Samson in the Synagogue

At :00 A.M. on Wednesday, June 20, 2012, Bryan Bozung made an exciting discovery. A recent graduate of Brigham Young University, he has now begun studying for a Masters in Theological Studies at Yale University. But this morning he was digging at Huqoq, an ancient village in Israel’s Lower Eastern Galilee. This was his […]

The Emperor’s New Church on Main Street, Jerusalem

Longtime BAR readers are familiar with the sixth-century C.E. mosaic map of the Holy Land on the floor of a church in Madaba, Jordan. In the middle of the map lies Jerusalem, the center of the world. In the middle of the city is the Church of the Holy Sepulchre—the center of Jerusalem, hence […]

Where Is Sodom?
The Case for Tall el-Hammam By Steven Collins

I think I have found Sodom! I can already see the raised eyebrows: The story of Sodom and Gomorrah is not history; it’s just a traditional tale … 034 In the Bible, Sodom is the essence of evil: “The men of Sodom were wicked” (Genesis 13:13). According to the story, Abraham’s nephew Lot was […]

A World Below
The Caves of Maresha By Ian Stern

It is commonplace in archaeology: An excavation provides more questions than answers. That is certainly true at Maresha.

The Christian Flight to Pella: True or Tale?

In 6 A.D., approximately 35 years after Jesus’ crucifixion, the Jews revolted against their Roman rulers, a revolt that ended in 70 A.D. with the burning of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Temple. On the eve of its destruction, the followers of Jesus, later to be known as Christians, fled from Jerusalem to […]

Who Destroyed Canaanite Hazor?

Joshua turned back at that time and took Hazor, and struck its king with the sword, for Hazor was formerly the head of all those kingdoms. And they struck all the people who were in it with the edge of the sword, utterly destroying them … Then he burnt Hazor with fire. Joshua 11:10–11 […]

Who Was Buried in the Tomb of Pharaoh’s Daughter?

The Tomb of Pharaoh’s Daughter is one of Jerusalem’s most neglected sites, despite being one of the most complete, distinctive and magnificent First Temple period tombs in the city. Every year, hundreds of thousands of tourists visit the City of David, the ridge south of the Temple Mount where the original city of Jerusalem […]

An Ending and a Beginning
Why we’re leaving Qeiyafa and going to Lachish By Yosef Garfinkel, Michael Hasel, Martin G. Klingbeil

The current heated debate on the relationship between history, the Bible and archaeology focuses on the tenth century B.C.E., the time of David and Solomon. In the early years of research, the Biblical narratives of David, Solomon and his son Rehoboam were considered an accurate historical account. Since the 1980s, however, serious doubts have […]

Portraits of Ancient Israelite Kings?

Has archaeology provided us with a visual portrait of an Israelite king? Well, yes and no. Or rather, no and yes. The “yes” is on the famous Black Obelisk in the British Museum, often thought to include a portrait of the Israelite King Jehu bowing before the Assyrian monarch. Alas, it is really a […]

Aegeans in Israel: Minoan Frescoes at Tel Kabri

More than 3,500 years ago, the Aegean civilizations that produced the gorgeous frescoes of Minoan Crete and Santorini impacted Canaanite civilization in what is now northern Israel. We are presently excavating the palace in western Galilee that makes the connection—at a site called Tel Kabri. The link to Tel Kabri is confirmed by tiny […]

Wooden Beams from Herod’s Temple Mount: Do They Still Exist?

The Romans destroyed Herod’s Jerusalem Temple in 70 C.E. Is it possible that some of the wooden beams from his Temple Mount have survived—and may be identified? I believe the answer is “yes.” Some of the beams may even be from the Temple. Wooden beams of this quality—especially Cedar of Lebanon (Cedrus libani) and […]

When Pharaohs Ruled Jerusalem

One thing leads to another. In a way, it can be said that the article you are now reading originated with another BAR article: In 2000 the prominent Jerusalem archaeologist Gabriel Barkay published an article in BAR titled “What’s an Egyptian Temple Doing in Jerusalem?”a1 Barkay summarized the evidence for an Egyptian temple in […]

Will King Hezekiah Be Dislodged from His Tunnel?

It is one of the most famous sites in Jerusalem—right up there after the Dome of the Rock, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Western Wall. And it is also one of the most exciting to visit—Hezekiah’s Tunnel. But is it really his? The story is well known and oft told. In […]

Cedars of Lebanon: Exploring the Roots

Israel, then as now, was impoverished in natural resources. As the old joke has it, if only Moses had turned right instead of left, Israel would have had the oil. Israel is also poor in sources of timber necessary in ancient times for the construction of important buildings like palaces and temples. Perhaps the […]

Early Israel: An Egalitarian Society

This is going to be a difficult article to illustrate, I thought to myself as I started to write this article for BAR. How do you illustrate something that isn’t there? This is an article about burials—or perhaps tombs would be more accurate. But they aren’t there!1 At least not at this time and […]

The Staurogram
Earliest Depiction of Jesus’ Crucifixion By Larry W. Hurtado

In Greek, the language of the early church, the capital tau, or T, looks pretty much like our T. The capital rho, or R, however, is written like our P.

Was Rahab Really a Harlot?

Did Rahab live on the wall or in the wall?

Why Perga?
Paul’s perilous passage through Pisidia By Mark R. Fairchild

“Then Paul and his companions set sail from Paphos [in Cyprus] and came to Perga in Pamphylia [in southern Anatolia] …They passed on from Perga and came to Antioch in Pisidia [in central Anatolia].” (Acts 13:13–14) Why Perga? Paul and Barnabas returned to Perga (Greek, Perge) where Paul preached (“spoke the word”) and then […]

“The Lord Is One”: How Its Meaning Changed

Near the village of Halbturn, Austria, about 60 miles east of Vienna, lies an ancient estate with its own graveyard. The estate was occupied from the late second century C.E. to the middle of the fifth century. The cemetery associated with the settlement includes approximately 300 graves. Scholars were alerted to the ancient site […]

Wet-Sift the Megiddo Dumps!
Wet-Sifting Is Invaluable for Recovering Small Finds By Hershel Shanks

I’m looking for a clever aphorism saying that good things sometimes come from something bad. I have in mind the Muslim Waqf’s illegal excavation on the Temple Mount to accommodate a new, larger entrance to the underground Marwani mosque. Truckloads of dirt were dug without regard to archaeological method and then unceremoniously dumped into […]

Daphnis and Chloe in the Garden of Eden

We often consider how Biblical religions affected one another, but less often how Biblical religions may have influenced what we sometimes call pagan cultures. Indeed, it can be said that by the time Christianity became a licit religion in the fourth century, its narrative was not entirely foreign to the pagans of the Roman […]

What’s Critical About a Critical Edition of the Bible?

Although not widely known, all printed Hebrew Bibles in common use today contain textual difficulties, corruptions and—yes—even errors. Modern translations tend to smooth out difficulties in the original Hebrew. Occasionally some translations, such as the New Jewish Publication Society translation, tell the reader in a footnote that the Hebrew is difficult or that the […]

In the Beginning: Religion at the Dawn of Civilization

Some call it Turkey’s Stonehenge. In fact, the circles of massive stones standing high on a hill are more than 5,000 years older than Britain’s famous megaliths. From Göbekli Tepe (“Potbelly Hill”) in southeastern Turkey, you can see 50 or more miles in all directions, including the sites where some of the earliest evidence […]

Capua, Italy
Peloponnesus, Greece
Ha’il, Saudi Arabia
Björkö, Sweden
Capua, Italy