Bread in the Old Testament

Pyramid of Pepi

Bread was a staple food in ancient Palestine, made daily in every household. It was such a commonplace item that we don’t get details of types, production, and consumption in the Biblical texts. If we look to the wider documents of the Ancient Near East (ANE), we find the same constant reference to “bread,” but [Read More...]

Ancient Temple Shows Signs of Conflict, Desecration

israel-temple2

Excavations at an 11th century temple complex outside of Jerusalem show evidence of the tensions among the Israelites, Canaanites and Philistines. On the floor of the temple… … excavators found shards of painted chalices and goblets — not the type of containers that would have been used for daily household activities. They also found animal [Read More...]

Frank Moore Cross, Requiescat in Pace

frankcross

It’s impossible to have even a cursory knowledge of the Dead Sea Scrolls without encountering Frank Moore Cross, who died last Wednesday at age 91 from complications from pneumonia. His work on Semitic languages and Canaanite myth informs a great deal of what we know about the development of Hebrew writing. Cross retired from a long and distinguished [Read More...]

Seal Depicting Samson Discovered (Or Maybe Not)

samsonseal

It’s hard to know what to make of this story at this point, so I’m just going to put it out there as reported. Excavations at Tel Beit Shmesh have turned up an interesting stone seal at a level dating to about the 11th century BC. This is the seal: It’s about 1.5 cm and [Read More...]

Gaza Christians Claim Forced Conversions

Haaretz is reporting that dozens of Christians in Gaza held a rare pubic protest against persecution at the hands of Muslims. The group is claiming that two Christians were forcibly converted to Islam and are still being held against their will. The Christians rang a church bell and chanted, “”With our spirit, with our blood [Read More...]

Technology and Archaeology in the Holy Land

Thomas Levy, the Norma Kershaw Chair in the Archaeology of Ancient Israel and Neighboring Lands at the University of California (San Diego), gives a TEDTalk about the convergence of technology and archaeology in the Holy Land. In particular, he explains about “cyber-archaeology”: using the latest tech for visualization, data collection and management, and site analysis. New techniques are pumping out vast amounts [Read More...]

First Ancient Proof of Bethlehem’s Existence Discovered UPDATED

bethbulla

This is huge news, which is made even more wonderful since it comes from such a tiny object. In an excavation in the City of David (the most historically important area of Jerusalem), a tiny bulla was found imprinted with the words “Bat Lechem,” the ancient name for Bethlehem. (A bulla is a seal, usually made [Read More...]

More on the Megiddo Hoard

2011-hoard-4

I posted on this yesterday, but more information is coming out of Tel Aviv University. First, there’s this excellent picture of the jar’s contents, which date from about 1100BC: Next, there’s a long press release from the University, with more details on the jar, its discovery and analysis, and significance. I’ll embed the whole thing after the [Read More...]


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