For reasons still unknown, 3,800 years ago a monumental arched mudbrick gateway to the city of Laish was buried—which explains why it was preserved. Laish is a city in Northern Israel later conquered by the tribe of Dan and renamed for the tribe. John Laughlin, a member of the excavation staff at Tel Dan and author of “The Remarkable Discoveries at Tel Dan,” recounts the dramatic discovery of the intact 20-foot-high towers and mudbrick arch.
Dr. Laughlin, a native of North Carolina, teaches religion and archaeology at Averett College, in Danville, Virginia. Dr. Laughlin has dug for three seasons at Tel Dan under the direction of Avraham Biran. This past summer Laughlin was field supervisor at the Capernaum excavations. A gardener, antique furniture restorer and traveller, Laughlin also jogs, an activity he defines as “more a pain than a hobby!”
Also in this issue, Yaakov Meshorer, chief curator of archaeology at the Israel Museum and frequent contributor to BAR, describes an ancient coin depicting Noah’s Ark (“An Ancient Coin Depicts Noah’s Ark.”). Senior Lecturer in Numismatics at Hebrew University and numismatic consultant for the State of Israel, Dr. Meshorer has participated in digs not only in the Judean Desert and Masada but also in Jerusalem at the Western Wall and the Jewish Quarter. Among his many books and articles are Jewish Coins of the Second Temple Period and Israel’s Coins. Dr. Meshorer plays the violin and is a reserve officer in the Israel Defence Forces. His wife, Adaya, is a ceramicist specializing in archaeological restoration.
BAR editor Hershel Shanks introduces another archaeological controversy to BAR readers with his article “The Exodus and the Crossing of the Red Sea, According to Hans Goedicke.” Professor Hans Goedicke, chairman of the department of Near Eastern Studies at Johns Hopkins University and a world-famous Egyptologist, recently announced new evidence and conclusions about the location and dating of the Exodus, including the surprising news that the pharaoh of the Exodus was the female Hatshepsut. This is the first complete exposition of Goedicke’s views.
An accompanying article by Professor Charles Richard Krahmalkov (“A Critique of Professor Goedicke’s Exodus Theories”) not only criticizes Goedicke’s arguments but also presents Krahmalkov’s own interpretation of the Israelites’ successful flight from Egypt. A professor of ancient and Biblical languages at the University of Michigan, Krahmalkov received his B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley, and his Ph.D. from Harvard, both degrees in Near Eastern Studies. A teacher of Biblical Hebrew, Phoenician, Ugaritic, Aramaic and Egyptian hieroglyphics, Krahmalkov has had a deep interest in Biblical history, especially in the earliest history of Israel. Krahmalkov’s love of music is shared by his wife, a violinist and teacher.
That the term “Biblical archaeology” itself is a source of controversy was discussed in “Should the Term ‘Biblical Archaeology’ Be Abandoned,” BAR 07:03. Professor William G. Dever, who objects to the use of the term Biblical archaeology, nevertheless explains in “What Archaeology Can Contribute to an Understanding of the Bible” how archaeological finds can greatly expand our understanding of the Biblical text. Dever, chairman of the department of Oriental Studies at the University of Arizona in Tucson is now on sabbatical leave in Israel where he is teaching at both Hebrew University and Hebrew Union College in Jerusalem. Dever lived in Israel for many years where he served as director of the Institute of Archaeology of Hebrew Union College and then as director of the William F. Albright School for Archaeological Research. Dever led excavations at Gezer from 1966–1971 and has excavated most recently at Middle Bronze I sites in the Negev. He is currently editor of the Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research.
Dever’s mellifluous baritone voice is well-known by all who have heard him lecture although not everyone realizes that Dever used his voice from the pulpit as a young preacher. In addition to singing, which he enjoys, Dever is an accomplished cabinetmaker, responsible for many pieces of furniture in his Tucson home where he lives with his wife Norma and son Sean.
Sybil Zimmerman, a journalist and lecturer, appears in BAR for the first time with her BAR Jr. article “Housewares and Recipes from 2,000 Years Ago.” A resident of Israel since 1970, Zimmerman has written for a number of publications including the International Herald Tribune,Hadassah-Wizo of Canada, and Tarbut of the American Israel Cultural Foundation. The cooking columnist for the Jerusalem Post, Mrs. Zimmerman is the author of three Israeli cookbooks and a guidebook for people planning to live in Israel. She and her husband Michael, also a BAR author (“Tunnel Exposes New Areas Of Temple Mount,” BAR 07:03), are temporarily living in Chicago where their first child, Sharael, was born in July.
For reasons still unknown, 3,800 years ago a monumental arched mudbrick gateway to the city of Laish was buried—which explains why it was preserved. Laish is a city in Northern Israel later conquered by the tribe of Dan and renamed for the tribe. John Laughlin, a member of the excavation staff at Tel Dan and author of “The Remarkable Discoveries at Tel Dan,” recounts the dramatic discovery of the intact 20-foot-high towers and mudbrick arch. Dr. Laughlin, a native of North Carolina, teaches religion and archaeology at Averett College, in Danville, Virginia. Dr. Laughlin has dug for three seasons […]