Saturday, January 22, 2011

Weekend Roundup

Alexander Schick passes on word that the excavated tunnel is now open that allows you to walk on the 1st-century street from the Pool of Siloam up the City of David to the area of the visitor’s center.  (A previous report about these excavations is here.)

Leen Ritmeyer is in Jordan and has photos of the newly opened baptismal site at “Bethabara.”

Ferrell Jenkins reports that Egyptian authorities are now prohibiting cameras from entering the Valley of the Kings. 

The Ohel Yitzchak Synagogue in the Old City of Jerusalem was looted and vandalized during the Jordanian occupation (1948-67), but its renovation has restored some of its former beauty, as you can see in Shmuel Brown’s recent photos.

With the verdict about to be announced in the forgery trial in Jerusalem, Hershel Shanks has written an e-book entitled, James, Brother of Jesus: Forged Antiquities and the Trial of Oded Golan and Robert Deutsch. Shanks believes the James Ossuary inscription was not forged and he plans to release the e-book when the judge issues the verdict.  See the sign-up details here.

The eastern Mediterranean is overdue for a big earthquake, says the Jerusalem Post.  The area has not had a seven or eight magnitude quake in nearly a millennium.  The 1927 tremor was a mere 6.2 on the Richter scale.

The newly re-opened Israel Museum has served half of a million visitors in the last half year. 

The LandMinds radio show has interviewed the recently retired Amihai Mazar, reflecting back on the excavations he directed at Tel Qasile, Giloh, Beth Shean, and Tel Rehov.

A Swiss architect is hard at work restoring and protecting the beautiful mosaics of Hisham’s Palace in Jericho.  A new excavation began at the site last week and new Russian museum is now open.

The season’s excavations at Tall el-Hammam are wrapping up and the team has posted a couple of videos.  The first shows what they have identified as a Middle Bronze temple (with a 10-foot thick wall!) and the second summarizes the finds in the Roman area.  They suggest that this was the city of Livias in the Roman-Byzantine period.

HT: Ferrell Jenkins, Roi Brit

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