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Biblical Archaeology Review, March/April 2001


Special Section

The Age of BAR

Scholars Talk About How the Field Has Changed

New questions, new technologies, new specialties all leave their mark on the way archaeologists work.

By Hershel Shanks

Archaeological periods are not always easy to define; for example, we cannot gauge precisely when the Late Bronze Age turned into Iron Age I. Not so, however, with the Age of BAR. This spring marks the end of BAR’s 25th year of publication, what...Read more ›

The Age of BAR

25 Years of Kicking Up Some Dust

By Steven Feldman

“We shun controversy,” BAR editor Hershel Shanks likes to tell visitors to our offices. Yeah, right. BAR was not founded as a muckraking publication, but in our day we’ve had our share of causes, controversies, battles—even an international lawsuit. We don’t go looking for fights, but we...Read more ›

The Age of BAR

25 Giants

The Giants of The Recent Past Here are 20 excavators and scholars who dominated the field and who have died during BAR’s tenure (or, in a few cases, slightly before), together with five who are—thankfully—very much still with us. Our readers may have other selections. As usual,...Read more ›


Religious Jews: Save the Bones of Your Ancestors

By Hershel Shanks

Powerful segments of the religious community in Israel, supported by some Orthodox Jews in the United States, have long objected to the excavation of ancient Jewish tombs, claiming that it is forbidden by Jewish law (halakhah). But, as we have previously shown in these pages, halakhah requires...Read more ›

Excavating the Tribe of Reuben

A four-room house provides a clue to where the oldest Israelite tribe settled.

By Larry G. HerrDouglas R. Clark

We were lucky. There’s no other way to explain it. When our archaeological survey team, part of a larger expedition known as the Madaba Plains Project, discovered Tall al-‘Umayri1 in 1976, we had no idea it would yield great treasures.2 But now, almost 25...Read more ›

Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due

New study shows that John Strugnell substantially reconstructed and deciphered MMT

In the history of the struggle to free the Dead Sea Scrolls, the document known as MMT holds a special place. MMT (Miqsat Ma‘ase Ha-Torah, “Some Precepts of the Law”) is critical to the study of Jewish law at the turn of the era. It reveals the...Read more ›

Helios in the Synagogue

Did some ancient Jews worship the sun god?

By Lucille A. Roussin

Archaeologist Zeev Weiss has described in these pages the extraordinary synagogue mosaic recently uncovered at ancient Sepphoris.a Its most striking feature is a zodiac in whose center is an abstract depiction of the Greek sun god Helios (represented as a radiant sun disk) riding in his quadriga,...Read more ›