focus on the seven churches of Revelation.

Caves in Israel—Manmade and God-made: Wayne Stiles explains and illustrates. He also offers a free download of a book he recently wrote for the Israel Ministry of Tourism, 100 Off-The-Beaten-Path Sites.

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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Gezer Excavations Proceed During Conflict

The Baptist Press reports on this summer’s excavation at Gezer in light of the on-going conflict.

Tensions and conflict between Hamas and Israel -- including Palestinian rocket-fire on Jerusalem and Tel Aviv and Israeli air strikes on Gaza -- have escalated in recent days. But Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary's archaeological teams at Tel Gezer, located between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, continue to work and unearth valuable historical data about the region.

"Fortunately, our excavation camp and where we work are in low-populated areas, out of the target range and strategy of the rockets coming from Gaza," Steven Ortiz, professor of archaeology and biblical backgrounds at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, said.

"Our dig house just happens to be a bomb shelter, so we have gone to the dig house when we heard the air raid sirens, and it is also open to other guests of the hotel and community," he said. "We are sensitive to all parties involved in the conflict, take every precaution and follow all directions from the Israeli government."

The full article notes some of the recent progress, including this season’s excavation of a large building near the Solomonic gate.

Gezer high place with standing stones, db6804053210

Gezer standing stones in 1968
Photo by David Bivin

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New Gate Found at Lachish

Luke Chandler has announced that the new Lachish expedition (fourth expedition) has found a new city gate on the northeastern side of the mound.

Prof. Yosef Garfinkel states that current excavations at Tel Lachish have discovered a new, earlier entrance to the city on the northeast side of the tel. This is the opposite side of the mound from the known Iron Age gate.
People who have visited Tel Lachish will recognize the Iron Age gate in the photo below. It lies on the southwest side of the tel and was discovered in the 1930′s by Starkey and Tufnell. This gate and its approach ramp relate to the city levels destroyed by Sennacherib of Assyria in 701 BC and Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon in 587/6 BC. 
Garfinkel believes the northeast section of the tel would have been a natural entrance point to the city in earlier times. The 2014 excavations exposed and clarified ancient fortifications in this area. Garfinkel gives the newly-discovered entrances a preliminary dating to the early Iron and Middle Bronze ages. (Biblically, this is the period ranging from the early kingdom years back to the Patriarchs.) The 2014 season at Lachish was cut short by the Israel-Hamas conflict, so these new entrances will be excavated in the 2015 season.
If this is in fact a gate that can be dated to the "early Iron Age," then this is a very important discovery for reconstructing Israel/Judah's geopolitical character in the 10th and 9th centuries BCE. Until now the fortifications (or lack thereof) of Lachish levels V-IV (generally dated to the 10th-9th centuries BCE) had remained an open question. Everyone agrees that Lachish level III (c. 760-701 BCE) is securely dated to the time of Hezekiah and Sennacherib based on the abundance of LMLK seal impressions, the siege ramp, the Nineveh reliefs and the biblical/extrabiblical texts that discuss the battle. This layer is followed by Level II that is characterized by another destruction of Nebuchadnezzar at the beginning of the 6th century BCE. This too, is well-accepted by everyone due to its clear connection with the biblical and extrabiblical sources (e.g. Lachish letters). But the periods between the well-dated Late Bronze levels (e.g. fosse temples, summit temple, etc.) and the 8th-6th centuries BCE (Iron IIB-C) were not nearly as well understood in either the First (Starkey) or Third (Ussishkin) major expeditions at the site.

Besides the very important ramifications related to the possible finding of the Middle Bronze Age gate (2000-1550 BCE), the possible finding of an Iron IIA gate at Lachish has the following ramifications upon the archaeology and history of Iron Age Israel/Judah:

  • It would allow for a better synthesis with parallels of other currently excavated sites. For example, this is very significant for Tel Burna, the site that I excavate at, since we have a casemate fortification that dates at least to the late Iron IIA (9th century BCE) if not earlier (we have not reached the base of the wall yet). We have always thought that our site is under the direct control of Lachish during this period and now it seems that there may be a physical connection. 
  • It would make for a very important point of comparison of the fortifications and related finds at such sites as Tel Sheva, Arad, Tel Erani, Beth-Shemesh. This is also huge (!) for archaeological survey material, which has long used the sequencing at Lachish as the basis for dating ceramic finds at other sites (e.g. Yehuda Dagan - Shephelah Survey).
  • It would show that early divided Judah or a united Israel was actively building in the Shephelah at the most important site in the region. This has major effects upon our interpretation on the nature of the massive city-state of Philistine Gath in relation to Judah, our reconstruction of Judah's rise as a territorial state, and our overall understanding of the borders and hinterlands of Judah in the 10th-9th centuries BCE. To put this in perspective, here are 3 major articles that have been devoted to this topic in the last couple of years (e.g. Na'aman 2013, Sergi 2013 (and dissertation), Lehmann and Niemann 2014). Not to mention that my own dissertation will largely be devoted to addressing this very question.
  • It would aid in determining the historical reliability of the Rehoboam fortification list of cities in 2 Chronicles 11:5-12, which includes the city of Lachish. Rehoboam lived in the late 10th century BCE, but this list is often dated to the time of Hezekiah, or even to the Hasmonean period (!) by Finkelstein.
These are just a few ramifications. If this in fact a gate, and it can in fact be dated to the "early Iron Age" (i.e. The Iron IIA) then it will have a major effect upon the field. 

Lachish from northwest - Iron IIB-C gates are on the right of the tell. New gate should be locate above the palatial podium (center of tell).

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Destruction of Jonah's Tomb

(Post by A.D. Riddle)

According to Iraqi News, ISIL/ISIS terrorists destroyed what is believed by some to be the tomb of the prophet Jonah. The mosque and tomb are located in modern Mosul, Iraq on Tell Nebi Yunus (Arabic for Prophet Jonah).
The elements of ISIL controlled the mosque of the Prophet Younis in Mosul since they invaded the city...there is almost certain information stating the fact that the elements of ISIL dug up the grave of the Prophet Younis.

That is not the only thing they have destroyed...
They torched 11 churches and monasteries out of 35 scattered across the city of Mosul, and hours later destroyed statues of poets, literary and historical figures of which Mosul has long been proud.

The full article with photographs and video is here.

Tell Nebi Yunis in Mosul, Iraq.
(Photo from Panoramio).

About 50 years or so after Jonah, Sennacherib (704-681 B.C.) enlarged Nineveh and made it his capital. The walls were 7.5 miles in circumference, had 15 gates, and enclosed two mounds: Tell Kuyunjik and Tell Nebi Yunus. Here is a map of the Assyrian heartland, and here is a map of Nineveh in the time of Sennacherib.

We wrote another piece about a shrine in Lebanon which commemorates the location where the fish spit Jonah out. You can read that here.

Thursday, July 03, 2014

New Mosaic Discovered in Huqoq Synagogue

Following recent discoveries of mosaics depicting Samson’s life, excavators at Huqoq revealed a new mosaic this summer that depicts other non-biblical scenes. From the UNC press release:

Excavations led by a University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill faculty member revealed stunning new mosaics decorating the floor of the Late Roman (fifth century) synagogue at Huqoq, an ancient Jewish village in Israel’s Lower Galilee.

Since 2012, three well-preserved mosaics have been discovered in the same location in excavations directed by Jodi Magness....

In 2012, a mosaic showing Samson and the foxes (as related in the Bible’s Judges 15:4) was discovered in the synagogue’s east aisle. Last summer (2013), a second mosaic was found which shows Samson carrying the gate of Gaza on his shoulders (Judges 16:3).

A third mosaic discovered in the synagogue’s east aisle is divided into three horizontal registers (strips), and differs in style, quality and content from the Samson scenes. It is the first time a non-biblical story has been found decorating any ancient synagogue. Portions of this mosaic were uncovered in 2013, and the rest was revealed this summer.

The lowest register shows a bull pierced by spears, with blood gushing from his wounds, and a dying or dead soldier holding a shield. The middle register depicts an arcade, with the arches framing young men arranged around a seated elderly man holding a scroll, and lighted oil lamps above each arch. The uppermost register depicts a meeting between two large male figures. A bearded, diademed soldier wearing elaborate battle dress and a purple cloak is leading a large bull by the horns, accompanied by a phalanx of soldiers and elephants with shields tied to their sides. He is meeting with a grey-haired, bearded elderly man wearing a ceremonial white tunic and mantle, accompanied by young men with sheathed swords, also wearing ceremonial white tunics and mantles.

The identification of the figures in this mosaic is unclear because there are no stories in the Hebrew Bible involving elephants, Magness said.

”Battle elephants were associated with Greek armies beginning with Alexander the Great, so this might be a depiction of a Jewish legend about the meeting between Alexander and the Jewish high priest,” Magness suggested. “Different versions of this story appear in the writings of Flavius Josephus and in rabbinic literature.”

The press release includes a small photo. A photo of the elephant can be seen in Magness’s article in Biblical Archaeology Review last year. Huqoq is located several miles west of Capernaum.

HT: Joseph Lauer

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Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Roads of Arabia Volume in PDF

(Post by A.D. Riddle)

In response to a post last week in which we mentioned the book Roads of Arabia: Archaeology and History of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Harry Orenstein has alerted us to the existence of a pdf of the volume. The file (22.2 MB) can be downloaded from the website of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities using the last link on this page. It is a pdf of the English version of Roads of Arabia. The quality of the images has been degraded, so the pdf does not replace the printed book, but it does make the volume searchable and much easier to move around.

There are a few other documents as well. Here are direct links to each:

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Monday, June 30, 2014

Nebuchadnezzar in Lebanon

(Post by A.D. Riddle)

The ArchéOrient blog recently posted a piece by Rocio da Riva on the inscriptions and reliefs in Lebanon belonging to the Neo-Babylonian king, Nebuchadnezzar II. (This is the king mentioned in 2 Kings 24-25; 2 Chron 36; Jeremiah; Daniel; and elsewhere in the Bible.) The original article is in French, but Google Translate does an almost-semi-respectable job of producing an English version here.

The article mentions four places in Lebanon where Nebuchadnezzar left inscriptions and/or reliefs.
  • Nahr el-Kalb
  • Wadi Brisa, aka Wadi esh-Sharbin
  • Shir es-Sanam
  • Wadi es-Saba'
Three of these sites are in the northeast of the Lebanon Mountains, oriented in the direction of Riblah, Nebuchadnezzar's headquarters in the west (2 Kings 25; Jer 39 and 52). The inscriptions/reliefs are located along routes which lead up into the mountains and which were used by the Babylonians for felling and transporting cedars of Lebanon for construction. The locations can be viewed here in Google Maps (if I did it right).

The Nahr el-Kalb inscriptions are alone on the other side of the Lebanon Mountains, at the mouth of a river named Nahr el-Kalb on the Mediterranean coast. (Well, not entirely alone, because on the opposite bank of the river is a rocky promontory where one will find nearly two dozen other stelae left by conquerers from Ramesses II in ca. 1276 B.C. to the "Liberation of South Lebanon" in A.D. 2000. See Seth's post here.)

Nahr el-Kalb ("Dog River").
The inscriptions of Nebuchadnezzar are secretly hidden
behind all the vegetation just right of the bridge.

Da Riva has been working on the royal inscriptions of all the Neo-Babylonian kings. A lot of her recently-published work concentrates in particular on the Lebanon inscriptions listed above, but she has also just completed an edition of the inscriptions of Nabopolassar, Amel-Marduk and Neriglissar (cover shown below). Many of her articles are available at her page (sign up required).

As a prelude to her editions of the Neo-Babylonian royal inscriptions, Da Riva published a short introduction entitled The Neo-Babylonian Royal Inscriptions: An Introduction (2008). We recommend especially the first 19 pages where one will find a very nice, up-to-date, historical summary of the Neo-Babylonian period.

HT: Jack Sasson


Sunday, June 29, 2014

Weekend Roundup, Part 2

After 31 years of hosting The Book & The Spade, Gordon Govier shares some personal reflections.

An aging Lebanese potter laments the passing of his craft.

Archaeologists have found evidence of the “plague of Cyprian.”

Satellite images from the US State Department’s Cultural Heritage Center “document the scale of destruction that looters continue to inflict on archaeological heritage sites during the ongoing conflict in Syria.”

Identifying a complete set of Edward Robinson’s Biblical Researches in Palestine at is a bit confusing, but David Stark has posted links to volumes 1 and 2 (3 volumes from 1841 in a 2-volume set, 2nd/11th eds.) and volume 3 (the 1856 volume, Later Biblical Researches, 11th ed.).

Now on pre-pub for Logos Bible Software: Near East Archaeological Society Bulletin (1958–2013) (78 issues) – $99.95.

ASOR’s Archaeology Weekly Roundup has more.

I’ll be traveling the better part of the next two weeks and will not be posting much. If they discover an archive at Hazor, Gezer, or Gath, I’m sure that one of my fellow contributors will let you know.

HT: Charles Savelle, Jack Sasson, Joseph Lauer, Ted Weis

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Saturday, June 28, 2014

Weekend Roundup, Part 1

Luke Chandler reports on the first week of excavations at Lachish. They made some significant finds in his square on each of the first three days.

They had a fantastic third week of excavations at Tel Burna.

A Roman theater (or amphitheater?) has been discovered in ancient Smyrna as the municipality demolishes a poor neighborhood. This may have been the place where Polycarp was martyred.

Beit Guvrin National Park has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Wayne Stiles captures the beauty and historic significance of Nahal Zin with photos, a video, and Google Street View.

“The truth about Jesus' tomb, romance and the Holocaust” is a rather flashy title for an update of Simcha Jacobovici’s lawsuit against Joe Zias.

ABR has created a new video series, Is It Time To Throw Away Your Bible? They have now shared a couple of free episodes: King David and Solomon: Men or Myths? Part One and Part Two. The video set is on sale for only $20.

Robert Cargill reflects on the passing of Yuval Peleg.

Bet Guvrin cave with view to sky, tb022807541

Cave at Beit Guvrin National Park
Photo from Judah and the Dead Sea

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Thursday, June 26, 2014

Yuval Peleg Killed in Archaeology Accident

Very sad news out of Israel today. Archaeologist Yuval Peleg was conducting a salvage excavation ahead of the construction of a road in the West Bank when he was killed by falling rocks.

From The Jerusalem Post:

A 46-year-old man was killed in an accident at an archaeological dig site between Homesh and Karnei Shomron in the West Bank on Thursday. He was later identified as Yuval Pelleg.

An initial investigation into the incident found that an Israeli and several Palestinian workers were digging at the entrance to a cave when rocks began falling down the mountain, trapping the man.

People on the scene succeeded in removing some of the rocks from on top of the man. A military medical crew attempted to resuscitate him while his lower half remained trapped under the rocks, but were forced to pronounce him dead on the scene.

From Jerusalem Online:

Gershon Mesika, the head of the Shomron Regional Council, stated, “In the framework of building a new road, a new cave was discovered. According to the procedure, an archaeologist was sent to survey the cave and to study it. Then, there was the disaster. We are sorry for the loss of the senior level archeologist doing research in Samaria.”

The Times of Israel has a map of the area in which was working. Jerusalem Online has a photo of the accident scene. Arutz-7 has another here. Robert Cargill has a photo of Yuval here. A lecture that he gave in 2012 about recent excavations at Qumran is online here. The preliminary report that he wrote with Yitzhak Magen of Qumran excavations from 1993 to 2004 is online here. Jim West notes that Yuval had a wife and two small children.

HT: Joseph Lauer


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Artifact of the Month: Sennacherib Prism

(Posted by Michael J. Caba)

This month's artifact is known as the Sennacherib Prism. Made in ancient Assyria in c. 700 BC of baked clay, the prism is approximately 15 inches tall. The cuneiform script in the Akkadian language refers to Israelite King Hezekiah and to Assyrian King Sennacherib, both of whom are mentioned in the biblical text (cf. 2 Kings 19:9). In the inscription the Assyrian ruler boasts of trapping Hezekiah in Jerusalem like a caged bird. The artifact was purchased from a Baghdad antiquities dealer in c. 1919 and is now in the Oriental Institute Museum, University of Chicago. It is one of eight similar prisms with nearly identical text found so far (e.g., the Taylor Prism in the British Museum).

Of particular interest to biblical studies is the "spin" Sennacherib put on the story of his assault into the land of Israel in comparison to the typical portrayals in the biblical text of this and similar events. For instance, Sennacherib included his victories such as his aforementioned claim to have locked up Hezekiah in Jerusalem like a caged bird; yet he conveniently neglected to mention that he lost his entire army in the process. In fact, this approach to recording events is quite typical for Ancient Near Eastern rulers. In contrast, the Biblical text repeatedly takes a more evenhanded attitude to historical events by recording both the victories and defeats of the Israelites, and, perhaps more importantly, the reasons thereof. The more balanced approach by the biblical authors speaks to their interest in historical and theological accuracy, and also to the fact that they were inspired by One who has similar interests.

For information on similar artifacts related to the Bible, see Bible and Archaeology - Online Museum.

(Photo: Significant resources for further study of this "group" of prisms: The Context of Scripture, volume 2, pages 302-303; Lost Treasures of the Bible, by Fant and Reddish, pages 158-163.) 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Roads of Arabia Exhibition

(Post by A.D. Riddle)

A friend and I recently took a 24-hour road trip to Kansas City, Missouri to see the "Roads of Arabia" exhibition. We have been following the exhibition on this blog since just after it began showing in 2010 (see here), and it looks like Missouri is about as close as it was ever going to get to where I live. The exhibition was larger than I had envisioned and it took about four-five hours to explore most of the exhibit (we had to skim over some parts). It begins with stone tools from the Lower Paleolithic and works its way up to the modern kingdom of Saudi Arabia. I learned a lot of interesting things, and there were a few surprises. Writing the curator in advance ensured I was able to take photographs, but that did not stop guards and docents from stopping us several times and telling us photography was not permitted. If you visit the exhibit, do not assume you will be able to take pictures—find out ahead of time, if that is something you want to do.

My interest in going was motivated by (1) the difficulty (or impossibility) of ever visiting Saudi Arabia to see these objects and sites, and (2) the occasional connections to Arabia sprinkled throughout the Bible. In particular, the exhibit displayed a number of objects from these biblical sites/kingdoms:
  • Midian
  • Dedan
  • Kedar (Qedar)
  • Sheba/Sabeans
  • Tema
  • Nabateans
Stela of Babylonian king Nabonidus from Tema.

The exhibition catalog was available in the museum store for $70, and after him-hawin' over the price tag, I decided to get it. It was well-worth the cost.

Al-Ghabban, Ali Ibrahim;  Béatrice André-Salvini; Françoise Demange; Carine Juvin; and Marianne Cotty, eds.
2010 Roads of Arabia: Archaeology and History of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Paris: Somogy Art Publishers and Musée du Louvre; Washington, D.C.: Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution.

The volume is 607 pages long, and it is far more than a catalog. Not only does it have high-quality color photographs of all the objects on display, it has chapters on archaeology and history, each accompanied by maps, site plans, drawings and photographs. The chapters that caught my eye were:
  • “Geographic Introduction to the Arabian Peninsula,” by Paul Sanlaville
  • “The Story of the Origins,” by D. T. Potts
  • “Antiquity,” by Christian Julien Robin
  • “Languages and Scripts,” by Christian Julien Robin
  • “The Frankincense Caravans,” by Françoise Demange
  • “North-Eastern Arabia (circa 5000-2000 BC),” by D. T. Potts
  • “The Kingdom of Midian,” by Abdulaziz bin Saud Al-Ghauzzi
  • “The Oasis of Tayma,” by Arnulf Hausleiter
  • “Dedan (al-Ula),” by Said F. Al-Said
  • “The Kingdom of Lihyan,” by Hussein bin Ali Abu Al-Hasan  
The full table of contents is available in pdf here.

The book does not appear to be affordably priced at Amazon ($221), but it can be ordered from the Smithsonian ($79.50 including shipping) or from the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art ($82.50 including shipping). One blogger gives something of a book review here with several snapshots of pages.

Here is a list of stops the "Roads of Arabia" exhibition has made since it opened in 2010.

Jul 14–Sep 27 Musée du Louvre, Paris
Nov 12–Feb 27 CaixaForum, Barcelona

May 17–Sep 4 The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg

Jan 26–Apr 9 Pergamon Museum, Berlin
Nov 17–Feb 24 Smithsonian Institution's Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Washington, DC

Jun 15–Nov 4 Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Pittsburgh
Dec 22–Mar 9 The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Apr 25–Jul 6 Neslon-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, MO
Oct 17–Jan 18 Asian Art Museum, San Francisco

I continue to see notices that the exhibition will show in Chicago and Boston, but no locations or dates have been given yet.

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Monday, June 23, 2014

The Sacred Bridge, Second Emended and Enhanced Edition

I noted on the Weekend Roundup that Carta had released a second edition of The Sacred Bridge but it was not clear what changes had been made.

I have since learned from sources at Accordance Bible Software what those changes include:

1. Many typographic corrections, both in the text and in the map descriptions. That’s good, since I don’t think I’ve seen a book with more typos than this one.
2. A few newer or updated pictures and maps.
3. A few places with rewritten text or updates in the archaeological information, especially from Steven Notley.
4. In the Accordance version, the detailed graphic timelines in the inside covers are now added, which were omitted in the first edition on Accordance.

Here’s the kicker: if you purchased the first edition in print, you have to pay full price for the second edition. (That’s the way it’s always been with print publishing.) But if you had purchased the electronic edition from Accordance, the second edition is a free upgrade. I think that is great business practice, but I don’t recall seeing it implemented very often. Kudos to Accordance for taking care of their customers!

I have praised the first edition previously here.


Saturday, June 21, 2014

Weekend Roundup

Yad HaShmonah and its Biblical Village are profiled in The Times of Israel. Aviva and Shmuel Bar-Am treat their subject honorably.

Wayne Stiles explains the connection between Horeshat Tal National Park and the Bible.

The video of the “Roast and Toast” for retiring Albright director Sy Gitin is now online with handy links to each segment.

Popular Archaeology looks forward to the coming season of excavations in Jaffa, including new work in the harbor looking for ancient shipwrecks.

Progress in the Ashkelon excavations is being reported on the Dig Ashkelon blog.

A summary for week 2 is posted at the Tel Burna excavation blog. Two more weeks remain this season.

Luke Chandler has arrived in Israel to join the new excavations at Lachish. Watch his blog for updates. There’s more information about the Fourth Expedition to Lachish at the website of Southern Adventist University.

Bible History Daily has published the first of several studio-quality videos about excavations of Tell Timai in the Nile Delta.

The Sacred Bridge is out in a second “emended and enhanced” edition. Eisenbrauns and Carta list it for sale but do not provide details for what has changed. (Anson Rainey died in 2011.)

Suzanne Marchand provides some interesting background on German-Turkish relations in archaeological work and how that was affected by World War I.

A number of scholarly teams are working on archaeology survey maps of northern Iraq.

“Authorities now know that ISIS is partially funded by pillaging ancient artifacts from Iraq and Syria to sell on the black market.” (International Business Times)

Mick Jagger was spotted at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. website is back online after a lengthy absence.

Amazon is now listing a book I contributed to: Jesus, A Visual History. It is due to be released in November.

HT: Jack Sasson, Craig Dunning, A.D. Riddle

Tabor oak, Horeshat Tal, tb032905182

Tabor oak at Horeshat Tal
Photo from Trees, Plants, and Flowers of the Holy Land

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