Samaritan family sharing Passover sacrifice, ca. 1900-1920, Matson Collection, Library of Congress.

Jesus’s Passover

By: Dr. James F. Strange, University of South Florida Professor  Passover in Exodus 12-13 was a family ritual, but in Jesus’s day it had developed into a national pilgrimage holiday centered in Jerusalem. Practices that were found at first in the family had become more institutionalized in Jesus’s day, with priests managing thousands of sacrifices in […]


Passover as Jesus Knew it

By: Helen K Bond Jerusalem in the 30s CE was in a frequent state of heightened political and religious tension, no time more so than at the great religious festivals. Passover was particularly hazardous, with tens of thousands of pilgrims flocking to the holy city not only from Palestine but from all over the Jewish […]

. Leaf from the John Rylands Haggadah, created in Spain in the mid-14th century, showing the preparation and celebration of the Passover seder.

The Passover and Jesus

By: Adela Yarbro Collins Professor at Yale Divinity School We actually know very little about how the Passover was celebrated at the time of Jesus. According to the Mishnah, the Hallel (Psalms 113-118) was sung by the Levites at the sacrifices in the temple on important festival days. It was taken over early into the […]

Reconstructed Nazareth Village synagogue today.

Did Jesus Celebrate Passover in Sepphoris?

By: Dr. Eric M. Meyers Archaeologist and Duke University professor The question of whether Jesus celebrated Passover in Sepphoris is related to the larger question of why Sepphoris is not mentioned in the New Testament. As many of our readers must know, Sepphoris is only 5 kilometers from nearby Nazareth. When Sepphoris became the capital […]

1. Spring wildflowers in the Jerusalem forest.

The Last Passover of Jesus

By: James H. Charlesworth George L. Collord Professor of New Testament Language and Literature and director of the Dead Sea Scrolls Project at Princeton Theological Seminary In the Spring, Passover is time for reflective celebration. The great festival is also time for joyous expectation, as humans relish in the return of warm sunshine and blooming […]

Egyptian Ambassador Mohamed Tawfik, Minister Ibrahim, ICPEA Chair Deborah Lehr, Deputy Chief of Mission Yasser Elnaggar.

Egyptian Ministry Signs First Ever Public-Private Partnership Agreement with International Coalition to Protect Egyptian Antiquities

By: Peter Herdrich, Vice Chairman of the ICPEA Washington, DC - The Egyptian Minister of State for Antiquities has signed a public-private partnership agreement with the U.S.-based International Coalition to Protect Egyptian Antiquities (ICPEA) to protect Egyptian cultural heritage sites and antiquities from looting and cultural racketeers. At a signing ceremony on Monday, March 10 in […]

General view of the site of Tell es-Sultan/ancient Jericho from south, with the Middle Bronze Age (1900-1550 BC) fortification works at the southern side of the tell. All photos courtesy of Lorenzo Nigro.

Tell Es-Sultan - A Pilot Project for Archaeology in Palestine

By: Lorenzo Nigro, University of Rome La Sapienza In a few weeks students and young scholars of Rome “La Sapienza” University, along with Palestinian colleagues from the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, will return to Tell es-Sultan. The site – identified since late antiquity with Biblical Jericho, the Canaanite city-state of Rwha –is the most visited […]

Petrographic microscopes and stereoscopes. All photos courtesy Kamal Badreshany.

Taking a Closer Look at the Past: the Microanalysis of Ceramic Artifacts in Archaeology Today

By: Kamal Badreshany, CRANE Post-doctoral Fellow, Durham University When you walk across almost any Near Eastern tell, pottery sherds are likely to crunch under your feet. The enormous amount of pottery found on archaeological sites in the Near East is the result of two factors. First is the rapid spread of pottery technology throughout the Near East […]

Figure 9: The Kimmel Center team at work in Megiddo, Israel. Photo credit: Israel Finkelstein.

Microarchaeology: Seeing More Than What Meets the Eye

By: Michael B. Toffolo, Tel Aviv University If you worked on an archaeological excavation in Israel as a volunteer, at some point you probably saw people collecting dirt into little plastic vials from a blue-tagged section that were then brought to a folding table with scientific instruments and a laptop. These days this is the […]

Figure 1. Shrine of Hussein within the Great (Umayyad) Mosque, Damascus (Photo copyright 2005 Frederik Questier and Yanna Van Wesemael)

Hussein’s Head and Importance of Cultural Heritage

By: Michael Press, Research Fellow at the Center of Advanced Spatial Technologies University of Arkansas In recent years archaeologists have sounded a nearly continual warning about threats to cultural heritage, from artifacts to buildings to sites, in the Middle East. This began with Iraq and now, after the events of the Arab Spring, continues especially […]

James Tissot, Jael Smote Sisera, and Slew Him, 1902.

Remembering King David

By Jacob L. Wright, Associate Professor of Hebrew Bible at the Candler School of Theology, Emory University Why didn’t the biblical authors present a more flattering image of King David, and why did they make his stories so complex? In his 1943 biography of King David, the British diplomat Alfred Duff Cooper, 1st Viscount Norwich, insisted […]

Plan of Khirbet Iskandar gate.

Surviving Collapse: Khirbat Iskandar, Jordan in the EB IV Period

By: Suzanne Richard, Professor Department of History and Archaeology; Department of Theology Director, The Collins Institute for Archaeological Research and the Archaeology Museum Gallery at Gannon Calamity, upheaval, and dislocation, whether wrought by human disasters such as war or natural agents such as earthquake and climate change, eventually face all societies. But in an era of […]

Garšana Archives tablet (CUNES 39-01-013) from the Jonathan and Jeannette Rosen Ancient Near Eastern Seminar, Cornell University. Published in David I. Owen and Rudolf H. Mayr, with the assistance of Alexandra Kleinerman, The Garšana Archives, (Cornell University Studies in Assyriology and Sumerology Volume 3), CDL Press, 2007. The tablet will be returned to Iraq.

Cuneiform Exceptionalism: An Argument for Studying and Publishing Unprovenanced Tablets

By: Jerrold S. Cooper, Ph.D. Department of Near Eastern Studies Johns Hopkins University I always opposed the publication of looted cuneiform tablets, until I had a sudden epiphany at the 2004 ASOR meeting in San Antonio. There, archaeologist John Russell, newly returned from Iraq, estimated that tablets were leaving Iraq at the rate of thousands […]