Archaeological Papers at National Meeting for the Most Part Boring
Every year, late in December, scholars interested in religion converge by the thousands for what are called the “annual meetings”—the joint national convention of the Society of Biblical Literature, the American Academy of Religion, and the American Schools of Oriental Research.
In 1982, the annual meetings were held in New York from December 19 through December 22. As usual, hundreds of papers were read, often simultaneously, on every subject from “Shamanism in Suburbia” to “Excavations at the Neolithic Village of Ain Ghazal.”
The archaeologically oriented papers are presented under the auspices of the American Schools of Oriental Research, commonly referred to by the acronym ASOR, pronounced with a long A.
All the leaders of ASOR were there, but a depressingly large number of them did not read any substantive archaeological papers. Among those leaders of the American archaeological community who were there but who failed to present substantive papers were James Sauer, Eric Meyers, William Dever, Philip King, Frank Moore Cross, David Noel Freedman, Ernest Frerichs, Edward Campbell, Joseph Callaway, James Ross, Nancy Lapp, James Strange, Joe Seger, Kevin O’Connell and Dan Cole.