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What archaeology can teach us
Biblical archaeology envisions a dialogue between artifacts and the scriptural text. In many ways archaeology can provide the context that brings the text to life. Recently I completed a...
Bible Review, December 1994
Earliest archaeological evidence of Jesus found in Jerusalem
Amazing as it may sound, a limestone bone box (called an “ossuary”) has surfaced in Israel that may once have contained the bones of James, the brother of Jesus. We know this because an extraordinary inscription incised on one side of the...
Biblical Archaeology Review, November/December 2002
Archaeologists often accuse Biblical scholars of ignoring archaeological materials that could significantly illuminate the Biblical texts that scholars are studying. As one archaeologist recently put it: “Most [Biblical] commentators do not...
Biblical Archaeology Review, July/August 1988
A Major Site Gets the Publication It Deserves
Among cities in ancient Judah, Lachish was second only to Jerusalem in importance. A principal Canaanite and, later, Israelite site, Lachish occupied a major tell (mound) 25 miles southwest of Jerusalem, nestled in the foothills of Judah (the region known as the Shephelah).
Biblical Archaeology Review, July/August 2005
New inscription confirms trade relations between “towns of Judah” and South Arabia
Southern Arabia is 1,200 miles south of Israel. Naturally, skepticism about the reality of trade between South Arabia and Israel in ancient times seems justified. Yet the Bible documents this trade quite extensively—most famously in the...
Biblical Archaeology Review, January/February 2010
Text foretells cosmic disaster
The date was March 17, 1967, a Friday. A Dutch expedition led by Professor Henk J. Franken of the University of Leiden was excavating a mound named Tell Deir Alla in the middle Jordan...
Biblical Archaeology Review, September/October 1985
Inscription containing name of God incised on ivory pomegranate
BAR recently published a fascinating article by Gabriel Barkay reporting on his excavation of a small rolled silver amulet, dating from the seventh or sixth century B.C. When the amulet was unrolled, it was found to contain the tetragrammaton...
Biblical Archaeology Review, January/February 1984
Aramaic Hoard Documents Life in Fourth Century B.C.
The scholarly world is abuzz. During at least the past 20 years, and more likely during the last 33 years, more than a thousand potsherds inscribed in Aramaic have come onto the antiquities market. About 800 of these have now been published.1...
Biblical Archaeology Review, July/August 2004
The dating of the Siloam Inscription proposed by Rogerson and Davies would not only change the interpretation of one of the most famous monuments of ancient Jerusalem. It would also change the dating of other Hebrew inscriptions of the First...
Biblical Archaeology Review, March/April 1997
A New Translation by Stephen Mitchell
Gilgamesh is at once our newest and our oldest, most venerable epic poem. Unlike Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, which have been broadly known since their composition around the late eighth century B.C. (except during the medieval Dark Age, when Greek learning was largely lost in the West), the first clay tablets inscribed with the Gilgamesh epic were found just 150 years ago, at the ancient Assyrian site of Nineveh in present-day northern Iraq.
Archaeology Odyssey, July/August 2005
A new traveling exhibition of 5,000 years of Georgian art is already ancient history
Look at this crucifix,” said Gary Vikan, the director of the Walters Art Gallery in Baltimore. He pushed a book across the table and pointed to a photograph of a silver sculpture of...
Archaeology Odyssey, January/February 2000
A century is a wholly arbitrary block of time. History surely does not proceed by 100-year chunks. And to mark the beginning and...
Bible Review, August 1989
The Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) recently formed a committee to decide whether the James ossuary inscription and the Yehoash (or Jehoash) inscription are authentic or forgeries. I...
Biblical Archaeology Review, November/December 2003
The New Enyclopedia of Archaeological Excavations in the Holy Land, Supplementary Volume 5
Ephraim Stern, editor
Biblical Archaeology Review, September/October 2008