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 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...]

Defleshing Rituals and Boiled Brains

Ancient brain (Halic University Istanbul)

It’s Monday morning, and we all know what that means: stories about ancient defleshing rituals and 4000-year-old brains. Let’s start with the defleshing, since it’s a word I just don’t get to use enough any more: Archaeologists have recently published in the International Journal of Osteoarcheology, a full report on the discovery of early Holocene [Read More...]

Ancient Monastic Site Destroyed by Islamists

Looters attempted to hack out this ancient architectural element in Ansana (Photo from Egypt’s Heritage Taskforce Facebook page)

Egypt’s Christian community continues to suffer attacks by Muslims, including destruction and looting of archaeological and historical sites dating to the first centuries of Christianity. From Daily News Egypt: The latest attack targeted Ansana, a historical Egyptian site believed to have been used as a Coptic monastery. Yet, information about it is scarce. “[The site] [Read More...]


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