A 2,000-Year-Old Eggshell

Ritual-Deposits

Eggs are very important at Casa McD, so I was tickled to see this amazing discovery from Turkey: a nearly-intact eggshell from about 17 AD. The town of Sardis had been hit by an earthquake, and when residents rebuilt, they buried a pierced egg in a pot to ward off further dangers. The intact egg [Read More...]

Biblical Archaeology Dig Reports for 2013

2013

This one is just for the Biblical Archaeology wonks: a listing of all the dig activity conducted in Israel for 2013, with reports on what was uncovered. I covered most of the marquee finds throughout the year, but this listing provides detailed information on everything from Afula to Zippori. [Read more...]

Is The Fate of Ark of the Covenant Revealed in Hebrew Text?

pseud

Unless “somewhere in the middle east” or “in the hands of angels” is your idea of a location, then … no, but that didn’t stop LiveScience from attaching a click-bait headline to their story on the new translation of the pseudepigraphal “Treatise of the Vessels.” The translation is important, however, since it marks the first [Read More...]

Sirach: An Online Manuscript Collection

B

The Book of Sirach (Latin: Ecclesiasticus) is a beautiful wisdom work that blends Greek and Hebrew thought. It’s the last of the Old Testament books composed, and was probably written only two centuries before the first of the New Testament texts, providing an important glimpse into the development of faith and philosophy between the OT [Read More...]

Hear The Oldest Surviving Song

seiklos

The Seikilos epitaph is the oldest compete surviving song discovered to date.  It comes from marble memorial pilla (stele) found in Tralleis, near Ephesus. and dating to the 1st or 2nd cenutry AD. This means that it captures words and music from the vicinity of the earliest Christian communities. The text is not Christian, but records [Read More...]

Ancient Fragment of Work By Justin Martyr is 1,000 Years Older Than Any Other Version

justin

I’ve written about the Oxyrhynchus dump before, and this cache of ancient manuscripts and fragments just keeps giving up the goods. The latest treasure to be identified is a manuscript of a work by Justin Martyr:  In the latest issue of the Oxyrhynchus Papyri series (LXXVIII, Egyptian Exploration Society, 2012), W. B. Henry offers an [Read More...]

Ancient Viking Thing Discovered

viking

No, I’m not being vague or cutesy. An honest-to-Odin ancient Viking Thing was discovered under a parking lot in Scotland. A “Thing” is what the Norse called their parliament. One more reason to love the Vikings: Excavations at the Cromartie Memorial car park in Dingwall uncovered evidence of a mound that archaeologists believe was established [Read More...]

Stunning Jeweled Saints

Saint Deodatus in Rheinau, Switzerland, by Paul Koudounaris (Thames and Hudson)

Smithsonian has a long, heavily-illustrated piece on photographer Paul Koudounaris and his amazing work cataloging the heavily bejeweled skeletons and corpses of saints. He’s gathered them in a book called Heavenly Bodies: Cult Treasures and Spectacular Saints from the Catacombs (Thames and Hudson), and they are simply astonishing. Here’s a taste: You should read the entire [Read More...]


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