Sunlight and Shade in the First Cities – A Sensory Archaeology of Early Iraq

Sunlight and Shade in the First Cities explores the interaction of sunlight and architecture in the urban landscapes of Bronze Age Mesopotamian cities […]

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Were YHWH and Dionysus Once the Same God?

Who was YHWH? Did he have any parallels – or shared ancestors –elsewhere in the ancient Mediterranean world […]

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The Invention of Judaism. Torah and Jewish Identity from Deuteronomy to Paul

When did Jews become Jews? Was being a “Judean” or a “Jew” a question of place and religion, or was it an identity founded in the Law? A new book shows the answer to be neither simple nor stable.

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Rescuing Syriac Manuscripts in Iraq

The Mār Behnam manuscripts date between the 13th and the 20th centuries, some exhibiting outstanding Syriac calligraphy […]

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Silk Textiles in the Southern Levant

The Hebrew word for silk appears only twice in the Bible. But after 400 CE, as Christianity and pilgrimage expanded, silk from Egypt and Syria began to appear, and to be preserved in the arid zones of the Southern Levant.

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Göbekli Tepe: Neolithic Gathering and Feasting at the Beginning of Food Production

On the highest point of a rocky outcrop in southeastern Turkey lies a mound intentionally buried over 10,000 years ago. It contains some of the most astonishing ritual architecture ever found […]

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The Big Bad Wolves of the Ancient Near East Speak: Royal Apologetic in Context

To hear him tell it, the big bad wolf was really the hero. Ancient Near Eastern kings also saw themselves as heroes, and had a unique literary genre, royal apologetic, to make it clear to readers, and to posterity.

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San Miceli in Sicily: Excavation of an early Christian Basilica and Village

Christianity arrived on Sicily sometime around 250 CE and quickly reached the small village of San Miceli. One of the first things the new Christians did was build a basilica […]

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The VALUE project: Video Games and Archaeology at Leiden University

Doom? Downfall? Super Mario Bros? Sure, they’re fun, but now video games contribute to public outreach, heritage preservation, education, and archaeological research. […]

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The Land before the Kingdom of Israel: Asking New Questions of Old Data

Late Bronze Age Canaan was made of many different social groups and political units. How did some of these come together to form the Israelites […]

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Sumerian Art and Modern Art from Gudea to Miró

It was only in the early 20th century that Sumerian art became known in the West. But this allowed it to influence Modern artists […]

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Discovering Genesis

What does the Book of Genesis mean? Are we to read it literally? A closer look […]

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The Gamla Excavations Final Report, The Rest of the Story

The appearance of the third volume of the final report on Shmarya Gutmann’s excavations […]

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Were the ancient Egyptians polite? Exploring politeness in Late Egyptian

Were the ancient Egyptians polite? […]

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Ancient Legal Papyri Bring Lost World to Life

Everyone has heard of the ancient Jewish religious scrolls discovered at Qumran […]

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Why 1 and 2 Kings?

Why were the books of 1 and 2 Kings written […]

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Potent Potables of the Past: Beer and Brewing in Mesopotamia

In ancient Mesopotamia, people knew how to appreciate a good beer […]

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A Response to Douglas Petrovich’s “Hebrew as the Language behind the World’s First Alphabet?”

Petrovitch’s blog does not offer any grounds for accepting his ideas. Many scholars have written […]

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Hebrew as the Language behind the World’s First Alphabet?

What is the language behind the world’s first alphabet? For over 150 years, scholars have studied the world’s first alphabetic […]

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Rabbinic Tales of Roman Origins

What stories do we tell about our own origins? What tales do we recount about the origins of others? What happens when our narratives […]

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