The Wise Woman of Abel Beth Maacah

In a world dominated by men, and at a time that saw Israel’s greatest monarch—King David himself—rule over the land and assert his dominance over any and all who might challenge him, it was a woman—a Wise Woman—in the town of Abel Beth Maacah who stood up, stared down the commander of David’s army, […]

Reimagining Herod’s Royal Portico

“It is deserving of mention more than any other under the sun.” This is how the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus describes Jerusalem’s Royal Portico in his Jewish Antiquities (15.412). Built along the southern flank of the Temple Mount, the Royal Portico, also known as the Royal Stoa, was one of King Herod’s most ambitious […]

Baby Burials in the Middle Bronze Age

Almost as soon as people began making containers from clay, they began burying their dead babies in storage jars.1

Song of Liberation
Freedom in the Late Bronze Age By Eva von Dassow

Liberty is conventionally thought to be a property of Western civilization. It is given dual genealogies, one biblical and the other Hellenic. The tale of how Israel was liberated from Egyptian domination is conjoined with the tale of how Athenians invented democracy to generate the myth opposing a free West to a despotic Orient. […]

Stepped Pools and Stone Vessels
Rethinking Jewish Purity Practices in Palestine By Cecilia Wassén

053 To what extent were Jewish purity practices around the turn of the Common Era related to the Jerusalem Temple?

Baking Bread in Ancient Judah

I am happy to see that people are once again interested in the daily lives of the ancient Israelites. Archaeologists and biblical scholars alike are shifting their attention from the monumental to the mundane. In other words, the stage where the ordinary is lived out day after day is the home, not the temples, […]

Reactivating Remembrance
Interactive Inscriptions from Mt. Gerizim By Anne Katrine de Hemmer Gudme

What went on in ancient sanctuaries? In spite of the information we get from texts such as the Hebrew Bible, from inscriptions and iconography, and from archaeology, we know precious little about what “ordinary people” did when they visited a temple in ancient Palestine. Yet we do have some clues. The dedicatory inscriptions from […]

Secrets of the Copper Scroll

The mysteries of the Copper Scroll, found in one of the Dead Sea caves, have never really been solved. The Copper Scroll seems to contain a list of treasure—and is the kind of find that Indiana Jones could have used to track down vast amounts of gold and silver ingots. Its very substance—fine copper—indicates […]

Blurred Lines
The Enigma of Iron Age Timnah By Mahri Leonard-Fleckman

Tel Batash in the Shephelah is a bewildering and fascinating archaeological site. Excavations there have revealed an Iron Age city that scholars have identified as biblical Timnah. Yet this identification doesn’t tell us who the people were in Timnah or how to delineate them from others. Neither textual nor archaeological sources seem to provide […]


Archaeological Views: Missing from the Picture
American Women in Biblical Archaeology By Jennie Ebeling