Burial in Ancient Israel Part 3: The Bronze Age

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This is an ongoing series about graves and tombs in the ancient Levant, from the Paleolithic Period until the time of Christ. The entire series can be found here. The Intermediate Bronze Age is so heavily marked by a rise in lavish burials that it’s one of the central features of the age. One of [Read More...]

Burial in Ancient Israel Part 2: Early Ossuaries and Shaft Tombs

Ossuary of the Chalcolithic Period, designed to resembled a home

This is an ongoing series about graves and tombs in the ancient Levant, from the Paleolithic Period until the time of Christ. The entire series can be found here. During the Chalcolithic Period (the “Copper Age”), a new kind of burial started appearing along the coastal plain, at sites like Azor, Bene-Berak, and Hedera. This [Read More...]

Burial in Ancient Israel Part 1: The First Graves

Human remains from es-Skhul

Rather than just leaving you postless and bereft as I work on an essay, I decided to share little slices of it over the course of the week. The essay concerns burial practices in the Levant, from the earliest evidence up to the time of Christ. The way we handle our dead is of immense cultural significance, [Read More...]

Germany: “Yep, We Still Hate Jews”

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Did you know that Germany banned circumcision in May? True fact! Why? I … I just don’t know. I know some people get seriously het up about this issue [coughAndrewSullivancough], but I always assumed it was just gay guys and their phallic obsessions. I didn’t know a whole nation has suddenly gone nuts over penises. I [Read More...]

Where Dead Sea Scrolls Go, “Controversy” Follows

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From the moment word of Muhammed edh-Dhib‘s discovery in the Judean desert began to circulate in scriptural and archaeological circles, the Dead Sea Scrolls have been shadowed by controversies. As a subscriber to Biblical Archaeology Review throughout the sturm und drang of the “liberation” of the scrolls in the early 1990s, the Strugnell controversy, and the theories and [Read More...]

The Dead Sea Scrolls Come to America

I wrote some quick personal reactions to the “Dead Sea Scrolls: Life and Faith in Ancient Times” exhibit when I first saw it. Now my full article is up at the National Catholic Register. It’s a good exhibit, and if you’re in the Philadelphia region, you need to check it out, or check in this fall [Read More...]

A Thank You To My Readers, and a Bit of Housekeeping

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Thanks to all the readers who have used my Amazon links when accessing the Amazon site. It’s a small thing to do, but it yields great rewards for bloggers involved with the Amazon Affiliates program. Because of all your clicking, I was able to pick up a big, expensive tome needed for my studies: Book of Legends/Sefer Ha-Aggadah: [Read More...]

Levantine DNA in Ethiopia May Support Biblical Story

Genetic researchers believe they’ve found evidence that people from Israel, Egypt, or Syria mixed with Ethiopians 3000 years ago. The timing of this appearance of the new DNA coincides with the historical period in which the Queen of Sheba visited King Solomon. According to legend, the queen returned to Ethiopia bearing Solomon’s son. Professor Chris [Read More...]


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