Biblical Archaeology Review 29:4, July/August 2003

First Person: Off the Map

Will the archaeology of Israel be represented at ASOR’s next meeting?

By Hershel Shanks

In this issue (see “Whatchamacallit”), William Dever tells us that the term “Biblical Archaeology” is passé as the name of a particular archaeological discipline. He thinks “Biblical Archaeology” should be reserved for a needed dialogue between archaeology and Biblical studies. What then should archaeologists who specialize in the Biblical era call their discipline? After considering and rejecting terms like the “Archaeology of the Levant” and “Syro-Palestinian Archaeology” (which he once championed), Dever opts for national names, identifying, in effect, the national schools of archaeology—Israeli archaeology, Jordanian archaeology, Cypriot archaeology, etc.

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