Biblical Archaeology Review 38:1, January/February 2012

First Person: In Praise of Published Excavation Reports

By Hershel Shanks

I write to celebrate something BAR readers understandably have little interest in: the publication of final excavation reports.

Still, I cannot let it pass. Within the profession it is customary to bewail the failure of archaeologists to publish final excavation reports. Archaeologists love to dig, but they hate the dull, laborious, time-consuming process of writing final excavation reports. Indeed, some years ago we published two small volumes on this problem; we called it “archaeology’s dirty secret.”a

So it seems only fair to sing a few Hosannas when final excavation reports do come off the press covering excavations that took place many decades ago.

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