First Publication: A Newly Discovered House Shrine
Should We Ignore Unprovenanced Artifacts?
A long, sometimes bitter debate has been going on in BAR as to whether Yahweh, the God of ancient Israel, had a consort. One of America’s most prominent Biblical archaeologists, William G. Dever, says that in popular religion he sometimes did. Others question Dever’s evidence, even doubting his concept of “popular religion.” a
Another kind of debate has also filled these pages: Should scholars look at artifacts that come from the antiquities market? They may have been looted. At worst, they may be forgeries. The two major professional associations of archaeologists in the United States— ASOR (the American Schools of Oriental Research) and AIA (the Archaeological Institute of America)— will not allow these objects to be published in their journals, nor will they allow them to be presented in papers at their meetings.