Babatha’s Story
Personal archive offers a glimpse of ancient Jewish life By Anthony J. Saldarini

The column of Roman soldiers marched slowly south along the western shore of the Dead Sea toward En-Gedi, one of the region’s major governmental and commercial centers and a stronghold of Simon Bar Kosiba,a leader of the Second Jewish Revolt against Rome. Two years earlier, in 132 C.E., Bar Kosiba had expelled from […]

How Women Differed

Babatha’s archive, described in the foregoing article by Anthony J. Saldarini, is not the only Jewish woman’s archive found in the Judean desert. Another, much smaller archive, belonging to Salome Komaise, was discovered in nearby Wadi Seelim (according to the Bedouin from whom it was purchased).1 These two archives provide a glimpse into […]

Illuminating Byzantine Jerusalem
Oil lamps shed light on early Christian worship By Jodi Magness

This is the story of how the puzzling inscriptions on some ancient oil lamps illuminate an entire era. These modest artifacts offer us a vivid picture of the spiritual life of the earliest Christian pilgrims. The inscriptions appear on a particular sub-sub-subtype of ceramic oil lamp from a particular locale and a particular […]

The Missing Link
Does a new inscription establish a connection between Qumran and the Dead Sea Scrolls? By Frank Moore Cross, Esther Eshel

Not a single fragment of a Dead Sea Scroll has been discovered among the ruins of Qumran, the ancient settlement adjacent to the caves where the scrolls were found. Although many scholars have long assumed that the people who lived in this desert outpost deposited the scrolls in the caves, they had no […]

San Francisco Tremors
Not earthquakes, just academic rumbles By Hershel Shanks

The Bible is the fault line that divides a significant segment of the scholarly world. It is the attitude toward the Bible that underlies the disparate battles, both institutional and substantive, that are being fought as I write. The fissures are deep.

Where Is the Tenth Century?

Every archaeologist thinks his or her site holds the key to any issue that arises. Perhaps that is one reason why the focus was on Megiddo at the sessions titled “Where Is the Tenth Century?” at the Annual Meeting. Archaeologists David Ussishkin and Israel Finkelstein, the first two speakers, are codirectors of the […]


First Person: Rx for ASOR
The archaeologists’ organization can be nursed back to health By Hershel Shanks
Oxus River Valley