Digs, Blogs, and a Bomb
The excavations at Ramat Rahel have recently begun and they have their own blog. Today they found a bomb! Other excavations in Israel with blogs include Gath (regular and professional), Megiddo (regular), and Dan (they had good intentions). I don't know of any blogs for the current excavations at Hazor (where is that archive?), Gezer (is this another Macalister dump?), or Ashkelon.
There's a few more days if you want to join in excavations on a site that used to be called Khirbet Qeiyafa, but is now dubbed the much more appealing "Elah Fortress." There's some info here on what to bring. Here's the season brochure (front, back). You can also watch a YouTube video on the site.
Next year Bryant Wood is headed back to Khirbet el-Maqatir after a hiatus since Palestinian terrorism restarted in 2000. Excavations of the candidate for biblical Ai are scheduled for May 20 - June 6, 2009.
The Jerusalem Report has a lengthy article (published online, but poorly formatted, by the JPost) about the state of Dead Sea Scroll and Qumran research, including various theories of who lived at Qumran and who were responsible for the scrolls. The article also discusses the newly publicized "Gabriel's Vision" tablet, and includes a sidebar on the Palestinians' demand that the scrolls be turned over to them.
If you didn't hear it already, Codex Sinaiticus is beginning to be posted online this week. Here's the story, and here's the link to one of the oldest Bibles in existence. Come back in a year if you want to read the whole thing.
Six months and $200,000 later, Zion Gate is now back in view. The hundreds of bullet holes and shell marks are still visible, but the stones are now stabilized and less likely to collapse on a vehicle executing a beautiful 11-point turn as they exit the city.
And perhaps tourism to Iraq is not so far off.