Biblical Archaeology Review 40:2, March/April 2014

Strata: $5,000 Prize for “Accessible” Archaeology Article; BAR Articles Excluded

“The results of archaeological discovery and analysis are important and deserve the widest possible audience,” declares an announcement from Brown University’s Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology.1 Alas, “archaeology as a discipline has done rather poorly,” the announcement goes on, “at the effective communication of its interesting and most important results.”

To remedy this situation the institute is establishing a competition for the best “accessible” archaeological writing with a prize of $5,000. It wants writing that “avoids excessive simplification, speculation, mystification or romanticization.” Excluded from consideration for the $5,000 prize are articles that “tend to emphasize the sheer luck of discovery, the romance of archaeology and supposed ‘mysteries’ that archaeology tries (but usually has failed) to resolve.” Specifically cited as an example of articles like this that are therefore excluded from eligibility for the prize are articles from Biblical Archaeology Review.

In any event articles that can be found in BAR would also be excluded from consideration because, according to the rules of the competition, the winning article can have only one illustration and may have no references. BAR articles would be disqualified from this competition because they almost always have more than one color illustration, and many of our articles are accompanied by references to scholarly literature on which our authors rely as scholarly support for the argument of the article.

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