The Galilee Boat—2,000-Year-Old Hull Recovered Intact

A severe drought gripped Israel in 1985 and 1986. The winter rains barely came. Water was pumped from the Sea of Galilee to irrigate parched fields throughout the country. Predictably, the Kinneret (the Hebrew name of the freshwater inland lake also known as the Sea of Galilee) shrank. Wide expanses of lakebed, normally covered […]

Searching for Israelite Origins

The emergence of Israel in the hill country of Canaan poses some of the most intriguing questions now occupying archaeologists as well as Biblical scholars. The archaeological reflection of the “Israelite settlement”1 is dozens of hill-country sites dated to the period that archaeologists call Iron Age I (c. 1200–1000 B.C.). At the heart of […]

Finding Evidence of Ancient Nomads

Holmes knelt quickly, pinching a bit of ash between his thumb and long forefinger. His eyes darted left, settling upon a small flat pebble. He extracted his magnifying lens and examined the slightly pocked stone. “Yes, Watson, as I suspected. Early Bronze Age cooking ware. I would hatard a guess that this hearth […]

Why Did the Early Israelites Dig All Those Pits?

At almost every Iron Age I (1200–1000 B.C.) site where the early Israelites settled, archaeologists have found an extraordinary number of pits. In Biblical terms, Iron Age I is the period of the Judges, when, as the Bible tells us, “every man did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25). King David […]