Lawrence E. Stager’s “The Shechem Temple, Where Abimelech Massacred a Thousand” (July/August 2003) has been named the best article in BAR for the years 2002–2004. The selection was made by Jodi Magness, Kenan Distinguished Professor for Teaching Excellence in Early Judaism at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and James F. Strange, Distinguished University Professor in Religious Studies at the University of South Florida. According to the judges Stager’s article shows how it is possible to analyze old excavation reports and find significant and previously unidentified buildings (in this case, a temple). Magness and Strange also found the article to be a very informative piece that reads like a detective story.
The judges gave an Honorable Mention to Jane Cahill’s “Jerusalem in David and Solomon’s Time” (November/December 2004). Cahill’s important article, the judges said, addresses the current controversy over the nature of the settlement in Jerusalem during the period of the United Kingdom, written with all the authority of a senior staff member of the City of David excavations.
The awards were made possible through the long-time generous support of the Leopold and Clara M. Fellner charitable foundation and its trustee, Frederick L. Simmons.