A Short History of BAR

Talk about vision. I certainly had none when I started BAR. It began almost by accident, as an avocation. If I had any fixed notion, it was that it would be a magazine of ideas, not pictures. Excavations in Israel were full of stones, not gold. That’s why the first issue of BAR (BAR […]

Readers Speak Out

One thing is sure from the results of our reader survey: BAR readers are independent-minded people. They pick and choose, making up their own minds. But, as attested by the fact that they continue to subscribe, they like to read and sift arguments even when they disagree. And they are not overly impressed with the conclusions of so-called experts.

The Patriarchal Age: Myth or History?
The Biblical data match objective facts from the ancient world in an almost uncanny way, establishing the general reliability of Biblical time periods. By Kenneth A. Kitchen

Over a century ago, the great would-be reconstructor of early Israelite history, Julius Wellhausen, claimed that “no historical knowledge” of the patriarchs could be gotten from Genesis. Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were merely a “glorified mirage” from later Hebrew history, projected back in time.1 Then between the 1940s and 1960s, such scholars as William […]

How Mute Stones Speak: Interpreting What We Dig Up

The common romantic image of the archaeologist—a discoverer clearing his way through the jungle to explore ruined cities and temples or crawling into mysterious tombs full of ancient gold and spells—belies reality, of course. Modern archaeology is about interpretation as much as discovery. True, the archaeologist’s prime tasks are excavation and collection of […]

A BAR Special Report: Archaeology Thriving in Saudi Arabia

Only since the 1960s has there been a department of antiquities and museums in Saudi Arabia. But in the last two decades—the lifetime of BAR—we have made enormous progress, placing the archaeology of Arabia in the wider context of ancient near eastern history. In 1976 we began a comprehensive archaeological survey of the country. […]

Long-Winded in the Windy City

“Overwhelming” is the only word to describe the 1994 Annual Meeting,a where 7,500 scholars attended more than 700 presentations. Imagine jumping into a huge wave high above your head, extending for miles along the shore on either side. Imagine trying to embrace it, and you will understand the feeling of someone trying to encompass […]

“House of David” Is There!

BAR recently published an article by Philip R. Davies in which he claims that the now famous six letters of the Tel Dan inscription, bytdwd, do not mean “the House of David” after all.a The tone and content of the article are an impassioned bashing of those “Biblical Maximizers” who read into archaeological finds […]


Assyria (Iraq)