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Biblical Archaeology Review, January/February 1997


Special Section

’97 Dig Opportunities

Any Time, Any Place: A Dig for Every Interest

How far back can we peer into human history? Like astrophysicists gazing at the edge of the universe to detect evidence of the Big Bang, archaeologists and paleontologists search back before “history” to trace out human origins. Prehistory (1,000,000 to 3150 B.C.) Our knowledge of times so...Read more ›

’97 Dig Opportunities

Prize Find: An Incense Shovel from Bethsaida

By Rami AravRichard A. Freund

Slowly it emerged from the ground: a beautiful, 8-inch-long bronze incense shovel, the prize find of the 1996 excavations at Bethsaida, near the northeastern shore of the Sea of Galilee. The shovel lay in a first-century C.E. refuse pit. Just a few meters away is the corner...Read more ›

’97 Dig Opportunities

BAR Dig Scholarships

Every year BAR offers $1,000 travel scholarships to a few people who couldn’t otherwise afford to volunteer for a dig. If this description fits you, the box at lower right tells you how to apply. But first you may want to read what two of last year’s...Read more ›


Beth Shemesh

Culture conflict on Judah’s frontier

By Shlomo BunimovitzZvi Lederman

At 6 a.m. on April 6, 1911, a group of Arab villagers headed by a tall, red-haired, boldly mustachioed Scottish highlander named Duncan Mackenzie began to unearth a desolate hillock in Palestine believed to be Biblical Beth-Shemesh. In the spirit of...Read more ›

Excavate King David’s Palace!

By Eilat Mazar

A careful examination of the Biblical text combined with sometimes unnoticed results of modern archaeological excavations in Jerusalem enable us, I believe, to locate the site of King David’s palace. Even more exciting, it is in an area that is now available for excavation...Read more ›

Masada—The Final Reports

By Hershel Shanks

Masada: The Yigael Yadin Excavations 1963–1965, Final Reports (Jerusalem: Israel Exploration Society/Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 1989–1995, distributed by the Biblical Archaeology Society, 1856 pp., Vol. I, $60; Vol. II, $72; Vol. III, $144; Vol. IV, $90; Vol. V $81; Vol. I–V, $399;...Read more ›

The Petra Scrolls

Publication of papyri a legal obligation

By Hershel Shanks

In December 1993, when Pierre Bikai, director of the the American Center of Oriental Research (ACOR) in Amman, Jordan, and his team discovered a cache of burnt papyrus scrolls in a Byzantine church in Petra, he wanted to avoid the kind of publication scandals that surrounded the...Read more ›