Ancient Israel

By Michael James | Information about the history of the people who lived in ancient Canaan, Israel, Judah, Palestine and the Middle East.

Ancient Skeletons Could Finally Reveal Origins of The Dead Sea Scrolls

The remains of a mysterious sect, buried for 2,200 years.<p>Ever since they were discovered some 70 years ago, the Dead Sea Scrolls have fascinated …

Archaeology

Sailing a 2,400-year-old ship that sank off Israel's coast

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Archaeology

Ancient Military Correspondence: Send Wine

Seen here are three versions of the recently deciphered letter from Arad: a color image, a multispectral image, and a drawing of the ostracon and …

Archaeology

Egypt’s Final Redoubt in Canaan

<b>For three centuries</b>, Egyptians ruled the land of Canaan. Armies of chariots and 10,000 foot soldiers under the pharaoh Thutmose III thundered through …

Fake news, circa 70 A.D.: The Jewish War by Josephus

Concern about fake news is nothing new. Readers have long doubted the truth of Josephus’ contemporary history of the fall of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. to …

Theology

New Dead Sea Scrolls cave discovered

<b>Archaeologists have found a cave that once housed Dead Sea scrolls in a cliff in the Judean desert - the first such discovery in over 60 years.</b><p>Israel's Hebrew University said the ancient parchments were missing from the cave, and were probably looted by Bedouin people in the 1950s.<p>Storage jars, …

Archaeology

King Solomon’s lost mines exposed

Researchers from Tel Aviv University have uncovered what they call an ‘advanced’ military fortification in the Timna Valley, in Israel’s south.<p>It’s a …

Archaeology

Modi’in: Where the Maccabees Lived

<i>This Bible History Daily feature was originally published in March 2014. It has been updated.—Ed.</i> <br>Where is Modi’in, hometown of the Maccabees? …

Archaeology

How King Herod Transformed the Holy Land

In the New Testament King Herod I is a villain, but the Herod of history was more complex, a consummate politician, ambitious builder, and master organizer who was able to balance the needs of the Judaean populace and the rulers of Rome.<p>This story appears in the November/December 2016 issue of</i> …

Ancient History

Herod the Great

Herod I, or Herod the Great (c. 75 – 4 BCE), was the king of Judea who ruled as a client of Rome. He has gained lasting infamy as the 'slaughterer of …

Ancient History

Inscription Reveals Governor of Judea Before the Bar-Kokhba Revolt

Who was the Roman governor of Judea during the time leading up to the Bar-Kokhba revolt, the second Jewish revolt against Rome (132–136 C.E.)? This …

Archaeology

Tribe of Dan: Sons of Israel, or of Greek mercenaries hired by Egypt?

The Tribe of Dan, one of the 12 "Israelite tribes," may have started as no such thing. New archaeological evidence suggests that the Danites …

Archaeologists discover where Titus breached Jerusalem walls

Excavation at a new art campus reveals the site of Roman siege to the city’s third wall, which led to destruction of the Second Temple in 70AD<p>Israeli archaeologists have found evidence of where Titus’s Roman legions may have breached the outer walls of Jerusalem in 70AD on their way to conquering …

Archaeology

The Evolution of Biblical Hebrew

The Temple Scroll (11Q19) was likely discovered in 1956 in Cave 11. The manuscript is written in the square Herodian Hebrew script of the late Second …

Theology

Who Is the Queen of Sheba in the Bible?

Who is the Queen of Sheba in the Bible? Here is one artist’s depiction of the Queen of Sheba. It comes from the Medieval manuscript <i>Bellifortis</i> by …

Ancient History

Rare Pottery Workshop Discovered in Galilee

An ancient potters' workshop dating back to Roman times has been discovered in Galilee, in northern Israel.<p>The Israel Antiquities Authority announced …

Archaeology

The Interrupted Search for King David’s Palace

Eilat MazarIn 2007, prominent Israeli archaeologist Eilat Mazar was excavating a monumental public building in Jerusalem’s City of David—a structure …

Archaeology

Who Were the Philistines?

The Philistines were a group of people who arrived in the Levant (an area that includes modern-day Israel, Gaza, Lebanon and Syria) during the 12th …

Archaeology

2,000-year-old coin collection unearthed in Israel

A hidden hoard of silver coins buried more than 2,000 years ago was recently discovered tucked inside a rock crevice, during an excavation in …

Archaeology

Archaeologists find the last hideout of the Jewish Revolt in Jerusalem

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Archaeology

Girl, 12, finds ancient Egyptian amulet at Jerusalem dig

An ancient Egyptian amulet was uncovered in Jerusalem by a young girl taking part in a family dig in the capital.<p>The amulet has been dated to 3,200 …

Archaeology

Searching for Biblical Mt. Sinai

<i>This Bible History Daily feature was originally published in 2014. It has been updated.—Ed.</i> <br>Emmanuel Anati stands before Har Karkom, a ridge in the …

Theology

Jews, Greeks and Romans

Jews, Greeks and RomansBy Tim WhitmarshThere are to sides to every story but the survival of sources from antiquity means we do not always see both. …

Ancient History

The Bible may have been written earlier than thought, pottery reveals

Key parts of the Old Testament may have been compiled earlier than some scholars thought, suggests a new handwriting analysis of text on pottery …

Archaeology

‘Rare’ 2,500-Year-Old Seals Found in Jerusalem, Dated to King Solomon’s Temple

The Israel Antiquities Authority announced Monday that archaeologists have found two seals in Jerusalem inscribed with Hebrew names and dating to the time of the First Temple, which was described in the Bible as constructed by King Solomon.<p>One of the 2,500-year-old seals, made of semi-precious …

Archaeology

Watch The 3D Animated Version Of The Fabled Solomon's Temple

An almost 3,000-year old grand yet lost temple or a just a figment of religious fable? Solomon’s Temple or the First Jewish Temple has raised debates …

First textiles from King David era discovered at Timna copper mines

Over 100 pieces of cloths dating to the 10th century BCE in Israel have been discovered at the Timna copper mines, deep in the desert. The textile …

Political History

The Edomite Stronghold of Sela

<i>This Bible History Daily article was originally published in 2012.—Ed.</i><p>Surrounded by deep ravines amid the rugged highlands of southern Jordan, the …

Archaeology