Biblical Archaeology Review 23:1, January/February 1997

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 the times, Mackenzie, who had been Sir Arthur Evans’s chief assistant at the excavation of the Palace of Knossos in Crete, wanted to “penetrate to the true heart and inner mystery of Beth-Shemesh.” But after two years, the excavation broke off for lack of funds.1

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