We present here two reviews of Israel Finkelstein’s recently published The Forgotten Kingdom.
The first review is by William G. Dever, one of America’s leading archaeologists. Finkelstein is one of Israel’s leading archaeologists. I am not enough of a scholar to assess the validity of some of Dever’s judgments. Both Dever and Finkelstein are not only highly respected archaeologists but also long-time friends of mine.
My primary devotion as editor of BAR, however, is to our readers. Most of them, like me, are not scholars. They probably do not feel entirely competent to judge all of Dever’s conclusions—either pro or con. After reading this review, I asked myself, what would they tell me to do? I concluded that most of them would say something like this: “Dever’s review sounds quite convincing, but I would like to hear what another scholar has to say about Finkelstein’s book.”
So I asked another highly regarded scholar and archaeologist, Aaron Burke, associate professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, to write a second review of Finkelstein’s book. Professor Burke was told that his would be a second review, but he was not told who the first reviewer was, and he was not told any of the views or conclusions reached by the first reviewer. Both reviews are presented below.—H.S.