Biblical Archaeology Review 21:5, September/October 1995

The Death of a Discipline

By William G. Dever

As readers of BAR may know, I have long maintained a principle of not writing articles for the magazine, although I remain good friends with editor Hershel Shanks, and I do assist with slide sets, seminars, tours and the Biblical Archaeology Society’s various educational enterprises. My reluctance to give direct approval to BAR, even though it performs much good service to our profession, is simple: I abhor the controversy the magazine often engenders, and I disapprove (as most professionals do) of antiquities ads because I believe they encourage illegal trade in antiquities. Nevertheless, I have always said to Hershel, whom I have known for nearly 25 years, that I would write for BAR in an “emergency,” if and when I needed to reach its unique and very large audience. In a crisis threatening the very existence of the disciplines of Syro-Palestinian and Biblical archaeology, a higher principle must prevail.

Is there a crisis the general public should know about? If so, what is it, and what can you do about it?

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