The Annual Meetings were held in San Antonio, Texas, this year. They say that you can go outside the city where there are no buildings and the land is so flat that if you take a good pair of binoculars, you can see the back of your head.
The talks at the Annual Meetings were anything but flat, however. There were lots of peaks—and a few valleys, too. More about these later.
During the week of November 17 through 23, more academic conferences were held and papers delivered than you can shake a stick at. The Society of Biblical Literature (SBL), the American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR), the Near Eastern Archaeology Society (NEAS) and the American Academy of Religion (AAR) all held their annual meeting during that week. The Biblical Archaeology Society, publisher of BAR, also held its seventh Bible and Archaeology Fest, with more than 200 laypeople participating (see box). In all, over 9,000 scholars descended on San Antonio with their manuscripts, PowerPoint presentations and assorted esoterica.