Has the U.S. Geological Survey Found King Solomon’s Gold Mines?

Have the legendary gold mines of King Solomon been found? In the past year, the U.S. Geological Survey announced that they may have found King Solomon’s mines at Mahd adh Dhahab, an ancient mine in central Saudi Arabia between Mecca and Medina. The New York Times quoted Dr. Robert Luce, one of the geologists […]

Report from Jerusalem

What the stock market is to Wall Street and government to Washington, archaeology is to Jerusalem. It is full of archaeological talk and archaeological gossip, of new finds and ideas and speculations.

The Dead Sea Scrolls and the People Who Wrote Them

After a quarter century of discovery and publication, the study of the manuscripts from the desert of Judah has entered a new, more mature phase. True, the heat and noise of the early controversies have not wholly dissipated. One occasionally hears the agonized cry of a scholar pinned beneath a collapsed theory. And in the popular press, no doubt, the so-called battle of the scrolls will continue to be fought with mercenaries for some time to come. However, the initial period of confusion is past. From the burgeoning field of scroll research and the new disciplines it has created, certain coherent patterns of fact and meaning have emerged.

The Winter Palaces of Jericho

For at least 10,000 years, on the plain of the Great Rift, bordered by the mountains of Judea on the west and, on the other side of the Jordan River, the mountains of Moab, there has been a city at Jericho.

Yadin Answers Beer-Sheva Excavator—Reply to Rainey’s “No Bama at Beer-Sheva”

Anson Rainey’s vicious and vulgar attack on my theory concerning the Beer-Sheva cult place (“Beer-Sheva Excavator Blasts Yadin—No Bama at Beer-Sheva,” BAR 03:03) deserves no reply. But since BAR is widely read by people whose only interest is the archaeological truth, I will disregard any reference to some of Rainey’s unprecedented personal attacks and […]

Yigael Yadin Finds a Bama at Beer-Sheva

On my last visit to Jerusalem, I stopped in to see Yigael Yadin—as I always do. It was a fascinating hour—as it always is.

Tight-Lipped Archaeologists—How the Press Erred

“Jerusalem’s ‘Roman Cardo’ Isn’t Roman After All”, headlined a March issue of the Jerusalem Post. From there, the story spread to other media, correcting earlier erroneous reports that Prof. Nachman Avigad had found part of the Roman Cardo in his excavations in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem. According to Prof. […]

Using Ancient Near Eastern Parallels in Old Testament Study

Isaiah 40:18 asks: “To whom can you liken El? What likeness can you compare him to?” (Similar questions are posed in Isaiah 40:25 and 46:5.) The questions are rhetorical. The prophet’s point is that God is incomparable. As the verses following Isaiah 40:18 explain, it is absurd to make an image of God. Many […]

The Importance of Dating

Contacts with history in high school or college have left most of us with something of a distaste for chronology. At least those in the over-thirty generation can hardly have escaped history courses where the instructor concentrated almost exclusively on chronological structure, key events and persons of the period; and the study of history […]

Abraham in History

Fitting the “Patriarchal Age” into a historical framework is a formidable task. The issues are complex and our ignorance profound. There is no known synchronism between a single patriarchal Biblical event and a datable occurrence recorded in extra-Biblical sources.a Egyptian dynastic lists are of no help because the Bible designates the king of Egypt […]

BAR Travellers Return Tired and Enthusiastic

The first BAR trip to Egypt, Jordan and Israel was a rousing success.

A Plea for Information

The press error reported elsewhere in this issue (“Tight-Lipped Archaeologists—How the Press Erred”) would never have occurred if Professor Avigad had been willing to speak for publication at the time the original story appeared.

Archaeology in Jerusalem—A Philatelic View

Digging into archaeological sites will probably not yield any philatelic finds, but digging into postage stamps will often yield a good deal about archaeology. Thus, Biblical archaeology buffs may be interested in a series of five stamps recently released by the Israel Philatelic Services entitled “Archaeology In Jerusalem.” The stamps, tabs and First Day […]

Does the Gospel of Matthew Proclaim Mary’s Virginity?

In a recent BAR article, Père Benoit’s explanation of Isaiah 7:14 and Matthew 1:23 was quoted without comment and apparently accepted at face value.a Dr. Dwight Young and I have recently completed an extensive study of the concept of virginity in the world of the Bible.b Since some of our conclusions bear upon this […]

Without Avigad’s Pictures—Is the Jerusalem Cardo Roman After All?

One of the most sensational finds of recent excavations in Jerusalem was Professor Nachman Avigad’s discovery of the ancient Cardo, the main north-south thoroughfare through the city.

Where Is Abraham’s Ur?

The notice in the December 1976 BAR (“The Promise of Ebla,” BAR 02:04) that a new Ebla tablet refers to “Ur in Haran,”a reopens the discussion of where Ur of the Chaldees, Abraham’s birthplace, was located. While we would welcome the full publication of the Ebla tablet, the Biblical evidence is by itself conclusive […]

Exploring the Life of Jesus

Wendell Phillips, whom Lowell Thomas once called the American Lawrence of Arabia, was the last of the great nineteenth century explorers, although he lived entirely in the twentieth. He lived daringly and dangerously. He knew and loved the Arabs of the desert. He packed a gun and was the friend of desert monarchs. He got money from rich men to explore the ruins of the romantic past, and he wrote about it all with dash and style.

Beer-Sheva Excavator Blasts Yadin—No Bama at Beer-Sheva

This is in response to your article in the March 1977 issue about alleged bama at Beer-Sheva (“Yigael Yadin Finds a Bama at Beer-Sheva,” BAR 03:01).

An Ancient Boat’s Modern Ordeal

An American congressional delegation visiting Egypt recently was shown in to see the world’s oldest boat, a stunningly sleek and graceful vessel belonging to the Pharaoh Cheops and dating from 2700 B.C. For the occasion, the museum’s ventilation system, entrusted with preserving this priceless treasure, was activated to full capacity—all 16 household fans were […]

Found After 1400 Years—The Magnificent Nea

Byzantine Jerusalem was Christian Jerusalem—par excellence. The Byzantine era began when the Emperor Constantine—soon to convert to Christianity—became master of Palestine in 324 A.D. It did not end in Jerusalem until the Patriarch Sophronius surrendered the city to the Moslem caliph Omar in the spring of 638. The Byzantine period was a prosperous one, […]

The Dark Spring

And why do we care that tool or toy Outlast their use, or find This jar’s cheek shapelier that it was made By hands long gone to tangled bone? What is the comfort of these layered towns, The sun upon long buried stones, heaved here, Fallen just so from citadel?

A Jerusalem Celebration—Of Temples and Bamot

“Temples and High Places in Biblical Times” was the subject of Jerusalem colloquium held last spring to commemorate the centennial of the Hebrew Union College Jewish Institute of Religion. A distinguished group of archaeologists and Biblical scholars from all over the world—from as far away as Australia—gathered to deliver papers and offer comments. Dr. […]

What We Don’t Know About Moses and the Exodus

Three recent books deal with the life of Moses and that epoch-making journey we call the Exodus. Although each is different from the other two, a reading of all three impresses one with how little, not how much, we really know.

Jerusalem of Gold—A Song and an Ancient Crown

Shortly before the Six Day War, Israeli composer and singer Naomi Shemer introduced a new song which she called “Yerushalaiyim Shel Zahav,” “Jerusalem of Gold”:

Thoughts on Archaeological Method

Anson Rainey’s eulogy to Yohanan Aharoni (“Yohanan Aharoni—The Man and His Work,” BAR 02:04) notes Aharoni’s refusal to “bow down and worship at the balk.”a As one who has helped remove more than one balk, I appreciate Aharoni’s flexibility. I note with interest too, his openness to new evidence and his refusal to waste […]

The Bible Comes to Life at the Jewish Museum

The Bible Comes to Life” could well be the secondary title for “The Book and the Spade,” an exhibit on archaeology and the Bible which can be seen currently through December 1977 (Sunday through Thursday afternoons) at the Jewish Museum in New York City. Models, maps, charts, and photographs supplement over one hundred ancient […]

How a Dig Begins

In 1972 Joe Seger was Archaeological Director of Hebrew Union College and director of the school’s continuing excavations at Tell Gezer, halfway between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Seger had been on the Gezer staff since 1966 and would direct its operation through the final season in 1974.

Able-Bodied Diggers Sought

A number of American and foreign expeditions will be in the field this summer in the Holy Land. Almost all offer opportunities for amateurs as well as professionals. So if you have your Ph.D. or no experience at all, here’s your chance.

Pere de Vaux and the Old Testament

After almost forty years of intense Biblical research and teaching, Roland de Vaux, O.P. died in Jerusalem, on September 10, 1971. The world of Biblical scholarship mourned the passing of one of its most illustrious colleagues. Père de Vaux was a professor of Old Testament at the École Biblique, Jerusalem, from 1934 to 1971. […]

A Heritage in Danger

Many of Israel’s archaeological sites—among them Tell Dan, Gezer, Beit Yerach, Tell Mor, Beit Shean, Ashdod, the citadel at Ramat Rachel and the temple at Nahariya—are being slowly destroyed by the elements because after excavation they were not preserved and restored.

Evidence of Earliest Christian Pilgrimage to the Holy Land Comes to Light in Holy Sepulchre Church

The compound of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem is not only Christianity’s holiest site it is also one of the most fascinating buildings in the world. Its nucleus goes back to the 4th century A.D.—how many 4th century buildings are still in existence and in use?—and its various components represent almost […]

Was There an Israelite Amphictyony?

In 923, the sociologist Max Weber characterized Israel during the period of the Judges as a warring confederation over which Yahweh guaranteed the social order and insured prosperity. “Israel”, he said, was the name of a religious league which perhaps had “amphictyonic” rites.1 Later Martin Noth expanded this comparison and gave the thesis its […]

Reading Robert Payne Without Embarrassment

Let me relieve your embarrassment at reading and enjoying Robert Payne’s “The Splendor of the Holy Land—Egypt, Jordan, Israel, Lebanon”a True, it is far below the level of most BAR readers. The author deals with four countries and a host of civilizations in a bare 190 pages printed in easy-to-read (i.e. large) type. And […]

Ancient Farming in the Judean Wilderness

The Buqe’ah (pronounced like a French “bouquet” with a short “a” added at the end) is an isolated basin about a mile and a half wide and 5 miles long at the confluence of several major wadies (dry river beds) in the midst of the Judean wilderness, about three miles west of the Dead […]