Saturday, August 17, 2019

Weekend Roundup

Excavations under a house in northern Israel have revealed what may be the largest wine factory from the Crusader era.

Archaeologists have discovered an arrowhead from the Roman siege of Jotapata in AD 67.

A i24News video shows the “pilgrim road” leading from the Pool of Siloam to the Temple Mount of Jerusalem.

“Archaeologists working in the buried Roman city of Pompeii say they have uncovered a ‘sorcerer's treasure trove’ of artefacts, including good-luck charms, mirrors and glass beads.”

A new exhibit about a 4th-century synagogue mosaic floor has opened in the Archaeological Museum of Aegina. Aegina is a Greek island not far from Athens.

“Anchors Aweigh: Seaports of the Holy Land” is a new exhibit opening on Tuesday at the Bible Lands Museum in Jerusalem.

Preliminary images of seven (alleged) Dead Sea Scroll fragments owned by the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary are now online. (The link looks unusual, but it works.)

Lubna Omar provides a personal perspective as a Syrian archaeologist unable to protect her country’s heritage.

A guy passionate about ancient Egypt and baking used ancient yeast to bake a loaf of bread.

Egyptian authorities transferred a 90-ton obelisk of Ramses II from Zamalek to El Alamein.

The Oriental Institute is celebrating its 100th anniversary.

Carl Rasmussen shares photos of the largest altar in the world.

I always like the photos that Wayne Stiles includes with his posts, and this week is no different with his reflections on Abraham’s faith.

Matti Friedman writes a helpful review of Jodi Magness’s new book on Masada.

Did you know there are four long distance hiking trails in Israel? They range in length from 37 miles to 637 miles.

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, Alexander Schick, Ted Weis

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Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Evidence of Babylonian Destruction Uncovered in Jerusalem

Archaeologists excavating on the Western Hill of Jerusalem (aka the modern “Mount Zion”) have announced the discovery of a destruction layer from the Babylonian conquest of Jerusalem in 586 BC.

The discovery is of a deposit including layers of ash, arrowheads dating from the period, as well as Iron Age potsherds, lamps and a significant piece of period jewelry - a gold and silver tassel or earring.

Despite what you might expect, archaeologists working in Jerusalem over the years have not found an abundance of material from this destruction, probably because it has been disturbed by later inhabitation. Shimon Gibson and his team date this material to the Babylonian destruction on the basis of context.

The team believes that the newly-found deposit can be dated to the specific event of the conquest because of the unique mix of artifacts and materials found -- pottery and lamps, side-by-side with evidence of the Babylonian siege represented by burnt wood and ashes, and a number of Scythian-type bronze and iron arrowheads which are typical of that period.

The arrowheads are similar to those discovered at the “Israelite Tower” on the north side of ancient Jerusalem in a destruction context from the Babylonian invasion. Because the excavation site is inside the city walls, it is unlikely to be a dumping area.

"It's the kind of jumble that you would expect to find in a ruined household following a raid or battle," Gibson said. "Household objects, lamps, broken bits from pottery which had been overturned and shattered... and arrowheads and a piece of jewelry which might have been lost and buried in the destruction."

"Frankly, jewelry is a rare find at conflict sites, because this is exactly the sort of thing that attackers will loot and later melt down."

"I like to think that we are excavating inside one of the 'Great Man's houses' mentioned in the second book of Kings 25:9," Gibson speculated. "This spot would have been at an ideal location, situated as it is close to the western summit of the city with a good view overlooking Solomon's Temple and Mount Moriah to the north-east. We have high expectations of finding much more of the Iron Age city in future seasons of work."

The full press release is here, and the story is reported by numerous outlets, including The Jerusalem Post, The Times of Israel, and Haaretz (premium).

Jerusalem from the south, with excavation area circled


Area of Mount Zion excavations (in 2016)

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Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Now Available: Ancient Jerusalem Revealed, 1998-2018

A few weeks ago I mentioned that the new Ancient Jerusalem Revealed: Archaeological Discoveries, 1998-2018 has been published, but I lamented the difficulty for many readers in ordering it from Israel. Now I have received word that you can order it direct from the Biblical Archaeology Society.

I have not yet read the book (my order is going in after I write this), but my expectations are very high given (1) the excellent quality of the two previous books in this series (the first published in 1975, and the second published in 1994); (2) the editorship of Hillel Geva; and (3) the fact that the latest reports from Jerusalem archaeology are bound to be amazing! I’ve told a number of groups touring Jerusalem, as we’re trying to peek behind some protective curtain to see what’s going on – watch for this to be published. Well, here it is, in a single book covering the last 20 years. The price is $60 for a hardcover, and shipping is free.

UPDATE: Now available for purchase on the BAS website!

Here is the official description from the publisher:

Ancient Jerusalem Revealed, Archaeological Discoveries 1998–2018, presents the results of archaeological research conducted in Jerusalem over the past twenty years. xvi + 319 pages + profusely illustrated in color, 27.5 x 21 cm., hardcover. With a ridiculously ugly cover. [OK, I added that last part.]

Image result for Ancient Jerusalem Revealed: Archaeological Discoveries, 1998-2018

The major results of the numerous excavations presented in the current volume cover all parts of the ancient city: the City of David, the Ophel, the Temple Mount, the present-day Old City, and adjacent areas beyond the urban limits of ancient Jerusalem. The articles were written by archaeologists who conducted the excavations. Contents include: The Bronze Age to the Iron Age, The Second Temple Period, the Late Roman to Ottoman periods, and multi-period excavations.

And here’s the table of contents, with an * next to the articles I plan to read first.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Archaeological Research in Jerusalem from 1998 to 2018: Findings and Evaluations— Hillel Geva

JERUSALEM—THE BRONZE AGE TO THE IRON AGE

*Recent Discoveries in the City of David—Ronny Reich, Eli Shukron, and Omri Lernau

Excavations at the Summit of the City of David Hill, 2005–2008—Eilat Mazar

*The Royal Quarter Built by King Solomon in the Ophel of Jerusalem in Light of Recent Excavations (2009–2013)—Eilat Mazar

A “Governor of the City” Seal Impression from the Western Wall Plaza Excavations in Jerusalem—Tallay Ornan, Shlomit Weksler-Bdolah, and Benjamin Sass

JERUSALEM—THE SECOND TEMPLE PERIOD

*The Second Temple Period Siloam Pool—Ronny Reich and Eli Shukron

*Second Temple Period Finds from the New Excavations in the Ophel, South of the Temple Mount—Yuval Baruch and Ronny Reich

Research in the Western Wall Tunnel—Dan Bahat

Wilson’s Arch and the Giant Viaduct West of the Temple Mount during the Second Temple and Late Roman Periods in Light of Recent Excavation—Alexander Onn and Shlomit Weksler-Bdolah

*A Herodian Tricilinium with Fountain on the Road Ascending to the Temple Mount from the West—Alexander Onn, Shlomit Weksler-Bdolah, and Joseph Patrich

*First and Second Temple Period Fortifications and Herod’s Palace in the Jerusalem Kishle Compound—Amit Re’em

Discoveries from the First and Second Temple Periods near the Mamilla Pool in Jerusalem—David Amit

JERUSALEM—THE LATE ROMAN TO OTTOMAN PERIODS

*A First Temple Period Building and the Roman Eastern Cardo in the Western Wall Plaza—Shlomit Weksler-Bdolah and Alexander Onn

A Pool from the Period of Aelia Capitolina in the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem—Ofer Sion and Yehudah Rapuano

Wilson’s Arch: 150 Years of Archaeological and Historical Exploration—Tehillah Lieberman, Avi Solomon, and Joe Uziel

The Legio X Fretensis Kilnworks at the Jerusalem International Convention Center—Haim Goldfus and Benny Arubas

Roman Period Workshops at the Crowne Plaza Hotel at Givat Ram—Ron Beeri and Danit Levi

Excavations at Saint John Prodromos Church in the Old City—Jean-Baptiste Humbert

A Gold Hoard Containing Jewish Symbols and the Byzantine Ophel Neighborhood of Jerusalem—Eilat Mazar

Excavations East of Herod’s Gate, 1998—Yuval Baruch and Gideon Avni

New Excavations and Studies in the Holy Sepulcher Compound—Jon Seligman and Gideon Avni

Excavations at Ohel Yizhaq in the Suq al-Qattanin Quarter, Jerusalem—Tawfiq Da‘adli and Hervé Barbé

A New Look at the History of Solomon’s Stables—Dan Bahat

JERUSALEM—MULTI-PERIOD EXCAVATIONS

*The Givati Excavation Project 2007–2015: from the Iron Age to the Early Islamic Period—Doron Ben-Ami and Yana Tchekhanovets

The Line of the Southern City Wall of Jerusalem in the Early Periods—Yehiel Zelinger

Excavations at the Hurva and Tiferet Israel Synagogues in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem—Hillel Geva, Oren Gutfeld, and Ravit Nenner Soriano

New Excavations on Mount Zion—Shimon Gibson, James Tabor, Rafael Y. Lewis, and Steve Patterson

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Sunday, August 11, 2019

Weekend Roundup, Part 2

A Greco-Roman building uncovered in northern Sinai was used as a seat for the ancient Senate.

King Tut’s gilded coffin has been transferred from Luxor to the new Grand Egyptian Museum where it will be restored before being put on display. New images have been released before the restoration begins.

Sara Ahmed reports on the Egyptian Collection at Leiden’s Rijksmuseum.

A salvage project in Cyprus has uncovered a large Hellenistic-era sanctuary.

The new archaeological museum at Troy has opened, and Carl Rasmussen has photos.

A statue of Alexander the Great, long lost in a museum storage room, has recently been re-discovered.

Gordon Franz has posted a new article: The apostle Paul and Dr. Luke on the Island of Cost: Sin, Sickness, and Death.

Sarah Parcak’s new book, Archaeology from Space, looks at the use of technology in archaeology.

Bryan Windle’s latest in the Footsteps series is “Three Things in Babylon Daniel Likely Saw.”

HT: Ted Weis, Agade

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Saturday, August 10, 2019

Weekend Roundup, Part 1

Madeleine Mumcuoglu and Yosef Garfinkel explain how a shrine model discovered at Khirbet Qeiyafa may help us to better understand Solomon’s Temple.

Samuel Dewitt Pfister asks whether the latest claim about Bethsaida and the Church of the Apostles should be trusted.

ABR has announced the discovery of three altar horns in their excavations at Shiloh this summer. (Press release not online as of this writing.)

Applications for excavating at Shiloh in 2020 with the Associates for Biblical Research are now being accepted.

“Hamas has done little to protect Gaza’s antiquities and in some cases actively destroys them.”

Though rare and significant, few people know about a First Temple period cistern discovered near the Western Wall of Jerusalem’s Temple Mount.

Joe Zias looks at ancient crucifixion, considering the difficulties of the lone archaeological bone and arguing that crosses were shaped as a T.

Clyde Billington reviews the latest archaeological news on this week’s The Book and the Spade.

A slideshow/video on the work of M. G. Kyle at Tell Beit Mirsim’s excavations from 1926 to 1932 is on YouTube. The photos have captions, and if you read faster, you can advance more quickly through parts. The video clips may be the earliest from an excavation in the Holy Land. Near the end, there are scenes from a grain harvest as well as footage from Jerusalem in 1930.

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

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Saturday, August 03, 2019

Weekend Roundup

New excavations in Perga have revealed the well-preserved(!) foundation of the Tomb of Plancia Magna. And Carl Rasmussen also has photos of new reconstruction work at Thyatira.

Pat McCarthy’s newest page at Seetheholyland.net is about the Sisters of Nazareth excavation, including a church possibly built over Jesus’s childhood home.

Aaron Demsky explains how the Samaria Ostraca shed light on the names of Zelophehad’s daughters and Israel’s settlement in Manasseh.

Mark Barnes draws out some lessons from Shechem, including how conflict, covenant, and choice defined its history.

In a new podcast, Clint Burnett discusses the background of the Nazareth Inscription as well as assessing whether it provides evidence of Jesus’s empty tomb (Apple).

Peter grew up in Bethsaida and ended up in Rome. Wayne Stiles explains how he got there by a series of “hard left turns.”

Shemesh Online reports on the compromise reached that will allow for the construction of the highway over the tell, the reduction of the width of that road, as well as the building of a pedestrian overpass to connect the two sides.

Kristina Killgrove gives five reasons why you shouldn’t buy that ancient artifact.

Cathie Spieser looks at the theology of birth and rebirth in ancient Egypt.

Chapter 8 of The Gospel of Mark in the LUMO Project has been dubbed in Koine Greek.

On The Book and the Spade, Clyde Billington and Gordon Govier discuss some recent stories, including Macherus, Melchizedek, and the Philistines.

In his ongoing Footsteps series, Bryan Windle identifies three things Paul likely saw in Corinth.

Ferrell’s Favorite Foto #24 is of Gibeon.

HT: Agade, Jared Clark, Joseph Lauer

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Sunday, July 28, 2019

Weekend Roundup, Part 2

Excavations in Alexandria have revealed a well-preserved mosaic floor from the Roman period.

An artificial reef and underwater museum is being created in the Red Sea waters of Aqaba from old military vehicles.

The Tetrapylon avenue at Aphrodisias will open soon, following the completion of excavations.

Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities June 2019 Newsletter provides the latest updates.

Four ancient Babylonian tablets at the British Museum were apparently used to calculate the motion of Jupiter.

An exhibition of looted archaeological artifacts is now on display at the Capitoline Museums.

A man who made more than half a million dollars by selling to a museum an “ancient Egyptian figurine” he made in his garden shed is sorry.

Mastic, from the island of Chios (cf. Acts 20:15), is getting a fresh look as a possible super-drug.

In an excerpt from her new book, Sarah Parcak asks, “Will the future of archaeology not require moving dirt?”

Jimmy Hardin discusses the latest discoveries at Macherus on The Book and the Spade.

In the final post in his series on Paul’s shipwreck on Malta, Carl Rasmussen shares photos of a more likely place than the traditional bay.

HT: Joseph Lauer, Agade, Charles Savelle, Mark Hoffman, Steven Anderson, Explorator

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Saturday, July 27, 2019

Weekend Roundup, Part 1

With summer excavations wrapping up, some dig directors are calling up journalists to report their prize discoveries…

Excavations at Gath this summer uncovered portions of an earlier Philistine city, with massive fortifications suggesting that this period was the city’s actual heyday (=time of David and Goliath). This story by Ariel David is reported in Haaretz (premium), and Aren Maeir provides a pdf version. The Jerusalem Post has a brief account here. The Times of Israel write-up is here.

No, they didn’t find the archive at Hazor, but they did discover a staircase.

Excavators working at Hippos have discovered well-preserved mosaics in the “Burnt Church” that include poorly spelled inscriptions.

Tel Shimron in Galilee has a daily blog for its summer excavations. Here is yesterday’s post.

You have only two more seasons to volunteer in the excavations at Gath before they put the shovels into the shed for good.

In a video posted yesterday, David Moster looks at seven types of rare verses, including the longest and shortest verses in the Hebrew Bible. You can see a list of the rare verses in the notes below the video.

Madeline Arthington writes about her tour of the tabernacle model in southern Israel (with lots of photos).

A new documentary goes in search of the “Apollo of Gaza,” a bronze statue discovered in 2013 that disappeared shortly thereafter. The 47-minute video will be posted online until August 14.

The temperature at the southern end of the Dead Sea last week broke a record at 122° Fahrenheit (49.9° Celsius). That’s still under the national record of 129°F (54°C ) in June 1942 near Beth Shean.

HT: Joseph Lauer, Agade, Charles Savelle, Keith Keyser, Explorator

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Saturday, July 20, 2019

Weekend Roundup

Archaeologists working at el-Araj (Bethsaida?) are claiming that a Byzantine church they are excavating is the “Church of the Apostles.” The story is reported in Haaretz (premium); the excavation website has lots of photos.

The excavation season at Gath is over. Among this week’s posts is this one with their end-of-season photo shoot.

“A rare, very early rural mosque was unearthed during recent archaeological excavations in the southern Israel Bedouin city of Rahat.”

Excavations on Mount Zion have revealed a moat from the Crusader siege of Jerusalem in 1099.

“An unprecedentedly vast Neolithic settlement — the largest ever discovered in Israel and the Levant, say archaeologists — is currently being excavated ahead of highway construction five kilometers from Jerusalem

The University of Basel announced its possession of the oldest autograph of a Christian letter.

Researchers are studying the harbor technologies of Portus, the maritime harbor of Rome in the first centuries AD.

For the first time in decades, Egypt has opened the Bent and Red Pyramids of Dahshur to tourists.

Wayne Stiles draws spiritual lessons about closed doors from Paul’s second missionary journey.

New from Eerdmans: Scribes and Scrolls at Qumran, by Sidnie White Crawford

Now at the top of my wish list (but more difficult to acquire outside of Israel): Ancient Jerusalem Revealed: Archaeological Discoveries, 1998–2018, edited by Hillel Geva.

HT: Joseph Lauer, Ted Weis, Charles Savelle, Agade

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Saturday, July 13, 2019

Weekend Roundup (and the fake “Ziklag”)

The big story of the week was the “discovery of Ziklag,” a claim made by archaeologist Yosef Garfinkel regarding his recent excavations of Khirbet a-Ra‘i. You can read about it in the The Times of Israel, The Jerusalem Post, and Haaretz (premium). You can download high-res photos or watch a one-minute silent video showing excavations at the site. I think the whole thing is sad.

Now, to the week’s stories, of which there are not so many:

You might have trouble picking out your friends in this year’s group photo of the Gath excavation team. (Very clever!) You can poke around the blog for recent updates and lots of photos.

The Tel Burna excavation season is over. John DeLancey created a video of the site with his drone.

A journal article has been published on last year’s discovery of a ceramic pomegranate at Shiloh.

Scott Stripling is back on The Book and the Spade discussing this year’s excavations at Shiloh.

A newly constructed building on an archaeological site in the hills near Hebron has been bulldozed.

On the Logos blog, Karen Engle explains the value of biblical archaeology.

It’s always more enjoyable to think about a difficult passage when you feel more immersed in its setting, and that’s what Wayne Stiles does this week with Jesus’s question at Capernaum.

Israel’s Good Name enjoyed a fascinating outing to the Nizzana Dunes. Don’t skip this one if you love wildlife.

Carl Rasmussen has begun a very interesting series (part 1, part 2) on Paul’s shipwreck on the island of Malta.

Ferrell Jenkins shares a photo of Capernaum with a unique perspective.

OK, so I’ll elaborate briefly on my thoughts on “Ziklag.” First, the lead archaeologist who made the claim has a track record of making dubious sensational claims. Second, the archaeologist was very careful to conceal his idea from other scholars until he made his big announcement to the press. Now, that may be the way to do things in the competitive business world, but in academia, you’re supposed to share your ideas with colleagues for fruitful critique. Garfinkel’s approach, once again, is more designed to make headlines than to discover truth.

Third, other sites, such as Tel Sera, have appropriate occupation levels, from the Philistines followed by the Israelites, with destruction layers. From the biblical text, we know that there were dozens of sites in this area, and David no doubt removed the Philistines from more than one of them (1 Chr 18:1). Furthermore, the minimal amount of Philistine pottery gives reason to doubt that Kh. a-Ra‘i was actually a Philistine site at all.

Fourth, Khirbet a-Ra‘i (coordinates 31°35'26.83"N, 34°49'10.03"E), is near Lachish (2.5 miles northwest), but according to Joshua 15, Ziklag is located in a more southern district (grouped with sites like Beersheba and Hormah). That is why scholars have proposed for Ziklag the sites of Tel Sera (15 miles southwest of Lachish) and Tel Halif (13 miles south of Lachish). If Khirbet a-Ra‘i was Ziklag, it should be in verse 38 of Joshua 15, not in verse 31. Fifteen miles distant is a long way in the land of Israel!

As with Kh. Qeiyafa, Garfinkel simply ignores what the Bible says about the geographical situation of sites and chooses the most spectacular name to attach to his site. The press will let him get away with it, because sensational stories mean more money for them. By the time that journal articles are written or professors speak up, the headlines have already raced around the world, and the public’s attention is elsewhere. Khirbet a-Ra‘i is a fine archaeological site; it doesn’t need false claims in order to make it worthy of study or publicity.

Final note: Amanda Borschel-Dan has written a solid report for The Times of Israel in which she quotes at length two scholars dumbfounded by Garfinkel’s claim. Luke Chandler (a volunteer at the site this year) and Ferrell Jenkins also weigh in. My analysis here was written before I read these reports, but you’ll see there’s a good bit of overlap.

HT: Joseph Lauer, Agade, Keith Keyser, BibleX

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Monday, July 08, 2019

Weekend Roundup, Part 3

The story around the “First Century Gospel of Mark” text has turned very strange. (Michael Holmes, Elijah Hixson, Brent Nongbri, Candida Moss, Jerry Pattengale)

An Egyptian statue resembling King Tut sold for $6 million in a controversial auction.

A luxury hotel built in Antakya (biblical Antioch on the Orontes) preserves the ancient ruins found below.

Boxes of material from Jerry Vardaman’s excavations at Macherus have been dug out of storage and will be studied and published.

Omri Lernau explains what kinds of fish were eaten in ancient Jerusalem.

Dozens of metal archaeological artifacts excavated at Caesarea were stolen from an Israel Antiquities Authority storage facility (Haaretz premium).

The latest issue of Biblical Archaeology Review is a double issue, featuring articles on the wise woman of Abel Beth Maacah, the Royal Stoa of the Temple Mount, Jewish purity practices, inscriptions from Mount Gerizim, and the Copper Scroll.

Here’s a tutorial on how to write in cuneiform.

The newest Bible Land Passages documentary has been released. This 18-minute video looks the candidates for the tomb of Jesus.

In a recent episode of Hebrew Voices, David Moster explains how toilets worked in ancient Israel. And David just produced part 2 of “How to Use the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia: the Masorah Notes” (20-min video).

Recent interviews on The Book and the Spade:

Carl Rasmussen explains how a Lewis Bolt was used to lift heavy stones in the ancient world.

Leen Ritmeyer shares some photos from his underground work at the Temple Mount in the 1970s.

Ferrell Jenkins posts an idyllic photo of an olive tree and two olive presses.

A friend at my church is leading a 20-day tour of New Zealand this January and he has a few open spots. He’s a native New Zealander and a seminary graduate, and he will be giving biblical instruction along the way (for example, NZ has 30 million sheep!). I can’t imagine a better tour of New Zealand. Here’s a flyer with more info.

HT: Joseph Lauer, Ted Weis, Charles Savelle, Agade, David Padfield, Mark Hoffman, Explorator

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Sunday, July 07, 2019

Weekend Roundup, Part 2

Museums:

“Assyrians in the Shadow of Vesuvius” is a new exhibit at the National Archaeological Museum in Naples.

“Buried by Vesuvius: Treasures from the Villa dei Papiri” is now on display at the Getty Villa in southern California. The post discusses how the Getty Villa was designed after the Villa of Papyri.

“Last Supper in Pompeii” is a new exhibit opening later this month at the Ashmolean Museum.

A replica of the destroyed Lion of Mosul is going on display at London’s Imperial War Museum.

A major exhibition on Troy will open at the British Museum on November 21.

The Egyptian Museum, though losing much of its collection to the Grand Egyptian Museum, will undergo a three-year renovation with the hope of securing status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

A new exhibition on Tall Zira'a opened this week at The Jordan Museum.

Lectures:

Shahrokh Razmjou will be lecturing on “The Rise and Fall of Persepolis: A Wonder of the Ancient World” in London on July 23.

Twenty scholars will be speaking at the 22nd Annual Bible and Archaeology Fest in San Diego, November 22-24.

Tourism:

Jerusalem’s “Tomb of the Kings” will reopen to visitors for the first time since 2010, but the tombs themselves will be off-limits.

With restorations complete, Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity has been removed from UNESCO’s list of endangered world heritage sites.

The Lahun Pyramid opened to the public for the first time last week.

Every year there’s a story that Carchemish will soon be opened to the public.

Babylon has been named a 2019 UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Adam Stewart Brown articulates well why you should visit the Holy Land.

HT: Joseph Lauer, Ted Weis, Charles Savelle, Agade, Explorator, Bill Krewson

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Saturday, July 06, 2019

Weekend Roundup, Part 1

I go away for one week, and I come back to a large pile of stories in the biblical and archaeological world. This is going to take three long posts to catch up.

Discoveries:

Excavations at the synagogue of Huqoq have uncovered a mosaic depicting the Israelites’ encampment at Elim as well as two of the four beasts of Daniel 7.

Recent research has revealed that Tel Shikmona was not a trading settlement but a purple dye manufacturing center.

The Siloam Road, connecting the Pool of Siloam to the Temple Mount of Jerusalem, was officially opened this week.

Archaeologists discovered an ancient baptismal font hidden inside another baptismal font at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem.

An ancient Roman-era shipwreck has been discovered at the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea off the eastern coast of Cyprus.”

Excavations:

The Tel Burna crew has finished three weeks of their summer dig, with daily posts providing summaries of the finds along with photos. Here’s the latest. John DeLancey has posted his perspective as a volunteer.

The Gath expedition is halfway finished with their season, and they are unearthing a road, a window, architectural remains, and a monster wall.

This summer’s excavations at el-Araj (Bethsaida?) have produced more mosaics from the Byzantine church, a mold for making lead fishing weights, part of a roof roller, and Roman flagstones.

The Jerusalem Report has a feature piece on recent excavations at Tell Beth Shemesh.

Excavations are beginning in Laodicea on the road that leads to the ancient stadium.

Studies:

A new DNA study indicates that Philistines living in Ashkelon in the late 12th century BC originated from Greece, Crete, or Sardinia. These articles are based on a journal article published in Science Advances (pdf).

“New research explains why salt crystals are piling up on the deepest parts of the Dead Sea’s floor.”

Joe Zias argues that nearly all, if not all, of the human remains found at Masada are ethnically non-Jewish.

A new study shows that masons’ marks were used at Hippos only from the late first century to the late second century (Haaretz premium).

Sad News:

Doug Greenwold died on June 23. Doug was the Senior Teaching Fellow at Preserving Bible Times and a co-founder of The Institute of Biblical Context. He will be greatly missed.

HT: Joseph Lauer, Ted Weis, Charles Savelle, Agade, Explorator, Lois Tverberg

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Saturday, June 22, 2019

Weekend Roundup

Dig:

A tower from the time of King Hezekiah was discovered on a military training base in the Hebron hills.

The first week of the Tel Burna excavation has wrapped up, and Chris McKinny shares a summary and lots of photos.

Aren Maeir provides some of the objectives for each area as they prepare to begin the 2019 season at Gath.

The latest video of the Shiloh Network News is now online.

New finds at Tell Deir Alla in the Jordan Valley contradict previously published results that the north side of the site was used for cultic purposes.” I’m not sure how “new” these finds are, but the aerial view of the site is nice.

The May 2019 issue of the Newsletter of the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities features the latest news and discoveries.

Tour:

Sappers finished clearing mines at the seventh and final monastery at Qasr al-Yahud. Six more months of mine clearing are required before the area will be safe.

Nazareth Illit (Upper Nazareth) has voted to change its name to Nof HaGalil, to end confusion with the city of Jesus’s childhood.

In a painstaking process, the Penn Museum moved its red granite 12.5 ton sphinx of Ramses II to its main museum hall.

The Getty Conservation Institute’s work at Herculaneum is focused on preserving the wall paintings.

Read:

Now available from Eisenbrauns: A Corpus of Ammonite Inscriptions, by Walter E. Aufrecht. This second edition includes 254 additional inscriptions, most of which have no provenance. (Use code NR18 to receive 30% off.)

Gordon Franz has posted an updated version of his article, “‘How Beautiful Are the Feet’ on the Via Egnatia.”

Carl Rasmussen shares a photo of “handcuffs” from the Roman period, along with a list of more than 20 mentions of “chains” in the New Testament.

Ferrell Jenkins posts photos of the wildflowers of the field as well as cedar and hyssop.

Listen:

John DeLancey is Gordon Govier’s guest on The Book and the Spade this week, discussing “the destruction of Jericho.”

Eve Harow interviews Leen Ritmeyer on the Land of Israel Network.

Go:

Wayne Stiles is leading a tour to Israel and Egypt in October 2020.

Thanks:

Agade, Ted Weis, David Padfield, Alexander Schick, Explorator

Break:

There will be no roundup next weekend.

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