Jerusalem Tracker: News, Publications, and Media about the Holy City
Keeping up with Jerusalem certainly feels impossible. Leaving aside the daunting mass of existing publications, new books, articles, media, information, ideas, and developments relating to Jerusalem continue to rain down in a steady deluge. These “Jerusalem Tracker” newsletter editions are part of my own attempt to navigate the flood.
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Updates of this sort will be periodical both because I don’t like to be constrained to a certain schedule and because new publications about Jerusalem are, of course, not evenly distributed throughout the year. Future Jerusalem Tracker newsletters will be released when there is enough new material to warrant it. Because this is my first such update, it will include publications and media stretching back in some cases to 2021, although most come from 2022.
There are many blogs, newsletters, and listicles that highlight recent archaeological discoveries in the Holy Land or wider Middle East. Without wanting to take away from the contribution of any of them, I have tried to create a unique slant that I hope you will find worthy of your time. First, this list is limited to publications and media that pertain only to Jerusalem. Second, in addition to highlighting popular media articles about archaeological discoveries in Jerusalem, there is also a list of new books and articles (both scholarly and popular) about the city in different periods. This list also includes new podcasts, video lectures, events, and developments related to Jerusalem. Links are provided wherever possible.
If you feel I have missed something important, please contact me or comment below. I hope you find this and future lists to be helpful in assisting your study of Jerusalem. If that is the case, you may also enjoy access to my interactive bibliography of public domain and open access resources about Jerusalem which is made available to monthly patrons.
Recent Publications about Jerusalem
The mountain of publications about Jerusalem grows ever taller. Here are some recent articles and books relating to the city. Forthcoming books are not included here, and open-access works are noted.
The previous edition of ‘Atiqot contains a number of articles about excavations within and outside the historical basin of Jerusalem, including the Iron Age ivories found on the Southeastern Hill. (open access)
An Iron Age Stone Toilet Seat (the ‘Throne of Solomon’) from Captain Montagu Brownlow Parker’s 1909–1911 Excavations in Jerusalem in Palestine Exploration Quarterly (PEQ) by Shimon Gibson
A Sluice Gate in Hezekiah’s (Iron Age II) Aqueduct in Jerusalem: Archaeology, Architecture and the Petrochemical Setting of Its Micro and Macro Structures in Archaeological Discovery by Shimron et al (open access)
Clay Sealings from the Temple Mount and Their Use in the Temple and Royal Treasuries in Jerusalem Journal of Archaeology by Dvira and Barkay (open access)
Residue analysis evidence for wine enriched with vanilla consumed in Jerusalem on the eve of the Babylonian destruction in 586 BCE in PLoS ONE by Finkelstein et al (open access)
Composition of trace residues from the contents of 11th–12th century sphero-conical vessels from Jerusalem in PLoS ONE by Metheson et al (open access)
It’s Not Just Another Brick in the Wall: The Ceramic Building Materials of Colonia Aelia Capitolina Lieberman et al in Israel Exploration Journal (IEJ)
Jerusalem’s Northern Defences Under Hadrian in PEQ by Magness & Davies
Mid-7th century BC human parasite remains from Jerusalem in International Journal of Paleopathology by Langutt (open access)
Fish in ancient Jerusalem: Trade and consumption of fish in an inland site from the Iron Ages to the Early Islamic period by Spiciarich et al in Journal of Archaeological Science (open access)
Here are selected articles from the most recent New Studies in the Archaeology of Jerusalem and Its Region (Vol. 14, 2021). These volumes are published in a very limited quantity, and the articles are frustratingly difficult to find. You must log into Academia.edu to view the items below. Some articles are in Hebrew.
“And You Counted the Houses of Jerusalem and Pulled Houses Down to Fortify the Wall” (Isaiah 22:10): The Fortifications of Iron Age II Jerusalem in Light of New Discoveries in the City of David by Vukosavović et al
A Royal Mansion from the First Temple Period at Armon Ha-Naziv by Billig et al
The Arnona Rujum: Preliminary Archaeological and Historical Thoughts by Ben-Art et al
Remains of Tapeworms from Iron Age II at Armon Ha-Naẓiv by Langnutt and Billig
The Urban Development West of Temple Mount/ Al-Haram as Sharif: A View from the Western Wall Plaza Excavations by Monnickendam-Givon et al
Nine Quarters of Jerusalem by Matthew Teller
The Topography of Ancient Jerusalem, 2nd Century BC - 2nd Century AD by Dominique-Marie Cabaret
Jerusalem: History of a Global City by Vincent Lemaire et al
Jerusalem II: Jerusalem in Roman-Byzantine Times edited by Katharina Heyden and Maria Lissek
Jewish Quarter Excavations in the Old City of Jerusalem Vol. VIII edited by Hillel Geva
Excavations in the City of David, Jerusalem (1995-2010) by Ronny Reich and Eli Shukron
A City in Fragments: Urban Text in Modern Jerusalem by Yair Wallach
I personally recommend this as an excellent read.
Queens of Jerusalem: The Women who Dared to Rule by Katherine Pangonis
Jerusalem and the Coastal Plain in the Iron Age and Persian Periods Edited by Felix Hagemeyer
Pop Media Articles about Jerusalem
As is well known, most popular media articles about archaeological finds can be problematic as they are written by journalists who are not themselves archaeologists. It is recommended to take these articles, especially their headlines, with a grain of salt. At the same time, they can be a helpful window into recent developments, discoveries, and ongoing excavations in Jerusalem.
On the new renovations/excavations of the floor of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and related discoveries:
Residue of vanilla found in Iron Age storage vessels suggests it was used to flavor wine in antiquity:
Fragments of decorative ivories were found in a large Iron Age building on the Southeastern Hill in Jerusalem:
An excavation in the Russian Compound uncovered a piece of the Third Wall and evidence of the conflict during the Great Revolt on the eve of Jerusalem’s destruction:
Updates on the excavations and renovations at the Citadel:
Mikhail Chernin discusses Arabic inscriptions at the top of the minaret in the citadel on FB (use the “translate” feature)
A new section of Jerusalem’s Lower Aqueduct was uncovered:
Salvage excavations on the slope leading to the Western Wall Plaza uncovered a mikveh (Jewish ritual bath) and Jerusalem’s Ottoman Period aqueduct:
The cesspit under a stone toilet that was found within an Iron Age palatial building in Armon HaNaziv has yielded parasites:
On the supposed Middle or Late Bronze Age “inscription” found near Jerusalem’s spring:
Podcasts, Lectures, and Video
This video tracks historical changes in Damascus Gate through photographs and sketches from the 19th century to today.
Jodi Magness discusses Jerusalem’s earliest history on The Ancient’s Podcast
On the excellent Jerusalem Unplugged Podcast, Roberto Mazza discusses the history of Late Ottoman Jerusalem through present day Jerusalem. He interviews leading scholars in the field. View his latest episodes here.
This YouTube playlist features recorded lectures from the first international conference on New Studies in Temple Mount Research that took place in May.
TOI Podcast with Jodi Magness: What does archaeology say about the location of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre?
The Wohl Museum remains temporarily closed.
The exhibition halls will continue to be closed at the Tower of David Museum during the extensive excavations/renovations. The archaeological areas and viewpoint from the Tower of David are open.
Excavations in the southern Armenian Garden have concluded. I photo documented the recent changes that took place here.
IAA excavations in the modern Jewish Quarter on the slope of the Western Hill near the Western Wall Plaza have concluded.
Work on the new wing of the Terra Sancta Museum is ongoing.
Update: The 2022 Mount Zion excavation season was a research season.
The IAA continues digging in various areas on the Southeastern Hill, including tunneling beneath residents’ houses along a first century CE street.
Excavations/renovations of a section of the floor in the Holy Sepulcher continue.
The Tiferet Yisrael Synagogue that was heavily damaged in 1948 is being reconstructed.
Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, who was killed in Jenin earlier this year, was interred in the Greek Orthodox Cemetery on Mount Zion after a tumultuous processional in Jerusalem. Several news outlets erroneously reported that she was buried in the Protestant Cemetery.
Israel’s high court has rejected petitions against a plan to build a cable car running from the First Station to Dung Gate. A long list of residents, architects, conservationists, and activists are opposed to the plan which will see cable cars of tourists run over houses, alter the city’s southern skyline, and “Disneyfy” the historic basin.
Sept 13, 2022: “Jerusalem: Old City Perspectives from Without and Within,” a free webinar with Matthew Teller and Bisan Abu Eisheh. Register for a Zoom link.
Sept 20, 2022: The Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs will hold a conference on “Best Practices in Heritage Protection and the Case of East Jerusalem” at the Legacy Hotel. Details should be available on their website soon. Now postponed till November 1-2.
Oct 19-20, 2022: “New Studies in the Archaeology of Jerusalem and Its Surroundings”
Nov 16-19, 2022: ASOR in Boston this year features a session on Jerusalem titled “Yerushalayim, Al Quds, Jerusalem: Recent Developments and Dilemmas in the Archaeological and Historical Studies from the Bronze Age to Medieval Periods.”
Feb 6-7, 2023: A two-day conference on Conrad Schick and His World will take place at the Albright Institute.
Note: This newsletter edition has been updated based on feedback to include some additional resources since it was originally sent out to subscribers.