The Winter Palaces of Jericho

For at least 10,000 years, on the plain of the Great Rift, bordered by the mountains of Judea on the west and, on the other side of the Jordan River, the mountains of Moab, there has been a city at Jericho.

Tight-Lipped Archaeologists—How the Press Erred

“Jerusalem’s ‘Roman Cardo’ Isn’t Roman After All”, headlined a March issue of the Jerusalem Post. From there, the story spread to other media, correcting earlier erroneous reports that Prof. Nachman Avigad had found part of the Roman Cardo in his excavations in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem. According to Prof. […]

A Plea for Information

The press error reported elsewhere in this issue (“Tight-Lipped Archaeologists—How the Press Erred”) would never have occurred if Professor Avigad had been willing to speak for publication at the time the original story appeared.

Does the Gospel of Matthew Proclaim Mary’s Virginity?

In a recent BAR article, Père Benoit’s explanation of Isaiah 7:14 and Matthew 1:23 was quoted without comment and apparently accepted at face value.a Dr. Dwight Young and I have recently completed an extensive study of the concept of virginity in the world of the Bible.b Since some of our conclusions bear upon this […]

Where Is Abraham’s Ur?

The notice in the December 1976 BAR (“The Promise of Ebla,” BAR 02:04) that a new Ebla tablet refers to “Ur in Haran,”a reopens the discussion of where Ur of the Chaldees, Abraham’s birthplace, was located. While we would welcome the full publication of the Ebla tablet, the Biblical evidence is by itself conclusive […]

What We Don’t Know About Moses and the Exodus

Three recent books deal with the life of Moses and that epoch-making journey we call the Exodus. Although each is different from the other two, a reading of all three impresses one with how little, not how much, we really know.

How a Dig Begins

In 1972 Joe Seger was Archaeological Director of Hebrew Union College and director of the school’s continuing excavations at Tell Gezer, halfway between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Seger had been on the Gezer staff since 1966 and would direct its operation through the final season in 1974.

Pere de Vaux and the Old Testament

After almost forty years of intense Biblical research and teaching, Roland de Vaux, O.P. died in Jerusalem, on September 10, 1971. The world of Biblical scholarship mourned the passing of one of its most illustrious colleagues. Père de Vaux was a professor of Old Testament at the École Biblique, Jerusalem, from 1934 to 1971. […]

Was There an Israelite Amphictyony?

In 923, the sociologist Max Weber characterized Israel during the period of the Judges as a warring confederation over which Yahweh guaranteed the social order and insured prosperity. “Israel”, he said, was the name of a religious league which perhaps had “amphictyonic” rites.1 Later Martin Noth expanded this comparison and gave the thesis its […]