Jerusalem’s Essene Gateway
Where the community lived in Jesus’ time By Bargil Pixner

Mount Zion, the highest spot in ancient Jerusalem, is where I live.a You can’t miss our abbey south of the walled Old City. The squarish, fortress-looking building with the conical roof and four slender corner towers is our church—the Church of the Dormition of Mary. Next to it—the building with the prominent bell tower—is […]

Tracking the Shapira Case: A Biblical Scandal Revisited

Moses Wilhelm Shapira, a well-known Jerusalem dealer in antiquities and ancient manuscripts, offered to sell fragments of a scroll of Deuteronomy, including the Ten Commandments, to the British Museum, a regular customer.1 Thus, in July of 1883, began one of the most celebrated incidents in the history of Biblical scholarship, a saga that continues […]

Stop the Charade: It’s Time to Sell Artifacts

I have been a professional archaeologist for almost 40 years, spending the better part of my career in the field or underwater, excavating and studying archaeological remains. I consider myself a devotee of the “New Archaeology”—more fascinated by data that illustrate ancient technology or ancient sea levels than by “treasure” such as gold […]

Picturing Imageless Deities
Iconography in the Ancient Near East By Victor Hurowitz

046 No Graven Image? Israelite Aniconism in Its Ancient Near Eastern Context Tryggve N.D. Mettinger Coniectanea Biblica, Old Testament Series 42 (Stockholm: Almqvist & Wiksell International, 1995) 252 pp., $27.60 The Iconography of the Canaanite Gods Reshef and Ba‘al: Late Bronze and Iron Age I Periods (c 1500–1000 BCE) Izak Cornelius Orbis Biblicus […]


First Person: Picasso and Pots
Why is it all right to collect one but not the other? By Hershel Shanks
Oxus River Valley, Persia