Saturday, August 19, 2017

Weekend Roundup, Part 1

Three major salvage excavations in Israel may be excavated by private companies and directed by archaeologists with little experience. (Haaretz premium)

They’re already recruiting for next summer’s excavations in Israel, and you can get all the information for digging at Shiloh here.

Aren Maeir visited the new excavations of Kiriath Jearim and was very impressed with what he saw, suggesting that the site “will become one of the most important excavations in Israel.”

Carl Rasmussen explains how a solar eclipse in 763 BC helps us to establish an absolute chronology for OT events.

Steven Weitzman answers the question, “Can Genetics Solve the Mystery of the Lost Ten Tribes of Israel?”

Israel’s Good Name reports on his Bar Ilan U tour of the City of David.

Ferrell Jenkins explains the Megiddo water system with a drawing he made and several photos (including a labeled aerial photo).

Wayne Stiles shows how Banias Falls is a picture of despair.

We were very encouraged by some positive words about the new Photo Companion to the Bible by Ferrell Jenkins, Andy Naselli, Leen Ritmeyer, Charles Savelle, and Luke Chandler. Luke writes,

There is nothing like this resource available for teachers today. I cannot recommend the Gospels Photo Companion to the Bible strongly enough.

The introductory special continues through Monday, August 21.

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Monday, August 14, 2017

New Photo Collection on the Gospels

If you don’t subscribe to the BiblePlaces Newsletter, or if some helpful filter put it into a folder you never check, you can read it here. Or go straight to the big news of our new photo collection here.

My biased opinion: it’s our best collection ever.

It’s on sale this week. If you ever think you’ll need photos of the Gospels, grab this collection now because the price is low and you’ll receive free updates for life.



Saturday, August 12, 2017

Weekend Roundup

The suggestion that el-Araj could be New Testament Bethsaida received lots of media attention, not all accurate. I’d recommend this report by Jeffrey Garcia and Steven Notley at the CSAJCO website. An on-site interview with archaeologist Mordechai Aviam is posted at CBN’s Facebook page. The Today show sent a correspondent to the site. National Geographic sets some of the record straight. The Times of Israel looks at the two sites laying claim to the name of Bethsaida.

Jonathan Adler guides a video tour of a 2,000-year-old stone quarry that he excavated in Galilee. The Jerusalem Post provides a written report on the excavations.

The Abel Beth Maacah team shares a photo album from the 2017 season.

Nadav Na'aman argues that Khirbet Qeiyafa was not a Judahite city in a recent article in the Journal of Hebrew Scriptures.

Authorities are planning to stop the flow of sewage down the Kidron Valley.

The Wall Street Journal (subscription req’d) traces the path in which ISIS looted artifacts make their way out of the Middle East.

“Researchers have unearthed a 1,800-year-old writing tool, or stylus, at the Assos archeological site in northwestern Turkey.”

Excavations at Carchemish have uncovered 250 Hittite bullae this year.

Excavators at Tell Tayinat found fragments of a large female statue at the citadel gate complex.

Now online: Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities’ Newsletter for July 2017.

Wayne Stiles considers the strategic value of the International Highway (aka Via Maris).

Ferrell Jenkins shares a couple of beautiful photos of ibex at En Gedi and Ein Avdat.

Leon Mauldin explains the location and importance of Akeldama, the Field of Blood.

Cynthia Shafer-Elliott is on the Book and the Spade discussing “Canaanite DNA” and her excavation work at Tel Halif.

We will be making a big announcement in the BiblePlaces Newsletter on Monday. You can sign up for a free subscription here.

HT: A.D. Riddle, Lois Tverberg, Chris McKinny, Charles Savelle, Agade, Ted Weis, Joseph Lauer

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Monday, August 07, 2017

Luke & Acts (7): Caiaphas

(Posted by Michael J. Caba)

This series of posts examines the historical reliability of the New Testament books of Luke and Acts by comparing these books to other ancient textual sources and the archaeological record. Supplemental information of additional interest is often given as well.

One of the eight persons mentioned in Luke 3:1-2 is Caiaphas the high priest. There are a number of references to Caiaphas in historical sources with one being inscribed on a recently discovered burial ossuary of his granddaughter Miriam that, in addition to Miriam, makes reference to both Caiaphas and his son Yeshua. This discovery was announced in 2011 in the Israel Exploration Journal (V. 61, N. 1), and the following photo, which is used with the permission of Dr. Boaz Zissu, depicts the ossuary:

The text, which is located along the upper front rim, is translated from Aramaic into English as:

Miriam daughter of Yeshua son of Caiaphas, priests of Ma'aziah from Beth 'Imri

Additional information on this artifact is provided by the Israel Antiquity Authority.  

Further, a second ossuary inscribed with the name "Caiaphas" was found in Israel in 1990 and can now be seen in the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. Though not entirely certain, this ossuary is commonly thought to belong to the high priest Caiaphas himself, and the bones found within (those belonging to a 60-year-old man) may have been those of the high priest. The following picture depicts this second ossuary, and an article in the NY Times from 25 years ago announcing its discovery can be found at this link. 

Of additional interest is the fact related by the 1st-century Jewish historian Josephus that Caiaphas was also known by the name "Joseph" (Antiquities 18.4.3).

Because of his high profile in the New Testament, Caiaphas has often been depicted in various works of art over the centuries. One famous portrayal is located in the Scrovegni Chapel in Padua, Italy (outside Venice). The interior of the chapel was painted by the early Renaissance painter Giotto and dates to c. 1305. Though not as developed and awe-inspiring as later High Renaissance art (ca. 1500), this painting depicts an early attempt to portray perspective (depth) and a more natural lifelike world from which later artists would learn and progress.  For those interested in historical studies, particularly art history, the chapel is well worth the visit.

Caiaphas is the seated figure who is tearing his shirt at the testimony of Jesus as noted in Matthew 26:65

For other similar correlations between the biblical text and ancient sources, see Bible and Archaeology - Online Museum.

Sunday, August 06, 2017

New Excavations Suggest el-Araj was New Testament Bethsaida

For years, some scholars have doubted the claim of excavators working at et-Tell that they had discovered Bethsaida (see my explanation here). But as the years went by, and archaeologists continued to come up empty (of significant remains from the right time period), they doubled down and their voices became more shrill in their defense. Succeeding excavation reports were titled Bethsaida I, Bethsaida II, Bethsaida III, Bethsaida IV, etc.

Bethsaida aerial from northeast, ws053016297

  The site of et-Tell, proposed by excavators to be Bethsaida, with el-Araj and the Sea of Galilee in the distance

But they had this in their favor: there was not a better alternative. That may be changing, as another archaeological team has begun work at a site closer to the shore of the Sea of Galilee. Early word out from the el-Araj team this summer was that they had discovered Roman-period remains. That’s a big step forward. Today’s Haaretz carries a report of the latest finds. Here are a couple of important sections:

Archaeologists think they may have found the lost Roman city of Julias, the home of three apostles of Jesus: Peter, Andrew and Philip (John 1:44; 12:21). A multi-layered site discovered on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee, in the Bethsaida Valley Nature Reserve, is the spot, the team believes.

The key discovery is of an advanced Roman-style bathhouse. That in and of itself indicates that there had been a city there, not just a fishing village, Dr. Mordechai Aviam of Kinneret College told Haaretz.


What the archaeologists found at el-Araj is an older layer dating from the late Roman period, the 1st to 3rd centuries C.E., two meters below the Byzantine level. That Roman layer contained pottery sherds from the 1st to the 3rd centuries B.C.E. [sic; should be C.E.], a mosaic, and the remains of the bathhouse. Two coins were found, a bronze coin from the late 2nd century and a silver denarius featuring the Emperor Nero from the year 65-66 C.E. 

And has a major missing church been found too? The excavators found walls with gilded glass tesserae for a mosaic, an indication of a wealthy and important church. Willibald, the bishop of Eichstätt in Bavaria, visited the Holy Land in 725 C.E., and in his itinerary, he describes his visit to a church at Bethsaida that was built over the house of Peter and Andrew. It may well be that the current excavations have unearthed evidence for that church, say the archaeologists.

The article continues to discuss significant evidence that indicates the level of the Sea of Galilee was 6 feet (2 m) lower than previously believed.

El-Araj, Jordan River, and Sea of Galilee aerial from north, ws040617534

The site of el-Araj, located in the area of the trees near the shore of the Sea of Galilee

Personally I think it’s best to continue to be cautious. There’s no sense (for those not writing headlines or raising funds) in making the same mistake again in the identification of Bethsaida. But it’s certainly fair to say that the geographical and archaeological stars seem to be in alignment.

UPDATE: The story is also reported in the Jerusalem Post and Ynet (Hebrew).

HT: Jared Clark, David Bivin

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Saturday, August 05, 2017

Weekend Roundup

The Preliminary Report for the 2017 excavation season at Tel Kabri has been posted.

ABR has provided a brief overview of discoveries at Shiloh this year.

ABR has posted Rodger C. Young’s article on “How Lunar and Solar Eclipses Shed Light on Biblical Events.”

Remove the tarps and launch the drone and this is what the excavations of Gath look like after this year’s digging was completed.

Israel’s Good Name reports on a university field trip to Tel Aroma and Mount Gerizim, including his encounters with birds and boars.

A team from Biblical Illustrator has made multiple trips to the Middle East to take photographs for their magazine.

The British Museum has uploaded a 3D model of the Rosetta Stone.

The IAA arrested five antiquities dealers in Jerusalem on charges related to selling $22 million of antiquities to Steve Green.

The Met has turned over to authorities a bull’s head that may have been looted from Lebanon.

Authorities seized an ancient Greek krater from the Met on suspicions it was looted from Italy.

Ferrell Jenkins explains the significance of Tisha B’Av.

Amnon Ben-Tor, who has been excavating at Hazor since 1957, is interviewed on the LandMinds Podcast.

Insights from Archaeology by David A. Fiensy has just been released by Fortress Press. The publisher’s site includes a free article from the book.

HT: Ted Weis, Charles Savelle, Agade

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Thursday, August 03, 2017

Survey Results: Favorite Vista

It’s not easy picking just one. The happy reality is that, except for little surveys like this one, we don’t have to. Beautiful vistas abound in the biblical lands, if only we can climb to the summit.

When forced to choose just one, the most common answer among our readers was Mount Arbel overlooking the Sea of Galilee. Here are a few of the reasons given:

I loved the view overlooking Sea of Galilee towards Capernaum. In addition to the view, what made this tops for me was the climb down using the chains.

So many places connected to historical events are visible from this one vantage point. The last time I was there Mt Hermon was visible. Seeing the geography, the topography, how the locations are in relation to one another is just amazing. I love the bird’s eye view but admit my stomach does flip flops looking straight down!

A favorite faculty member from my Bible Institute days preached a message regarding "The people who walked in darkness have seen a great Light" from Isaiah 9.  Nice climb, good heights, potential danger, lots of periods of history (OT, NT, Zealots, Crusaders) visible. 

Plain of Gennesaret from southwest, tb053005508

View of the Sea of Galilee from Mount Arbel

In second place was the Mount of Olives. Given all that happened throughout history, it’s easy to spend a lot of time here re-living biblical events. Here’s what a couple of you wrote:

I can think of no other place where a person can see where so much biblical history took place.

It is a view that Yeshua knew well.

Jerusalem from Mount of Olives, tb092405392

Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives

A close third was Muhraqa on Mount Carmel, the traditional place where Elijah battled the prophets of Baal. One person chose this vista because they “have been there.” That’s a reminder that many tour groups, most of which are designed for the elderly, do not go to many of the choice vistas. Here’s why another reader chose Muhraqa as their favorite:

Because you can see Asher, Zebulun, Naphtali, Issachar, Manasseh, Phoenicia, and Transjordan + the landscape of about a dozen biblical events

Jezreel Valley from Muhraqa, tb061216339

The Jezreel Valley from Muhraqa on Mount Carmel

Honorable mention goes to the view from Azekah:

It is really difficult to pick only one! While there may be more beautiful vistas, like Arbel, I love being on top of Azekah and reading I Samuel 17. It was one of the first locations for me where the Bible came to life and a treasured story became more real. It is a joy to bring others there and see them experience some of that. It is a moving experience to visualize such a familiar story unfolding in the Elah Valley below. It's something that just can't happen unless you visit Israel and set foot in a place like Azekah.

Perhaps the most interesting response (in my estimation) was the reader who chose the “sunrise over moab” for the reason that they can see it “from my bed.” I wonder how places there are where that’s possible!

Another respondent chose Mount Meron, because:

I figured I'd choose something different. Mt Meron is great because you can see from Mt Hermon and Mt Bental in the north all the way to Mount Carmel in the south. This provides a great view of practically the entire Galilee region (on a clear day).

A variety of other sites were selected, including Belvoir (“beautiful view”), Hippos, Masada, Mount Gilboa, Nazareth, Nimrod’s Castle, Qumran, and Tel Jezreel.

A few people chose locations outside of Israel, including Macherus:

I have been several times and have never seen more than one or two people there. I like the loneliness of the site, especially at sunset. A good place to reflect on the last days of John the Baptist. Great views of the Dead Sea and the hills of ancient Perea.

And one reader prefers the view from the Amman citadel at sunset:

Gradually the city's lights come on.  I noticed the green lights all around in the city.  Then the Muslim hour of evening prayer began and the muzzains calls blend and compete. A delight for eyes and ears.

If you haven’t yet “panned the panorama” from all of these vistas, you can add them to your list for the next time you’re traveling through the biblical world.

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Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Reader Survey: Favorite Vista

Many of my favorite stops in touring around Israel are viewpoints. Whether it’s on top of a mountain or a mosque, a cliff or a convent, an overlook of the biblical landscape captures so much from one vantage point.

I thought that this week we would solicit your perspective on the best vista on your itinerary. The site can be in Israel or any other biblical land. If you would like, you can explain why the overlook is your favorite. We’ll share some of the results later this week.

To prime your thinking, here are some vistas I have enjoyed.

  • Arbel cliffs
  • Nazareth overlook (aka Mount of Precipitation)
  • Muhraqa on Mount Carmel
  • Mount Gerizim
  • Nebi Samwil rooftop
  • Nimrod’s Castle
  • Mount of Olives tower
  • Masada
  • Wadi Qilt near St. George’s
  • Beit Jalla field school
  • Cliffs above En Gedi
  • Machtesh Ramon Visitor’s Center
  • Mount Zephahot near Eilat
  • Jebel Musa
  • Amman Citadel
  • Macherus
  • Petra High Place
  • Philippi acropolis
  • Acrocorinth

Email readers may need to click through.

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Saturday, July 29, 2017

Weekend Roundup

A large 4th-century AD winepress has been discovered and excavated in the Ramat Negev region. The IAA has posted a 1-minute video in Hebrew.

A new study argues that everything we knew about the origin of the Philistines is wrong.

The Times of Israel reviews discoveries made in excavations at Magdala, with an eye on priestly inhabitants.

A new DNA study indicates that the modern-day Lebanese people are descended from people who lived in the area 4,000 years ago.

Wayne Stiles reflects on a lesson Jesus taught when he walked on the Sea of Galilee.

The Tempe Mount Sifting Project has begun a video series that tours the Temple Mount, beginning with Solomon’s Stables, including footage of the destruction in 1999.

Steven Ortiz is on The Book and the Spade discussing the 10th season of excavations at Gezer.

On the 75th anniversary of his death, Sir Flinders Petrie is profiled in The National, with the focus on his support of eugenics.

The inaugural issue of Archaeology and Text is now online.

The Tell es-Safi (Gath) team got real creative for their season-end group photo.

HT: Joseph Lauer, Agade, Charles Savelle

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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

New Evidence Discovered of Babylonian Destruction of Jerusalem

For the last four months, the Israel Antiquities Authority has been excavating on the east side of the City of David, and today as the traditional anniversary of the temple’s destruction approaches they announced the discovery of evidence of the city’s fall in 586 BC.

The press release includes a 2-minute video of Joe Uzziel explaining what they found and questions that have been raised.

In the excavations – concentrated on the eastern slope of the City of David, dwelling places 2,500 years old, once covered by a rockslide, have been revealed. Nestled within the rockslide many findings have surfaced: charred wood, grape seeds, pottery, fish scales and bones, and unique, rare artifacts. These findings depict the affluence and character of Jerusalem, capital of the Judean Kingdom, and are mesmerizing proof of the city's demise at the hands of the Babylonians.

Among the excavation's salient findings were dozens of jugs which served to store both grain and liquids, a stamp seal appearing on some of them. Furthermore, one of the seals discovered was that of a rosette, a six-petal rose. According to Ortal Chalaf and Dr. Joe Uziel, Israel Antiquities Authority excavation directors: "These seals are characteristic of the end of the First Temple Period and were used for the administrative system that developed towards the end of the Judean dynasty. Classifying objects facilitated controlling, overseeing, collecting, marketing and storing crop yields. The rosette, in essence, replaced the 'For the King' seal used by the previous administrative system."

The wealth of the Judean kingdom's capital is also manifest in the ornamental artifacts surfacing in situ. One distinct and rare finding is a small ivory statue of a woman. The figure is naked, and her haircut or wig is Egyptian in style. The quality of its carving is high, and it attests to the high caliber of the artifacts' artistic level and the skill par excellence of the artists during this era.

According to Ortal Chalaf and Dr. Joe Uziel, Israel Antiquities Authority excavation managers, "The excavation's findings unequivocally show that Jerusalem had spread outside of the city walls before its destruction. A row of structures currently under excavation appears beyond the city wall that constituted the eastern border of the city during this period. Throughout the Iron Age, Jerusalem underwent constant growth, expressed both in the construction of the city wall and the fact that the city later spread beyond it. Excavations carried out in the past in the area of the Jewish Quarter have shown how the growth of the community at the end of the 8th Century BCE caused the annexation of the western area of Jerusalem. In the current excavation, we may suggest that following the westward expansion of the city, structures were built outside of the wall’s border on the east as well."

The story is reported by the Jerusalem Post, Arutz-7, and other outlets.

Shattered jugs attesting to the destruction (COURTESY OF ELIYAHU YANAI / CITY OF DAVID ARCHIVE)

Shattered jugs destroyed in Babylonian conquest
Photo courtesy of Eliyahu Yanai, City of David Archive

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Saturday, July 22, 2017

Weekend Roundup

Archaeologists working near biblical Aphek have discovered a large water reservoir dating to about the time of King Hezekiah. The press release includes a one-minute video.

They found Roman remains at el-Araj, a candidate for New Testament Bethsaida. Here’s a photo of some of the Roman mosaic floor.

The third week of the excavations of Gath has ended, and they found an inscription.

Chris McKinny summarizes the results of the third week at Tel Burna. And if you missed the second week review, you can find it here.

The Temple Mount Sifting Project has discovered a Doric capital dating to the 2nd century BC.

The Times of Israel profiles ABR’s new excavation project at Shiloh.

The Greek Orthodox Church has sold the amphitheater and hippodrome of Caesarea in a secretive manner that raises lots of questions.

Archaeologists have found 8 more ancient shipwrecks off the coast of Greece, bringing the total number now discovered there to 53.

“Egyptologists have discovered what they believe is the burial chamber of Ankhesenamun, Tutankhamun’s wife.”

Here are five surprising inventions of ancient Rome, including luxury cruise ships.

Ferrell Jenkins shares his experience and photos with camel caravans in the Sinai.

John MacDermot will lecture on “Olga Tufnell – The Life of a Petrie Pup” at the British Academy in London on September 20.

Recent Shroud of Turin Research is the top of this week’s edition of The Book and the Spade.

I thought the Kindle sale for Eric Cline’s Three Stones Make a Wall: The Story of Archaeology was for one day only, but the $1.99 deal was still good the last time I checked.

HT: Carl Rasmussen, Charles Savelle, Joseph Lauer, Agade, Mike Harney

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Thursday, July 20, 2017

Survey Results: Favorite Site in Jerusalem

Jerusalem is a place deeply meaningful to so many people. It is not only full of history, but it is also full of the future. I really enjoyed reading through your responses on this survey, for we all feel passionately about this city!

The site chosen by more than any other was Hezekiah’s Tunnel. When you add the second most common response, the City of David, it’s obvious that the most ancient part of Jerusalem is a clear favorite. It wasn’t that many years ago that few people visited the City of David or walked through Hezekiah’s Tunnel. That has changed with recent development, and now you need to get reservations weeks or months in advance and pay more than 5 shekels for entrance!

Here’s why a few of you chose Hezekiah’s Tunnel as your favorite:

Fascinating history, quiet, away from crowds”

I love the feeling of re-living biblical history. I love teaching on the water systems of Jerusalem and seeing the joy of discovery on friends’ and study tour participants’ faces!”

(1) It's just as it was (not just ruins). (2) It's mentioned very specifically in the Bible, and was important. (3) Its discovery bolstered confidence in the Biblical record. (4) It's good fun walking through it. (5) Not many people do walk it, so you feel you're getting a special treat!”

The City of David provoked several interesting responses, including these:

In spite its small size (10 acres), the City of David contains an incredible amount of tangible evidence demonstrating the historical reliability of the Bible.

It is so important, so controversial, and still so difficult to figure out. I keep going back only to be more confused and intrigued. Who can help me?

Another favorite is just up the hill: the excavations on the south side of the Temple Mount.

Story of Mary, Joseph, Jesus and Simeon in Luke 2

Robinson's arch, Herodian street and sewer tunnel, old shops, Roman destruction, mikvahs, are ancient history.  But you can also see the new Jewish quarter with its synagogues and Torah schools and the Muslim minarets on the Haram that remind you of the mix of societies living here today. . . . So much history meeting today all in one spot.

The Garden Tomb and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher received an equal number of votes. I’m not sure if I know those who voted for the Garden Tomb, but all (three) who chose the Holy Sepulcher are biblical scholars. Why the Holy Sepulcher?

My fascination with the burial of Jesus, among other things!

As close as it is possible to get to the place where Jesus died and rose.

One person who chose the Garden Tomb wrote:

That's where I realized that He is not there but He has risen!

The Western Wall received three votes. Why?

It's close to the Holy of Holies, had great prayerful experiences there with friends, and loved watching the feast of tabernacles and witnessing Jewish culture.  It's beautiful at night!

Bringing in the Shabbat with singing and dancing.

Several people chose locations for their views of the city, but they didn’t choose the same location:

Mount of Olives: From the Mount of Olives you can look down at the Temple Mount and so much biblical history took place right there from the Old Testament to the New Testament and to think of what will happen in the future there at that site!

Ramparts Walk: It affords the best views of the city, a good overview of the surrounding topography and you can see the dovetailing of Jordanian defense walls with those from 1492. You also have a good view of the recent excavations on Mt. Zion as well as interesting portions of the Arab quarter.

Herod’s Tower: The timeless, expansive view of most of the Old City, Temple Mount, Mount of Olive's, Holy Sepulchre, St. John of Hospitallers.  Perhaps the best view of the City.

A number of you picked the Pools of Bethesda/St. Anne’s Church, the Mount of Olives (including Gethsemane), the Israel Museum (including the model of Jerusalem and the Shrine of the Book), and Yad VaShem.

Let me wrap it up with a couple of the more unusual choices.

Church of the Sepulchre of Saint Mary: Awesome stairs going DOWN inside the entrance with a mixed ecclesiological history. Great architecture!

Atop the Russian Ascension Bell Tower, Mount of Olives: Of course, this is a place I have yet to get to, but based on images I have seen taken from this vantage point, the view of the Old (and New) City westward, and the views eastward across the wilderness, with a excellent camera to capture the view, would be my FAVORITE site in Jerusalem. Perhaps one day!

Interestingly enough, no one picked my favorite place in Jerusalem: the Temple Mount. It can be difficult to get up there, but I make every effort with every group I lead because:

  • There are so many awesome Bible stories to talk about here, including God’s choice of the spot, Solomon’s dedication of the temple, Jesus’s visits, the apostles in Solomon’s colonnade, and Paul’s arrest.
  • It’s a good place to talk about Islam, including its (occasional) interest in Jerusalem.
  • You just cannot grasp how large the Temple Mount is until you’re there.
  • God is not done here. There is no place on the planet more central to the fulfillment of God’s purposes.

Thank you for participating! We’ll do another survey in a week or two.

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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Reader Survey: Favorite Site in Jerusalem

We had some fun last summer with a series of reader surveys, and we thought we would do some more as we await word of the discovery of ancient archives in the excavations of Hazor, Abel Beth Maacah, and Gath.

To kick this series off this year, we’re asking you to choose your favorite site in Jerusalem. There are many options, and this provides you with an opportunity to think through your highlights and select one for the top of your list. Then, if you like, you can tell us why.

You might start by thinking through major sites in the Old City, including the Jewish Quarter, Christian Quarter, Western Wall, and Temple Mount. But don’t forget the City of David, Mount of Olives, or Garden Tomb.

Important sites from the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) include Hezekiah’s Tunnel, the Broad Wall, and the Ketef Hinnom tombs. Favorites from the New Testament include the Pools of Bethesda, Pool of Siloam, southern Temple Mount excavations, and the Holy Sepulcher.

There’s also the Tower of David Museum, Israel Museum, and Bible Lands Museum. I wouldn’t be surprised if someone put the JUC campus or Shaban’s shop.

The more that participate, the more interesting the results will be, so feel free to tell others to join in. We’ll share the results, including some of the responses, later this week.

(Email readers may need to click through to fill in the survey.)

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Saturday, July 15, 2017

Weekend Roundup

Archaeologists working in Shikhin, ancient Asochis. have discovered the 2nd-century AD house and workshop of an oil lamp maker who hailed from Judea. (Haaretz premium; 2013 story in the Jerusalem Post)

Ten jugs from the time of Eli and Samuel have been discovered in excavations at Shiloh.

The 7-year long excavation project of Carchemish has ended and the Karkamış Ancient City Archaeological Park is supposed to open May 12, 2018.

Israeli authorities arrested antiquity thieves near Tekoa who were making off with columns from a Byzantine church.

Chris McKinny has posted an overview of Week 2 at Tel Burna.

There were a lot of people digging at Gath last week. See the blog for daily reports.

If you’ve ever wondered how ancient walls are conserved, Leen Ritmeyer provides a very informative photo essay documenting the conservation process in the recent excavations of Shiloh.

Evangelical Textual Criticism posts a video which provides some details on the long awaited revelation of the first-century AD manuscript fragment of the Gospel of Mark.

Rami Arav responds to the PEF chairman’s explanation to why they cancelled the conference in Jerusalem.

“The European Union (EU) said on Thursday it would cut off financing for terror groups from the lucrative trade in priceless cultural artefacts stolen in war zones such as Syria and Iraq by imposing tough import controls.”

“Southwestern Seminary’s Charles D. Tandy Archaeological Museum was recognized with the 2017 Best of Fort Worth Award in the museum category.” The museum has been renovated in recent years and the collection expanded.

A new one-minute video provides a fly-through animation of the fortress of Khirbet el-Maqatir (Ai?).

Shmuel Browns took a bike ride out to Ein Henya, a traditional location for Philip’s encounter with the Ethiopian eunuch.

Israel’s Good Name reports on a Bar Ilan University field trip to Latrun, Abu Ghosh, and Latrun.

Ferrell Jenkins reflects on the stork, both in the Bible and in the Bible lands.

Brandon Marlon has written about the “Rivers of Israel” (including the rivers in Jordan).

Wayne Stiles learns lessons about God’s will at Kadesh Barnea.

Logos is selling a video course on Jesus and Archaeology.

Kindle deal: NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible ($3.99).

New book from Wiley-Blackwell: A Companion to Assyria, edited by Eckart Frahm (hardcover $200, e-book $44; Amazon).

If you have used Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, here’s a way you can help.

HT: Joseph Lauer, Agade, Paleojudaica, A.D. Riddle

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