Biblical Archaeology Review 2:3, September 1976

How to Save Money on the New Archaeological Encyclopedia

They’re all here. Kenyon, Mazar and Avigad on Jerusalem, Yadin on Hazor, Aharoni on Beer-Sheva, Dever on Gezer, Callaway on Ai, Wright on Shechem, Pritchard on Gibeon, and on and on.

With an appropriately ponderous and descriptive title, The Encyclopedia of Archaeological Excavations in the Holy Land will eventually comprise four volumes, the first two of which have already appeared in Israel.

The original Hebrew edition of the encyclopedia, published by the Israel Exploration Society in two volumes, appeared in 1970 and included sites on which work had begun before 1967. The English edition has been brought up-to-date through the end of 1971. For excavations since that time, one must still resort to the journals. While the Hebrew edition included descriptions of 160 sites, the English edition will include more than 180 sites.

In addition to sites, the encyclopedia includes a few composite articles on such subjects as churches, synagogues, monasteries and megaliths, and on areas such as the Golan, the Upper Galilee, the Jordan Valley and the Plain of Accho. However, no articles are included on non-site aspects of archaeology in the Holy Land. Thus, the encyclopedia contains no separate discussion of seals, fortifications, pottery, burial grounds, excavation methods, gates, inscriptions, etc. Geographically, the work is confined to the ancient Holy land, Eretz Yisroel. These borders give the encyclopedia somewhat arbitrary geographical limits but any borders would do this, unless the encyclopedia were to cover the entire ancient world.

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