Did a Rolling Stone Close Jesus’ Tomb?

We should have a very good idea what Jesus’ tomb looked like, with the references in the Gospels and our knowledge of contemporaneous tombs found in and around Jerusalem. Yet until now, most of the reconstructions of this most famous of tombs have, I believe, been wrong. The most surprising of my findings is […]

Biran at Ninety
The excavator of Dan recalls growing up in pre-state Israel, great archaeologists he’s known and why he’s a Biblical archaeologist By Hershel Shanks

On October 23, 1999, Avraham Biran, director of the Nelson Glueck School of Biblical Archaeology at Hebrew Union College in Jerusalem, will celebrate his 90th birthday. He will also have completed his 34th season at Tel Dan, the longest-running archaeological excavation in Israel. He has led an extraordinary life—as a student, a government […]

Who Lies Here?
Jordan tombs match those at Qumran By Hershel Shanks

Not whodunit but whoisit? The mystery deepens. I mean the mystery of the cemetery at Qumran with its 1,200 graves. Who was buried there? The conventional wisdom is that it was the Essenes. The reasoning goes like this: Sectarian manuscripts among the Dead Sea Scrolls sound like they were written around the turn of […]

Sacred Geometry: Unlocking the Secret of the Temple Mount, Part 2

We have already established the location of the Herodian Temple in Jerusalem and the altar that once stood in front of it (see the previous installment of this article in “Sacred Geometry: Unlocking the Secret of the Temple Mount, Part 1,” BAR 25:04). Echoes of these ancient structures are preserved today in two Islamic […]


First Person: When Scholars Call In the Lawyers
Edinburgh conference focuses on intellectual property law By Hershel Shanks
Nineveh, Ninua (modern Iraq)