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Biblical Archaeology Review, November/December 2008



Exploring the Holy Land Close to Home

By Dorothy Resig

I have never been to Israel. But after visiting the Explorations in Antiquity Center just an hour outside of Atlanta in LaGrange, Georgia, I have a much better idea of what it was like to live there 2,000 years ago. The center, which opened in July 2006,...Read more ›

Inside, Outside: Where Did the Early Israelites Come From?

By Anson F. Rainey

Before they settled in the hill country of Canaan, where did the earliest Israelites come from and what was the nature of their society? The Bible is very clear. They were pastoral nomads who came from east of the Jordan. Much of the scholarship of the last...Read more ›

Shasu or Habiru: Who Were the Early Israelites?

By Anson F. Rainey

It is time to clarify for BAR readers the widely discussed relationship between the habiru, who are well documented in Egyptian and Near Eastern inscriptions, and the Hebrews of the Bible. There is absolutely no relationship! The first appearance of the term habiru (also ‘apiru1) surfaced in...Read more ›

Inscription Reveals Roots of Maccabean Revolt

By Hershel Shanks

Background to Hanukkah A major new inscription that recently surfaced on the antiquities market and has been acquired by the Israel Museum in Jerusalem sheds dramatic new light on the run-up to the Maccabean revolt in the second century B.C.E.1 Until now, almost everything we know about...Read more ›

Did the Essenes Write the Dead Sea Scrolls?

Don’t Rely on Josephus

By Steve Mason

The vast majority of Dead Sea Scroll scholars are committed to the so-called Essene hypothesis—the belief that the scrolls (or at least those scrolls regarded as “sectarian”) were written by the Essenes, an exotic Jewish movement described at some length by the ancient Jewish historian Josephus. The...Read more ›

Why Milk and Meat Don't Mix

A New Explanation for a Puzzling Kosher Law

By Gloria London

I may have found a partial explanation for the basic law of kosher cooking, grounded in the Bible, of rigorously separating all forms of milk from all forms of meat. I am an ethnoarchaeologist. I concentrate on what I think Biblical archaeology does best: reveal the everyday...Read more ›