Focus on Digs

For some, opportunities for adventure come once in a lifetime; for BAR readers, they come every year in the annual list of digs. Thousands of volunteers, of all ages and backgrounds, from all around the world, boldly set off for excavation sites known to them, perhaps, only as names from the Bible. These volunteers […]

Prize Find: Golden Cobra from Ekron’s Last Days

Excavating the Philistine capital city of Ekron (Tel Miqne) last summer, archaeologists discovered this solid-gold cobra on the floor of a monumental palace. Buried beneath a yard of debris from the Babylonian destruction of the city in 603 B.C.E., the serpent provides evidence of Ekron’s resplendent last days. Measuring 8 inches (20.7 centimeters) from […]

Two Dogs, a Goat and a Partridge: An Archaeologist’s Best Friends

Modern archaeology has a long history of colorful characters and serendipitous discoveries. Occasionally, the two go hand in hand. Or should I say, paw in paw, for some of the greatest and luckiest finds have resulted from chance discoveries made by the most unexpected participants—animals. In this article I will discuss significant archaeological discoveries […]

Dig Scholarship Winners

BAR is again offering travel scholarships to those who wish to volunteer on a dig. Last year’s winners—Tina Buker, an elementary school art teacher in Washington, D.C., Heidi Cron, a master’s student in theological studies at Harvard Divinity School, and Yisrael Dubitsky, a Bible and library student—share their experiences with us.

The Ark of the Covenant: Where It Stood in Solomon’s Temple

Four years ago, I wrote an article for BAR in which I identified the original 500-cubit-square Temple Mount.1 By now, this location is well established in the archaeological world, having been adopted, for example, in the latest edition of the archaeological encyclopedia of the Holy Land published by the Israel Exploration Society.2 My […]

The Fury of Babylon: Ashkelon and the Archaeology of Destruction

In 86 B.C.E. Nebuchadrezzar (also known as Nebuchadnezzar II), king of Babylon, attacked Jerusalem, destroyed the Temple and burned the city. This of course is the focal point of the Biblical story. For Nebuchadrezzar, however, Jerusalem was only one of many prizes, part of a major military operation in the West extending over many […]


Sakkara, Egypt