The shoals in the sea of archaeology are treacherous indeed. Take the case of Marie-Louise Buhl.
Ms. Buhl, a Keeper of the National Museum of Denmark, recently wrote part of the final report on the Danish excavations at Shiloha. Ms. Buhl’s task was admittedly complicated by the fact that the Shiloh excavations had been carried out by a Danish expedition about 40 years earlier—in three campaigns in the 1920’s and early 1930’s under the direction of Hans Kjaer. Kjaer tragically died of dysentery a month after the last season began. As a result, no final report was ever written—until Ms. Buhl and a colleague assumed the task four decades later.
Prior to his death, Hans Kjaer did publish two preliminary reports on the excavations containing a major finding for students of the Bible: Shiloh had been destroyed in about 1050 B.C., about the time that the Philistines had captured the Ark of the Lord—after it had been taken from the central sanctuary at Shiloh to lead the Israelite forces in battle (See 1 Samuel 4). It seemed reasonable to conclude that the Philistines had destroyed the Israelite sanctuary at Shiloh following the fateful defeat of the Israelite army near Aphek.