Burial Box of James the Brother of Jesus
Earliest archaeological evidence of Jesus found in Jerusalem By André Lemaire

Amazing as it may sound, a limestone bone box (called an “ossuary”) has surfaced in Israel that may once have contained the bones of James, the brother of Jesus. We know this because an extraordinary inscription incised on one side of the ossuary reads in clear Aramaic letters: “James, son of Joseph, brother of […]

The Short List: The New Testament Figures Known to History

The relatively plain ossuary (bone box) described in the preceding article by André Lemaire is doubly important to the study of early Christianity. It is the earliest archaeological artifact ever found that refers to Jesus; in fact, it is the only nearly contemporaneous artifact that mentions Jesus. This gives it a breathtaking significance in […]

A “Centrist” at the Center of Controversy
BAR interviews Israel Finkelstein By Hershel Shanks

A debate rages among Biblical archaeologists: Was there a United Monarchy under David and Solomon? Should impressive ancient structures throughout Israel be attributed to Solomon or were they built a century later? How old is the text of the Bible? A key figure in this debate is Israel Finkelstein, codirector of the Megiddo […]

Gorgon Excavated at Dor

It was a fitting climax. We had been excavating at Tel Dor—an 80-acre tell, or mound, on the Mediterranean coast of Israel—for 20 exciting years. This was to be our last season. It was near the end of the dig when we found evidence of a Greek temple—the first ever discovered in ancient Palestine […]


First Person: The Big Debate
The battle over the Bible raises more questions than it answers—but you’ll learn a lot if you listen in. By Hershel Shanks
Eastern Mediterranean