Biblical Archaeology Review, 1979
BAR’s article, “Syria Tries to Influence Ebla Scholarship,” BAR 05:02, reported on Syrian government efforts to pressure Ebla scholars into emphasizing the Ebla tablets’ importance for “proto-Syrian” history and to play down the tablets’ Biblical connections. BAR’s article received world-wide publicity. Stories based on it appeared in scores of American and foreign newspapers and […]
The late 1880’s in Jerusalem was an age of discovery. On the one hand, textual critics, anthropologists, geologists, and philosophers combined to pour scorn and derision on Scriptural traditions; on the other, archaeology was never so popular or well-supported financially as when it set out “to prove the Bible right.” Well-endowed archaeological missions flocked […]
Gamla has been found.
Lachish was one of the most important cities of the Biblical era in the Holy Land. The impressive mound, named Tel Lachish in Hebrew or Tell ed-Duweir in Arabic, is situated about 25 miles southwest of Jerusalem in the Judean hills. Once a thriving, fortified city, the almost 18 acre tela today stands silent […]
This coming summer more people than ever will join archaeological digs in Israel and elsewhere as volunteer workers. Some will be taking an important early step toward a professional career in archaeology Many will be earning academic credit for their work; others will be seeking adventure and experience simply for its own sake. […]
Five Biblical prophets—Amos, Hosea, Micah, Isaiah and Jeremiah—scathingly attacked the sacrificial cult practiced in the shrines of ancient Israel and Judah. These prophets all lived in that turbulent 150-year period that began with the death-pangs of the Kingdom of Israel in the late 8th century B.C. and ended with the Babylonian destruction of the […]
By 67 A.D. a general rebellion against Rome engulfed Palestine. Jerusalem had repulsed a Roman attack and the Jews had set up their own government which divided the country into seven military districts, each with its own commander. The Galilee command fell to a young priest, Joseph, the son of Mattathias (the future […]
It seldom rains in the Judean wilderness; this climatic condition accounts for the preservation of some rare Jewish coffins recently discovered in the hills overlooking Jericho. These coffins are made of wood, are painted, and date to the late Hasmonean period (first century B.C.) continuing into Herod’s reign until 6 A.D. when his son, […]
For our ancestors, wild plants and animals of the Holy Land served as symbols and metaphors. These people were closer to nature than we are today and they understood the life cycles of the plants and animals about them. In the Bible, they used this knowledge in a poetic way. The scholars who translated […]
Keeping in mind Dan Cole’s advice in the previous article, on “How to Pick A Dig,” now read below to discover which digs will be seeking volunteers in Israel this summer.
The book of Kings describes a time during the 9th–7th centuries B.C. when the land was divided into two kingdoms—Judah in the south and Israel in the north. Phoenicia and Israel were linked by commerce and royal marriages and Hebrew monotheism struggled to resist the attraction of pagan gods. The prophets Elijah, Elisha, Amos […]
The relationship of the Dead Sea Scrolls to early Christianity has absorbed scholars since the dramatic discovery more than 30 years ago. Early, exaggerated commentaries which, for example, stated that the Teacher of Righteousness was Jesus of Nazareth1 or that Jesus was a veritable “reincarnation” of the Teacher of Righteousness,2 have now fallen by […]
Using well-established principles of form-criticism, as well as the findings of Biblical archaeology and other methods of modern Biblical scholarship, I have discovered that the Superman stories—commonly thought to be of purely American origin—are in fact rooted in ancient Hebrew institutions. The well-known folk tale centers on a hero figure commonly called “Superman.” The […]
“So far as I know,” writes Carl Sagan, author of The Dragons of Eden—Speculations on the Evolution of Human Intelligence,a “childbirth is generally painful in only one of the millions of species on Earth: human beings.” This is because of the comparatively large human skull, which, in turn, was required by the increase in […]
Our first season of excavations in the City of David—the site of Biblical Jerusalem—ended with rich rewards and high expectations. The City of David, in geographical terms, is only a very small part of modern Jerusalem—a little spur which, to the surprise of many tourists, is located outside the walls of the Old […]
What are they? Petrified Tootsie-Rolls, ceramic hot dogs, toy cigars? Are they perhaps ancient exercise equipment used by pre-Israelite boxers? Do BAR readers have any better suggestions? If so, send them to us, and BAR will pass them on to the excavators, who readily admit they are stumped by this find of some 278 […]
It is now clear that anti-Zionist political pressures in Syria are attempting to affect the scholarly interpretation of the Ebla tablets. The Syrians are furious that in the West the intense interest shown in this fantastic cache of tablets has focused on their importance for understanding the Bible and Biblical history. For the Syrians, […]
In BAR’s version of Superman’s original costume, pictured in “The Hebrew Origins of Superman,” in this issue, Superman the scribe wears the Hebrew letter samekh on his chest. But even people who know how to read modern Hebrew—as it is printed in Israel as well as in synagogue prayer books in this country—will not […]
People called Hittites are frequently mentioned in the Biblical account of Israelite history. In the past 100 years the archaeologist’s spade has unearthed Hittite civilization: It has proved to be both large and important. Does it accord, however, with what the Bible tells us about the Hittites? 023 One of the best-known references in […]
“Biblical Archaeology After 30 Years (1948–1978)” is the title of a lecture delivered by Siegfried H. Horn, Dean Emeritus of Andrews University, at the recent dedication of the Horn Archaeological Museum located on the campus at Berrien Springs, Michigan. As a special bonus to its readers, BAR is making this lecture available free to […]
In 980, the first spade will sink into Tell Dor. As previously announced in BAR (“Yigael Yadin to Head New Excavation,” BAR 04:04), I will direct the field work at the new excavation. In a sense, however, this excavation began several years ago at nearby Tell Mevorakh. The Tell Mevorakh dig, which I directed […]
To understand how circumstances in the 1870’s led the forger of the Paraiba inscription to undertake such a task is not difficult after reading Frank Moore Cross’ article “Phoenicians in Brazil?” BAR 05:01. Yet many of the same circumstances, so masterfully described in that article, could also lead one to conclude that the inscription […]
Did Solomon’s temple contain a seven-branched lampstand known as a menorah? Most people answer this question with an automatic “of course.”
The Hebrew word ya-el appears three times in the Bible. In English translations it is usually translated as “wild goat,” and in some modern translations, as “mountain-goat.” In actuality, the Hebrew ya-el is the ibex (Capra ibex nubiana), one of the loveliest and most agile members of the cattle family. Each Biblical reference to […]
As every blind person knows, he can “see” what he can touch.
The following interview is reprinted in full from Flash of Damascus, February 1978.
In 160 B.C., Shutruk-Nahhunte, King of Elam in the mountains east of Mesopotamia, campaigned triumphantly through Agade, Kish, Sippar, and other towns of ancient Babylonia. He returned to his capital at Susa with a rich haul of loot, which he offered up to the god who had led him to his victory. In all […]
Two important excavations with volunteer opportunities were omitted from the listings in our March/April issue.
The recent peace treaty between Egypt and Israel may have a historical precedent from almost 3000 years ago. Then too, these two nations wisely decided that peaceful co-existence was better than military confrontation. The peace accord in ancient times is not explicitly mentioned in the Bible. The Bible was not written, however, for the […]
BAR’s Archaeological Preservation Fund has agreed to preserve and restore the site of Izbet Sartah.
One of the most direct links between the Ebla tablets and the Bible is the reported reference in the Ebla tablets to the five Cities of the Plain listed in Genesis 14.
Of the recurring, often bizarre attempts to find ancient Semitic inscriptions in the western hemisphere, the most prominent and frequently cited concerns the so-called Paraiba inscription from Brazil. The Paraiba inscription is said to be a Phoenician inscription carved in stone and found in northeastern Brazil in 1872. After raising a minor stir […]
The following report was prepared by Jim (Yaakov) Fleming, BAR’s Jerusalem correspondent and Director of BAR’s Summer Seminar in Israel.
The early Israelite site of Izbet Sartah, believed to be Biblical Ebenezer (1 Samuel 4), is inauspiciously located in the midst of the town dump of modern day Rosh Haayin. I went to Izbet Sartah to see the recently completed preservation work. (See “BAR Readers to Restore Israelite Village from Days of the Judges,” […]