BAR Interview: Avraham Biran—Twenty Years of Digging at Tel Dan

BAR Editor, Hershel Shanks, interviewed Avraham Biran, director of the Nelson Glueck School of Biblical Archaeology at Hebrew Union College, in Jerusalem. Hershel Shanks: The name of Avraham Biran is—and will be for generations—inextricably bound up with the name of Tel Dan. When anybody thinks of one, he’s inevitably going to think of the […]

Cult Stands: A Bewildering Variety of Shapes and Sizes

When the editor of BAR asked me to write an article on Israelite incense stands, I knew that limiting the article to incense stands would make the task almost impossible. Many of the stands he would want me to include—once thought by scholars to be incense stands—were not used for incense at all. But […]

Temple Architecture: What Can Archaeology Tell Us About Solomon’s Temple?

Solomon’s Temple presents a double puzzle, one old and the other more recent. The first relates to the fact that the Biblical description of the building is not entirely clear and can be interpreted in several ways. The second puzzle relates to the origin of the architecture: What is the architectural source of the […]

The Peculiar Headrests for the Dead in First Temple Times

Some peculiarly shaped headrests are carved onto the stone benches of the École Biblique burial caves in Jerusalem. According to Amos Kloner (“Have the Tombs of the Kings of Judah Been Found?” in this issue), these elaborate and elegantly carved caves may actually be the burial chambers of the kings of Judah from the […]

Have the Tombs of the Kings of Judah Been Found?

In a recent issue of BAR, archaeologists Gabriel Barkay and Amos Kloner described two magnificent burial caves from the First Temple period located just a few hundred yards north of Jerusalem’s old city (“Jerusalem Tombs From the Days of the First Temple,” BAR 12:02). Because these caves are now located on the grounds of […]