Saturday, March 23, 2019

Weekend Roundup

A winepress from the Byzantine period was discovered at Chorazin by a team doing conservation work.

The recent discovery of a depiction of the Egyptian god Bes in the City of David Givati parking lot excavation is the first of its kind ever found in Jerusalem.

The Times of Israel features a well-illustrated story on the Beth Shemesh excavations including the controversy and the museum exhibit.

A new sound-and-light show, used advanced technologies, has been unveiled at Masada.

A shipwreck discovered in Heracleion matches the description of a Nile River boat described by Herodotus.

Excavation work at Macherus is complete after 11 years, but conservation work will continue.’

Over a million people are expected between March-September to attend the Louvre exhibition of the Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun. The show features the largest number of Tut items ever displayed together. As construction nears completion for the new Grand Egyptian Museum in Giza, the Egyptian Ministry for Antiquities states that after the six city world tour is completed, key pieces related to Tut will never again leave Egypt.

The Basrah Museum in southern Iraq has added three new galleries, totaling 2,000 pieces, focused on Sumer, Assyrian, and Babylonian objects.

Erin Darby will be lecturing on “The Archaeology of Women in Ancient Israel” in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, on April 2.

The History Channel has a photo essay of ten biblical sites.

Wayne Stiles recently visited the Royal Mummies Hall in the Cairo Museum.

Bible History Daily features a profile on Julia Berenice, the companion of King Agrippa II in Acts 26.

New from the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago: The Great Hypostyle Hall in the Temple of Amun at Karnak, by Peter J. Brand, Rosa Erika Feleg, and William J. Murnane. For purchase in hardback or a free download.

“The Setting of the Assassination of King Joash of Judah: Biblical and Archaeological Evidence for Identifying the House of Millo,” by Chris McKinny, Aharon Tavger, Nahshon Szanton, and Joe Uziel, is a paper read and illustrated by Chris McKinny.

The photo below, from DerStandard, shows the interior of the Golden Gate in recent times.

HT: Ted Weis, Agade, Charles Savelle, Alexander Schick, Paleojudaica

Interior of the Golden Gate
Photo from DerStandard

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Sunday, March 17, 2019

Weekend Roundup, Part 2

An attempt to smuggle into Britain an ancient Babylonian kudurru as a “carved stone for home decoration” with a value of “300” failed.

“Music was ubiquitous in Ancient Greece. Now we can hear how it actually sounded.”

Israel has become the first country to list all cemetery tombstones online.

The February 2019 issue of the Newsletter of the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities includes the latest discoveries, repatriations, and news.

A Greek archaeologist has been working in Alexandria for 15 years in an effort to find the tomb of Alexander the Great.

A 3-minute video shows an animation of what the hanging gardens of Babylon may have looked like.

The Museum of the Bible is hosting a two-session lecture series on “Jerusalem and Rome: Cultures in Context in the First Century CE,” featuring Eric Meyers, Mary Boatwright, Lawrence Schiffman, and Steven Notley.

Eric Meyers will be lecturing on March 28 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, on “Holy Land Archaeology: Where the Past Meets the Present.”

Six speakers will address the subject of “Egypt and Ancient Israel: Merneptah’s Canaanite Campaign—History of Propaganda?” in a conference at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary on March 26.

Chris McKinny’s recent lecture on “Tel Burna—After a Decade of Investigation” is now online. The video includes all of his visuals.

This is fascinating: Predators in the Thickets: A Film Interview with Two Botanists and a Zoologist in Israel. You’ll learn more about lions, bears, forests, thickets, the Zor, and the Ghor. The film is intended an introduction to the newly launched Dictionary of Nature Imagery of the Bible.

Amos Kloner died yesterday.

HT: Agade, Chris McKinny, Joseph Lauer

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Saturday, March 16, 2019

Weekend Roundup, Part 1

A Greek inscription found at the Nabatean city of Halutza confirms previous scholarly identification of the site as Elusa. The Times of Israel article provides more information about the results of the excavation.

Aren Maeir made a visit to Gath/Tell es-Safi this week, where everything is very green.

Tel Tzuba (Belmont) is the latest destination for Israel’s Good Name.

Cesares de Roma is a Spanish art project that has brought to life silicone images of Julius Caesar, Caesar Augustus, and Nero.

The Romans attempted to ban wild Purim parties in the year 408.

In light of the present controversy, Leen Ritmeyer explains the history of the Golden Gate of Jerusalem.

Egypt has opened a 105-mile hiking trail called the “Red Sea Mountain Trail” that west of Hurghada.

40,000 runners from 80 different countries ran 42 kilometers in the Jerusalem Marathon.

David Moster explains biblical geography in a 9-minute video entitled, “If an ancient Israelite had Google Earth.”

This isn’t new, but I haven’t seen it before: Flight of Faith: The Jesus Story is a 48-minute documentary with lots of aerial footage.

The Bible Lands Museum in Jerusalem has opened a new exhibit entitled “Highway through History.” As part of the launch, they have created a five-minute drone video of Beth Shemesh and the excavations in preparation for the road expansion.

The New York Times reviews “The World Between Empires” exhibit now at the Met.

The “Alexander son of Simon” ossuary is possibly related to the man who carried Jesus’s cross. It is on display now at the Museum of the Bible in Washington, DC, and this week they recorded a short video about it. Apparently they were so inspired by an inquiry from your roundup writer.

HT: Agade, G. M. Grena, Chris McKinny, Ted Weis, Steven Anderson, Paul Kellogg, Charles Savelle

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Sunday, March 10, 2019

Weekend Roundup, Part 2

Egypt has preserved a unique Greco-Roman catacomb in Alexandria through a groundwater-lowering project.

The Egyptian site of Heliopolis is “a black hole in our knowledge of ancient Egypt.”

A ram-headed sphinx carved from sandstone more than 3,000 years ago has been found in Egypt.”

The new exhibit “Ancient Egypt: From Discovery to Display” at the University of Pennsylvania Museum walks the visitor through the archaeological process.

John DeLancey shares photos he recently took inside the pharaohs’ tombs in the Valley of the Kings.

The top archaeological finds from Greece in 2018 include the oldest known excerpt from Homer’s Odyssey and the most intact ancient Greek vessel ever found.

Carl Rasmussen goes to Rome in search of an answer to the question, “Where did the Jerusalem Temple treasure go?” (Part 1, Part 2)

This year’s Friends of ABR Fundraising Banquet will honor Bryant Wood.

HT: Explorator, Ted Weis, Agade, Paleojudaica

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Saturday, March 09, 2019

Weekend Roundup, Part 1

Emek Shaveh is requesting that the plans for renovation in the Jewish Quarter include opening the massive Nea Church from the Byzantine period.

The controversy continues over whether the Muslims can open the Golden Gate to worshippers.

The Karaite community is concerned that the proposed Jerusalem cable car will desecrate its ancient cemetery.

Mark Barnes explains why Jesus was crucified outside Jerusalem.

Ferrell shares a favorite photo this week of the Dead Sea.

Israel’s Good Name shares nature photos from his hike along Nahal Alexander.

A clever vandal spray-painted on the ancient synagogue of Merom, “This holy place will not be desecrated.”

The water level of the Sea of Galilee has risen above the lower red line for the first time in two years.

A study of the mountain fortress of Sela confirms the importance of the site in the Iron II period.

Video: An archaeologist is using drone imagery to track tomb looting in Jordan.

The Department of Antiquities of Jordan has made some great resources available for free online, including the Annual of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan and Studies in the History and Archaeology of Jordan.

HT: Explorator, Agade, Chris McKinny, Paleojudaica

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Sunday, March 03, 2019

Weekend Roundup, Part 2

New clues to the lost tomb of Alexander the Great are being unearthed in Egypt (National Geographic).

Sinai’s 500 plus photographic entries from mid 19th to mid 20th centuries . . . are now published online with detailed geography and history description . . . based on the 19-year field survey and maps of Sinai Peninsula Research (SPR).”

Erin Blakemore recounts the tale of how a modern attempt to play King Tut’s trumpets went awry.

Somehow John DeLancey is able to post summaries every day for his tours, including their recent days in Egypt.

Iraq is seeking World Heritage List status for the ancient city of Babylon.

Tourists are apparently returning to the ancient city of Ur in southern Iraq.

Esagil, Treasure Hunt in Babylon, is a a board game with a real-scale map of ancient Babylon.

The opening of a spectacular ancient Jewish catacomb in Rome continues to be delayed.

What is “biblical archaeology”? Owen Jarus provides some definitions and an introduction to some of the controversy surrounding its use.

Smithsonian Magazine profiles Wendell Phillips, sometimes known as America’s “Lawrence of Arabia.”

The majority, or perhaps even all, of the 75 new “Dead Sea Scrolls” fragments that have appeared on the market since 2002 are modern forgeries, according to Årstein Justnes and Josephine Munch Rasmussen. UPDATE: I am told by someone I trust that this article has many errors, including in its basic assertions.

ASOR has begun its March Fellowship Madness 2019 to raise funds to help students and scholars.

Ferrell Jenkins explains why he is fond of an “unattractive” photo taken at the Corinth Museum.

Two new videos with Aaron Brody: Introduction to the Bade Museum and Repatriating Antiquities.

HT: Ted Weis, Agade, G. M. Grena


Destroyed baptismal site on the Jordan River after recent flooding
(Photo by Alexander Schick)

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Saturday, March 02, 2019

Weekend Roundup, Part 1

A well-preserved Greek inscription from the 5th century recording a blessing for one ‘Master Adios’” was discovered in central Israel.

Plans to convert the Golden Gate of the Temple Mount into a Muslim place of prayer are being resisted by Israeli police.

Two crews of antiquities thieves working in eastern Samaria were arrested in recent weeks. One of them was looting Alexandrium-Sartaba.

A short trailer has been released promoting this season’s excavations at Tel Shimron.

There is still time to sign up for this summer’s season at Tel Burna. Shiloh has some openings as well.

Heavy rains this week caused flooding in the Jerusalem area.

The Times of Israel shares a photo essay of wildflowers of the Dead Sea.

Israel’s Good Name recounts his recent university trip to Wadi Dalia and Sartaba in eastern Samaria.

Leon Mauldin reflects on Proverbs’ view of sluggards and ants, and he shares a photo of ants at Neot Kedumim.

The BBC visits the recently opened Terra Sancta Museum in Jerusalem.

New book: Exploring the Holy Land: 150 Years of the Palestine Exploration Fund, edited by David Gurevich and Anat Kidron. (Amazon)

I am on the Diligent Pastors podcast this week with Scot Chadwick, talking about the land of the Bible, photo collections, and preparing for a trip to Israel. Pastors especially may want to check out other episodes in this new podcast.

HT: Ted Weis, Agade, G. M. Grena

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Thursday, February 28, 2019

2019 Conference for the Institute of Biblical Context

Signups are now open for this summer’s Institute of Biblical Context conference. I’ve been at this conference the last two years, and the response has been extremely positive. The Institute of Biblical ContextI don’t know anything else like this where all the sessions are devoted to unpacking the meaning of biblical passages using historical, geographical, literary, and archaeological insights. I plan to be there again this year and I recommend it to all of my readers.

You can read all of the details on the official website, but I’ll quickly note some highlights here. The theme this year is “The Last Days of Jesus,” and they’ll be looking closely at events from the Passion Week. Scheduled talks include:

  • Triumphal Entry
  • Cleansing the Temple
  • Cursing the Fig Tree
  • What’s Up with Judas
  • Trials before Sanhedrin, Pilate, and Antipas
  • Barabbas
  • Flogging and Method of Crucifixion
  • Tearing of the Curtain

One thing that people like is that the presentations are shorter, which means that the speaker gets right to the main points, and they can pack more subjects in. Some favorite speakers from the past are returning, and there are several new additions as well. I always find that the speakers are extremely well-prepared, and their presentations are packed with great visuals.

The conference is held in Zeeland in western Michigan, which is beautiful and warm in June.

You can download the conference brochure here, and the early bird price is available until April 10. I think the conference is a great investment, and an additional bonus is to meet up with like-minded people who love learning about the Bible and its world.

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Saturday, February 23, 2019

Weekend Roundup

Researchers have constructed kilns to determine how iron was smelted in ancient Israel. (Haaretz premium)

New research has identified where refugees fleeing Mount Vesuvius’s eruption later settled.

The New York Metropolitan Museum of Art will return a recently purchased gold-gilded Egyptian coffin that turned out to be looted.

$55 million will be invested to renovate several sites in the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City, including the Burnt House, the Wohl Archaeological Museum, and the Tiferet Yisrael Synagogue.

A new museum will join the complex of tourist attractions at Latrun, this one honoring Jews who fought in WWII.

The Madaba Plains Project is celebrating 50 years of archaeological work in central Jordan.

Cyrene, Leptis Magna, and other antiquities sites in Libya are being neglected and vandalized since the fall of Gaddafi.

“Israel is hundreds of years overdue for a massive earthquake,” writes Ruth Schuster (Haaretz premium).

Sebastian Fink explains the significance of salt in ancient Mesopotamia.

Wayne Stiles: “The Judean Wilderness illustrates the greener grass we envy.”

Ferrell’s photo of the week is of the Appian Way that Paul traveled as he approached Rome.

Mark Barnes explains why Jesus was baptized in the Jordan River, with reference to the ministries of Elijah and Elisha.

Kings of Israel is a board game taking place in Israel (the Northern Kingdom) during the reign of its kings up until Israel's destruction by Assyria. Players are on a team, with each person representing a line of prophets…” BibleX has a list of other Christian board games.

The Institute of Biblical Culture’s new course in March, “Daily Life in Ancient Israel,” will cover topics like agriculture, the calendar, tribalism, and lifecycles.

The topic of the Tyndale House Conference 2019 is “Exploring the Old Testament and Its World.”

HT: Agade, Ted Weis

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Saturday, February 16, 2019

Weekend Roundup

“A Ptolemaic workshop for boat construction and repair has been uncovered in the Sinai Peninsula.”

Six Old Kingdom mastaba tombs, two Old Kingdom shaft tombs and one rock-cut tomb with multiple burials that were previously unknown were discovered last month by the Qubbet El-Hawa Research Project (QHRP) in Aswan.”

Archaeologists working in Pompeii on Valentine’s Day found a fresco of Narcissus.

Construction work on the new subway in Rome has led to discoveries of military barracks and an ancient home.

An Israeli tour guide discovered a rare Bar Kochba coin while hiking near Lachish.

Haaretz premium: “A recent article by Dr. Milka Levy-Rubin . . . says the Dome of the Rock was built in order to restore Jerusalem’s place on the regional map of holy sites, not vis a vis Mecca, but rather as a rival to Constantinople, the Byzantine capital.”

The January 2019 issue of the Newsletter of the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities is now online.

Federica Spagnoli provides a history of the pomegranate in the ancient Near East.

“The Schloss Karlsruhe Museum [in Karlsruhe, Germany] is hosting the largest exhibition ever held on Mycenaean Greece's cultural history.”

James Hoffmeier: What was Atenism and why did it fail?

The Washington Post shares some of Kevin Bubriski’s photographs taken in Syria before the civil war broke out.

John DeLancey has announced an Israel tour that includes a sign-language interpreter. He also recently posted a 5-minute video on Life Lessons from the Elah Valley that includes some drone footage.

Shmuel Browns shares some photos he took at the Dead Sea at sunrise.

Ferrell’s favorite photos this week are of the Garden of Gethsemane and Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Charles Savelle

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Saturday, February 09, 2019

Weekend Roundup

An inscription written in the Persian, Elamite, and Babylonian languages has been discovered at Naqshe-Rustam, the royal necropolis of Persepolis.

Work on the sewer system in Kition, Cyprus, keeps revealing ancient remains from the Classical and Roman periods.

A decade of restoration work of King Tut’s tomb has been completed. The History Channel has many photos.

The vase that the British Museum realized was a mace is in fact a vase.

The BBC reports on several women whose interest in archaeology began with a childhood fascination with mummies.

Eisenbrauns is running a sale of 30-50% off of titles in the Duke Judaic Studies and Sepphoris Archaeological Report series.

Beit Shemesh and Kiriath Yearim are the subjects of discussion in this week’s The Book and the Spade.

Shmuel Browns shares several photos he took along the Alon Road in eastern Samaria.

If you have been to Israel before, answer a few quick questions to help Wayne Stiles as he puts together a video series to help travelers prepare for a Holy Land Tour.

It’s a slow week, so here’s a bonus quotation:

“My definition of archaeology, shared with students during almost forty years of teaching historical geography, is that archaeology is the science of digging a square hole and the art of spinning a yarn from it” (Anson Rainey, “Stones for Bread: Archaeology versus History.” Near Eastern Archaeology 64 (2001): 140.

HT: Agade, Ted Weis

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Sunday, February 03, 2019

Weekend Roundup, Part 2

A tomb containing 50 mummies from the Ptolemaic era has been discovered in Minya, south of Cairo.

The latest documentary produced by Bible Passages is “The Power of Jesus in Galilee.” The 22-minute video was filmed on location.

The world’s first film in the Babylonian language has been released.

The latest video from the British Museum explains an Assyrian relief that depicts a battle with Elam.

In an 8-minute video, Luke Chandler explains Sennacherib’s invasion of Judah using the reliefs in the British Museum.

Carl Rasmussen is leading a tour that follows in the footsteps of Paul from his shipwreck on Malta to his martyrdom in Rome.

Now is the time to sign up for a summer excavation in Israel, including at Gath.

Lamia Al-Gailani Werr, one of Iraq’s first female archaeologists, died recently.

HT: Agade, Steven Anderson, Ted Weis

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Saturday, February 02, 2019

Weekend Roundup, Part 1

Researchers are trying to understand the significance of triangles incised on the inside rims of basalt bowls from the Chalcolithic period.

A student on a school trip found a coin in Nahal Shiloh with the words “Agrippa King” inscribed on it.

The Washington Post reports on the excavations and controversy related to the first-century road that runs from the Pool of Siloam to the Temple Mount.

Egyptian archaeologists have discovered tombs from the Second Intermediate Period in the Nile Delta.

Writing in The Ancient History Bulletin, Katherine Hall proposes that Alexander the Great died from Guillain-Barré syndrome.

Nir Hasson explains the background of the Shivta exhibit at the Hecht Museum (Haaretz premium).

Meet the priest who has taken care of the Church of Jacob’s Well in Nablus for the last 60 years.

Israel’s Good Name writes about his field trip to Nahal Rash’ash in eastern Samaria.

There are 28 days in February and 28 chapters in Acts, so we’ve decided to do a month-long tour of the book. Join us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

HT: Agade, Ted Weis, Charles Savelle

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Sunday, January 27, 2019

Weekend Roundup, Part 2

The AFP was given a private tour of the “Tomb of the Kings” in Jerusalem, while discussions are ongoing with the French government on re-opening the site to the public.

Renovations of a shop in Paris revealed a large hidden painting of the city of Jerusalem.

The greatest threats to archaeology in Iraq are looting and uncontrolled building.

Carl Rasmussen shares photos of a procession of the Roman elite at Ephesus.

Wayne Stiles looks at three reminders that come from Jesus’s ministry in Galilee.

Evan McDuff describes his experience in excavating Tel Dor.

Graham Chandler provides an interesting and well-illustrated look at ivory in the ancient Near East.

The latest episodes on Digging for Truth look at the relationship between ancient child sacrifice and modern abortion (part 1, part 2, part 3).

Scattered Finds: Archaeology, Egyptology and Museums, by Alice Stevenson, is now available in print or as a free pdf.

Bryan Windle has created two top ten lists:

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Steven Anderson

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