Biblical Archaeology Review 16:5, September/October 1990

The Bottleneck of Archaeological Publication

By Donald J. Wiseman

For more than 40 years, I have been studying the ancient Near East and its cultures through archaeology. I have been especially interested in the documents that have been uncovered—mostly cuneiform tablets. My aim has been to make the results known both for their own sake and for their relation to the Bible.

A continuing flood of archaeological evidence now illustrates the world of the Bible—its history, languages, religions, traditions and customs. Sometimes, as a result of this archaeological evidence, the Biblical narrative is confirmed; in other instances, its interpretation is controlled by the new archaeological information.a

There has recently been considerable discussion as to what to call the effort to study the archaeological materials insofar as they relate to the Bible.b I prefer the designation “Biblical archaeology”; it is an honest description of an integrated study of both archaeology and the Bible. The close interrelation of the two disciplines is essential and should not mean any undue selection of evidence as may occur in “Syro-Palestinian” or “Israelite” archaeology.

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