Exploring the Holy Land Close to Home

I have never been to Israel. But after visiting the Explorations in Antiquity Center just an hour outside of Atlanta in LaGrange, Georgia, I have a much better idea of what it was like to live there 2,000 years ago.

Inside, Outside: Where Did the Early Israelites Come From?

Before they settled in the hill country of Canaan, where did the earliest Israelites come from and what was the nature of their society? The Bible is very clear. They were pastoral nomads who came from east of the Jordan. Much of the scholarship of the last part of the 20th century, however, has […]

Shasu or Habiru: Who Were the Early Israelites?

It is time to clarify for BAR readers the widely discussed relationship between the habiru, who are well documented in Egyptian and Near Eastern inscriptions, and the Hebrews of the Bible. There is absolutely no relationship! The first appearance of the term habiru (also ‘apiru1) surfaced in the late 19th century in the cuneiform […]

Did the Essenes Write the Dead Sea Scrolls?
Don’t Rely on Josephus By Steve Mason

The vast majority of Dead Sea Scroll scholars are committed to the so-called Essene hypothesis—the belief that the scrolls (or at least those scrolls regarded as “sectarian”) were written by the Essenes, an exotic Jewish movement described at some length by the ancient Jewish historian Josephus.

Why Milk and Meat Don’t Mix
A New Explanation for a Puzzling Kosher Law By Gloria London

I may have found a partial explanation for the basic law of kosher cooking, grounded in the Bible, of rigorously separating all forms of milk from all forms of meat. I am an ethnoarchaeologist. I concentrate on what I think Biblical archaeology does best: reveal the everyday lives of ordinary people in ancient times. […]

First Person: A Radical Proposal
Why don’t the archaeologists join the looters? By Hershel Shanks
Rhodes, Greece