Murex Map of Lebanon
- When purple is blue
- Murex is the source of Royal Purple
- More about Royal Purple
- Murex is not the only source of purple
- Purple fabric dyed from Murex found in Judean desert
Chris McKinny explains the fortifications of Tel Burna that were discovered this season.
The Charlotte Observer reports on Shimon Gibson’s excavations in Jerusalem.
Tracy Hoffman has a wrap-up on the 2015 season at Ashkelon.
James R. Strange is interviewed by the Ancient Jew Review about his excavations of Shikhin.
Excavations of the Red Sea harbor of Berenike have revealed many inscriptions and much more.
A scene discovered at Göbeklitepe in Turkey may be the world’s oldest pictograph.
Philip II of Macedonia may be buried in a different tomb in Vergina than originally thought.
Chickens were first raised for mass consumption at Maresha in the Hellenistic period, a new study claims.
Aleteia tells the story of how new life has come to Magdala.
Hershel Shanks is interviewed by Author Talk on the 40th anniversary of Biblical Archaeology Review.
In light of Tisha B’Av, Wayne Stiles looks to the Burnt House to help us examine our motives.
A copy of Lamentations from the Dead Sea Scrolls was on display for the first time at the Bible Lands Museum.
HT: Joseph Lauer
If you ever wanted to learn more about the Lands of the Bible but you’re not a traditional student or you can’t afford to travel to the Middle East, you will want to check out the free online “Survey of the Lands of the Bible” class that Mark Vitalis Hoffman is offering through Gettysburg Seminary.
The course runs from September to December and gives you the opportunity to do as much or as little as your schedule permits. You can watch videos, read the textbook, and join in discussions.
You can learn more here.
This also would be a great opportunity for those who have traveled to the Lands of the Bible but the tour left them longing for more!
A 6th-century AD scroll discovered inside a Torah Ark at En Gedi 45 years ago has recently been deciphered to reveal the first 8 verses of Leviticus, making it the oldest scroll discovered since the Dead Sea Scrolls. From a press release from the Israel Antiquities Authority:
Summary: Modern technologies made it possible for the first time to read the contents of a burnt scroll that was found forty five years ago in archaeological excavations at Ein Gedi, on the western shore of the Dead Sea. Surprisingly the scroll is a 1,500 year old copy of the beginning of the Book of Leviticus….
Details: The parchment scroll was unearthed in 1970 in archaeological excavations in the synagogue at Ein Gedi, headed by the late Dr. Dan Barag and Dr. Sefi Porath. However, due to its charred condition, it was not possible to either preserve or decipher it.
The Lunder Family Dead Sea Scrolls Conservation Center of the Israel Antiquities Authority which uses state of the art and advanced technologies to preserve and document the Dead Sea scrolls enabled the discovery of this important find. It turns out that part of this scroll is from the beginning of the Book of Leviticus, written in Hebrew, and dated by C14 analysis to the late sixth–century CE. To date, this is the most ancient scroll from the five books of the Hebrew Bible to be found since the Dead Sea scrolls, most of which are ascribed to the end of the Second Temple period (first century BCE-first century CE).
There are no English articles yet posted, but you should be able to find them as they appear with this link. Haaretz has the story in its Hebrew edition. High-res images may be downloaded here. Thanks to Joseph Lauer for sending the press release and related links.
Scroll fragment before study, Shai Halevi, IAA
Virtual Unrolling and Suggested Merged Text Layer, Seth Parker, University of Kentucky and Ehud Shor, Jerusalem
Ein Gedi Potential Scroll Fragments for further research, Shai Halevi, IAA
The finds keep coming in the excavations of Gath.
A mosaic with a verse from Isaiah 65 has been discovered in Adana, Turkey.
A thief has returned two ballista balls he took from the excavations of Gamla twenty years ago.
Researchers are working to restore Iraq’s destroyed monuments online.
Police have arrested suspects in the arson case of the Tabgha Church of the Multiplication of Loaves and Fish.
Simon Gathercole: 5 Reasons Why the Gospel of Jesus’s Wife is a Fake
The Temple Institute is raising a red heifer in Israel.
Ayelet Gilboa writes about the significance of Tel Dor in the Jerusalem Post.
Jennie Ebeling talks about the Jezreel excavations on the Book and the Spade.
You can get up to speed on the excavations at Tel ‘Eton (Eglon?) with this article by Avraham Faust and Hayah Katz at the ASOR Blog (registration required).
The Water Gate in Jerusalem gets Wayne Stiles to thinking about its past and present significance.
Are you a Mesopotamian know-it-all? The ASOR Blog has 14 questions to test your knowledge.
The PEF introduces a new series: Interviews from the Jerusalem Chamber.
The dates for the 2016 season at Tel Burna have been announced.
Exploring Jordan: The Other Biblical Land is a free e-book from the Biblical Archaeology Society that includes articles on Bethany, Rabbath of the Ammonites, Philadelphia, Moab, and Petra.
The Illustrated Life of Paul by Charles L. Quarles is $0.99 on Kindle today.
HT: Ted Weis, Charles Savelle, Agade, Paleojudaica
The Virtual Bible [is] a new visual resource which offers three-dimensional reconstructions of the land of Israel, first-century Jerusalem, the Herodian Temple, and more. The visuals, which include still images and video fly-throughs, were developed by Dr. Daniel Warner of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and Dr. James Strange of the University of South Florida, in consultation with Leen Ritmeyer, an archaeological architect who is an expert on the Jerusalem Temple.
A special edition of DigSight reports on the excavations of Lachish.
A special issue of World Heritage magazine is devoted to historical sites in Iraq.
The 18th Annual Bible and Archaeology Fest will be held this year in Atlanta.
The National Academy of Sciences has criticized the political use of archaeology in a recent report.
The Islamic State is selling looted art.
Aviva and Shmuel Bar-Am give a history of the recent excavations at Magdala.
Carl Rasmussen notes that the rooftop of Nebi Samwil is now open and photos are allowed at Jacob’s Well.
The Dome of the Rock may re-open to non-Muslim visitors.
ASOR quiz: Can you identify these Near Eastern languages?
A clay image of a Canaanite fertility goddess was discovered in Luke Chandler’s square at Lachish this week.
The Action Bible is on sale for $4.99 for the Kindle.
Wayne Stiles: “I thought I understood the wilderness wanderings of Israel. Then I traveled through the wilderness.”
Some Israeli history buffs have re-enacted the Crusader battle at the Horns of Hattin. Check out the photos.
HT: Agade, Ted Weiss, Charles Savelle
The first permanent Roman legionary camp has been discovered near Megiddo. Scholars long knew of its existence because of the site’s preserved name of Legio, but only recently have they found remains. This year-old article at Bible History Daily has more of the background than the recent news reports.
Excavators working at the Jewish village of Shikhin near Sepphoris have discovered a pottery workshop.
Jodi Magness has discovered more mosaics in her excavation of the Jewish synagogue of Huqoq. For photos, see the links at the end of the article.
Here’s the latest on the gate discovered this week at Gath.
This looks interesting: Urban Legends of the New Testament: 40 Common Misconceptions. It quotes this blog and comes out on Monday.
Wayne Stiles is leading a tour focused on the life and land of Jesus in 2016, with a $550 reduction from this year’s tour price with the early bird rate.
A detailed report of the destruction to the archaeological site of Palmyra is available from the ASOR Syrian Heritage Initiative.
Ross Burns is keeping a tally of destruction to historic Syrian sites.
The Palestine Exploration Fund has been celebrating its 150th anniversary.
Here’s a unique aerial photo of Gibeah of Saul (Tell el-Ful), taken in 1931 before King Hussein’s construction destroyed Saul’s palace.
Shlomo Moussaieff died recently.
HT: Agade, Paul Mitchell, Joseph Lauer, Charles Savelle, Steven Anderson
Location of Roman legionary camp at Megiddo
The bulk of this volume is devoted to an inductive study of the ancient sources regarding crucifixion with an eye to understanding the way in which Jews perceived crucifixion. Here Chapman discusses ancient texts from various types of literature that can be described as Jewish (e.g., the Apocrypha, Josephus, Philo, rabbinics, etc.). Chapman’s survey reveals a variety of perceptions from martyrdoms to scandalous punishments for brigands and rebels...Concerning the primary sources, it seems that Chapman has not missed any significant extant material....Although acknowledging the existence of various methods and devices, [Chapman] is not claiming that Jesus died on a pole (or other device); rather, he says crucifixion could take place in a number of ways...The goals of crucifixion included torture, shame, and death. How the cross looked or what shape it was in was not the main concern. (Review by Joseph D. Fantin.)
Gunnar Samuelsson investigates the philological aspects of how ancient Greek, Latin and Hebrew/Aramaic texts depict crucifixions. A survey of the texts shows that there has been too narrow a view of the “crucifixion” terminology. The various terms do not only refer to “crucify” and “cross.” They are used much more diversely. Hence, most of the crucifixion accounts that scholars cite in the ancient literature have to be rejected, leaving only a few. (From the publisher’s website.)
To understand the phenomenon of Roman crucifixion, the author argues that one should begin with an investigation of the evidence from Latin texts and inscriptions (such as the lex Puteolana [the law of Puteoli]) supplemented by what may be learned from the surviving archaeological material (e.g., the Arieti fresco of a man on a patibulum [horizontal beam], the Puteoli and Palatine graffiti of crucifixion, the crucifixion nail in the calcaneum bone from Jerusalem, and the Pereire gem of the crucified Jesus [III CE]). This evidence clarifies the precise meaning of terms such as patibulum and crux (vertical beam or cross), which in turn illuminate the Greek terms [e.g., σταυρός, σταυρόω and ἀνασταυρόω] and texts that describe crucifixion or penal suspension. It is of fundamental importance that Greek texts be read against the background of Latin texts and Roman historical practice. The author traces the use of the penalty by the Romans until its probable abolition by Constantine and its eventual transformation into the Byzantine punishment by the furca (the fork), a form of penal suspension that resulted in immediate death (a penalty illustrated by the sixth century Vienna Greek codex of Genesis). Cook does not neglect the legal sources — including the question of the permissibility of the crucifixion of Roman citizens and the crimes for which one could be crucified. In addition to the Latin and Greek authors, texts in Hebrew and Aramaic that refer to penal suspension and crucifixion are examined. Brief attention is given to crucifixion in the Islamic world and to some modern forms of penal suspension including haritsuke (with two photographs), a penalty closely resembling crucifixion that was used in Tokugawan Japan. The material contributes to the understanding of the crucifixion of Jesus and has implications for the theologies of the cross in the New Testament. The relevant ancient images are included. (Abstract from author’s Academia.edu page.)
The purpose of this comprehensive sourcebook by David W. Chapman and Eckhard J. Schnabel is to publish the extra-biblical primary texts that have been cited as relevant for understanding Jesus' trial and crucifixion. The texts in the first part deal with Jesus' trial and interrogation before the Sanhedrin, and the texts in the second part concern Jesus' trial before Pilate. The texts in part three represent crucifixion as a method of execution in antiquity. For each document the authors provide the original text (Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek, Latin, etc.), a translation, and commentary. The commentary describes the literary context and the purpose of each document in context before details are clarified, along with observations on the contribution of these texts to understanding Jesus' trial and crucifixion. (From the publisher’s website.)Table of Contents