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, we can expect to hear from them.
William F. Albright
William F. Albright (1891–1971), the father of modern Biblical archaeology, was the field’s preeminent figure in the 20th century. His Tell Beit Mirsim excavation (1926–1932) established Palestinian pottery chronology, and his mastery of ancient Near Eastern languages and archaeological evidence and techniques as well as of the Biblical text was unequaled by anyone in his time or since. Given the increasing specialization among scholars, it is unlikely that any one person will ever again match Albright’s command of so many aspects of the field.