Seal Depicting Samson Discovered (Or Maybe Not)

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 [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

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

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...]

Have Archaeologists Found the Miraculous Quarry of Justinian?

The reign of the Byzantine Emperor Justinian saw a flourishing of the arts and a burst of construction to mark his military successes and solidify the Christian character of his empire. One of those buildings was the Nea Ekklesia of the Theotokos (“New Church of the God-Bearer”), dedicated to the Virgin Mary as the Mother [Read More...]

Caves of Refuge Discovered

A survey of caves in Israel has turned up 500 “caves of refuge”: places where Jews hid during the The First Jewish-Roman War (66-73AD). Most astonishing has been the discovery of 5 mikva’ot (ritual baths) in absurdly inaccessible caves on the Galilean cliffs of Arbel. The presence of mikva’ot indicate that members of the priestly class (kohanim) were [Read More...]


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