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Biblical Archaeology Review, July/August September/October 2019



The Wise Woman of Abel Beth Maacah

By Nava Panitz-CohenNaama Yahalom-Mack

In a world dominated by men, and at a time that saw Israel’s greatest monarch—King David himself—rule over the land and assert his dominance over any and all who might challenge him, it was a woman—a Wise Woman—in the town of Abel Beth Maacah who stood up,...Read more ›

Reimagining Herod’s Royal Portico

By Orit Peleg-Barkat

“It is deserving of mention more than any other under the sun.” This is how the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus describes Jerusalem’s Royal Portico in his Jewish Antiquities (15.412). Built along the southern flank of the Temple Mount, the Royal Portico, also known as the Royal Stoa,...Read more ›

Baby Burials in the Middle Bronze Age

By Beth Alpert Nakhai

Almost as soon as people began making containers from clay, they began burying their dead babies in storage jars.1 The custom of infant jar burials (IJBs) began in the Pottery Neolithic period (seventh–fifth millennia B.C.E.) and, in the Levant, lasted even beyond the Iron Age (1200–587 B.C.E.)...Read more ›

Song of Liberation

Freedom in the Late Bronze Age

By Eva von Dassow

Liberty is conventionally thought to be a property of Western civilization. It is given dual genealogies, one biblical and the other Hellenic. The tale of how Israel was liberated from Egyptian domination is conjoined with the tale of how Athenians invented democracy to generate the myth opposing...Read more ›

Stepped Pools and Stone Vessels

Rethinking Jewish Purity Practices in Palestine

By Cecilia Wassén

To what extent were Jewish purity practices around the turn of the Common Era related to the Jerusalem Temple? Scholars often associate purity concerns primarily with the Temple cult, since ritual purity was required of the participants. Both the priests serving in the Temple...Read more ›

Baking Bread in Ancient Judah

By Cynthia Shafer-Elliott

I am happy to see that people are once again interested in the daily lives of the ancient Israelites. Archaeologists and biblical scholars alike are shifting their attention from the monumental to the mundane. In other words, the stage where the ordinary is lived out day after...Read more ›

Reactivating Remembrance

Interactive Inscriptions from Mt. Gerizim

By Anne Katrine de Hemmer Gudme

What went on in ancient sanctuaries? In spite of the information we get from texts such as the Hebrew Bible, from inscriptions and iconography, and from archaeology, we know precious little about what “ordinary people” did when they visited a temple in ancient Palestine. Yet we do...Read more ›

Secrets of the Copper Scroll

By Joan E. Taylor

The mysteries of the Copper Scroll, found in one of the Dead Sea caves, have never really been solved. The Copper Scroll seems to contain a list of treasure—and is the kind of find that Indiana Jones could have used to track down vast amounts of gold...Read more ›

Blurred Lines

The Enigma of Iron Age Timnah

By Mahri Leonard-Fleckman

Tel Batash in the Shephelah is a bewildering and fascinating archaeological site. Excavations there have revealed an Iron Age city that scholars have identified as biblical Timnah. Yet this identification doesn’t tell us who the people were in Timnah or how to delineate them from others. Neither...Read more ›