Jerusalem is probably the most excavated city in the world. And few cities hold such fascination for the public as well as for the scholar. What was the city like when the Israelites entered Canaan? (Apparently it was strong enough to resist Israelite pressure for 200 years.) What was the city like when David […]

It’s Not There: Archaeology Proves a Negative

The history of Jerusalem is going to have to be rewritten. As we gradually assimilate the archaeological record, we are finding more and more evidence that calls into question long-held assumptions about the city’s past. This is especially true of the three periods I will discuss here, which are already the subject of heated […]

It Is There: The Archaeological Evidence Proves It

Margreet Steiner makes three startling historical conclusions based on her analysis of the archaeological evidence from Jerusalem: (1) that during the Late Bronze Age (the period just before ancient Israel began to emerge in the central hill country) there was no town of Jerusalem but only a small pharaonic estate governed by a royal […]

It Is There: Ancient Texts Prove It

With unqualified certainty, Margreet Steiner asserts that in the Late Bronze Age (1550–1150 B.C.E.), the period just before the Israelite settlement, there was “no … town, let alone a city” of Jerusalem. As far as the archaeological record is concerned, there is, for that period, “simply nothing.”

Bad Timing
What time is it when the Qumran sundial reads 15 o’clock? Time to get a new theory. By Abraham Levy

A recent issue of BAR contained a picture of a supposed sundial found more than 40 years ago in the excavations of Père Roland de Vaux at Qumran, the famous site near where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered (July/August 1997). The identification of the object as a sundial was based on a […]

Buried Treasure: The Silver Hoard from Dor

At first, our discovery—an unadorned clay jar—seemed deceptively modest. For months we had been excavating an area overlooking the southern harbor of ancient Dor, south of Haifa on Israel’s Mediterranean coast. Digging conditions had been particularly arduous. To shield ourselves from the intense daytime heat—temperatures often reached triple digits, especially in the absence […]

Backward Glance: Painting the Past: The Lithographs of David Roberts

David Roberts was no archaeologist. But, thanks to his scores of lithographs of the Holy Land, he may have done more to popularize ancient sites in the Near East than anyone else in the 19th century. Roberts was an artist who lived before archaeology became a scholarly endeavor. He was born on October 24, […]


First Person: We’re on the Web!
Happiness is just a click away By Steven Feldman
Roquepertuse, France