Biblical Archaeology Review, 1978
The Bible relates that early Israel entered Canaan twice—once in the Patriarchal Age and a second time after the Exodus from Egypt.
As might be expected, BAR’s “Assessing Ebla,” BAR 04:01, by Paul C. Maloney is the best and most comprehensive overall popular treatment of the Ebla Tablets yet to appear. There is, however, later news, as well as another side to the Ebla story—a political side. This political aspect makes everyone connected with Ebla vulnerable, […]
How quickly should ancient texts be published after they come into a scholar’s hands? Within one year—at most, says Professor David Noel Freedman in a forthcoming issue of the Biblical Archaeologist.
The Lerner Archaeological Series is written for readers twelve and above, but like many well written books for youngsters, this series can be enjoyable and informative to adults as well.
The last great Yahwistic religious reform before the fall of Jerusalem in 586 B.C. was carried out in Judah by King Josiah in about 621 B.C.
In his review of my book, Abraham in History and Tradition, Nahum Sarna sets the context for his remarks with a brief but very helpful survey of the development of historical criticism of the Pentateuch, including literary and form criticism (see “Abraham in History,” BAR 03:04). However, he does not deal with my literary […]
In the June 1978 BAR, we published a seminal article by Norman Gottwald entitled, “Were the Early Israelites Pastoral Nomads?” BAR 04:02. Professor Gottwald there argued that the Patriarchs were not semi-nomads, instead, they lived in small countryside villages and engaged in agriculture. Professor Gottwald called for the systematic excavation of often-ignored “minor” sites […]
I am happy to report to BAR readers on the preservation and restoration work which was accomplished last year with funds which they—you—provided. But before I do let me tell you briefly about the continuing excavations at the site of the winter palaces.
Despite its obvious importance, the number of ancient Jerusalem’s inhabitants is a subject that is often ignored.
No archaeological find since the Dead Sea Scrolls has so excited the public imagination as the recently-discovered and already famous Ebla tablets.
Archaeologists usually recover their treasures beneath the earth. Instead of digging beneath the earth, however, we were high above it on a four-story scaffold, exploring the half-dome of the apse of the Byzantine Church at Saint Catherine’s monastery at the foot of Mount Sinai. But we felt as much like archaeologists as those […]
Early in the afternoon of October 26, 1975 a fire struck the cramped, book-filled office of Father Albert Jamme at Catholic University in the nation’s capital. The fire probably started from neon tubes in a ceiling light fixture, but the exact cause is uncertain.
For almost two decades and still continuing, Israeli archaeologist Beno Rothenberg has investigated the Timna Valley—called in Arabic wadi Mene’iyeh and known to thousands of visitors as “King Solomon’s Mines”. At first Rothenberg came almost alone to this isolated spot in the Negev about 20 miles north of Eilat, but in recent years he […]
Many early copies of the New Testament abbreviate sacred words (nomina sacra). The earliest of these abbreviations stand for “God,” “Lord,” “Christ,” and “Jesus.” Abbreviations of these words were formed by writing their first and last letters and placing a line over them. Thus, using English to illustrate, “God” would appear as G÷D÷ and […]
One of the most critical battles in early Israelite history was fought about 1050 B.C. between the Israelites and the Philistines. At that time, the Bible tells us, the twelve tribes had settled the land and the Ark of the Covenant had been installed at Shiloh under the authority of Eli the High Priest. […]
The Babylonian flood stories are similar to the Genesis flood story in many ways, but they are also very different. If we look deeply enough into those Babylonian flood stories, they teach us how to understand the structure of the Genesis flood story. At the same time such a comparison also emphasizes how different […]
At a site called Izbet Sartah, now believed by some scholars, to be Biblical Ebenezer, a recent excavation by Tel Aviv and Bar-Ilan Universities has uncovered a small clay potsherd—unrelated to the Biblical story—which, however, is the most important single find of the excavation. The sherd contains the longest proto-Canaanite inscription ever discovered.a The […]
The two variant genealogies of Jesus in Matthew 1:1–16 and Luke 3:23–38 agree on the essential point that he was descended from King David through Joseph, the husband of Mary. To be the legitimate King of the Jews, Jesus had to stem from David through his human, patriarchal family tree. The question that puzzles […]
Nineteen-sixty-one was the third winter of drought. In the Old City of Jerusalem there were long queues at the water spigots. Tribes of Ta‘âmireh bedouin were drifting north past Jerusalem. Whole families and clans were moving together, at times afoot, at times by donkey train with an occasional camel. They tramped up the tortuous […]
When the Ta‘âmireh bedouin penetrated the Daliyeh cave (as described in the previous article by Paul Lapp) they found within more than 300 skeletons lying on or covered by mats. The bones were mixed with fragments of manuscripts. These manuscripts were not burial documents, but everyday business records. The artifacts found in the cave […]
In the June 1977 issue of the BAR you initiated a crusade against excavators who withhold information and photographs of unpublished finds to the press (“Tight-Lipped Archaeologists—How the Press Erred,” BAR 03:02). For some reason you chose me as the main target for your attack. In the December issue, you continued your crusade against […]
Signaling an eventual return to the world of archaeology, Yigael Yadin has stated he will lead a major new archaeological excavation. Yadin, formerly head of Hebrew University’s Institute of Archaeology, is currently Israel’s Deputy Prime Minister.
Generally recognized as the world’s greatest field archaeologist and clearly Great Britain’s leading Biblical archaeologist, Dame Kathleen Mary Kenyon is dead at 72. Dame Kathleen died in August, less than a week after suffering a stroke. She was stricken at her home in Wrexham, North Wales.
Scholars have long debated how the first day of the week—Sunday—came to be adopted by a majority of Christians as the day of rest and worship in place of the Biblically-prescribed, seventh-day Sabbath. (In Hebrew, the seventh day is called Shabbat from which the English word Sabbath is derived).
BAR’s readers will preserve Herodian Jericho, place signs at Biblical Lachish, and support preservation research. Based on early contributions to its Archaeological Preservation Fund, BAR has committed its readers to a three-pronged preservation effort.
We are delighted to report that Professor Nachman Avigad has published in a recent issue of the Israel Exploration Journal a report and picture of the “Justinian” inscription which he found in the Old City of Jerusalem.
The Talmud is, after the Bible itself, Judaism’s most significant and revered collection of sacred writings. Although the Talmud was in fact written and compiled between the Second and Fifth centuries A.D., rabbinic tradition holds that it was given to Moses at Mount Sinai together with the Torah. The Torah is referred to as […]
In 975, an American tourist uncovered a statue of the Roman emperor Hadrian on an Israeli kibbutz. We had intended to picture the head of this rare bronze statue on the cover of this issue of BAR. It seemed a perfect tie-in with the story “How It Came About: From Saturday to Sunday,” in which Hadrian figures so prominently.
What archaeologists find is important. But what they don’t find can be just as important—such as their failure to find coins anywhere in the world before the end of the 7th century B.C. In the Holy Land, coins are not found until about 100 years later.
As in years past summer is the time for old hands and new adventurers—young and not so young—to join archaeological excavations in the Holy Land. There are many opportunities in 1978, some of which offer academic credit for the work-study of the summer.
An astounding inscription has been found in the Sinai Desert which indicates that some worshippers believed that Yahweh did have a consort or asherah.
A major new excavation will begin this summer in the oldest inhabited part of Jerusalem. Known as the city of David, the site is located on a dusty ridge south of the present Old City. The following article is by the man who is responsible for initiating the project and raising the money to finance it.—Ed.
The exchange of gifts between Israeli and Egyptian Heads of State has a history dating back to Biblical peace treaties between Egyptian Pharaohs and Israelite Kings.