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Biblical Archaeology Review 49:1, Spring 2023

Milestone: Burton MacDonald (1939–2022)

By Douglas R. ClarkLarry G. HerrLarry Geraty

“PEACE.” That was the trade-mark sign off and genuine wish of Canadian archaeologist Burton MacDonald, who passed away on October 20, 2022, at the age of 83. He was a giant in the field of Near Eastern archaeology and contributed significantly to our understanding of the ancient sites and peoples east of the Jordan River.

MacDonald enjoyed a 62-year relationship with St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, where he received his bachelor’s degree in 1960, returning to teach there in 1966 and staying on for more than 40 years. He earned a master’s degree in religious education from St. Paul’s Seminary (University of Ottawa) and a Ph.D. in Near Eastern languages and literature from Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.

MacDonald was best known for his archaeological research in Jordan, where he spent 40 years carrying out five major survey projects that contributed significantly to our knowledge of the country’s vast rural hinterlands. He published 12 volumes and more than a hundred articles, including several popular works on Jordan’s biblical past, especially “East of the Jordan”: Territories and Sites of the Hebrew Scriptures (2005) and Pilgrimage in Early Christian Jordan (2011).

With deep appreciation, sincere admiration, and warm affection, we wish for Burton, his wife, Rosemarie, and their family “Peace.”

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