Jerusalem

The bowls were probably created in what is now Iraq between the fourth and eighth centuries C.E.

1,500-Year-Old 'Magic Bowls' Seized in Jerusalem Raid

Ancient Mesopotamians used the vessels, which were inscribed with incantations, to ward off demons, disease and other misfortune

Melisende of Jerusalem (pictured at her coronation) and Zumurrud of Damascus represent two of the most powerful, best-documented ruling women of the medieval Middle East. 

The Women Rulers Whose Reigns Reshaped the Medieval Middle East

A new book details the lives of Melisende of Jerusalem, Zumurrud of Damascus and their powerful peers

Reconstruction by an artist of the toilet room that stood in the garden of the Armon Hanatziv royal estate

Ancient Toilet Unearthed in Jerusalem Shows Elite Were Plagued by Intestinal Worms

Mineralized feces chock-full of parasitic eggs indicate that it wasn’t the lower classes alone who suffered from certain infectious diseases

The artifacts, such as this bronze jug, are decorated with Roman religious symbols that ancient Jews would have considered idolatrous.

Cool Finds

Looted Artifacts Recovered From Car Trunk May Be Spoils of War Seized by Jewish Rebels Against Rome

Authorities in Jerusalem confiscated the stolen items, which included incense burners and coins and probably date to the Bar Kokhba revolt

Made of pure silver, the coin was minted during the second year of the Great Revolt.

Cool Finds

Israeli Preteen Discovers Rare Silver Coin Minted During Jewish Revolt Against Rome

Eleven-year-old Liel Krutokop found the shekel, which dates to the second year of the first-century C.E. Great Revolt, while sifting through dirt

The Seleucid fortress boasted stone walls measuring nearly ten inches thick.

Cool Finds

Israeli Archaeologists Unveil Hellenistic Fortress Destroyed by Jewish Forces in 112 B.C.E.

Hasmonean ruler John Hyrcanus I, a nephew of Maccabean Revolt leader Judah Maccabee, razed the fortified structure during his conquest of Idumea

A new book by journalist Andrew Lawler chronicles an illicit 1909–1911 excavation in Israel's Holy City. Pictured here: a replica of the Ark of Covenant in front of an early 20th-century map of Jerusalem

The Secret Excavation of Jerusalem

A British aristocrat looking for the Ark of the Covenant launched history's most peculiar archaeological dig—and set off a crisis in the Middle East

A cubicle surrounding the toilet and a deep septic tank beneath it were both carved out of limestone bedrock.

Cool Finds

2,700-Year-Old Private Toilet Found in Jerusalem

Bowls discovered inside the bathroom cubicle may have held incense or other air fresheners, researchers say

Two looted gold coins recovered from a home in Bnei Brak

Israeli Investigators Seize Ancient Coins Looted From Archaeological Sites

The stolen artifacts were found in the Bnei Brak home of an individual suspected of antiquities trafficking

The wine press dates to the Byzantine period.

Cool Finds

Byzantine-Era Wine Press, Gold Coin Found Near Tel Aviv

The 1,400-year-old currency shows Golgotha, identified as the site of Jesus's crucifixion, on one of its sides

The first verse of the Book of Amos states that the events the narrator plans to relay took place “two years before the earthquake, when Uzziah was king of Judah.”

Cool Finds

Researchers Find Physical Evidence of Earthquake Described in Old Testament

Excavations in Jerusalem revealed damage dating to the eighth century B.C.E., when the natural disaster reportedly took place

A new exhibition at the Museum for Islamic Art in Jerusalem explores the fascinating history of coffee.

Tracing Coffee's Travels From the East to the West

New exhibition explores how the caffeinated beverage sparked religious controversy and technical innovation

The inscription represents a rare and valuable clue to the development and spread of writing systems in the region.

Cool Finds

This 3,100-Year-Old Inscription May Be Linked to a Biblical Judge

A pottery fragment found in Israel bears the name Jerubbaal—a nickname for Gideon ben Yoash, who appears in the Book of Judges

The opulent public building dates to between 20 and 30 A.D.

Cool Finds

Palatial, 2,000-Year-Old Public Building Revealed in Jerusalem

The grand structure, which once hosted events near the Temple Mount, will soon open to tourists

Archaeologists are working to decipher the slab's 15 lines of hieroglyphs.

Cool Finds

Farmer Stumbles Onto Egyptian Pharaoh's 2,600-Year-Old Stone Slab

The large sandstone marker may be connected to a military campaign led by the 26th dynasty ruler Apries

Researchers discovered a clay fragment bearing the impressions of at least two seals. One seal featured a long line intersected by shorter strokes.

Cool Finds

7,000-Year-Old Seal Impression Found in Israel Offers Clues to Prehistoric Trade

The clay object—the oldest of its kind found in the region—may have been used to mark a shipment or secure a grain silo door shut

The oddly shaped oil lamp is the first of its kind found in Jerusalem.

Cool Finds

This Grotesquely Shaped Lamp Brought Luck to Jerusalem's Ancient Residents

The 2,000-year-old artifact, which resembles a face cut in half, was buried in the foundations of a Roman building

In full, the Greek text reads, “Christ born of Mary. This work of the most God-fearing and pious bishop [Theodo]sius and the miserable Th[omas] was built from the foundation.”

Cool Finds

Inscription Offers Earliest Evidence of Christianity in Israel's Jezreel Valley

The fifth-century engraving, found repurposed in a Byzantine building's wall, references "Christ born of Mary"

Workers building a visitors' tunnel at the modern Church of All Nations discovered the ancient mikveh, or ritual bath.

Cool Finds

Researchers Unearth Ritual Bath Dated to Jesus's Time Near Garden of Gethsemane

The 2,000-year-old "mikveh" represents the first Second Temple–era archaeological evidence found at the site

A 14th-century latrine in Riga, Latvia

New Research

Archaeologists Mine Medieval Toilets for Traces of Gut Microbiomes

New techniques could help researchers understand human diets in different times and places

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