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November 2005

November 9

Where was Jesus Born?
Theologians question biblical accounts of the Nativity. Now archaeologists are doing the same. by Aviram Oshri.

When Giants Roamed the Earth
In the golden age of hoaxes, petrified men came to life. (The Cardiff Giant) by Mark Rose. Also see Do You Believe in Giants? The Great Cardiff Giant Hoax.

Ancient Church Found at Israeli Prison
The ruins of a church, which archaeologists say could be the oldest Christian church in Israel, were recently discovered on the grounds of that nation's Megiddo Prison.

Founder Mutations
Special genetic changes that can cause (and protect against) diseases enable scientists to trace human migrations over thousands of years. By Dennis Drayna.

September 2005

September 20

David’s palace in Jerusalem may have been found
A prominent Israeli archeologist claims to have uncovered the ancient palace of King David near the Old City of Jerusalem. See also
King David's fabled palace: Is this it? and King David palace may have been found.

The latest on the David's Palace debate:
A debate of biblical proportions
View image of archaeologist and ruins
King David's Palace Is Found, Archaeologist Says (free registration required)

New finds at the “Cave of John the Baptist” and the Pool of Shiloah (NT Pool of Siloam)
"Monumental rock-hewn water system" found during an eight-week dig at a cave in Ein Kerem, which is regarded as the traditional birthplace of John the Baptist. Also, sections of the earliest phase of the Shiloah Pool, mentioned in Nehemiah 3:15, are being uncovered. See also Two recent excavations uncover ancient water systems.

2005 excavation results at Tel Kabri
Site is possibly the Rehov of Joshua 19:28.

Shroud of Turin Conference
Scientists, religious scholars to present Shroud of Turin findings in Dallas, September 8-11. Is image a hoax or visible projection of Christ’s resurrection?

Philistine city of Gath being excavated
New evidence regarding the bitter end of Gath, the largest and most important Philistine city, was recently unearthed at a dig at Tel Zafit near the Masmia intersection in the Lachish region.

Summary of recent excavations in Israel
Commentary on work at Pool of Siloam, palace of David, Gath, and Hazor.

Mysterious Temple Mt. artifact evokes `Da Vinci Code'
Cross-shaped bronze pendant shows Holy Grail lying on a crown of thorns (Haaretz, Tel Aviv) 

Organic bath saves paper from decay
Scavenging copper from ancient inks stops archives falling apart.

Enthusiast uses Google to reveal Roman ruins
Google Earth programme leads to remains of ancient villa.

Secrets of the Pharaohs' Physicians Revealed
It is the oldest surgical text yet discovered. And along with a host of artifacts, it will be the centerpiece of The Art of Medicine in Ancient Egypt, a major exhibit set to open Sept. 13 at New York City's Metropolitan Museum of Art.

August 2005

August 2

Temple and Artifacts Discovered in Cairo Suburb
Archaeologists digging in Mataryia, a northeastern suburb of Cairo, Egypt, have uncovered a temple and a number of statues dating to the rule of Ramesses II (1279-1212 B.C.) during the 19th Dynasty.

DNA tests squelch Canadian sasquatch discovery
Researchers said on Thursday that a mysterious clump of hair found in the Yukon Territory is from a North American bison and not from he elusive ape-like sasquatch, or Big Foot, said to haunt the woods of western Canada. See also 'Bigfoot' hair tabbed big hoax by expert.

Ancient Tiberias Reveals More Of Its Beauty (July 29, 2005)
Further revelations of the beauty of the ancient city of Tiberias and of its uniqueness as a Jewish center were revealed in this season's excavations.

A Number Of Works Of Art Unearthed In Parion Ancient City CANAKKALE
Archaeologists unearthed a number of works of art including crowns of a prince or a king in the ancient city of Parion (also known as Parium).

July 2005

July 20

Biblical scroll fragments found in Israel
A secretive encounter with a Bedouin in a desert valley led to the discovery of two fragments from a nearly 2,000-year-old parchment scroll. See also A piece of history.

French magazine claims to have proven that the Shroud of Turin is a “fake.”

Dramatic findings from the First and Second Temple periods uncovered
Digs taking place near Yokne’am in the western Galilee have revealed the existence of an impressive administrative center from the First Temple period, which ended some 2,500 years ago. In addition, remnants of dense housing in a Jewish village from the Second Temple period – 2,000 years ago – have been found.

"Ink and Blood: Dead Sea Scrolls to the English Bible," a history of the Bible
A heavily promoted exhibit on the history of the Bible is drawing criticism from scholars who say it has more of an evangelical Christian spin than a historical one.

An overview of the history of digs in Jerusalem
The reunification of Jerusalem in 1967 launched an unexpected area of activity which soon acquired major proportions and significance: archeological excavation.

Radiocarbon dating: Jewish inspiration of Christian catacombs
A Jewish cemetery in ancient Rome harbours a secret that bears on the history of early Christianity.

Caveman DNA hints at map of migration
Oldest American genetic sample reveals early New World frontiers.

Spirit tales reveal ancient landslides
North American folklore points to dangers for Seattle.

July 6

Footprints rewrite history of first Americans
Human footprints discovered beside an ancient Mexican lake have been dated to 40,000 years ago. If the finding survives the controversy it is bound to stir up, it means that humans must have moved into the New World at least 30,000 years earlier than previously thought. “If true, this would completely change our view of how and when the Americas were first colonised,” says Chris Stringer, head of human origins at the Natural History Museum in London, UK.

Ancient Greek Writings Inscribed In Stone, Digitized By Case Classicist (July 3, 2005)Finding information about ancient Greek inscriptions used to take years of res
earch and countless hours tracking down answers in the library. Through contributions by Case classicist Paul Iversen's work with the Packard Humanities Institute (PHI) Greek Epigraphy Project, classics scholars now can access and search more than 150,000 inscriptions through a comprehensive digitized database in a matter of minutes.

The Temple Menorah—Where Is It?
Steven Fine - The Temple candelabrum has been lost to history almost since it was carted off as booty to Rome. Is it still there?

Sifting the Temple Mount Dump
Thanks to an intrepid archaeology student, scores of artifacts are being retrieved from the mounds of earth carted off the Temple Mount during the unsupervised excavation of a new entrance to an underground mosque.

The Kitchen Debate
Ronald S. Hendel, William W. Hallo and Kenneth A. Kitchen - No, it’s not Nixon vs. Krushchev. It’s two prominent scholars reviewing a new work by an equally prominent colleague—with a reply by the latter.

Update—Finds or Fakes?
Digging Deeper
     The IAA is digging—a hole for itself.
Is the New Royal Moabite Inscription a Forgery?

Ancient Egyptian Glass Factory Found
Glass was a high-status item in the Late Bronze Age that was used extensively in prestigious artifacts. Much evidence has been uncovered to suggest that early glass making arose in Mesopotamia. But the recent excavation of a site in Egypt suggests that people in the region were adept glassmakers as well, a find that shines new light on how the commodity developed and was traded.

How to Date a Pharaoh
Leo Depuydt - Ancient chronology—yes, that kind of “Date”—is not the most glamorous of sciences, but it can be one of the most contentious. Every generation, it seems, someone causes a ruckus among the general public and in the scholarly world by trying to knock down this “house of cards.” But the foundations are stronger than they look.

New Leonardo Da Vinci drawing discovered in London
Art curators have uncovered a new Leonardo Da Vinci drawing hidden beneath the surface of one of the Renaissance artist's most celebrated works, Britain's National Gallery said on Friday. (Reuters)

Simulating Ancient Societies
Computer modeling is helping unravel the archaeological mysteries of the American Southwest.

May 2005

May 30

Vendyl Jones Claims he will find the Ark of the Covenant by August 14, 2005
Armed with a blessing from a mysterious Kabbalist, Jones is now excited to uncover his life's pursuit. He believes the ark of the covenant will be discovered by Tisha B'Av (Aug. 14), a day of repeated tragedy in Jewish history. Most notably, it is the anniversary of the destruction of both the First and Second Holy Temples. On August 14th we will know for sure if Vendyl Jones is a false prophet, or a true prophet. My guess is that he will make up some excuse of why he did not find the ark, and that he just needs some more time and a lot more money to find it.

NASA technology reveals texts of Trojan Wars, early gospels
A relatively new technology called multispectral imaging is turning a pile of ancient garbage into a gold mine of classical knowledge, bringing to light the lost texts of Sophocles and Euripides as well as some early Christian gospels that do not appear in the New Testament. (Seattle Times)

Was Noah’s Ark a Sewn Boat? Ralph K. Pedersen
The Epic of Gilgamesh, the Mesopotamian myth that includes a flood story, and modern-day ships on the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea provide a persuasive answer.

Have Jordanian archaeologists found the place Jesus was baptized?
New evidence may have finally pinned down the legendary 'Bethany beyond the Jordan.' (Daily Star, Lebanon)

Modern Humans Or Neandertals? New Evidence Sheds Light On Cave Fossils' Age
The human fossil evidence from the Mladeè Caves in Moravia, Czech Republic, excavated more than 100 years ago, has been proven for the first time, through modern radiocarbon dating, to be the oldest cranial, dental and postcranial assemblage of early modern humans in Europe.

Americas had seventy 'founding fathers'
Gene study counts the first humans to reach the New World.

Indian Tribes Linked Directly to African 'Eve' - May 20, 2005
Two primitive tribes in India's Andaman and Nicobar islands are believed to be direct descendants of the first modern humans who migrated from Africa at least 50,000 years ago, according to a study by Indian biologists. 

May 16

Garden of Eden
The latest research on its location by Walter Mattfeld.

Gangrene Felled King Tut May 11, 2005
Egyptian scientists have finally lifted the veil of mystery surrounding famed pharaoh Tutankhamun's death, saying he died of a swift attack of gangrene after breaking his leg, and reconstructing his face.

King Tut's New Face:8 Amazing Photos
See the new, lifelike reconstruction of Tutankhamun—made using technology straight out of CSI.

Early African migrants made eastward exit
Travellers hugged the coast as they wandered the world.

Cave Housed Neanderthals, Humans, Hyenas May 2, 2005
A single cave in France was home to Neanderthals, modern humans, and hyenas at roughly the same time 40,700 years ago, according to a new study. 

April 2005

April 11

Father Brown Fakes the Shroud
Start with a piece of glass and some white oil paint. By N. D. Wilson

What Do the Stones Cry Out?
Beware of claims that archaeology disproves—or proves—the Bible is true. By Christian M.M. Brady.

Expert questions artifacts' credentials
Educator discusses how forgers feed on faith "The Question of Forged Inscriptions of Antiquity: From the James Ossuary to the Marzeah Papyrus."  (Knoxville News-Sentinel, Tenn.)

Ancient Texts as "Fossils": How They Survive
Medieval manuscripts "behave" like organisms, concludes one researcher who applied population biology theory to calculate the survival rate of ancient texts.

Salt Central to Ancient Maya Business
Excavations of a number of saltworks suggests that the ancient Maya business world centered on salt and was much more extensive than archaeologists though.

Neandertal Advance: First Fully Jointed Skeleton Built

Facelift seals standing of oldest hominid
Computer reconstruction and new fossils cement place in history for Toumaï.

March 2005

March 29

First remains of ancient Egyptian seafaring ships discovered
The artefacts were found in caves by the Red Sea, along with pottery that could put a name to a mysterious land called Punt which provided the ancient Egytians with gold, ebony and incense.

Archaeologist Bill Dever on the historicity of ancient Israel
Revisionist scholars in Europe are ignoring a wealth of archaeological evidence in seeking to discount and, ultimately, erase belief in the biblical Israel, noted archaeologist William Dever said at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.

Controversial Dates Of Biblical Edom Reassessed In Results From New Archeological Research (March 3, 2005)
New archeological research from modern-day Jordan indicates the existence of the biblical nation of Edom at least as early as the 10th Century B.C., the era of kings David and Solomon, and adds to the controversy over the historical accuracy of the Old Testament.

Jordanian dig confirms Biblical Edom
The new study contradicts much contemporary scholarship which had argued that, because there had been no physical evidence, no Edomite state had existed before the 8th Century B.C. Until the current discovery many scholars had said the Bible’s numerous references to ancient Israel’s interactions with Edom could not be valid. See also RICHARD N. OSTLING: Archaeological work on Edom may prove skeptics wrong and Controversial Dates Of Biblical Edom Reassessed In Results From New Archeological Research.

Did Jesus Marry?
Birger A. Pearson - Modern movies and novels always want to marry Jesus off to Mary Magdalene. But Jesus’ own words suggest he wasn’t interested in such worldly matters.

Geography Predicts Human Genetic Diversity (March 17, 2005)
By analyzing the relationship between the geographic location of current human populations in relation to East Africa and the genetic variability within these populations, researchers have found new evidence for an African origin of modern humans.

March 8

Vatican archaeologist
Paul really is buried where the church said he is Giorgio Filippi, a archeology specialist with the Vatican Museums, says a sarcophagus containing the remains of the apostle Paul has been discovered in the basilica of San Paolo Fuori le Mura (St. Paul Outside the Walls). 

Tut Not Murdered Violently, Scans Show
CT scans of King Tutankhamun found no physical evidence of murder. But they did reveal unusual features, including a broken leg that may have helped kill him. 

'Man The Hunter' Theory Is Debunked In New Book (February 26, 2005)
In a new book, an anthropologist at Washington University in St. Louis goes against the prevailing view and argues that primates, including early humans, evolved not as hunters but as prey of many predators, including wild dogs and cats, hyenas, eagles and crocodiles.

February 2005

February 21

Archaeologist unearths Biblical controversy
A Canadian researcher has found evidence (a fortress) confirming the Biblical dates for the kingdom of Edom, contradicting widespread academic belief that it did not come into being until 200 years later.

The Mystery of Antiquities
Ossuary owner charged with forgery. By Gordon Govier.

Has the tomb of Gilgamesh been found?
Archaeologists in Iraq believe they may have found the lost tomb of King Gilgamesh - the subject of the oldest "book" in history.

Fossil Reanalysis Pushes Back Origin of Homo sapiens
A new analysis of human remains first discovered in 1967 suggests that they are in fact much older than previously believed. The results, published today in the journal Nature, push back the emergence of our species by nearly 35,000 years. 

January 2005

January 23

Part of Darius I throne found?
Archaeologists believe they have found a piece of the throne of Darius I, the Persian king who allowed the Jews to complete the rebuilding of the Jerusalem Temple in the late 6th century B.C. (Ezra 6).

In Rome, hints of buried treasure
City unveils art found in infamous Emperor Nero's entombed palace (Washington Post) ROME, Jan. 18 -- When the infamous emperor Nero fell from power in A.D. 68, weakened by military revolts, his successors decided no personal trace of his reign should remain. They covered with debris the giant and sumptuous Domus Aurea -- the Golden House -- that he built on a hill in central Rome. They replaced an adjacent artificial lake with the Colosseum. The entombment of the palace was meant to make everyone forget Nero. Instead, it conserved, as if in amber, his residential compound as few ancient sites in Rome have been preserved. This week, almost 2,000 years after Nero's rule, Rome city officials unveiled a new find from the palace that offers a tantalizing hint of the treasures buried beneath the hill.

Gladiators- more showbusiness than slaughter - JAMES REYNOLDS 

Anthropologists Find 4.5 Million-Year-Old Hominid Fossils In Ethiopia Bloomington IN (SPX) Jan 20, 2005
Scientists from Indiana University Bloomington and seven other institutions have unearthed skeletal fossils of a human ancestor believed to have lived about 4.5 million years ago.