Excavations Continue Despite Political Turmoil

It shows up again and again in the accounts of those who have worked on an excavation: the incomparable thrill of touching the past. Whether they are unearthing the remains of homes and burial sites or examining the tools, pottery and jewelry used by the ancients, sooner or later dig veterans and novices […]

Guide to Sites

Abila of the Decapolis

Cracks in James Bone Box Repaired
Crowds Flock to Toronto Exhibit By Hershel Shanks

News of our exclusive cover story in the last issue about the bone box inscribed “James, the son of Joseph, brother of Jesus” has reverberated around the globe. The day after we released the issue of BAR, the bone box, or ossuary, was featured in color on the front page of the New […]

Whose Bones
New Qumran Excavations, New Debates By Magen Broshi, Hanan Eshel

027 Under the headline, “Digging for the Baptist,” the August 12, 2002 issue of Time magazine asked its readers: “Have archaeologists discovered the skeleton of John the Baptist?” Time’s answer: “It’s possible.” A related story in the Associated Press asked in its headline, “Could they be remains of sect’s leader, or John the […]

Israeli Scholar Bares His Fangs—Again!
Qimron Threatens to Sue García Martínez for Character Defamation

As part of its campaign in the 1980s and early 1990s to obtain release of the unpublished Dead Sea Scrolls, the Biblical Archaeology Society (publisher of BAR) reprinted from a Polish journal an unauthorized copy of the then-secret Dead Sea Scroll text known as MMT as reconstructed by Harvard’s John Strugnell and Elisha Qimron […]

“Will Marty Abegg Ever Find a Job?”
Scroll Scholar Thrives Despite Unauthorized Publication By Martin Abegg, Jr., Michael Phelps, Hershel Shanks

The monopoly over access to the Dead Sea Scrolls was broken in 1991. One of the key events in that breakup was the publication of Dead Sea Scroll texts that had been reconstructed by computer from a concordance. We will here detail this important, but little known, incident—but first, a little history. By 1960, […]

The History Behind the Bible
BAR Interviews Avraham Malamat By Hershel Shanks

A deep fissure runs through Biblical studies today. On one side are those who maintain that the Bible contains much reliable history; on the other side are those who say the Biblical texts were written much later than the events they describe and have little or no historical value. Some, like Israel Finkelstein, the […]


First Person: The Mystery of the Bullae
Who is finding all the seal impressions for sale on the antiquities market? By Hershel Shanks
France, exact provenance unknown