Field archaeologist Eric Meyers of Duke University has called for public pressure to halt BAR’s publication of artifacts that surface on the antiquities market, known in scholarly parlance as unprovenanced objects. “It is time for people of good will everywhere to demand that magazines such as Biblical Archaeology Review not publish unprovenanced materials,” Meyers wrote in the January 6, 2005, edition of the Raleigh News and Observer.
Meyers writes as if BAR goes into the shops of antiquities dealers and locates unprovenanced objects to write about. Let us be clear on what Professor Meyers is talking about: For him, BAR is really a stalking horse for the eminent scholars whose work we publish—people like André Lemaire of the Sorbonne or Kyle McCarter of Johns Hopkins University or Dennis Pardee of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago or Felice Israel of the University of Genoa or Pierre Bourdreuil of the Collège de France. Sometimes articles describing unprovenanced materials that appear in BAR are written by such highly admired scholars themselves, and sometimes BAR reports on the research of these scholars published in other periodicals.
Why doesn’t Professor Meyers attack these scholars directly instead of using BAR as a cover?