Tuesday, August 29, 2023

More Jerusalem aqueduct uncovered. Lots more.

ANCIENT INFRASTRUCTURE: Israel uncovers massive section of Second Temple-era aqueduct in Jerusalem. The discovery “may also shed light on the question – who built the first aqueduct – whether it was the Hasmoneans or perhaps King Herod," the researchers noted (Jerusalem Post).
The longest continuous section of Jerusalem’s ancient aqueduct has been uncovered in Givat Hamatos, the Israel Antiquities Authority announced on Monday.

The stretch of the ancient aqueduct, which measures some 300 meters (roughly 1,000 feet) in length, was discovered during archaeological excavations of the area prior to the planned development of the settlement by the Municipality of Jerusalem. The municipality plans on building schools.


This appears to be a section of the upper aqueduct. See the caption to the first photo.

For more on the upper and lower Jerusalem aqueducts, see here and links.

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Another Ben-Tor memorial

OBITUARY: Leading archaeologist who dug with Yigael Yadin at Masada and Hazor dies at 88. Amnon Ben-Tor, who won the Israel Prize in 2019, spent decades on major biblical-era site, lectured in top universities around the world (Times of Israel).

Background here and here.

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Monday, August 28, 2023

Giffone, Storymaking, Textual Development, and Varying Cultic Centralizations (Mohr Siebeck)

NEW BOOK FROM MOHR SIEBECK: Benjamin D. Giffone. Storymaking, Textual Development, and Varying Cultic Centralizations. Gathering and Fitting Unhewn Stones. 2023. XVIII, 269 pages. Forschungen zum Alten Testament 2. Reihe 142. 94,00 € including VAT. sewn paper ISBN 978-3-16-156238-9.
Published in English.
In this volume, Benjamin D. Giffone shows that the coexistence of at least three cultic centralization models within the Pentateuch, including Northern, Benjaminite, and Southern traditions, helps to calibrate the level of theological consistency that may reasonably be expected of biblical texts. The scholarly tendency to view biblical narratives as late, tendentious fictions is not sufficient to explain the texts' final forms. The author explains how the use of earlier narrative and legal material within Chronicles and other Second Temple texts illumines instances of unevenness that later interpreters smoothed to a degree but retained in the text. Community memory existing outside the written texts provided limits on the changes that could be introduced by scribes but was sufficiently malleable to allow for changes. Narrativity as a key feature of the texts allowed certain memories to be retained, framed by various techniques to suit the storymakers' aims.

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Sunday, August 27, 2023

Hapax legomena (unique words) in the Hebrew Bible

PROF. GARY RENDSBURG: Hapax Legomena: Ten Biblical Examples (TheTorah.com).
To enhance the sounds of the text for their audience, biblical authors plumbed the depths of the Hebrew lexis for alliterative rare words, some of which appear only once in the Bible.

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Strange, Excavating the Land of Jesus (Eerdmans)

Excavating the Land of Jesus
How Archaeologists Study the People of the Gospels

James Riley Strange
Foreword by Luke Timothy Johnson

HARDCOVER; Published: 6/20/2023
ISBN: 978-0-8028-6950-0
Price: $ 29.99
208 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 6 x 9


How do archaeologists unearth the daily life of people from Jesus’s time?

Contrary to popular belief, archaeology of first-century Roman Galilee is not about illustrating or proving the gospels, drawing timelines, or hunting treasure. Rather, it is about understanding the lives of people, just like us, who lived in the time of Jesus. How do we conceive of Jesus and his mission as part of a larger world? How did different groups in Roman Galilee understand their identities and values? How do we interpret material culture in conjunction with textual evidence from the gospels? On a more basic level, how do we know where and how to dig?

James Riley Strange teaches students how to address these problems in Excavating the Land of Jesus. Drawing on professional experience as a scientific archaeologist in Israel, Strange explains current methodology for ground surveying, excavating evidence, and interpreting data. Excavating the Land of Jesus is the ideal textbook for students seeking answers in the dirt of the Holy Land.

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