Category Archives: Archaeology

A Livestream Event from Kiriath Jearim with Thomas Römer and Israel Finkelstein

Two of my favorite people will be livestreaming from K-J.  Here are the details-

Israel Finkelstein and Thomas Römer will be visitng Kiriath-Jearim and it will be livestreamed to the Kiriath-Jearim Expedition facebook:

Please stay updated for the exact time!  For more information regarding the Kiriath-Jearim Expedition check out our website, at:

The Putative ‘Tomb of Jesus’ in the News

The tomb believed to be the place where Jesus was laid has been opened for the first time in centuries.  For decades, archaeologists and theologians have debated over whether the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem is the site where Christ was supposedly buried and resurrected after being crucified.   The tomb has been sealed in marble since the 1500s in order to prevent visitors from stealing pieces as relics.

What?  Christians stealing stuff?  They kind of missed the point of being Christians, didn’t they?

Over the preceding centuries, the famous church had been destroyed and rebuilt so many times that experts were left unsure about whether the tomb had been moved and what it might contain. Lifting the tomb’s marble lid for the first time in 500 years, researchers discovered the limestone shelf where Jesus’s body was thought to have been placed, the Mirror reported. Also discovered, was a second grey marble slab previously unknown to the researchers, engraved with a cross they believe was carved in the 12th century by the Crusaders.

This is the splotch of ground Constantine the Wretch’s mom was told was the spot of Jesus’s burial.  Personally I’ve never thought it the right one.  Nor, frankly, is the Garden Tomb.  The site is unknown, like most of the ancient sites pilgrims visit as though they were the ‘real thing’.

Anyway, if you’re looking for something to read this afternoon, enjoy.  And if you don’t like to read, just look at the pictures.

A Previously Unknown Roman Governor of Judah Discovered: Marco Paccius

Antonio writes

Era stato in carica durante la Rivolta di bar Kokhba (132-135 d.C.). Il reperto è stato rinvenuto in mare, al largo di Tel Dor. L’iscrizione decifrata recita «… la città di Dor rende onore a Marco Paccius, figlio di Publio Silvano, governatore della Giudea». SPETTACOLARE!!! L’articolo su Ha’retz.

Ha’aretz says

An underwater survey conducted by divers off Tel Dor, on the Mediterranean Sea, yielded an astonishing find: a rare Roman inscription mentioning the province of Judea – and the name of a previously unknown Roman governor, who ruled the province shortly before the Bar-Kochba Revolt. Historians had thought that based on Roman records, the leaders Rome imposed on its provinces were all known.

The rock with the 1,900-year-old inscription was exposed by a storm on the seabed at a depth of just 1.5 meters in the bay of Dor. The town had been a thriving port in Roman times that even minted its own coins, which proudly proclaimed the city to be “Ruler of the Seas”.
Found by Haifa University archaeologists surveying the remains of the ancient Roman harbor at Dor in January 2016, the rock, 70 by 80 centimeters in size, was partly covered in sea creatures when it was found.

Etc.  And here’s the stone-


As Antonio says, ‘spectacular!!!!’

The Miqveh

Antonio has the details of the discovery of a ritual bath at Herod’s palace tomb.  And he has some fantastic photos too.

The Discovery of a 3800 Year old Statuette in Israel

thinkingI’m thinking it’s the ‘Thinking Man’…

Mi riferisco alle parole di Gilad Itach, capo della missione archeologica che, a Yehud, ha rinvenuto una statuina di argilla che raffigura quello che sembra essere un pensatore. Un uomo assorto nei suoi pensieri. Una versione arcaica della famosa scultura di Auguste Rodin. Il reperto, alto una ventina di centimetri, è databile al 1800 a.C. È assolutamente unico: ma trovato nulla di simile dell’Antico Vicino Oriente. Ne parlano Ha’aretz e il Times of Israel.

Thank you, Antonio.

The 10 Commandments- The Samaritan Pentateuch Edition

Via Antonio Lombatti

Nella versione samaritana. Non dimenticate che esistono, nella Bibbia, due versioni dei Dieci Comandamenti: una in Esodo 20 e l’altra in Deuteronomio 5. Ciascuna è il frutto di un processo editoriale indipendente. I samaritani, di fronte a questa ambigua versione delle leggi di Yahweh, dovettero cercare di armonizzare le norme. Ecco perché i loro Dieci Comandamenti sono diversi da quelli presenti nella Bibbia. Non solo: il decimo è totalmente differente: afferma che il Monte Gerizim è il luogo più sacro dell’ebraismo. Lì si dovrà edificare il tabernacolo di YHWH. E non sul Monte Ebal come riportano le nostre Bibbie.

Questo cappello introduttivo per dire che la tavoletta d’argilla che contiene la più antica versione dei Dieci Comandamenti, quella samaritana appunto, è stata venduta all’asta per 850.000 dollari. Ne parla la CNBC.

The Barbaric Destruction of Nimrud by ISIS

With thanks to Antonio Lombatti for the link.  What ISIS has done to a site of such significance is nothing less than barbarism.