The publication of Megiddo III is an event. It is not, as one might suppose from the title, the third volume to be published on the current excavations at Megiddo, but rather the first. The volume number is based on the fact that more than half a century ago the University of Chicago’s Oriental Institute published Megiddo I and Megiddo II, which cover its own excavation of the site in the 1920s and 1930s.a Megiddo III is the first report from Tel Aviv University’s renewed excavation of the site, led by Israel Finkelstein and David Ussishkin. Just to complicate things, Megiddo III consists of Volumes 1 and 2—the impressive final report of three preliminary soundings in 1992 and 1993 and two full-scale seasons in 1994 and 1996.1
This is an extraordinarily prompt publication, and that is surely one reason why the appearance of Megiddo III is an event. It contrasts sharply—as it is meant to2—with excavations at some other sites, both major and minor, for which decades have passed without the appearance of a final report and in some cases without even the publication of any scientific preliminary reports. Megiddo III is thus a gentle (though not-so-subtle) prod to the excavators of these other sites.
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