Biblical Archaeology Review 41:3, May/June 2015

Strata: Milestones: Roger S. Boraas (1926–2014)

Biblical Archaeology Review, May/June 2015

Rev. Dr. Roger S. Boraas, who led 13 archaeological expeditions in Jordan for the American Center of Oriental Research (ACOR), passed away in December at the age of 88.

Of humble origins, Boraas grew up in rural Minnesota and attended a one-room schoolhouse, where his mother taught. During World War II, he served in the U.S. Navy.

After the war, he pursued a master of divinity degree at Augustana Theological Seminary and became an ordained Lutheran pastor. Later, he earned a doctorate at Drew University, where he studied the Old Testament and archaeology.

Boraas first went to Upsala College in New Jersey as a chaplain in 1958. Later he became a professor of religion and taught at the college until 1991, when he retired. As a professor, he led archaeological excavations in Jordan in conjunction with ACOR, including projects at Heshbon and Khirbet Iskander. He even served as a member of the First Amman Center Committee after ACOR was founded in Amman, Jordan.

Boraas is perhaps best known for his work as associate editor of the renowned Harper’s Bible Dictionary.

He is survived by his wife, Aina, three children and six grandchildren.

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