Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Tools for Studying the Hebrew Bible

Tools for Studying the Hebrew Bible
This site aims to teach students how to use a set of specialized tools for the study of the Hebrew text of the Hebrew Bible (henceforth, the Bible). These are different from the tools used for modern Hebrew because the languages are substantially different, and because the study of ancient texts, written in "dead" or "literary" languages, such as BH (biblical Hebrew), is fundamentally different from the study of modern languages.  The types of tools presented here include:
  1. Scholarly Editions of the Hebrew Bible
  2. Lexica
  3. Grammars
  4. Concordances: Electronic and Paper
  5. Other Research Tools
I have also included some helpful exercises designed to help students learn how to use the major scholarly tools, as well as some other tools that the beginning and intermediate student of biblical Hebrew may find useful; you can navigate among these by using the toolbar on the left.

And see also AWOL's  list of

Tall el-Hammam Excavation Project

[First posted in AWOL 30 November 2012, updated 1 July 2015]

Tall el-Hammam Excavation Project
A JOINT SCIENTIFIC ENDEAVOR OF THE College of Archaeology, Trinity Southwest University AND THE Department of Antiquities of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan

Welcome to the official website of the Tall el-Hammam Excavation Project (TeHEP). TeHEP is a joint scientific project between Trinity Southwest University's College of Archaeology & Biblical History (Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA) and the Department of Antiquities of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. Our website is designed to be enjoyed by all those interested in archaeology, whether casually or professionally.

The site of Tall el-Hammam is located in the southern Jordan River Valley, about 14 kilometers northeast of the Dead Sea. Surveys and excavations thus far have revealed a long occupational history at Tall el-Hammam, including the Chalcolithic Period, the Early, Intermediate, and Middle Bronze Ages, and Iron Age 2. Minor Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine and Islamic occupations are also in evidence.

Architecturally, the major contributors to the enormity of the site—spreading approximately one square kilometer—are the cities of the Early Bronze Age (3500-2350 BCE), Intermediate Bronze Age (2350-2000 BCE), and Middle Bronze Age (2000-1550 BCE). The massive 6-meter-thick EBA city wall rings the lower and upper talls to an elliptical diameter of 500x750 meters. The same fortifications were refurbished and re-used during the IBA, and were later swallowed up by the construction of massive MB2 fortifications up to 50 meters thick, including the city wall, outer rampart/glacis with multiple (interior) stone stabilizer walls, and monumental gateway complex.
The MBA fortifications also include mudbrick and packed-earth ramparts rising above the lower city to a height of 20 to 30 meters, contributing to the 450x300-meter elongated oval footprint of the upper tall, and creating its 35-degree slope. The upper tall is topped by ruins from Iron Age 2abc, which are surrounded by a 3-meter-thick city wall, with a chambered gateway flanked by monumental towers. 
By all comparisons, Tall el-Hammam must be considered the “Queen of the Southern Jordan Valley,” and her excavation will continue to shed important light on the history of the region for decades to come.










The following articles involve research, views, and theories about how Tall el-Hammam fits into the history of the Jordan Valley and the southern Levant as a whole, and derive from a variety of sources. The viewpoints expressed in these articles are those of the authors, and do not necessarily represent the views of the College of Archaeology of Trinity Southwest University or the Department of Antiquities of Jordan. Simply click on the items below to view them in PDF format.

2002 article by S. Collins, "The Geography of the Cities of the Plain" (BRB II.1)

2002 article by S. Collins, "The Chronology of the Cities of the Plain" (BRB II.8)

2002 article by S. Collins, "The Architecture of Sodom" (BRB II.14)

2002 article by S. Collins, "Terms of Destruction for the Cities of the Plain" (BRB II.16)

2002 article by S. Collins, "Explorations on the Eastern Jordan Disk" (BRB II.18)

2005 article, "W.M Thomson on the Location of Sodom and Gomorrah" (BRB V.5)

2006 article by S. Collins, "Rethinking the Location of Zoar" (BRB VI.3)

2007 article by S. Collins, "Forty Salient Points on the Geography of the Cities of the Kikkar" (BRB VII.1)

2007 article by S. Collins, "...the Location of Sodom and Gomorrah...Think Again" (BRB VII.4)

2007 article by D. Graves and S. Stripling, "Locating Tall el-Hammam on the Madaba Map" (BRB VII.6)

2007 article by S. Collins, "A Response to B.G. Wood's Critique of Collins' N Sodom Theory" (BRB VII.7)

2009 article, "Canon Tristram Fires a Lethal Shot at the Southern Sodom Theory" (BRB IX.2)

2012 article by C. Billington, "Tall el-Hammam Is Not Sodom" (Artifax, Spring 2012)

2012 article by S. Collins, "Tall el-Hammam Is Sodom: Billington's Heshbon Identification Suffers from Numerous Fatal Flaws" (Artifax, Summer 2012)

2013 article by S. Collins, "Sodom and the Cities of the Plain" (Bible dictionary entry, TSU Press)

2013 article by S. Collins, "Where is Sodom? The Case for Tall el-Hammam" (Biblical Archaeology Review 39.2, Mar/Apr 2013)

2013 article by S. Collins, "Tall el-Hammam is Still Sodom: Critical Data-Sets Cast Serious Doubt on E.H. Merrill's Chronological Analysis" (BRB XIII.1)

2013 article by S. Collins, "The Geography of Sodom and Zoar: Reality Demolishes W. Schlegel's Attacks against a Northern Sodom" (BRB XIII.2)

2014 article by C. Olson, "Which Site Is Sodom? A Comparison of Bab edh-Dhra and Tall el-Hammam" (BRB XIV.1)

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Heritage Gazetteer of Cyprus

Heritage Gazetteer of Cyprus
Welcome to the Heritage Gazetteer for Cyprus (HGC). Cyprus has played an important role in the history of many cultures. It has been described in many languages and several different alphabets, over several millennia. This can make identification of places difficult; and it means that interesting historical information may be dispersed, and hard to access.

The overall aim of this project, therefore, is to facilitate the use of a wide range of expertise in recording the historic geography of Cyprus; the resource has been designed to record all locations/monuments attested as in use in any period up to 1882, and all names used for these locations on the island, in any language or period up to the establishment of standard reference systems. Modern administrative districts are named according to the Οδηγός Τυποποίησης Ονομάτων (Nicosia, 2007, available online). Modern toponyms are given in the form used in the Complete Gazetteer of Cyprus (Nicosia, 1987, pp 1-1301 available online: see also the list of Towns and Villages of Cyprus, pp. 1303-1669).

The essential requirement for inclusion in the HGC is, for any location not yet in the Gazetteer, a georeference, a name and a dated reference; and for any name not yet in the Gazetteer, a reference to an example of its use in an accessible document, and a date. There is provision for contributors to register, and for all contributions to be peer-reviewed before publication.

Inventory of Byzantine Churches on Cyprus

Inventory of Byzantine Churches on Cyprus
This collection of data was originally intended to serve as a tool and support for the author’s doctoral dissertation, dealing with the architecture of these buildings and its possible interpretations in the context of the island’s economy, demography and culture [Papacostas (1999a)]; but it is being made available online as an inventory to facilitate further research on the monuments. New discoveries constantly add to the corpus of relevant monuments, as does further study of the architecture and fresco decoration of structures hitherto ascribed to or appearing at first sight to date from later centuries. While this collection, therefore, is neither comprehensive, nor complete, largely representing the state of scholarship at the turn of the millennium, we hope that it can be of use to colleagues. In particular, we would encourage the use of the urls provided here to accompany relevant materials, particularly images, that they may be publishing online. 

We are extremely grateful to the A.G. Leventis Foundation, whose generous support has made this publication possible.

How to cite
The full bibliographical description of this publication: Tassos Papacostas, Inventory of Byzantine Churches on Cyprus, London 2015, ISBN 978-1-897747-31-5, available at This should be abbreviated to iBCC - so Church 15 can be described as iBCC 15, available at

Open Access Journal: Damqãtum: The CEHAO News letter/ El Boletín de Noticias del CEHAO

[First posted in AWOL 9 September 2009. Updated 30 June 2015]

Damqatum es el boletín de noticias del CEHAO editado tanto en castellano como en inglés, con el que se busca acercar la comunidad científica al público en general, para lo cual se realizan entrevistas a destacados académicos y se promueven o informa sobre diversas actividades tanto de extensión como de grado y posgrado, como exposiciones, congresos, jornadas y seminarios.

Se aceptan todo tipo de contribuciones y/o información sobre eventos destacados sobre la historia de antiguo Cercano Oriente.
Damqatum is the CEHAO newsletter, edited in Spanish and English. The newsletter endeavors to present scholarly topics to the general public, publishing interviews to prestigious scholars and promoting or informing academic and extra-curricular activities, such as expositions, congresses, workshops and seminars
Damqatum accepts all kinds of contributions and/or information on important events of the history of the ancient Near East.
Damqatum : El boletín de noticias del CEHAO, 2006, nº 1

Damqatum : The CEHAO newsletter, 2006, nº 1 (versión en inglés)

Damqatum : El boletín de noticias del CEHAO, 2007, nº 2

Damqatum : The CEHAO newsletter, 2007, nº 2 (versión en inglés)

Damqatum : El boletín de noticias del CEHAO, 2007, nº 3

Damqatum : The CEHAO newsletter, 2007, nº 3 (versión en inglés)

Damqatum : El boletín de noticias del CEHAO, 2008, nº 4

Damqatum : The CEHAO newsletter, 2008, nº 4 (versión en inglés)

Damqatum : El boletín de noticias del CEHAO, 2009, nº 5

Damqatum : The CEHAO newsletter, 2009, nº 5 (versión en inglés)

Damqatum : El boletín de noticias del CEHAO, 2010, nº 6

Damqatum : The CEHAO newsletter, 2010, nº 6 (versión en inglés)

Damqatum : El boletín de noticias del CEHAO, 2011, nº 7

Damqatum : The CEHAO newsletter, 2011, nº 7 (versión en inglés)

Damqatum : The CEHAO newsletter, 2012, nº 8 (versión en inglés)

Damqatum : The CEHAO newsletter, 2013, nº 9 (versión en inglés)

Damqatum : The CEHAO newsletter, 2014, nº 10 (versión en inglés)

See the full List of Open Access Journals in Ancient Studies