Archaeology Odyssey 1:1, Winter 1998

Editors’ Page: Come Learn with Us

I promise you it will be fun.

By Hershel Shanks

Archaeology Odyssey

You might suspect that I intend to make a virtue of my ignorance. Well, you’re right. For 23 years, I have edited a magazine called Biblical Archaeology Review. When I started I knew very little about archaeology and the Bible. I never had a course in archaeology or in the Bible. But what a way to learn! Edit a magazine. I’m still no scholar, but I’ve certainly learned a lot.

Now I would also like to learn about other ancient civilizations. The names roll out like great chords—Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, Phoenicians, Etruscans, Sumerians, Assyrians, Babylonians, Hittites—and, yes, Israelites—and many more.

A number of these peoples, for me, are little more than romantic names from the distant past. But I’m eager to learn. As a rule of thumb, I believe that if it’s interesting to me, it’s likely to be interesting to you. And I’m going to be thinking about the kinds of questions you would ask if you were looking over my shoulder—as indeed you will be.

We will find the experts who know more than anyone else about their fields; and we will work with them, helping them to express their expertise in a language we can all understand. You will also get their depth of knowledge and their concern for accuracy.

I’m also going to assume that you want Archaeology Odyssey to be engaging—and, yes, fun. That’s what we will be delivering. We have a wonderful new staff, several, like myself, brought over from Biblical Archaeology Review.

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