Saturday, October 13, 2018

Weekend Roundup

Archaeologists have discovered the remains of a mass slaying carried out during the reign of Hasmonean king Alexander Jannaeus. The article briefly mentions other updates provided at a conference this week in Jerusalem. (The conference schedule is online here.)

Breaking Israel News has created a 3-minute video about the German Protestant Institute of Archaeology in Israel, located on the Mount of Olives.

The inauguration ceremony for Tel Hebron is scheduled for Tuesday.

“The Story of Ancient Glass in Israel” is a 12-minute video created by the Friends of the Israel Antiquities Authority.

There is controversy over a new bill in Israel that would allow guides without licenses to serve pilgrims and some foreign groups.

Walking the Text has just announced a Turkey Study Trip for next August.

James McGrath visited the Museum of the Bible and shares a photo essay.

Timothy P. Harrison will be lecturing at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School on Monday, Oct 29 at 7 pm in Hinckson Hall. His topic is “A Kingdom of Idols: Tayinat (ancient Kunulua) and the Land of Palastin.”

Now online: Yosef Garfinkel’s recent lecture on “Searching for the Historical King David: Excavating Kh. Qeyiafa and Kh. al-Ra'i.”

HT: Joseph Lauer, A.D. Riddle, Jared Clark

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Tuesday, October 09, 2018

New Discovery: Jerusalem Inscription from 100 BC

Archaeologists working in Jerusalem have discovered a stone column with an inscription mentioning Jerusalem that dates to 100 BC. The inscription is now on display at the Israel Museum, and scholars are debating whether it should be labeled as written in Hebrew or Aramaic. From The Times of Israel:

The earliest stone inscription bearing the full spelling of the modern Hebrew word for Jerusalem was unveiled on Tuesday at the Israel Museum, in the capital.

While any inscription dating from the Second Temple period is of note, the 2,000-year-old three-line inscription on a waist-high column — reading “Hananiah son of Dodalos of Jerusalem” — is exceptional, as it is the first known stone carving of the word “Yerushalayim,” which is how the Israeli capital’s name is pronounced in Hebrew today.

The stone column was discovered earlier this year at a salvage excavation of a massive Hasmonean Period Jewish artisans’ village near the Jerusalem International Convention Center [Binyanei HaUma], at what is now the entrance to the modern city, by an Israel Antiquities Authority team headed by archaeologist Danit Levi.

The discovery is reported on the official press release, IAA’s Facebook page, and The Jerusalem Post. The Arutz-7 story includes a 2-minute video from the press conference.

HT: Joseph Lauer

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Saturday, October 06, 2018

Weekend Roundup

Archaeologists are uncovering more of the Minoan palace of Zominthos in Crete.

Political instability is threatening many historical sites in Libya, including remains of the Roman Empire in the city of Sabrath.

Archaeologists have discovered a tomb from the 5th Dynasty in Abusir, Egypt.

John Swogger explains his work as an archaeological illustrator in using informational comics to explain various aspects of archaeology.

The proliferation of sinkholes along the Dead Sea shore has resulted in new life next to the briny waters.

Some priests in Jerusalem have reenacted the Sukkot water-libation ceremony in the City of David.

The Ancient Coins of Israel is an informative 10-minute video produced by the Friends of the Israel Antiquities Authority.

The annual Batchelder Conference at the University of Nebraska Omaha will be held on November 9-10. The Friday plenary address will be by Jodi Magness on her excavations at Huqoq. (No info online at the time of this posting.)

The Albright Institute has announced its lecture and workshop schedule for October and November.

Carl Rasmussen has written a couple of posts related to city gates, including its defense and illicit worship.

Ferrell Jenkins has created an index of his articles related to church history.

Here’s a photo to add to your lecture slides: the 1974 passport for Ramses II.

HT: Judi King, Ted Weis, Charles Savelle, Agade, Jared Clark

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Saturday, September 29, 2018

Weekend Roundup

James Tabor provides a short report on this summer’s excavations on Mount Zion. A press release is forthcoming on their discovery of the continuation of the Cardo, and a long-term goal is to create an archaeological park showcasing the first-century priestly mansion.

Haaretz reports on the tomb in northern Jordan decorated with spectacular frescoes. This is apparently a re-write of a CNRS News article.

With the beginning of a new Jewish year, The Jerusalem Post writes about discoveries of the past year.

Sergio and Rhoda have create a nice 12-minute video on the recent excavations of el-Araj (Bethsaida?).

Carl Rasmussen visits the likely pool in Jericho where King Herod had his high priest murdered.

The latest at the ASOR Blog: “Life of a Salesman: Trade and Contraband in Ancient Assyria,” by Mathilde Touillon-Ricci.

AJU’s Whizin Center and the Simmons Family Charitable Foundation’s 28th Annual Program in Biblical Archaeology includes a lecture by Michael G. Hasel on “The Age of David and Solomon: New Archaeological Discoveries for the Early Kingdom of Judah” on February 4.

Steven Notley will lecturing at Nyack College on Oct 18, 6:30 pm, on “Finding Bethsaida: Year 3 of the El Araj Excavation Project.”

The Smithsonian Magazine surveys the reviews of the “Out of the Blue” exhibit now at the Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem.

SBL is making available as a free pdf, Invention of the First-Century Synagogue, by Lidia D. Matassa, with chapters on Jericho, Masada, Herodium, Gamla, and Delos.

On sale for Kindle: Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible ($3)

HT: G. M. Grena, Charles Savelle, Agade, Lois Tverberg, Paleojudaica

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Thursday, September 27, 2018

NPAPH Request: Documentation of Mari, Dura Europos, and Apamea

NPAPH has asked me to pass along the following worthy request to our readers. Please contact them at the address below if you can provide them with any help.

The Non-Professional Archaeological Photographs project (NPAPH; www.npaph.com) has the aim to preserve non-professional documentation of past archaeological campaigns to the future and make it accessible to the public via digital archives.

NPAPH Project

The term ‘non-professional’ refers to records made by visitors or participants of excavations who were not part of the trained staff, but who assisted as part of their continuing education or out of interest, for instance students, volunteers, reporters or sponsors. Secondly, this category of documentation includes also the private photos, slides, films, letters, diaries, etc., made at the excavation by the archaeological staff. So non-professional records are usually not stored in official archives.

At the moment we are tracing documentation of the excavations of the following Syrian sites:

  • Mari/ Tell Hariri (1933-1939, 1951-1956, and 1960–1974)
  • Dura Europos (1928–1937)
  • Apamea (1930-1938, 1947-1953, and 1965)

If you know anyone who joined one of these archaeological expeditions or if you have worked on one of them yourself, please contact info@npaph.com. We are also interested in any other record prior the 1980s related to these sites.

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Tuesday, September 25, 2018

New Series on Psalm 23 at Walking the Text

This afternoon I taught Psalm 23 in my Psalms class and when I returned to my office, I saw that Brad Gray (Walking the Text) has started a new video series today on Psalm 23, using illustrations, contextual resources, and a drone video.

The first episode focuses on the verse one and is entitled “My Savvy Shepherd.” Brad does a terrific job of shedding light on this familiar passage using the six contextual lenses that he is known for.

Some of the photos that he is using in this series come from our new Psalm 23 volume in our Photo Companion to the Bible series. Brad also lists some other valuable resources for the study of this Psalm. You can subscribe to the weekly video series with iTunes and Google Play.

Walking the Text

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Sunday, September 23, 2018

Weekend Roundup, Part 2

A sandstone statue of a sphinx was discovered in excavations at the Kom Ombo temple.

A large and outstanding Assyrian relief from the reign of Ashurnasirpal II is being auctioned in October by Christie's on behalf of Virginia Theological Seminary.

Egypt is celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the project to save 20 gigantic monuments in the Abu Simbel complex from flooding by moving them to higher ground.

Is it safe to travel to Egypt now? Temma Ecker explains why now is the perfect time to experience Egypt.

The 21st Annual Bible and Archaeology Fest is being held in Denver on November 16 to 18.

Rémy Boucharlat will be lecturing on Pasargadae at the Asia House in London on October 3.

Eisenbrauns is having a 40%-off sale on many ANE works.

AASOR is looking for an editor. NEA is looking for an editor. BASOR is looking for a copyeditor.

Ehsan Yarshater, editor of the Encyclopedia Iranica, died earlier this month.

HT: Agade, Ted Weis

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Saturday, September 22, 2018

Weekend Roundup, Part 1

After finding a bare shrine at Abel Beth Maacah, archaeologists are suggesting that the “wise woman” of 2 Samuel 20 was a “local version of the divine oracles known from other cultures around the Mediterrranean.” (Haaretz premium)

Jonathan Klawans explains why the Tower of David Museum is the best place to begin a tour of Jerusalem.

Carl Rasmussen takes readers on a tour of less-visited sites in Roman-era Jericho, including the stadium and a balsam plantation.

Israel’s Good Name found some wildlife in his nighttime excursion through the Holon Dunes.

Shmuel Browns shares some of the latest discoveries in excavations at Masada and Herodium.

John M. Vonder Bruegge writes about “Josephus’ Galilee and Spatial Theory” at The Bible and Interpretation.

Wayne Stiles describes the history of sacrifice in Jerusalem.

The Israel Antiquities Authority Library Catalog is now online.

Dan Koski looks at the legacy of the stonemasons of Beit Jala.

Leon Mauldin explains the importance of the Theodotos Inscription.

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

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Sunday, September 16, 2018

Weekend Roundup, Part 2

Archaeologists believe they have found ruins of the church building where the First Council of Nicaea was held.

“Turkish archeologists have found an eye cream jar in a 2,200-year-old tomb during their excavation works in an antique city of Aizanoi in country's west.”

A cache of gold coins dating to the 5th century has been found in an old theater in northern Italy.

A full-scale replica of a Roman triumphal arch from Palmyra will be on display in Washington DC later this month.

Museums are full of fake cuneiform tablets, and Sara Brumfield suggests a few ways to identify them.

An ancient Torah scroll in Brazil’s National Museum was spared from the fire because it was being restored off-site.

The August 2018 issue of the Newsletter of the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities includes information about recent discoveries, meetings, exhibitions, and fee increases.

John DeLancey is posting daily summaries of his tour of Greece.

HT: Ted Weis, Agade, Steven Anderson, Gordon Franz

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Saturday, September 15, 2018

Weekend Roundup, Part 1

Stanford University researchers believe they've found evidence of the world's oldest brewery in the Raqefet Cave, near Haifa.

Miriam Feinberg Vamosh writes about an ancient convent discovered at a possible site of Hannah’s tomb (Haaretz premium).

Haaretz (premium) has an article on the history of the pomegranate.

Aren Maeir will be teaching a MOOC entitled “Biblical Archaeology: The Archaeology of Ancient Israel and Judah” and a trailer is now out.

There is a conference today on Ctesiphon, and Ferrell Jenkins shares a photo from his visit to this city in Iraq.

Luke Chandler explains why there is an island in the Sea of Galilee now.

Leon Mauldin has written an illustrated post about the revolt of Libnah and Edom.

The Institute of Biblical Culture is offering new courses in October, including the Samaritan Pentateuch and Ancient Near Eastern Texts.

New from Oxford University Press: The Oxford Illustrated History of the Holy Land, edited by H. G. M. Williamson and Robert G. Hoyland.

HT: Ted Weis, Agade, Steven Anderson, Gordon Franz

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Sunday, September 09, 2018

Weekend Roundup, Part 2

Egypt has announced the discovery of an ancient village in the Nile Delta.

A 3-D topographical survey of the Lisht necropolis area in Egypt has been completed.

Archaeologists made some important discoveries in the port of the Greek island of Kythnos.

The fire at Brazil’s National Museum destroyed millions of items, including the entire collection of 700 Egyptian artifacts.

Biblical Archaeology Society has limited space remaining for its Bible History of the Nile tour in February.

Unlike many of the reviews of the Museum of the Bible in D.C., this one by Alex Joffe is intelligent and balanced.

Seetheholyland.net has compiled a list of more than 120 tour operators who offer pilgrimages to the Holy Land.

Accordance is running a High Holy Days Sale that includes discounts on significant works from Carta, including The Quest, Echoes from the Past, and The Raging Torrent.

Appian Media has just released a sneak peek for their upcoming series, “Searching for a King.”

HT: Ted Weis, Agade, Joseph Lauer

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Saturday, September 08, 2018

Weekend Roundup, Part 1

More than 1,000 Hellenistic-era seal impressions were recently discovered in excavations at Maresha.

Underwater archaeologists are searching the sea near Dor in advance of the construction of a gas pipeline.

US military veterans are participating in excavations at Beth Shearim in a program providing therapy for PTSD.

A plan to build a cable car to transport visitors to the Western Wall in Jerusalem is not making everyone happy.

The Tower of David Museum in Jerusalem now offers a virtual reality tour that visits nine vantage points in the Old City.

The IAA is opposed to plans by the Temple Mount Faithful to hold a concert in the excavations area south of the Temple Mount.

The 12th annual conference on “New Studies in the Archaeology of Jerusalem and its Vicinity” will be held next month. Aren Maeir has posted the program.

Joel Kramer has announced the dates of his next study tour in Israel.

Carl Rasmussen links to two videos from Kathleen Kenyon’s excavations of Jericho.

The Methuselah date palm tree is male, but six more ancient date seeds have been planted in hopes of raising a female for Methuselah to pollinate.

HT: Ted Weis, Agade, Joseph Lauer

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Sunday, September 02, 2018

Seminar on United Kingdom at Lanier Theological Library

A little-advertised seminar is occurring next week in Houston, and if you’re able to get there, it should be quite worthwhile. The only thing I’ve found online about it is this registration site, but that should be the main thing you need if you want to secure a seat. The main facts are as follows:

The Lanier Theological Library presents a seminar on “Recent Evidence for Israel’s United Kingdom” on Friday, September 14th, 2:00-5:00 pm in the Stone Chapel.

2:00-2:25 Jane Cahill, “Jerusalem at the Time of the United Monarchy: The Known, the Unknown, and the Next Frontier”

2:25-2:50 Steven Ortiz, “The Westward Expansion of the United Monarchy in Light of Recent Excavations”

2:50-3:15 Chris McKinny, “Going for Gold . . . Bringing Home (mainly) Bronze: Jerusalem’s Role in the Arabah Copper Industry and the Biblical Account of Solomon”

3:30-3:55 Timothy Harrison, “Kingdoms of Idols: Israel’s Northern Neighbors and What They Reveal about the World of the Bible”

3:55-4:20 K. Lawson Younger Jr. “David’s Wars: What Can We Know about his Aramean Enemies?”

4:20-4:45 Gary Rendsburg, “The Book of Genesis as a Product of the United Monarchy”

4:45-5:00 Discussion

This looks very good, and if you haven’t been to the Lanier Library, that’s worth a visit even if no one is speaking. If they do as they’ve done in the past, we might expect that videos of these lectures will appear on their website.

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Saturday, September 01, 2018

Weekend Roundup

Scholars are studying sites in the Jordan Valley to see if they are related to early Israelite settlement.

Zahi Hawass tells the story of the discovery of the Solar Boat of Khufu.

An 10-year-old boy hiking in Galilee discovered an ancient stone figure.

Aren Maeir has written an initial summary of this summer’s excavations of Gath. They found quite a bit related to Hazael’s destruction of the city.

Israel’s Good Name describes his excavation experience at Gath.

Gonzalo Rubio explains how eclipses were regarded as omens in the ancient world.

Yosef Garfinkel is lecturing on Khirbet Qeiyafa and Khirbet al-Ra’i on September 15 at the Lanier Theological Library in Houston.

Jerusalem Perspective has posted a lecture by Ronny Reich on “The Mikveh and Ritual Immersion in Jesus’ Day.” Reich is the leading expert on ancient Jewish ritual baths.

The J. Paul Getty Museum has posted a catalog of 630 ancient lamps in their collections.

“Tomb of Christ: The Church of the Holy Sepulchre Experience” will open on November 15 at the National Geographic Museum in Washington, DC. The website includes a digital guide for the exhibition.

Biblical Israel Ministries & Tours has launched an updated website, including a list of their upcoming Israel tours.

The NIV Biblical Theology Study Bible releases on Tuesday. This is a revision of the NIV Zondervan Study Bible, and one major improvement is the more-readable font. We contributed many of the photos, and I wrote the notes for 2 Kings. Westminster Bookstore has it on sale.

Accordance has many graphics collections for sale, including the American Colony Collection and Cultural Images of the Holy Land.

Wipf and Stock are offering 40% off their catalog with code LABOR40.

Now available in the US (from Biblical Archaeology Society):

HT: Agade, Joseph Lauer, A.D. Riddle, Alexander Schick, Paleojudica

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