For the towering figure of G. Ernest Wright, his theological approach to Biblical archaeology and the projects he initiated at the beginning of the 1970s in Israel, Jordan and Cyprus, see William G. Dever, “Biblical Theology and Biblical Archaeology: An Appreciation of G. Ernest Wright,” Harvard Theological Review 73 (1980), pp. 1–15; Recent Archaeological Discoveries, pp. 1–19; Philip J. King, “The Influence of G. Ernest Wright on the Archaeology of Palestine,” in Perdue, Toombs and Johnson, eds., Archaeology and Biblical Interpretation, pp. 15–29; and the articles in the 50th anniversary volume of Biblical Archaeologist, Biblical Archaeologist 50 (1987), pp. 5–21.
In a rare theoretical discussion, posthumously published (“The ‘New’ Archaeology,” Biblical Archaeologist 38 (1975), pp. 104–117), Wright delineated two necessities for future archaeological research in Palestine, clearly reflected in all the projects he initiated: (1) the embracing of the interdisciplinary approach; (2) better training and control in archaeological fieldwork prior to any theoretical discussion. His definitive dictum leaves no doubt that he saw in method and theory two distinctly separate realms: “Theorize all one wants, tightly controlled field method in extracting data from the ground is worth more than all pre-dig or post-dig theorizing put together…. The key to everything archaeological is the dirt work. Without sound control at this point, the theorists…who aspire to far too exalted a station to say anything about such trivial subjects as dirt methodology, are simply blowing hot air.”