For the past three years, the archaeological sessions of the Annual Meetinga have included a special section devoted to a single country. The first country so honored was Cyprus. Then came Syria. In 1985, it was Israel.
There are differences, however. With Cyprus and Syria, only one or at most two of the lecturers was a Cypriote or a Syrian. In the case of Israel, the reverse was true: Almost all the lecturers were Israeli.
Unlike other countries in the Middle East, Israel has a cadre of well-trained archaeologists who dominate the archaeological scene in their own country. This has immense, largely unexplored implications.