Biblical Archaeology Review 17:2, March/April 1991

When 5,613 Scholars Get Together in One Place—The Annual Meeting, 1990

By Hershel Shanks

A maturing generation of brilliant young scholars went far toward making the 1990 Annual Meetinga a resounding success. Many of these young scholars are women.

For four days in November, 5,613 attendees listened to scholarly presentations in 550 program meetings, covering everything from “Eusebius on the Gnostics” (Birger Pearson) to “The Bronze Age Ancestry of the Iron Age I Four-Room House” (Suzanne Richard).

Everyone was there, including senior scholars. But the senior scholars were more often seen than heard. Some came just to socialize, reminisce and listen. Others huddled in committee rooms, still wielding power backstage, but seldom sallying forth to give a paper—or even to hear one. Among the prominent exceptions was not-quite-aging Bill Dever, a, if not the, perennial star of the show, simply by the force of his powerful and incisive intellect and his thought-provoking ideas—of which see the sidebar “Women’s Popular Religion, Suppressed in the Bible, Now Revealed by Archaeology.” But the senior scholars’ contribution to this meeting was felt more through their students than through their own current performance. They had much to be proud of.

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