The Holy Sepulchre in History, Archaeology, and Tradition

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is revered as the site of Jesus’s death, burial, and resurrection. BAR readers get a look at the church’s history and tradition in light of new archaeological research.

New Testament Religious Figures Confirmed

In the pages of BAR, Lawrence Mykytiuk has demonstrated that archaeology and extra-biblical writings attest to the existence of 53 figures from the Hebrew Bible, Jesus, and 23 political figures from the New Testament. Now, find out how many New Testament religious figures can be identified from evidence beyond the Bible.

A Glorious Church for a Mysterious Martyr

Step inside a glorious church and an archaeological mystery. The Israel Antiquities Authority has uncovered a magnificent Byzantine church dedicated to the “glorious martyr.” Although this martyr isn’t named, historical texts reveal possible identifications. Then tour a complete digital reconstruction of the church—prepared by archaeologists and digital specialists.

Who Built the Tomb of the Kings?

Since its discovery, most scholars have argued that Jerusalem’s Tomb of the Kings belonged to Queen Helena of Adiabene. But was she the original commissioner of the tomb? Our author presents new archaeological clues that suggest the ownership history of this impressive monument is far more complex than originally thought.

Watertight and Rock Solid: Stepped Pools and Chalk Vessels as Expressions of Jewish Ritual Purity

Stepped pools and chalk vessels in Roman Palestine are best interpreted as a reflection of Jewish concerns over the Pentateuchal ritual purity laws. Although this notion has been challenged, there is enough evidence to prove the religious motivation of the two archaeological phenomena.

A Very Brief History of Old Hebrew Script

From biblical texts to royal inscriptions, see how the Old Hebrew script—the alphabet used by the inhabitants of Judah and Israel during the monarchic period—developed, evolved, and surprisingly survived over a millennium.

The Shapira Scrolls: The Case for Forgery

In , antiquities dealer Moses Shapira presented to the watching world several scroll fragments that he claimed were an ancient biblical manuscript. Yet the manuscript was quickly decried as a forgery. Although its authenticity has been reappraised recently, biblical scholars Ronald S. Hendel and Matthieu Richelle argue—with old and new evidence—that the Shapira Scrolls are forgeries.

Bronze Age Fashion in Syria

In ancient Syria, clothes served as protection, status markers, and gifts for diplomacy. See the variety of clothing—from robes to skirts—at ancient Ebla.

Does Archaeology Confirm Joseph’s Time in Egypt?

The biblical story of Joseph and his brothers may have an historical basis. Is it possible that the cultural memory of the Hyksos, who ruled Egypt during the 17th and 16th centuries B.C.E. but who were later expelled, morphed into the tradition of the Israelite sojourn in Egypt and the Exodus? The history and archaeology of ancient Egypt may provide an answer.

‘Auja el-Foqa—A Desert Fortress on Ancient Israel’s Eastern Frontier

Overlooking the Jordan Valley and Jericho, the site of ‘Auja el-Foqa stood on ancient Israel’s eastern frontier. Archaeologists have uncovered the remains of an Israelite or Judahite fortress. Have they found biblical Na‘arah?

The Curious Case of Noah’s … Box?

Many early Christian and Jewish representations of Noah’s ark depict it as a box on legs. Learn how early translations of the biblical text may have led to the confusion.

The Shapira Scrolls: The Case for Authenticity

The Shapira Scrolls have long been viewed as clever forgeries. But are they? Earlier this year, biblical scholar Idan Dershowitz gained international attention as he argued that these scroll fragments preserve an early version of the Book of Deuteronomy. Here he summarizes that research, and archaeologist James D. Tabor analyzes the scrolls’ origin story. From their investigations, they contend that the Shapira Scrolls are authentic.

Canaanite Worship at Lachish—New Details Emerge

Recent excavations of a temple found at Tel Lachish offer a window into Canaanite worship in the mid-12th century B.C.E., just before the powerful city-state was destroyed. Our authors examine the rich array of cultic and ritual objects found amid the destroyed remains of the site’s Northeast Temple and explain what these finds reveal about Canaanite religious practice.

Biblical Archaeology 101: Why We Dig: The Aims of Archaeology

Archaeological remains, whether grand or mundane, fill us with a sense of wonder. Does this interest come from the artifacts themselves or from wanting to understand those who made and used them? As our author explains, archaeology is much more than towering monuments and buried treasure.

Biblical Archaeology for the People
Bridging the Scholarly-Popular Divide

The Biblical Archaeology Society aims to educate the public about archaeology and the Bible. BAR interviewed three educators who share this vision—Eric H. Cline of the George Washington University, Melissa Cradic of the Badè Museum, and Jodi Magness of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill—on the importance of public scholarship and new directions in the field.


Seoul, Republic of Korea
Cernavoda, Romania
Western Europe