ARCHEOLOGY. Archeology, as a branch of historical research, has taken shape over the last cent., and its definition must take account of the widening incidence of its raw material and the sources of its evidence. In the mid-19th cent., when archeology was staging its first triumphs, both the explorer and his public thought of the subject in terms of the major memorials of human culture: Layard’s huge Assyrian bulls rising out of the sand; “Priam’s treasure,” gathered furtively into Frau Schliemann’s shawl at Troy; the uncovering of buried Delphi...Today the objects of man’s curiosity and scientific examination are vastly more widespread. As the writer of this article has put it elsewhere:
“Man tells his story in the election slogan scratched on a Pompeian wall, in a scrap of potsherd marked with a candidate’s name, in the redwood chips of a Pueblo cave, in the split moa bones of aswamp, in the papyrus remnants from a Fayum rubbish heap, in the brown stain of Rom. ditch and posthole in a London cellar, in gravestone and inscription, in coins lost and buried, in his own frail bones laid at last in Roman catacomb, Danish bog, or Saxon burial barge, in house foundations, and in time-defying trench and earth-work. Man’s footprints are inevitable and manifold, and it is to the credit of the modern world that man has learned to trace, to recognize, and to read the story thus recorded” (The Archeology of the , p. vi).
What, then, is archeology? Definition can be too comprehensive and become, in the process, description. For example, when, at the beginning of the 20th cent., awareness of the complex nature of the subject was growing, the Century Dictionary said: “Archaeology is that branch of knowledge which takes cognizance of past civilizations and investigates their history in all fields, by means of the remains of art, architecture, monuments, inscriptions, literature, language, customs, and all other examples which have survived.” R. A. S. Macalister, on the other hand, is too brief and circumscribed in his definition: “Archaeology is the branch of knowledge which has to do with the discovery and classification of the common objects of life.”
A brief but adequate definition might be: “Archeology is that branch of historical research which draws its evidence from surviving material traces and remains of past human activity.” Such a statement allows room for the increasing scope of such investigation, as modern techniques render significant hitherto neglected evidence. From air photography to C14 dating, the archeologist has multiplied and improved his tools and methods in a hundred ways. Nor has the refinement of both theory and practice reached the end of its development.
The extent to which such research has thrust back the frontiers of historical knowledge is apparent in every sphere. In New Zealand, the land where these words were written, the whole picture of the Polynesian occupation of the area has been transformed in the last ten years by the examination of the fragile debris on the campsites of the “moa-hunters.” Since Heinrich Schliemann’s enthusiasm gave Troy and Mycenae back to western knowledge a century ago, and Arthur Evans, at the beginning of this cent., revealed what lay beneath the soil of Crete, a succession of archeologists of increasing skill and effectiveness have given back to history the whole complex of Aegean and Central Mediterranean civilizations, which are not without reference to the archeology of the lands of the Bible.
Whenremarked in his pontifical fashion some two centuries ago that, “all that is really known of the ancient state of Britain is contained in a few pages, and we can know no more than the old writers have told us,” he was representing the attitude of the day. To be sure, Rom. London lay beneath his feet, with part of its surviving wall within five minutes walk of his house, but the 18th cent. had not learned to read the record in the soil. Awareness of this kind had a slow growth.
The same was true with the Bible and the lands where its action took place. Before archeological research transformed the situation, supplementary sources for the history contained in the OT and NT, and the only non-biblical sources for the early history of the lands concerned, were four: Herodotus, the “father of history,” the brilliant and widely traveled Gr. who lived from 484 to 420 b.c., is easily the most important of the four. He introduced his story of the Pers. assault on Greece, which was finally repulsed a few years before his birth, with two or three informative books on Babylon, Egypt, and the Middle E, lands which he visited and summarily investigated. Secondly, comes the fragmentary history of Berosus, a Babylonian priest who lived between 330 and 250 b.c., and who wrote a history of Babylon in Greek. Thirdly, Manetho, an Egyp. priest of the same period, wrote for Ptolemy II a history of Egypt in Gr., of which some portions survive. Finally there was , the Jewish priest and guerrilla leader who became secretary to Vespasian, and who wrote, in the last decades of the 1st cent., two large vols. on the history of the Jews right up to his own time. It was an invaluable record, uncritical and turgid in style. This is the sum total of extraneous aid to understanding before the rise of archeology.
The raw material of archeology.
On many ancient sites the soil is rich in the discarded remains of human occupation. In the permanent camping sites of the first Polynesian occupants of New Zealand, the changes of diet may be traced over centuries from the vast bones of the moa, the prehistoric bird which was hunted to extinction, to smaller sea birds, fish, and then shellfish. The analysis of midden heaps in the garrison forts along Hadrian’s Wall can be made to tell the story of Britain’s peace and war, the failure of communications with the legionary base, with outposts reduced to living on local game and repairing cheap pottery, and times of ease when issues of coal from distant mines came over peaceful roads. A Bronze Age group who formed a part of the early population of N Italy is called the people of the Terramare. The word is pl., and terramara is simply rustic Italian for a deposit of black earth, the matured compost prized by the peasantry as fertilizer, and equally regarded by the archeologist as evidence of a site likely to yield fragments of ancient tools, to reveal burial customs, and offer other evidences of a primitive culture.
The midden may contain almost anything. A nine-ft. heap of oyster shells near Blackfriars Bridge reveals the position of an eating house in Rom. London and the Rom. fondness for the bivalve from the Essex coast. In Egypt, S of Cairo, the town rubbish heap is likely to contain papyri surviving in the rainless sand, and so to provide evidence of life and language in Egypt of Ptolemaic or Rom. days. Organic material has its value. Even charred or rotted wood can be dated by measuring the decay of the radioactive “carbon 14,” an ingredient in all living things, while pollen grains, visible under the microscope, are evidence of flora and climatic change.
Burial customs have preserved much of value. Mummified remains of Egyp. royal persons, Norse skeletons from Greenland, and frozen bodies discovered by Russian archeologists in the arctic latitudes of Siberia have yielded recognizable corpses for medical investigation. The crushed skeletons in a fallen house and the mutilated human remains in a well at Gezer are eloquent testimonials to facets of Canaanitish life. More important are the contents of tombs: urn burials, Saxon and Norse ship burials, mound burials, beehive Mycenaean tombs, the amazing burial pits of Ur, Tutankhamen’s treasurepacked tomb and the pyramids all have their story to tell, and not infrequently surrender their objects of usefulness or art to the modern investigator.
Objects of art.
On stone, bronze, silver, gold, or gems, cut crudely or with refinement and sophistication, man has left the record of his love of beauty and interest. The goldsmith’s work found from Ireland to the Crimea, the filigree art of Ur and the Sumerians, bronze mirrors from Corinth, and carved gems from Crete reveal features of the mind of man, and not infrequently depict or illustrate his activities. From the cave drawings of Neolithic men, to the exquisite gold reliefs of the Vaphio Cups, and on to modern times, man has left records in his art of all that he has loved and made. Lost, buried, or hidden materials of this order are prime archeological material. Greek vase painting has thrown notable light on Gr. drama. The murals of Egypt, Crete, and Assyria are pictures of life and history.
The study of pottery, an almost universal object of human manufacture which can commonly be dated with a large measure of accuracy, is an important feature of archeology. Pottery is the investigator’s chief key to chronology. The merest fragment of broken earthenware is of significance, and the archeologist takes great pains to record and classify the exact level, place, and relationship of his finds. Pottery varies from the round vessels of the “beaker people,” the first recognizable inhabitants of Britain, to the beautiful vases of the Athenians, but in all its forms it has a tale to tell.
Man’s efforts to house himself tell a human story. From the traces of the wattle huts, where the slave gangs lived, to the pyramids they built to house the royal dead, from the brown stains of Rom. postholes in legionary camps to the fluted columns of the Parthenon where Athena stood in the dim shrine, from the chariot stables of Megiddo and Hazor to the synagogue of Capernaum, Roman-British villas, the forerunners of the manor houses, Stone Age huts below the successive strata of Phoen., Gr., Rom., and Crusader occupation from Byblos and Baalbek to Tyre, structures humble and magnificent, sacred and secular, the architectural memorials of man reveal his beliefs, problems, and preoccupations, his techniques and his industry.
All inscrs. on stone, metal, or pottery form part of the human record. They are infinitely varied, and from the marked jar seals of the Aegean civilization to the Nestorian Monument of China, from the Rosetta stone to the, from the Behistun inscr. to Augustus’ autobiographical Monumentum Ancyranum, the record of epigraphy is contemporary history, brief because of the physical limitations of such records. The reading of such abbreviated and allusive material, with its decipherment, is an additional skill. The study of graffiti (e.g., the wall scratchings of Pompeii) is a difficult branch of this same study.
Papyrus documents from Egypt range from Pharaonic to Islamic times. The durable writing material manufactured from the river plant, the cyperus papyrus, in ancient Egypt does not rot in the dry conditions which prevail S of Cairo, and multitudes of fragments, and many entire rolls have survived. Unearthed from tombs, crocodile cemeteries, and the occupation debris of Nile Valley towns, the papyri have provided data of the utmost variety. In particular they have illuminated the language and background of the NT, though papyri of Biblical relevance go back, in fact, to the Elephantine papyri which throw light on the Pers. period in Egyp. history and on the. Letters in large number reveal common life in significant centuries and form important comment on the epistles of the Bible.
Other writing materials fall under this head. The cuneiform inscribed tablets of Babylonia and Assyria, dug up in thousands in both imperial areas, have recovered a whole lit. with all that it reveals of human life and thought. The famous Tell el Amarna letters, which so strikingly reveal the state of Pal. before the Heb. invasion, are clay tablets of this sort.
Inscribed potsherds also fall in this category. Broken pieces of pottery, which abounded in every ancient town, were used for brief letters. The Lachish letters, found by J. L. Starkey in 1934, are documents of this order. Leather was used for writing; the mass of documents from the Qumran caves, which astonished the world in 1947, were written on prepared leather. Ancient Pergamum specialized in the manufacture of this material, hence, it was called pergamena carta, or parchment.
Tools and weapons.
From antler picks found in Neolithic flint mines to weapons of bronze and iron which reveal the transitions of the eras to which metallurgy has given names, the record of man’s activity, belligerent and peaceful, is written in his implements of war and peace. In 1952 the cut shape of a Mycenaean dagger was picked up by photography on a stone face in Druidic Stonehenge to throw puzzling light on that ancient monument. The identification of the peculiarly characteristic Aegean weapon formed the interest of the strange discovery.
Whole tracts of Rom. history depend upon the record of coinage. Coinage, as nothing else, provides vital information on the easternmost kingdom of Alexander’s successory states. Coinage traces the progress of Mediterranean trade with India. Numismatics is another expert branch of knowledge for which the activities of the archeologist provide the abundant raw material. It covers many significant centuries and areas and is of prime importance in dating.
The significance of pollen grains in occupation debris has been mentioned above. Wood, even charred remnants of burning, provides, in the growth rings of such long-lived trees as the redwoods of California, a dendrochronological record of occupation and climatic change. From the corn fragments in the Pueblo caves to the traces of pine cones used as aromatic altar fuel in the Carrowburgh mithraeum of Northumberland, the fragile remains of flora, identifiable by modern techniques, leave a message for the trained investigator.
Much of this material might be classified under art. The first recognizable piece of human sculpture, for example, is a bear in a Pyrenaean cave, molded in mud and marked by the thrusts of stone spears. Neolithic art was an aid to sympathetic magic. To kill in effigy aided the hunt. The fertility rituals, which may be traced from the Stone Age to the end of the pagan centuries, have left such figurines as those found commonly in Canaanitish sites, and phallic emblems, crude or sophisticated, like those which have left fragments on Delos. It is sometimes difficult to distinguish cult objects of the figurine or model type from children’s toys, of which examples are found. The “ram caught in a thicket,” which is a striking example of Sumer. art, is doubtless a cult object. So, in fact, are the major surviving or recorded triumphs of Gr. sculpture, the “idols” of anthropomorphic worship. Little, in fact, may be listed here which is not also art, unless it be such objects as the meteoric stone, which passed for Artemis’ image in Ephesus, “fallen from heaven.”
Fortifications built of stone may be classified under buildings, but there are distinctive types of walls built for defensive purposes, e.g., those of the Hyksos, which provide a key to historical understanding. The manifold stratification of the defenses of Jericho is light upon the continued but changing occupation of that ancient site. But fortifications and communications need involve no superimposition of material. The fortifications of the Maori are visible in terracing around the volcanic cones of Auckland, and Rom. camps have left their ramparts all over the empire. Parallel with Hadrian’s stone wall across England runs the earth vallum and the associated military road, visible even on the ground, but conspicuous from the air. Earth which has once been disturbed never retrieves its original texture. In the burial pits of the kings of Ur the earth still falls away from the cut sides, although the spoil was no doubt returned almost immediately to the excavation. The texture of the matting which lined the earth wall for the ceremony of burial was still distinguished when the pits were opened. The superimposed plan of Celtic and Saxon fields can be seen from the air, and Rom. roads are visible long after the paving has disappeared. Mining operations, from the Mendip country of Somerset to Sinai, have left the visible marks of human interference with the soil. It is all grist for the archeologist.
The methods of archeology.
Implicit in the foregoing sections is some account of archeological method. The discovery and classification of the raw material, the artifacts, the remnants of building, utensils, tools, and the manifold marks of human activity and occupation involve a wide variety of technical and scientific skills. The use of air photography for the mapping and interpretation of road and ground plans, the overlaying patterns of agriculture and land division, e.g. in successive periods of Celtic and Saxon occupation in Britain, and for the identification of other forms of soil disturbance was a practice perfected by O. G. S. Crawford between the world wars.
The botanist has aided chronology by his study of pollen grains under the microscope and by his investigation of the growth rings of trees; the geologist by his study of varves, the sequences of water-laid gravel; the zoologist by his identification of animal bones; and the physicist by his “carbon dating.” The photographer and the skin-diver are indispensable members of any team of archeologists. The discovery of submerged material, e.g., the host of sunken galleys in the Mediterranean, and whole towns, such as Heliki on the Corinthian Gulf swallowed by tidal wave and land subsidence in the early 4th cent. b.c., has enlisted the support of the diver. Such underwater archeology may be the way to Sodom and Gomorrah, if indeed they lie beneath the southern end of the Dead Sea.
Much material lies visible and ready for investigation, and excavation has become an exact and highly sophisticated process. The archeologist no longer digs at random, driving pit or trench into massed material of human occupation, as did the amazing but prescientific Schliemann at Troy. A “tell,” as the hills of the Middle E which mark the sites of ancient towns are called, is squared and trenched with care and precision, each layer of occupation being dated by pottery and the other methods of chronological investigation. Both at Jericho and Ur, where the size of the “tell” precluded the complete removal of the accumulated material layer by layer, a shaft, sunk through the mass to bedrock level, proved the most efficient method of investigation.
At Ur fifty-nine ft. of archeologically productive material had been built up prior to the first dynasty three full millennia b.c. Visitors to Jericho can look down the great shaft sunk in the mound of the world’s most ancient city and see the tangle of human occupation over thousands of years, a stratified record meaningful to the trained eye of the archeologist.
Barrows and tombs sometimes require excavation as methodical and skilled. Sometimes, as in the royal graves of Egypt, the actual discovery of the concealed grave is the major task of the explorer, who is aided by the insight of the skilled detective as truly as by the exact knowledge of the historian.
The archeologist never knows whose aid he may need, quite apart from that of linguist, historian, epigraphist, and papyrologist. The unrolling of the granulated bronze roll from Qumran, and the identification of the concreted lump of silver beside one of the female dead in the royal grave of Ur, which turned out to be a rolled silver band, required the skills of sophisticated metallurgy and chemistry. The calcined papyrus rolls from the libraries of Herculaneum still await some inspired suggestion for their unrolling. An Italian firm has perfected a technique for the lifting and relaying of mosaic floors, a trade secret which it refuses to reveal. The lifting and removal of some Neolithic paddles from a Yorkshire swamp, which thousands of years of submersion had reduced to the consistency of mud, required technical skill of the highest order.
Simple ingenuity is sometimes the first requirement. Casts of the vanished dead have been recovered by pouring plaster of Paris into holes in the ash of Pompeii. The form of a harp was recovered from Ur by the timely observation of a hole in the spoil and the infusion of melted wax. (“Spoil” is waste material from making excavations.) Sometimes mere patience is called for. The assembly of thousands of pieces of colored plaster, fallen from the wall of a large lower room in the Romano-British villa of Lullingstone in Kent, established the existence of the Christian chapel in the building by the fresco of three praying figures. The assembly of a similar jigsaw puzzle from the multitudinous fragments of some of the DSS still continues. The ceramics expert has long since learned patience in putting together the shattered fragments of vases.
The scope of Biblical archeology.
The theme of the Bible is not confined to Pal. That little land, comparable in size to Vermont or Wales, is part of the rim of territory around the Mediterranean from whose fusion of cultures the Western world and Europe sprang. The story of the Bible began at the eastern end of this long rectangle where the twin rivers, Tigris and Euphrates, join to run into the Pers. Gulf, and where Ur, the Sumer. seaport, lay at the nodal point of the world’s trade routes over desert, mountain, and sea. When the last apostle laid down his pen in Ephesus near the end of the 1st cent. of the Christian era, the Church was established in Rome, the ruler of all the territory where the story of the Bible took shape and form. Rome gathered her million people on the Tiber, near the western end of the same long rectangle of lands.
In the intervening centuries the history of Pal. was part of the history of all the lands which formed the history of the Inland Sea and the Middle E. Palestine was so placed that the tides of human life found confluence there. The land was a watchtower from where alert and sensitive spirits could observe the pageant of mankind and develop that deep insight and historical wisdom which is part of the message of the OT to the world.
A paragraph by George Adam Smith makes this point with some eloquence.
“But how could such a people be better framed than by selection out of that race of mankind which have been most distinguished for their religious temperament, and by settlement on a land both near to, and aloof from, the main streams of human life, where they could at once enjoy personal communion with God and yet have some idea also of His providence of the whole world; where they could at once gather up the experience of the ancient world and break with it into the modern? There is no land which is at once so much a sanctuary and an observatory as Palestine; no land which, till its office was fulfilled, was so swept by the great forces of history, and was yet so capable of preserving one tribe in national continuity and growth; one tribe learning and suffering and rising superior to the successive problems these forces presented to her, till upon the opportunity afforded by the last of them she launched with her results upon the world” (G. A. Smith, Historical Geography of the Holy Land, 112).
The archeology of the Bible cannot therefore be confined to the little land which drew its European name from the Philistines, a western people, European intruders on the Levantine coast. They were the first of many to meet the ancestors of the Heb. people in the first confrontation of E and W in recorded history. Canaanite and Phoenicians were invaders who had followed the same path as the Hebrews around the. Egypt played a part in the history of Pal. for a significant thousand years. Assyria and Babylon, like Greece and Rome centuries later, poured through and over Pal. and in turn absorbed the scattered Jews. The Hittites penetrated Pal. without conquest from the time of Abraham. Samaria and Judea were, for a time, satrapies of the vast Pers. empire, just as later they were administrative districts of Rome.
Biblical archeology, therefore, fuses with the archeology of the lands which played a part in the unfolding of the Heb. story and the history of the founding of the Christian Church, which is its consummation. Picture a triangle, its long base to the N, slightly distorted. Its bent line runs from well over two thousand m. from Rome, to Philippi, to Hattusa, capital of the Hittites, bends slightly S from this mid-point to pass through Nineveh, capital of Sennacherib, to Susa, capital of the Pers. kings. The eastern side runs SW to find a southern point at Aswan where a Jewish garrison served Persia just after Nehemiah’s day and left their papyrus records on the island of Elephantine. Run a line from here to Rome and the triangle is complete. Geographically it contains the archeology of the Bible, the OT and the NT, from the catacombs where the first Christians were leaving their memorials before the last apostle had finished writing the last gospel, to Ur where Abraham first grasped the message of the one true God, and reaching S to contain the rubbish heaps of the Nile Valley towns with their masses of significant papyri.
Within the irregular figure lie the remains of seven empires: Egyptian, Hittite, Assyrian, Babylonian, Persian, Greek, and Roman, or those significant parts of them which had a place and part in the story of the Bible. A score of kingdoms, principalities, and city-states, a score of peoples came and went and left memorials of their culture meaningful for the study of the Bible in the same area.
Historically, the theme which archeology illustrates covers two full millennia, the twenty or more centuries which lie between Abraham’s Ur and Paul’s Rome, and its unearthing is mainly the work of the present cent. The next section will cover that story, and the reader should take note that a general article cannot cover the material exhaustively. The contributions of archeology to the understanding of the Bible are manifold—historical, geographical, literary, theological, and linguistic. Details will be found under many heads. The present task is introductory, detail illustrative rather than exhaustive, and the aim is to survey the ground from relevant vantage points.
The history of Biblical archeology.
It is difficult to pinpoint the beginning of Biblical archeology. W. F. Albright, in an informative ch. (The Archaeology of Palestine, ch. 2), traces a genuine scientific interest in the archeological remains of Pal. back to travelers of the 16th cent. It is true that the spirit of exact inquiry, together with careful observation and recording, is no monopoly of the present cent. Johann Zuallart and Johann van Footwyck, travelers of the closing years of the 16th cent., both produced drawings which demonstrate an interest in ancient monuments, recognizably modern. In the middle years of the 17th cent., the Rom. Pietro della Valle produced an account of travels in Pal. which contains true archeological description. He was followed by such perceptive travelers as Henry Maundrell, Adrian Reland, and Bishop Pococke. Reland’s handbook (Palestine Illustrated by Ancient Monuments) is certainly a landmark. It was published in 1709. To Albright’s longer list the name of A. Bosio might well be added. This scholar’s book on the catacombs of Rome was published in 1632, anticipating de Rossi’s monumental work by over two centuries. If the study of subterranean Rome is part of Biblical archeology, as indeed it is, Bosio’s name deserves a place on the list.
For the most part, however, those who thus described the memorials of the Biblical past were of the order of Shelley’s “traveller from an antique land.” They sensed the romantic impact of the great fragments of dead and vanished civilizations, but missed their scientific and historical significance. Rose Macaulay has collected some of their comments in her fascinating book, The Pleasure of Ruins, and there is no reason why the scientific archeologist should miss or despise this deep source of human interest. Austen Layard, a genuine, if primitive, archeologist, was such a romanticist, in the true spirit of his age.
Napoleon’s expedition to Egypt in 1798 may be set down as the beginning of scientific archeology. The French conqueror was rightly convinced that Egypt was the strategic key to the Mediterranean, as indeed it always has been. He also saw the land as an essential stage on the road to India. Both reasons inspired conquest. Contemporary France was experiencing at the time something of a scientific revival, and the unprecedented step was taken of attaching a scholarly deputation to Napoleon’s military staff. It included the remarkable draughtsman, D. V. Denon. Some gratitude is due to Napoleon for this rare and timely realization that Egypt was a land of old renown, as well as a military base for the domination of the Mediterranean and the E. It is to this new spirit that the world owes the discovery and preservation of the Rosetta stone. Napoleon’s concern for the protection and copying of this bilingual inscr. is on record and is entirely to his credit. The stone became a British prize of war, but it is appropriate that a Frenchman and an Englishman are associated in the decipherment which opened the Egyp. hieroglyphic script. The date 1830 is another landmark in archeology. With the pictorial script successfully deciphered, Egyptology could begin, and the archeology of Egypt has numerous contacts with that of the Bible. Consider only the Amarna letters and the light they throw on the chaotic conditions in Pal. prior to the Heb. invasion. It is irrelevant, in this restricted survey, to trace Egyptology’s astonishing six generations of progress through Belzoni, Lepsius, and Mariette, to Petrie, Breasted, Carter, and Egypt’s own Department of Antiquities of today. It should not, however, in an account of Biblical archeology, be forgotten that the vast bulk of the papyri come from Egypt. The names of Grenfell and Hunt, together with that of, must be mentioned in this connection. Documents directly and indirectly relevant to the study of the NT range from the logia of Christ, discovered at the turn of the cent., to the socalled , published by Quispel in 1957.
The great empires of the N and the other river system, Babylon and Assyria, must similarly find mention. Paul Botta’s digging at Nineveh in the 1830s and Austen Layard’s excavations on Babylonian sites in the 40s are not without relevance to the Biblical theme. Georg Friedrich Grotefend and George Smith must not be overlooked in Babylonian studies, nor Henry Rawlinson’s decipherment of cuneiform in 1850, nor Robert Koldewey’s excavation of the mighty city of Babylon. Diggers like Layard and Koldewey, indeed the great Schliemann at Troy, were almost as destructive in their investigations as the first looters of Pompeii and the perennial robbers of Etruscan and Egyp. tombs, but these were early days, and the rough-handed pioneers were at least conscious of the significance and magnitude of the task upon which they were engaged. They have their place in the archeological calendar.
On the outer periphery of the northern empires lay the Hittites of Asia Minor, an Indo-European people, with whose migrant colony in Pal. Abraham had commercial dealings. The story of their recovery by archeological investigation, by the reconstruction of their history, and by the decipherment of their script is somewhat outside the orbit of Biblical archeology or it would be necessary to add the names of A. H. Sayce, William Wright, Karl Humann, Felix von Luschan, and Hugo Winckler to the founders’ roll.
Crete and the Minoan Empire lay similarly on the periphery, and the story of Sir Arthur Evans and the excavations he began on the long Aegean island in the first year of the present cent. is a romance of discovery, ingenuity, and scholarship, as astonishing as any which surround the unearthing of the other great contemporary civilizations. The Philistines came from Crete, and doubtless there is work still to be done in relating the story of the collapse of Minos’ empire to the great upsurge of Philistine power in the old colony of the Gaza Strip, which challenged the first monarchs of Israel. The Cretan Linear B script, deciphered as late as 1953, has thrown no light on the history of either Crete or the Philistines.
Behind the Babylonian culture lay that of the Sumerians, and the string of towns and petty princedoms of the long Euphrates Valley. The relevant portion of the story of Sumer. archeology, and the excavation of Ur in particular, will be mentioned later, but it is necessary to mention that De Sarzec’s first explorations in the area lay between 1877 and 1881.
Albright, in the useful ch. already mentioned, lists many names from this period, men whose perceptive explorations contributed to the emerging study of Biblical archeology. Seetzen, the first scientific explorer of the Trans-Jordan area, the discoverer ofand Gerasa, and Burckhardt, the Swiss who found Petra, were busy in Bible lands between 1800 and 1812. In 1838 the American theologian Edward Robinson, a thoroughly trained Semitist and geographer, performed notable service by his wide identification of ancient place names. He was accompanied and aided in his work and travels by his pupil Eli Smith. Titus Tobler, the Swiss, a scholar of similar preoccupations, is quoted thus by Albright: “The works of Robinson and Smith alone surpass the total of all previous contributions to Palestinian geography from the time of Eusebius and Jerome to the early nineteenth century.” Geography, it is needless to stress, was at this time the essential prerequisite for the archeological investigation of Pal.
The year 1865 must be set down as the next important date. In this year a fund and a society were founded in London for the purpose of surveying and mapping Pal. and excavating its important sites. From 1865 to 1936 this society published a Quarterly Statement devoted to Biblical archeology, a publication continued from 1937 as theQuarterly. Charles Warren was the first archeologist to be financed by this fund. Although his digging at Jerusalem was clumsy in the light of later techniques, Warren laid the foundations for all later work on the topography and history of the city.
For six full years, from 1872 to 1878, the same fund kept a British team permanently in the field making an inch to a m. survey of western Pal. The two leaders were C. R. Conder and H. H. Kitchener. The latter, the famous soldier, Lord Kitchener of Khartoum, suggested by his presence that the War Office was not entirely without interest in the work of archeologists. The wartime careers of such famous figures as T. E. Lawrence and, in less flamboyant fashion, Stanley Casson are other illustrations of a secondary service for the trained archeologist, and the usefulness in contexts of modern history of a thorough exploration of historic lands.
The French, meanwhile, were not idle. While Warren was excavating along the line of the Jerusalem walls, Charles Clermont-Ganneau was using his position in the French consular service in Pal. to make considerable contributions to Biblical archeology. In 1870 he found, and sent to the Louvre, the famous Mesha (Moabite) Stone. In 1871 he unearthed the tablet bearing the inscr. which barred Gentiles from the court of the Temple. These are only two of his material contributions to archeology. His scholarly writings are no less important.
Generally the 1870s were fruitful years for archeology. In 1870, and over the following few busy years, Heinrich Schliemann excavated Troy and Mycenae and laid deep foundations for classical archeology. The main lesson of the astonishing discovery of Troy by this German genius was that a mound, or “tell” as it was called in the Middle E, was likely to be the accumulated ruins and occupation debris of an ancient inhabited site. In 1870, also, the American Palestine Exploration Society was founded, and it immediately set to work to complement the British survey of western Pal. by a similar survey of the eastern part of the land.
To this point the names of Robinson and Clermont-Ganneau had been highest on the roll of honor. In 1890 a third was added, that of a thirty-seven-year-old Englishman, Flinders Petrie. Petrie came to Pal. trained by ten years’ work in Egypt, where he had already learned to record systematically and in detail every find on a site. He had also glimpsed the possibility of using pottery for dating. In his excavations at Tell el-Hesi, Petrie reduced this invaluable idea to a time system. He was able to demonstrate that pottery could form a sequence and provide a key to the chronology of the stratified remains in any ruin mound. This fruitful discovery has been elaborated with the utmost sophistication and is now an indispensable skill for any archeological investigation. The last decade of the 19th cent. is significant for its invention, establishment, and general recognition.
The same decade saw further excavation at Jerusalem by F. J. Bliss, the American who was the first scholar of importance to recognize the value of Petrie’s pottery dating, along with his associate A. C. Dickie. William Mitchell Ramsay, professor of humanities at Aberdeen, was simultaneously busy with his epigraphical, geographical, and archeological explorations in Asia Minor, and was writing the authoritative books which established so decisively the historical accuracy of Luke and the meaning of obscure chs. in the Apocalypse.
At the turn of the cent., the Irish archeologist R. A. S. Macalister began work in Pal. Financed by the Palestine Exploration Fund, this notable scholar excavated several “tells,” including Gezer, where he spent no less than seven seasons (1902-1909). Three large vols., published finally in 1912, described this vast undertaking and established another significant milestone in the history of scientific archeology.
While Macalister was busy at Gezer, a Ger. expedition began the excavation of Jericho, a task which was to continue until today. To this point, except for a somewhat inefficient investigation of Megiddo, the Germans had done little in Pal. Their great archeological names remained those of Schliemann and Dorpfeld, the investigators of Troy. But now a joint German-Austrian team descended on Jericho. They worked from 1907 to 1909, under Ernst Sellin and Carl Watzinger, and, though their dating proved to be largely inaccurate, a start had been made on the world’s most ancient inhabited site. It is also noteworthy that Jericho saw, along with Samaria which was simultaneously explored, the first recognizably modern archeological team with its trained specialists, its meticulous photography, surveying, systematic filing, and scientific analysis of every scrap of archeological material and every shred of evidence. George Andrew Reisner and C. S. Fisher, who conducted the exploration of Samaria for Harvard, must be added to the list of notables.
The First World War interrupted operations. Its outcome, however, established the British in Pal. The land again was open. In 1920 the British Mandatory Government set up a Department of Antiquities, headed by John Garstang of Liverpool University. Fifteen amazingly fruitful years in Pal. followed, until mounting disorder and the darkening shadows of the tragic thirties slowed the work. The Second World War necessarily interrupted it. The years of the brief British peace in Pal. were those of Garstang’s continuation of the work at Jericho, of J. C. Albright’s notable work in the land, and of Père Vincent’s beneficent activity. Roads and transport eased the archeologist’s task. There was unprecedented cooperation and team work. Palestinian prehistory began to take shape. Flinders Petrie, after a lapse of thirty-seven years, returned to Pal. in 1927 and made major contributions to knowledge. A joint British, American, and Hebrew University team continued the excavation of Samaria from 1931 to 1935. It is still in progress under Israeli guidance. The Wellcome-Marston expedition, financed by the Pal. Exploration Fund, spent six seasons, 1932 to 1938, on Lachish. It was here that J. L. Starkey lost his life in 1938, the victim of an Arab bandit and of an emerging phase of tragic disorder in Pal. The Lachish letters, with their light on Jeremiah, were Starkey’s latest find. But for his tragic end, Starkey would have proved as great a genius as the archeology of Bible lands has produced. Ten campaigns under the auspices of the University of Pennsylvania, always a notable promoter of archeological research, fall in these halcyon fifteen years. Bethshan was the principal site. The University of Chicago worked simultaneously on Megiddo, continuing until 1939, when the collapse of the world’s tense, uneasy peace again drastically interrupted all such research and exploration.
The list of names and projects is far from exhaustive, and this is no place to attempt more than an outline of the theme. The interrupted task has begun again in a bitterly divided Pal. under Jordanian and Israeli authorities. Miss Kathleen Kenyon’s work at Jericho is ample demonstration that even welldug sites still have much to yield. Finds like the DSS of 1947, and the associated excavation of Qumran, show that spectacular results are still a possibility. A considerable number of actually identified sites of ancient occupation still await competent excavation and examination in the narrower compass of ancient Pal. Science and the spade still have much to give, and a most encouraging feature is the emergence of archeological consciousness and scientific skill in the new nations of the Middle E.
Biblical archeology, however, is wider than that of Pal., and a few paragraphs are necessary on cognate activities. The great years of activity between the two world wars were notable the world over, as well as in the sphere of the present theme, for archeological activity and achievement. The immense and beneficent popularization of the subject dates from those years. Two events beyond others awakened the general public to the new science and its fascinating human interest. In 1922 Howard Carter discovered in the Valley of the Kings the amazingly rich tomb of the minor pharaoh, Tutankhamen. The newspapers, headed effectively by the sophisticated London Illustrated News, found that archeology could command the headlines. The second event, in a more restricted sphere, was the publication in 1924 of the earlier vols. of the authoritative and scholarly Cambridge Ancient History, which first demonstrated to an intelligent public how vastly archeology was transforming the study of history.
To follow the theme then, on a slightly wider orbit, a few of the more notable areas of investigation between the two world conflicts in recent years may be briefly mentioned. Fuller details may be sought in special articles.
The Euphrates Valley was explored in the late twenties and early thirties, with Leonard Woolley’s excavation of Ur (1928) as one of the highlights of discovery. Archeology has gone far to reconstruct the whole history of the Sumer. river civilization, that essential prelude to the story of the Heb. people. Light has been thrown on all the homelands of the migrating tribes, from Canaanite to Heb., who plied or followed trade, retreating fertility, or spiritual aspiration around the sharp curve of the Fertile Crescent.
In the early thirties, excavations were begun at Tell Hariri, near the Euphrates in SE Syria, where A. Parrot uncovered a considerable portion of the ancient city of Mari. He found a mass of clay tablets inscribed in a Sem. dialect which cannot have been very remote from the Heb. spoken by the patriarchs. Associated discovery has made history aware of the intense Sem. activity in those same centuries around Haran, Abraham’s staging post on his road to Pal. The tablets have also thrown light on much OT custom and practice.
Similarly, and even more strikingly, the tablets from Nuzi, or to give the site its modern name, Yorghan Tepe, near Kirkuk in Iraq, illustrate the stories of the patriarchs. The patriarchs obviously acted within the contemporary framework of law, practice, and custom. The stories of Sarah, Abraham, Hagar, Esau’s birthright, the deathbed blessing, Laban and Jacob, Judah, and Tamar find abundant illus. in these documents. The site was investigated by Chiera and his colleagues of the American Schools of Oriental Research from 1925 to 1931.
The year 1928 saw a chance discovery on the N Syrian coast near Latakia. No fewer than twenty-two seasons’ excavation took place here and at nearby, the ancient Ugarit. A multitude of Canaanite cuneiform texts, literary and religious, have been discovered and deciphered there together with architectural, artistic, and epigraphical remains. Their linguistic, historical, and religious value is immense.
This outline of the major events in the history of Biblical archeology has naturally had most to say on matters relevant to the OT which so heavily depends upon archeologica evidence. It would be difficult to write a coherent history of the archeology of the NT. The OT, after all, finds a center in the story of one race. The NT tells the story of a world movement and activities extending from Jerusalem and Antioch to Rome. The NT is also a document of Gr. lit. and Rom. history. Archeological events relating to the understanding of the NT have already found incidental mention above. The long and unfinished story of the exploration of the catacombs, whose hundreds of m. of galleries in the tufa rock under Rome are part of the history of the early Christian community, the discovery and interpretation of the Egyp. papyri, a story of scholarship extending from Grenfell and Hunt to Gilles Quispel, Ramsay’s work on the ruins, geography, coins, and inscrs. of Asia Minor are all chs. in the story. Cities like Ephesus, Pergamum, Antioch, Corinth, and Thyatira have an archeological history of their own, large parts of which are relevant to the NT. Isolated discoveries, like those of the Qumran community and the Nazareth Decree, have a place in the account and a significance in interpretation and apologetics of inestimable importance. The archeology of the NT has demanded no staging of expensive and scientifically conducted projects of excavation. Its material often has been fortuitously discovered, or mingled, like the story of the Church itself, with the raw material of ancient world history. It is piecemeal, and sifted from a greater mass. Its relevance will find some reference in the next section.
The relevance of archeology in interpretation.
It remains to summarize the significance of archeological discovery in the interpretation of the Bible. Inevitably the theme has emerged under earlier headings, but it will be convenient to recapitulate and to survey it separately in conclusion.
If it is assumed, as it may be, that the earliest written records of the OT, ultimately incorporated in the Pentateuch, were Sumer. and dated back possibly to Abraham, it is clear that the Bible is a collection of literary and historical documents covering more than twenty centuries. The fact is some measure of the interpreter’s task. The first essential must always be to determine what the writer originally sought to communicate and to whom he first directed his communication. That is why all information which provides contemporary comment on social, political, or cultural backgrounds, which elucidates literary form and convention, explains language, or throws light on habits of thought and speech is relevant to interpretation.
In the case of the OT, such information is chiefly archeological. Around the whole sweep of the Fertile Crescent, the remains of peoples, cities and empires, epigraphical, architectural, artistic, and of every other sort of which archeology takes widening and increasingly expert notice, have elucidated and illuminated the text of Scripture from Genesis to the minor prophets. The NT, a too little regarded document of Rom. history, and contemporary with wide literary activity in Gr. and Lat., has been somewhat less completely dependent upon records and remains of archeological provenance. Epigraphy and papyrology, however, both of which derive their basic material from archeological investigation, have richly illuminated and explained its meaning.
Illustrations for both the testaments may be conveniently marshaled.
The confirmation of Biblical history.
Events recorded in Scripture are a part of ancient history. The central theme of the Bible is the history of that stream of human activity which, in a great outworking purpose, found its consummation in the NT, the Messiah, and the Church. That stream did not flow in an isolated channel but mingled with the interweaving currents of universal human history, and is understood better when it is seen as part of a more complex whole.
It is, for example, no longer possible to dismiss the stories of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as folklore of the sort invented by emerging peoples to explain their origins. Canny Greeks of southern Italy, for example, marking the rising star of a dynamic Rome, built the saga of Aeneas out of tenuous fragments of history and of myth. Abraham and Aeneas stand in far different categories. The conformity of the patriarch’s migration to the known pattern of folk movements around the northern edge of the deserts is too strikingly demonstrated to be dismissed as legend.
The Hebrew and Philistine infiltration into Pal. told in the Bible with that selection of incident which highlights personality or reinforces a spiritual lesson, is vivid in the glowing archeological record. The piecemeal movement of the new cultures, the Heb. overlaying of a base Canaanitish civilization, its checks and progress, the inevitable confrontation of the two intruders, European and Asiatic, on the line of central Pal., the passage from bronze to iron which marked the Heb. triumph over the Philistines, the emergence of Heb. power, and the climax of Solomon’s Golden Age, in all this developing theme archeology marches with the Bible story, confirming its accuracy in a thousand details.
Samaria, with the tragic division of the land, inherited the rich Phoen. trade which had brought wealth to Solomon, and fragmented ivory in the ruins of Ahab’s palace speak of the transference of prosperity and the corruption of a dominant minority who knew how, as Amos chided, to corner and appropriate the wealth of the land.
Assyrian art, uncovered in the palaces of the great empire, as vividly illustrates the grim nature of the northern threat to Israel’s prosperity. The cruelty and arrogance of the invaders lives strikingly in fresco and inscr. The ancient Heb. of the Siloam Inscription is light on Isaiah’s earlier theme, how Judah was spared the visitation which fell upon Israel, and how the faith of a prophet and a king preserved a nation. A cent. later another prophet had a far different role to play, and Jeremiah’s somber message divided the land. Archeology, with continuing relevance, appears again with confirmatory comments and illus. The Lachish potsherds, discovered in the 1930s, reveal the agony of the tension between those who believed that Jeremiah spoke with authority and those who thought that he undermined morale.
NT illus. of archeology’s confirmation of history could be found in the Nazareth Decree with its light on the proclamation of the. Or perhaps for the present purpose, it may be confined to the less well-known theme of Pilate and his coinage. Much of the action in the story of Christ’s trial centers in the personality and record of the procurator. He is known from three stories in Josephus, one in Philo, and the gospel records. All three literary sources agree in representing him as arrogant, contemptuous of his subjects, outmaneuvered by them, and essentially a coward.
It is curious to find the story confirmed by numismatics. Coins are archeological sources. The procurators had the right to issue small coinage in Pal., but it was considered a duty, in designing coins which would be in the hands of the people, to avoid deliberate offense. Coins were always far more significant in ancient times than they are today. They were a means of instruction and information and were studied for what they had to say. The Rom. emperors had a strong appreciation for the propaganda value of coinage, and their use of this device for influencing opinion forms an interesting ch. in the archeology of ancient coins.
The story of Christ and the tribute money shows that the emperor’s portrait, with the offense involved, was current in Pal., but the silver denarius was issued as tribute money and was accepted as such. It was a different matter to mint a common copper coinage which ran contrary to Jewish sentiment, which Pilate did, committing again and on a daily universal scale, far more maliciously and subtly, the planned insults to Jewish feeling that Josephus and Philo record.
Valerius Gratus, Pilate’s predecessor, had issued coins harmlessly adorned with palm branches or ears of corn, familiar enough Jewish symbols, but as early as a.d. 29 Pilate issued copper coins bearing the lituus or pagan priest’s staff and the patera or sacrificial bowl—two symbols of the imperial cult which were bound to be obnoxious to the Jews. It was calculated provocation, but safe, because the coin users were insulted individually and the coinage did not produce collective demonstrations of hostility. The story of the tribute money shows that the Jews had a bad conscience about coins. They had accepted the imperial coinage and were carrying about its implied idolatry. Individually men endured the new piece of arrogance and said nothing. Seianus, who was prob. Pilate’s protector, fell in a.d. 31, and, significantly enough, the issue of the provocative coins ceased. In the British Museum is a coin of Pilate which has been overstamped with a palm branch by Felix, no man of principle, but more careful in his policy toward the Jews.
It is to be observed in all these cases that archeology underlines the essential truth and soundness of the Biblical record. It therefore enables the historian to tread with firmer foot where reliance on the bare statement of Scripture lacks extraneous support or amplification. This was the conclusion reached in the classic case of W. M. Ramsay, whose researches in Asia Minor led a frank sceptic to a firm championship of Luke as a pure historian.
The provision of background.
Inevitably illustrative material grouped under this head might also be relevant above, but it may be convenient to classify a few examples of archeological discovery which throw light on fact or practice, which elucidate culture or exemplify the application of Biblical law or custom, without providing the direct confirmation of statement which was illustrated briefly in the earlier paragraph.
Legal codes, for example, from the middle five centuries of the second millennium b.c. not only reveal how truly Israel moved with the tide of contemporary history in the first days of man’s attempt to organize life and activity under the sovereignty of law, but also how differently the people of the Bible conceived the task, weaving their code and system with the percepts of a lofty and monotheistic religion.
Detail often is strikingly illustrated. The legal documents from Nuzi, for example, throw light on Abraham’s attempts to establish his succession and on Jacob’s dealings with Laban in a manner which marks the documents, or the oral or written tradition on which they rest, as authentically contemporary. The symbolic transfer of a shoe mentioned in the little idyll of Ruth (4:7,
It is in this sphere of interpretation that future archeological work is esp. likely to provide more information. The Ras Shamra tablets, for example, have some reference to the seething of a kid in its mother’s milk, a practice inexplicably forbidden twice in the OT (
Discoveries in themselves unimportant may also serve to illustrate a passage of Scripture in a manner which lifts an impersonal provision into a realm of human interest and activity. For example, from the guardroom of an ancient fortress on the seacoast near Tel Aviv, an interesting letter has come to light. It is twenty-five centuries old and is the earliest Heb. letter known. It is scrawled on a broken piece of pottery, the writing material most readily available to ordinary folk. Papyrus was difficult to obtain, and expensive. On the other hand, any village street or rubbish dump was littered with broken shards of pottery. The Lachish letters, similarly found in a guardroom are of this order.
Seeking to file a complaint with the commander of the local garrison, a peasant, in the reign of the good King Josiah, seven centuries b.c., picked out a suitable piece of earthenware and inked his troubles upon it. There are fourteen lines of script, and scholars have so far succeeded in making sense of only seven of them. The indecipherable lines contain a Heb. word previously unknown.
The successfully tr. lines run as follows: “...and he took the cloak of your servant. I finished..my harvest...took the cloak of your servant...and all my brethren will witness on my behalf, those who harvested with me in...and my brethren will witness on my behalf, truly I am innocent of any guilt...my cloak...and I shall fulfil the prince’s....”
There is no doubt about the general purport of the letter. Someone by legal process had made away with a poor man’s most necessary possession. It was, moreover, a vulnerable possession. On the Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser the attendants of Jehu wear knee length garments with a fringed edge which envelopes the body completely. Such were the cloaks of the Hebrews, and little was worn beneath them. Obviously they were not designed for working, and under the hot harvest sun would be laid aside. The opportunity for confiscation by some disgruntled creditor was easy. When night came, the poor harvester would look for the garment which covered him from the night’s chill, only to find it missing.
Theagain illustrates such a situation. Boaz lay covered by his cloak at the end of the heap of corn in the fields of Bethlehem. Ruth, who claimed his protection in her widowhood, crept secretly under the ample edge of the garment at his feet. Awaking at midnight, the startled farmer found her there. “Who are you?” he asked. “I am Ruth your maidservant. Now spread your skirt (cloak) over your maidservant, for you are next of kin.”
Note the humanity of the law for debt. A cloak could be named as guarantee, but if claimed in forfeit by the moneylender, it was to be returned at sunset. “If he is a poor man, you shall not sleep in his pledge...restore to him the pledge that he may sleep in his cloak and bless you; and it shall be righteousness to you before the Lord your God” (
The peasants’ letter is an illus. of the flouting of the law of Moses and the confident appeal to authority of a common man on such grounds. It also sheds a mellow light on the goodness of Josiah in a time of renewing and return to old traditions. It shows also that in Josiah’s reign the power of Israel had been thrust through the coastal plain, a widening of frontiers of which historians were previously quite aware. It is another tidemark in the ebbing power of the Philistines, whose high flood in Saul’s day had filled the valleys of the Shephelah and flowed N to Galilee.
Illumination of text and language.
Two illus. will suffice to show how archeological discovery has illuminated the meaning of words and established text. integrity. The first is the contribution of the DSS. Textually these documents are of some importance. They have cleared up a handful of textual corruptions and thrown light on some minor difficulties of interpretation. Until 1947, for example, the oldest text of Isaiah was dated a.d. 895. A major item among the scrolls is an Isaiah MS a full thousand years older. It has some interesting features. There is, for example, no break between
There is another mistranslation due to incorrect vocalization in
The Scroll also demonstrates the accuracy of the LXX, clearing up in the process a NT text. In
Again, what did Christ mean when He blessed “the poor in spirit” (
The second group of illus. under this head is provided by the nonliterary papyri. From this corpus of documents in the Common Dialect of Gr. comes a mass of knowledge on the daily speech of the people for whom the NT was written. In competent hands like those of Luke and Paul, it was not an ungraceful language. It was capable of poetry, as many passages in both writers reveal. It was flexible and expressive and, as Moulton put it, in the “full stream” of contemporary Gr. Its vocabulary again and again throws light on expressions in the NT epistles and has added a considerable list to the Gr. lexicon.
Some selected illus. only: “I have all, and abound” (
A document reveals that the word hypostasis “substance” (KJV), or “assurance” (RSV), in
When the Jews of Thessalonica complained that “these men who have turned the world upside down” had arrived to disturb their peace (
The new light from the papyri suggests, in consequence, numerous more exact trs. For example, read “originator” for “captain” (
A further small group of linguistic elucidations, with special reference to Luke, may be called from both epigraphy and the papyri. For example, when Paul crossed from Asia into Europe, Luke, his chronicler, on bringing the story to Philippi, described the town as “the first of the district.” Even Hort, a first-rate scholar, marked this as a mistake, since the Gr. word meris appeared never to be used for “region.” The Egyp. papyri, however, revealed that Luke’s Gr. was better than that of his editor. The word, it now appears, was quite commonly used for “district” in the 1st cent., and esp. in Macedonia.
Luke also called the local officials of Philippi “praetors.” The term seemed incorrect until inscrs. established the fact that the title was a courtesy one for the magistrates of the Rom. colony; as usual Luke used the term commonly employed in educated circles.
Referring to the city officials of Thessalonica (“rulers of the city,” KJV; “city authorities,” RSV), Luke twice used the technical term politarchs (
Finally, it should be stressed again that this general article is designed to be introductory and illustrative, to establish points of view, and open avenues for more detailed study. Manifestly, archeological material in detailed relevance to the theme will be found under a large number of headings and in a great variety of articles on historical, literary, and exegetical themes. Special information should be sought in such places. A conspectus has value in that it opens up the theme, establishes its scope, and leads by its allusiveness to further study.
A Chronological Table of Archeologists and Their Work
The following chronological survey covers persons and events relevant to the study of the Bible, its historical background and context, and the elucidation of its meaning. It necessarily covers much territory, for the lands of the Bible cover a wide arc from Italy to Egypt. It is not, however, a complete register of Egyptologists, Aegean, Hittite or Classical archeologists, though in all these spheres of study aspects of historical and linguistic importance have Biblical significance.
Names and events on the fringes of this theme have been included here and there, where it is felt that some special stimulus given to archeological exploration, some notable public attention, or the development of some major technique of investigation has had its repercussions in Biblical studies. Schliemann’s spectacular work at Troy over a cent. ago, the discovery of Tutankhamen’s tomb, the publication of the Cambridge Ancient History, and Squadron-Leader O. G. S. Crawford’s discovery of the value of air photography, are cases in point.
1717 The Society of Antiquaries set up in London. It received a royal charter in 1751 and issued its first volume of Archeologia in 1770
1798 A curious side effect of Napoleon Bonaparte’s occupation of Egypt was an awakening of interest in the land of the Nile. An amazing band of savants accompanied the French army, and Vivant Denon’s vast Description de l’Egypte was a direct result of the invasion which Nelson’s fleet shattered at Aboukir Bay.
1799 The, with its trilingual inscr. which provided the key to the decipherment of Egyp. hieroglyphics, was discovered in August, 1799, while the French were repairing fortifications N of the town of Rosetta. The name of one Boussard is associated with the find but whether this was a French officer of the engineers who died in 1812, General A. J. Boussard, or a sapper of the same name whose pick unearthed the stone, is not clear. The Stone was taken to Cairo where Napoleon had it copied, and ultimately reached the British Museum as a trophy of war (The Rosetta Stone, and the Decipherment of Egyptian Hieroglyphics, E. A. Wallis Budge [London], 1929).
1805 Ulrich Jasper Seetzen discovered Caesaarea Philippi, Ammon and Gerasa (Jerash).
1811 The Arab geographers knew where Babylon was, and among European travelers, Benjamin of Tudela, a Jewish rabbi, visited and identified the site in 1173. Other Europeans mention it in the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries. In 1811 C. S. Rich, the first British consul at Bagdad excavated and mapped part of the ruins. Babylonian archeology began at this point.
1812 Johan Ludwig (or Louis) Burckhardt (1784-1817), the Swiss explorer, discovered Petra, the “rose-red city half as old as time.” The discovery has no great direct Biblical significance. No important monuments antedate the middle of the 1st cent. b.c., and no pottery is older than Hellenistic. The strange place has, however, inspired a long list of travelers and travel-writers (listed in G. L. Robinson’s Sarcophagus of an Ancient Civilization [New York], 1930; Katherine Sim, Desert Dweller. The Life of Jean Louis Burckhardt [London], 1969).
1815 Lady Hester Stanhope (1776-1839), who, after the death of her uncle William Pitt, and Sir John Moore, lived in self-chosen exile in a Druse village near Sidon, made an attempt to unearth statuary at Ashkelon.
1817 The date marks the second visit to Egypt of the Italian, Giovanni Baptista Belzoni, with which the modern search for the tombs of the pharaohs may be said truly to begin. Belzoni was also the first to enter the great temple of Ramesses I at Abu Simbel, in this year (Strong Man Egyptologist, Colin Clair).
1822 Jean Francois Champollion, working on material supplied by the Rosetta Stone and the Philae obelisk, finally gave a voice to the Egyp. monuments by deciphering the hieroglyphic inscrs. (In 1828 came the second general survey of the monuments under Rosellina, and Champollion.)
1833 Sir Henry Creswicke Rawlinson (1810-1895) went to Persia as a young officer in this year to organize the Shah’s army. He became interested in the cuneiform texts which had already commanded some constructive attention from Niebuhr (1778), De Sacy (1788) and Grotefend (1802). In 1837 Rawlinson, now a colonel, deciphered part of the trilingual inscr. of Darius I on the Rock of Behistun. In 1842 Rawlinson, at considerable risk, and with the help of “a certain Kurdish boy,” copied the whole inscr. His published works (1846, 1850, 1854, 1861-1884) are the foundation of our knowledge of cuneiform and consequently of the history of Babylonia and Assyria.
1838 Modern exploration of Pal. and its historical geography began in this year when Edward Robinson and Eli Smith traveled through the country describing it and identifying Biblical sites. Robinson was a Massachusetts teacher of Hebrew, and Eli Smith a Syrian missionary. It was the happiest of combinations. Robinson’s work was an immense stimulus. He was not the first to criticize the ecclesiastical traditions of the land. Jonas Korte had done so with vigor in 1741, in his Reise nach dem gelobten Lande. Robinson, however, led the way toward an unhampered scientific topography. He was ably followed by Titus Tobler, who had first come to Pal. in 1837. “The works of Robinson and Smith,” wrote Tobler in 1867, “surpass the total of all previous contributions to Palestinian geography from the time of Eusebius and Jerome to the early nineteenth century.” The German was followed by a Frenchman, Victor Guérin, who began a great mapping project in 1852. Such work was basic for future archeology (See R. A. S. Macalister, A Century of Excavation in Palestine [London, 1925], pp. 23 et seqq). Robinson’s work extended to 1852.
1842 Paul Emile Botta (1802-1870) appointed French Consul at Mosul. Acting on advice of Julius Mohl, secretary of the French Asiatic Society, he began exploration in December of that year on the mound of Koujunjik opposite Mosul. Local tradition had identified the two tells of Koujunjik and Neby Yunus on the E of the Tigris with Nineveh and travelers, from the 12th cent. Benjamin of Tudela to Carsten Niebuhr in 1766, recorded the tradition. Claudius James Rich (see above) in the first quarter of the cent. began measurements. Deflected from this task in March, 1843, Botta turned to another site and discovered Khorsabad and the palace of Sargon II. Joined by M. E. Flandin in May, 1844, Botta was able to demonstrate the rich field he had discovered by sculptures dispatched to Paris in 1846. In 1849/1850 the two explorers published their results in five massive volumes. Victor Place, in 1851, continued the two explorers’ work, sent many fine antiquities to France, all of which were lost in the Tigris, but made a competent plan of the site. Botta had opened the way to Nineveh but found Khorsabad. Assyriology began.
1845 Austen Henry Layard (1817-1894) began excavations at the tell of Nimrud (ancient Kalah) on 8 November 1845. He discovered the palaces of Ashurnasirpal, Shalmaneser II (rebuilt by Tiglath-pileser II), of Adadnirari and Esarhaddon. The famous Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser was found in the royal palace. Layard’s shipment of the vast statuary of the Assyrian palaces to the British Museum was a feat of transport rivaling the removal of the so-called “Cleopatra’s Needle” to London. Layard resumed work at Koujunjik in 1849 and discovered Sennacherib’s palace. Vast masses of material relevant to Biblical studies were recovered, notably the slabs depicting the king’s siege of Lachish, and innumerable clay tablets (the Royal). This discovery was repeated in the North palace (Layard unearthed the South palace) by Hormuzd Rassam, Layard’s assistant. Since Ashurbanipal, the principal collector of such documents, had also stored Babylonian records, these rich finds laid the basis for the study of the history of two ancient empires. Layard finished his work in April, 1851. Rassam made his discoveries in the next two years. It was in December, 1853, that he discovered the palace of Ashurbanipal. Sir Henry Layard’s Nineveh and its Remains, first published in 1849 has been recently edited and republished by H. W. F. Saggs (London, 1970). Layard was a prolific archeologist but belongs to the prescientific era, preoccupied with museum loot.
1848 F. de Saulcy cleared a site at Jerusalem known as “the Tombs of the Kings”—later shown to be the tombs of the kings of Adiabene.
1849 Karl Richard Lepsius (1810-1884) published in this year the results of Prussian expeditions to Egypt (1842-1845)—twelve volumes of Denkmäler aus Aegypten und Aethiopien.
1850 August Ferdinand Francois Mariette (1821-1881) went to Egypt in search of Coptic MSS. He discovered the Sarapeum (catacomb of the sacred bulls of Apis) at Saqqara. He established the Bulaq Archaeological Museum which later became the National Museum at Cairo. He was a great preserver of antiquities gathered from Saqqara, Tanis, Karnak, Abydos, Medinet Habu, Deir el-Bahri, the nucleus of the fine Cairo Museum. He was the virtual founder and director of the Antiquities Dept., 1858-1881. In 30 years he excavated and found 15,000 monuments from Memphis to Karnak in 37 sites. He excavated the temple of Edfu in 1860 and the temple of Hatshepsut at Deir el Bahri in 1858, and partially cleared the Temple of Abu Simbel in 1869.
In 1850 W. F. Loftus, who succeeded Rassam at Nineveh, visited the Biblical Erech (modern Warka) and other sites in the Euphrates valley. (Excavation at Erech had to await the three German expeditions of 1912-1913, 1928-1939, 1954-1959.) Loftus wrote of his visit in 1858, Travels and Researches in Chaldaea and Susiana.
1859 Constantin Tischendorf discovered the Codex Sinaiticus.
1863 J. T. Wood began his notable exploration of Ephesus for the British Museum. He began on 2 May 1863, and on 2 May six years later came upon the temple of Artemis. The clue was an inscr. of Trajan’s day. Wood’s work, concluded in 1874, was picked up thirty years later, under the same auspices by David G. Hogarth. (The Austrian Archaeological Institute conducted excavations in 1898-1913, 1926-1935 and in 1954.)
1864 Giovanni Battista De Rossi (1822-1894) began his study of the Rom. catacombs in 1841. He recognized, as none of his predecessors had done, the necessity for a thorough knowledge of literary sources for the interpretation of the archeological data. His three epoch-making volumes Roma Sotteranea Cristiana were published 1864-1877.
1865 The foundation of the Palestine Exploration Fund in this year did much to promote archeological research. Its major aim was to survey ancient Jerusalem, but between 1871 and 1878 the workers of the Fund surveyed most of western Pal. The published results in a monumental work were basic for future archeology.
1867 Two years after the establishment of the Fund, Lieutenant (later Sir) Charles Warren, a young British artillery officer, was sent, amply financed, to investigate Jerusalem. Warren lacked expertise. His work was done in largely prescientific days, but he accomplished much valuable clearance, and his wrong datings have been rectified. Warren, followed by Captain Charles Wilson, laid valuable foundations for the future archeology of Pal. and esp. the topography and history of Jerusalem. He was also the first to look at Jericho. See R. A. S. Macalister, A Century of Excavation in Palestine (London, 1925), pp. 30-40, 97, 128, 177, 185; W. F. Albright, The Archaeology of Palestine (London, 1960), pp. 26, 27.
1870 Charles Clermont-Ganneau (1846-1923), an orientalist of genius, came to the French consular service in Pal. in 1867, and in 1870 sent the Mesha Stone to the Louvre. In 1871 he discovered the famous notice prohibiting Gentiles from intrusion into the Temple Court. He identified the site of Gezer, not to be excavated for another thirty years. In 1870 the American Palestine Exploration Society was also founded to undertake the survey of Trans-Jordan. The project was abandoned for lack of funds. (This was also the notable year in which Heinrich Schliemann discovered Troy—a tremendous lesson to historians on the folly of not taking tradition, recorded in lit., seriously. Schliemann and his successor Dörpfeld showed that a tell is a ruin—a fact not sufficiently noticed in Pal. Schliemann repeated his triumph at Mycenae.) See Macalister, op. sup. cit. (1867).
1872 The Palestine Exploration Fund sent a British party to Pal. to make an inch-to-mile survey of Western Palestine under the leadership of Claude Regnier Conder (1848-1910) and Horatio Herbert Kitchener (1850-1916—later Lord Kitchener of Khartoum and British War Minister until his death by enemy action in the First World War). This survey was indispensable basic work for archeologist and geographer. Few significant ruins were overlooked. Conder’s Memoirs were published in 1880. His archeological publications include Tent Work in Palestine (1878); Syrian Stone Law (1886); Altaic Hieroglyphs and Syrian Inscriptions (1887); The Tell el Amarna Tablets (1902); The City of Jerusalem (1909).
1873 In 1872, among the 25,000 inscribed tablets from the libraries of Ashurbanipal and the temple of Nabu, a Babylonian account of the Deluge (Epic of Gilgamesh) was identified, and the Br. Museum reopened excavations under George Smith, Rawlinson’s one-time assistant, originally an engraver who turned out to be an Assyriologist of extraordinary talent. The Daily Telegraph financed the expedition and Smith began work at Nimrud in April. In May he moved to Koujunjik and found “a vast picture of utter confusion and destruction,” the result of Layard’s looting of the site, and its ruthless quarrying by the builders of the Mosul bridge. By astounding good fortune, Smith discovered almost immediately the missing portion of the Deluge Story, with the untoward result that the Daily Telegraph declared that the mission was accomplished and cut off funds. Smith returned to London, but in 1874, with tardy finance from the British Museum, he was back at Koujunjik only to meet with ignorant resistance from a new local governor. In April he closed his trenches with a haul of 3000 tablets. His Assyrian Discoveries and The Chaldaean Account of Genesis stirred great interest, and in 1876 he was on a third expedition, a time of frustration which cost him his life.
1877 Ernest de Sarzec worked at Lagash. Among his finds were the statues of the early governors and the Victory Stele of Eannatum. Ernest de Sarzec was French vice-consul at Basra. He was a man with an eye to business and sold the material from Telloh (Lagash) to the Louvre for a very large sum. Rassam (of Nineveh fame) also plundered the tell, and other clandestine diggers followed, scattering the antiquities of Lagash all over the world. The Louvre acquisitions did, however, awaken the world to Sumerian archeology. De Sarzec continued his work in the seasons 1880-1881, 1889, 1893-1895 and 1900. He died in 1901 but was succeeded by Captain Gason Cros. See Martin A Beek, Atlas of Mesopotamia (English ed., [London], 1962), passim.
1878 Rassam resumed work for the British Museum at Nineveh. There was a considerable haul of tablets, a clay prism containing the annals of Ashurbanipal and four barrel-shaped cylinders with accounts of the campaigns of Sennacherib.
1879 Hormuzd Rassam did some investigations of the ruins of Babylon, discovering some important hoards of tablets and possibly identifying the Hanging Gardens.
1881 Sir Gaston Camille Charles Maspero (1846-1916), lecturer on Egyp. archeology at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes from 1869, and later professor at the Collège de France, discovered many royal sarcophagi at Deir-el-Bahri and continued clearing work on the temple of Karnak. His most important publication was Histoire Ancienne des Peuples de l’Orient Classique (1894-1900).
Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie (1853-1942) began his career as an Egyptologist and scientific archeologist at this time, with work on the Giza pyramids and at Tanis for the Egypt Exploration Fund. See 1890 for his more relevant work in Pal.
1882 Edouard Naville began his long career as an Egyp. archeologist. His work had no great Biblical relevance, unless John Garstang’s theory of the early date of the Exodus be followed. This would perhaps bring Princess Hatshepsut, whose temple Naville excavated, into closer relation with the story of Moses. This year saw W. Dörpfeld join Schliemann at Troy.
1884 M. Dieulafoy (following W. K. Loftus and succeeded by J. de Morgan, R. de Mequenem and R. Ghirshman) excavated the royal buildings of Susa (Shushan, the palace).
1887 A peasant woman, grubbing for compost in the ruins of Akhnaton’s town at Tell el-Amarna, unearthed the priceless Tell el-Amarna Letters. Many were destroyed in transit but enough remained in the British and Berlin Museums to throw unique light on Egypt’s foreign and Palestinian policy during the reign of the pacifist Pharaoh, Akhnaton. See W. F. Albright, ANET, pp. 483-490; BASOR, 86ff.; C. J. Mullo Weir, DOTT, pp. 38-45; J. Baikie (for a popular account), Life in the Ancient East (London, 1923), pp. 30-49.
1888 John P. Peters, leading an American expedition along with Haynes and Hilprecht, discovered 20,000 tablets at Nippur, greatly enlarging our knowledge of Babylonian sacred lit. (American expeditions, sponsored by the University of Pennsylvania, have worked there in 1880-1890, 1893-1896, 1899-1900, 1948, 1949 and every other year to 1958 with remarkable results for Sumerian history.) See H. V. Hilprecht, The Excavations in Assyria and Babylonia (1904), pp. 289-577, and various University of Penn. publications.
1890 This important year saw Flinders Petrie (see above, 1881) appear on the scene in Pal. Petrie spent six weeks on the mound of Tell-el-Hesi in SW Pal., making vertical sections, and noting the level at which every potsherd was found. He thus succeeded in establishing the essential principles of stratigraphy and the use of pottery to date and distinguish levels of occupation. Conder derided the method, but F. J. Bliss, who spent the next three years on the Tell-el-Hesi site, confirmed Petrie’s principles. The Petrie-Bliss chronology of 1894 proved correct as far back as 1500 b.c. The French School of Biblical and Archaeological Studies was founded in this year. See W. F. Albright, The Archaeology of Palestine (London, 1960), pp. 29, 30, and passim.
1894 This was the year in which Sir Arthur Evans (1851-1941), who for ten years had been the keeper of Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum, began work in Crete, excavated Knossos and found the Cretan script (not deciphered until 1953). He presented the world with the Minoan civilization, not without importance in the history of the Philistines. From 1894 to 1897, F. J. Bliss and his architect, A. C. Dickie, did remarkable work at Jerusalem. This was followed (1898-1900) by work on sites in the Shepelah (Tell-es-Safe, Tell Zachariyeh, Tell-el-Judeidah, Tell Sandahan—the Helenistic Marissa). This work saw the appearance in Palestinian archeology of R. A. S. Macalister, a brilliant Irish archeologist. Their published report in 1902 was notable for its scientific competence.
1895 Bernard Pyne Grenfell (1869-1926), with his colleague, A. S. Hunt, began their search in the Fayum for Gr. papyri. Grenfell and Hunt commenced the investigation at Oxyrhynchus, 120 m. S of Cairo, in 1875, and it was in this year that they discovered the first page of the logia of Christ. With Grenfell and Hunt the science of papyrology was born. The word was first used in 1898. In 1889 to 1890 Flinders Petrie had discovered payri (some of them literary, some Plato and Homer, for example) at Gurob in the Fayum, and about the same time the British Museum acquired a parcel of papyri from Sir Ernest Wallace Budge. Sir Frederick Kenyon (1863-1952) had written about the papyri in 1890 and 1891. It was, however, Grenfell and Hunt who made the greatest and most momentous discoveries, and opened the way to over half a cent. of momentous finds which have added vastly to the classicist’s knowledge of ancient Gr. lit., to the NT scholar’s knowledge of the common Gr. dialect, and to the ancient historian’s knowledge of the Middle E, esp. Egypt over 3000 years of its history. The lit. on the subject is voluminous, but one or two books may be selected for special notice. Adolph Deissmann (1866-1937) was the first to make philological use of the new material from the papyri (Bibel Studien, 1895; in English as Bible Studies, 1901, and his notable Licht vom Osten; in English as Light from the Ancient East, 1910).(1863-1917), a disciple of Deissmann, produced the two monumental volumes of his Grammar of N.T. Greek in 1906. The brilliant Prolegomena (Vol. 1) was a landmark. Popular studies of early vintage, but still of value, are Camden W. Cobern’s New Archaeological Discoveries (New York, 1917-1922) and James Baikie’s Egyptian Papyri and Papyrus Hunting (London, 1925). Also A. S. Hunt and C. C. Edgar, Select Papyri (London, 1923. Loeb Classical Library).
1895 This year also marked the highest point in the work of, Professor of Humanity at Aberdeen from 1886 to 1911 (1851-1939). Ramsay was an epigraphist of note, a geographer and classical historian. His archeological work in Asia Minor established the reputation of Luke as a historian and made notable contributions to the understanding of the and Revelation. His books, published during the last decade of the 19th cent., include The Historical Geography of Asia Minor, The Church in the , The Cities and Bishoprics of Phrygia, The , Saint Paul the Traveller and Roman Citizen, Was Christ Born at Bethlehem? His work leaned heavily on archeological discovery, much of it his own. See E. M. Blaiklock, The Archaeloogy of the N.T. (Grand Rapids, 1970), pp. 93 seq.
The same year saw A. E. P. B. Wiegall excavating the mortuary temple of Thutmosis III at Thebes, and discovering the tomb of Prince Yuya and his wife Thuyu, parents of Akhnaton’s queen, Tiy. Weigall’s Life and Times of Pharaoh Akhnaton, which ran through many editions between 1910 and 1934, is still a classic.
1896 G. M. Legrain began his notable work on the Karnak temple. See James Baikie, A Century of Excavation in the Land of the Pharaohs, pp. 123 seq.
1897 J. de Morgan’s work at Susa (see 1884). In association with Petrie he had already done good work in Egypt. These excavations continued until 1912 and in 1901 unearthed the stele bearing Hammurabi’s Code. The year 1897 also saw the publication of’s monumental Historical Geography of the Holy Land.
1898 M. Loret discovered in the Valley of the Kings the tomb of Amenhotep II, son of Thutmosis III—unique because it was the first tomb containing intact the body of the Pharaoh—a fore-shadowing of Tutankhamen, a generation later.
1899 In this year Robert Koldewey, working for the Deutsche Orient Gesellschaft, began his many years of systematic excavation at Babylon. When Koldewey began his work in March, nothing serious, apart from some preliminary work by Rassam, had been attempted. When Koldewey, in 1912, published a preliminary account of his investigations, he estimated that he was half-way through his task. The Eng. edition, The Excavations at Babylon, appeared in 1914. Excavations continued at Lagash (Telloh) in this and succeeding years by Stephen Langdon.
1900 George L. Robinson discovered the “high place” of Petra. Robinson’s 1930 publication has already been mentioned (see 1812).
1901 Captain Gaston Cros continued work at Telloh (Lagash).
1902 R. A. S. Macalister began his excavation of Gezer, working alone save for his efficient foreman, Yusif Kan’an. Warran had first investigated the site, and it had been first located by Clermont-Ganneau in 1871-1874. The Gezer excavation, which covered seven years, until Macalister’s appointment to a chair of archeology in Dublin, was, says W. F. Albright (The Archaeology of Palestine, p. 31) “a model of economy...but stratigraphy and photography were neglected; surveying and levelling were utterly inadequate; the architectural aspects of the dig were dealt with only sketchily....” When the three massive volumes of Macalister’s report appeared in 1912, “a monument of bee-like industry,” they were hailed justly, Albright continues, “as a monumental achievement....But almost everything in them had to be redated and reinterpreted....” The famous Gezer Calendar was dated several centuries too late because of an erroneous ceramic chronology. Macalister was under heavy disadvantages. To comply with Turkish law he was compelled to employ the “strip method,” in which a site is cut strip by strip, the rubble from each successive strip being dumped into the preceding one. Further research is thereby precluded.
Hammurabi’s Code was discovered by the French. Also in 1902, the Austrian Biblical scholar Ernst Sellin began a three-year survey of Tell Taanach with small results. The stratigraphy was neglected. This, however, was the first excavation to be carried out in the more northerly part of Palestine, the ancient kingdom of Israel.
1903 G. Schumacher, an architect long resident in Pal., who had received his initial training under Sellin, was placed in charge of a two-year investigation of Megiddo by the Deutscher Palästina Verein and the Orient Gesellschaft. The well-known Jeroboam Seal was discovered at this time.
1904 David G. Hogarth worked at Ephesus for the British Museum, studying in particular the sanctuary of Artemis.
1905 James Henry Breasted’s Ancient Records of Egypt appeared in Chicago in September; also his History of Egypt, of which the second ed. (1945) showed the striking advances in Egyptology.
1906 Hugo Winckler (1863-1913), a Ger. Assyriologist, who had worked at Sidon in 1903-1904, got a Turkish firman to dig at Boghazkoy. A British archeologist had identified Texier as this site but the Germans were on good terms with the Turks at this time thanks to the undertaking (in 1899) of the Deutsche Bank to build the Berlin-Baghdad railway. The Kaiser had already been patron of Schumacher’s archeological activities and was similarly influential in sending Winckler to work in Anatolia. In the seventies of the cent. A. H. Sayce had identifed the area of Hittiteology, but it was left to the Ger. archeologist to open up the theme. The lit. discovered at Boghazkoy was in a language not deciphered until a decade later by Hrozny, the Czech. An excellent popular account of the discovery of the Hittite Empire is given by C. W. Ceram in his Narrow Pass, Black Mountain (London, 1956).
In 1906 the important 5th cent. Aram. papyri from the island of Elephantine, opposite Aswan in the Nile, were revealed. The first body of documents, mainly legal, was acquired from dealers and published by Archibald H. Sayce and Arthur Cowley in 1906 (Aramaic Papyri Discovered at Assuan). The second, and more important batch, was recovered by a British Museum expedition on the site of the Jewish temple on the island, and was published by Eduard Schau in 1911 (Aramaische Papyrus und Ostraka). Publications on the theme are, in fact, voluminous. The third lot, much like the first, was actually found in 1893, and came to light in the Brooklyn Museum. They were published by Emil G. Kraeling in 1953 (The Brooklyn Museum Aramaic Papyri).
1907 Herman Thiersch, Herman Kohl, Carl Watzinger, and Ernst Sellin concluded a survey of the synagogues of Galilee. Kohl and Watzinger had been engaged on the clearance of the temple complex of Baalbek, one of the consequences of the Kaiser’s spectacular visit to Pal. in 1898. The synagogues had attracted H. H. Kitchener’s attention during the Survey of Pal., but this was the first investigation down to foundation level. Kohl and Watzinger published their authoritative Antike Synanogen in Galilaea in 1916.
In 1907 a joint German-Austrian expedition began two years’ work on Jericho under Ernst Sellin and Carl Watzinger—at last, says W. F. Albright, “a properly staffed major excavation.” The report, published in 1913, was rich, full, accurate, and properly illustrated. The stratigraphy was well handled, but dating was not perfect. The year 1907 also saw the first publication of Père A. H. Vincent, the admirable Dominican archeologist, discoverer of the Bethesda Pool and the Antonia Tower.
1908 A turning point in Palestinian archeology was marked by the excavation of Samaria in this year and 1910-1911, by D. G. Lyon, C. S. Fisher, and G. A. Reisner. Thanks to the millionaire, Jacob Shiff, this Harvard expedition was superbly conducted. Reisner himself, says W. F. Albright, was “an archeological genius worthy of standing beside Robinson, Clermont-Ganneau and Petrie.” He had worked for a decade in Egypt and combined the expertise of Petrie, Dörpfeld and Koldewey, along with “his native Middle-Western practicality and knack for large-scale organization (op. cit., p. 34).” The two large volumes of the report did not appear until 1924.
1909 Duncan Mackenzie was invited by the Palestine Exploration Fund to direct the excavation of Bethshemesh. He brought to the task an admirable knowledge of Aegean pottery, and so was able to identify the significant masses of Philistine pottery, first identified by Herman Thiersch in the previous year, which emerged on the site. The First World War interrupted Mackenzie’s work.
1910 From 1910-1914 Howard C. Butler led a magnificently equipped expedition to Sardis, the ancient capital of Lydia.
1913 The site of Schechem was investigated in the two years before the First World War by Sellin and Watzinger (work was resumed in 1926-1928, and 1932 and 1934) for the German Society for Scientific Research. It was demonstrated that Schechem was Balatah and was occupied until a.d. 67 when it was prob. destroyed by Vespasian, who razed the adjacent Samaritan temple on Mt. Gerizim (see W. F. Albright, op. sup. cit., pp. 247, 248).
1917 The conquest of Pal. by the British in the First World War opened a golden age of archeology. The Palestine Department of Antiquities was founded, headed by John Garstang of Liverpool University, and W. F. Albright appeared on the scene. He was in Pal. during the fifteen years from 1920 to 1935, when disorders began.
1918 The distinguished Assyriologist, R. Campbell Thompson, then on the Intelligence Staff of the British Expeditionary Force in Irak, began to dig at Eridu (Tell-Abu-Shahren) for the British Museum, and opened an important chapter in Mesopotamian archeology. See Patrick Carleton, Buried Empires (London, 1939), passim.
1919 Promptly with the conclusion of hostilities the archeologists were at work again, esp. in lands which remained under British control. New and notable figures were in the field, men such as Albright and Woolley, and some special events call for notice. In 1919 Clarence Fisher was at work at Memphis, the ancient capital of Egypt, where Petrie had worked for seven years. H. R. Hall, now near the end of his life, continued his Sumer. archeology at Tell-al-’Ubaid, A. S. B. Wace was doing remarkable work at Mycenae in 1920, the year in which J. H. Breasted published the Edwin Smith Surgical Papyrus, a 17th cent. b.c. copy of an original of the middle third millennium. Pierre Montet, in the French mandated territory of Syria, discovered at Byblos, the ancient Phoenician cedar port, the tomb of King Ahiram. Excavations at Byblos (modern Gebal) had begun in 1919 under Maurice Dunand. In 1921 T. Eric Peet was working at Tell-el-Amarna with Woolley. From 1921 to 1923 C. S. Fisher, A. Rowe and G. M. Fitzgerald worked at Bethshean on behalf of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago (the work was carried on in the years 1925-1928, 1930-1933, and covered 5000 years of history).
1922 In 1922 and 1923 Albright was working at Gibeah (Tell-el-Ful) and Kiriath-Sepher (Debir). He made large contributions to the knowledge of Iron Age pottery. The great lesson of his work was that good results are dependent mostly on meticulous care in digging.
The year 1922 was remarkable for two events which brought archeology to the attention of the world as nothing else had done. The tomb of Tutankhamen was discovered by Howard Carter in the Valley of the Kings, and the Indus Valley Culture of Harappa and Mohengo-Daro was revealed by John Marshall. See P. Carleton, Buried Empires (London, 1939, pp. 141, seqq).
In Pal. A. Schmidt and H. Kaer worked at Shiloh. The year 1922 must also be set down as the beginning of’s epoch-making excavations at Ur. The ruins of Abraham’s city, known as Al-Muqayyer, were first looked at by the Eng. archeologists Loftus and Taylor in 1854 and by Hall immediately after the First World War. Woolley’s systematic exploration was carried competently on from 1922 to 1934 under the auspices of the British Museum and the University of Pennsylvania. Woolley’s classic was published in 1929. His progressive reports appeared annually over the years of the excavations in The Antiquaries Journal. Woolley had been in charge of the British Museum’s exploration of Carchemish until the outbreak of hostilities in 1914.
1923 Excavations at Kish (Tell-El-Uheimir) eight m. E of Babylon unraveled much Sumer. history. It was an extremely rich site. Professor Stephen Langdon’s report (Excavations at Kish) was published in the following year—the same year as Langdon’s Sumer. writings were appearing in the first volume of the Cambridge Ancient History. See also P. Carleton, op. sup. cit., passim.
and John Garstang worked at Ashkelon, and five years’ work on the Ophel hill at Jerusalem was undertaken by Macalister, J. Garrow Duncan and J. W. Crowfoot.
1924 David M. Robinson was working on the Pisidian Antioch. A monograph on the Rom. sculptures of this imperial bastion of Rom. defense in Asia appeared two years later (The Art Bulletin (c) 1926, 1927, pp. 5-69). The publication of the early volumes of the Cambridge Ancient History in this year was a milestone. This was the year Sir Mortimer Wheeler had in mind when he spoke of archeology’s being discovered “not only by the public but by the professors.” The discovery of Tutankhamen’s tomb, and particularly the archeological section of the London Illustrated News, had awakened the world, and occasioned Wheeler’s ironic priority.
1925 The Nuzi documents with their flood of light on the patriarchal age attracted notice at this time. Nuzi is Yoghlan Tepe, a tell 150 m. N of Baghdad, near the hill country of S. Kurdistan. It was excavated in 1925-1931 by a joint expedition of the American School of Oriental Research in Baghdad and by Harvard University. E. Chiera and E. A. Speiser wrote first about the site and its significance in AASOR 6 (1926), pp. 75-90, and Richard F. Starr in Nuzi, 1939.
E. L. Sukenik gave some attention to the tangled problem of the walls of Jerusalem in this year.
Remarkable advances in Palestinian prehistory marked the middle twenties. In 1925 a young Englishman, F. Turville-Petrie, examining two caves above the Galilee lake, found the first traces of Palestinian prehistoric man (Dorothy Garrod followed up this work in 1928 to 1934 and established the outlines of what came to be known as the Natufian Culture).
Also in 1925, Fisher left the University of Pennsylvania and joined the staff of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago. His first task was the direction of the Megiddo excavations. Over fourteen years, until ill-health forced Fisher’s retirement, and at immense cost, this famous and fruitful site (till then only cursorily examined by the Ger. expedition) was completely investigated. P. L. O. Guy and Gordon Loud succeeded Fisher, and to this day only a part of Megiddo has been thoroughly examined. In 1925 Horsfield and Crowfoot began a clearance of Gerasa (modern Jerash) which was continued for nine years.
1926 In this year the American School of Oriental Research in Jerusalem (founded in 1900) began the excavation of Tell-en-Nasbeh (the Biblical Mizpah). The work was directed by Fisher’s disciple W. F. Badè, and a thorough excavation was completed. The two-volume report of the nine years’ digging, came out over the name of C. C. McCown in 1947, a model for all such publications. Simultaneously a second project under M. G. Kyle and W. F. Albright worked on Tell Beit Mirsim, SW of Hebron, the ancient Kiriath-Sepher or Debir. (Four campaigns between 1926 and 1932.) An important result of this expert dig was the establishment of a clear pottery sequence, a standard basis for future Palestinian archeologists. (Palestinian chronology, in confusion when Albright began digging at Gibeah [Tell-el-Ful] in 1922, was greatly clarified by Pythian-Adam’s work at Askelon, by the continued digging at Gibeah and Tell Beit-Mirsim  and Bethel —all the work of Albright, by Reisner’s work at Samaria [published in 1924], and by Shipton of Megiddo.)
1927 J. W. Crowfoot continued his work on the Ophel hill of Jerusalem (in succession to Macalister and Garrow Duncan). The work ended in 1928. The same archeologist did important work at Samaria, a side result of which, along with Kathleen Kenyon’s work, went far to stabilize the chronology of Pal. In other spheres of archeology not irrelevant to Biblical studies, E. A. Speiser was busy at Tepe Gawra (also 1931-1939), Tell Billah (also 1931-1939) and Khafaze (also 1930-1936), A. Gabriel at the desert city of Tadmor (the ancient Palmyra), and Walter B. Emery in Egypt. Emery’s career was to extend for a generation with some distinguished finds. At Saqqara, in 1936, he excavated the intact tomb of Hemaka, vizier of a king of First Dynasty, then the tomb of Sabu, a nobleman of the same period, in 1937, and the tomb of Aha. In Armant, he excavated the temples and tomb of the sacred bull, discovered and cleared First Dynasty tomb of Pharaoh Ka-a at Abydos, found a funerary boat, thought to be that of Pharaoh Udimu of Fifth Dynasty, in 1955. He continued his work at Saqqara and found the mastaba tomb of Queen Her-Neit of First Dynasty in 1956, and began extensive excavation of the 12th cent. fortified town of Buhen in the Sudan in 1958, 1959, 1960.
In 1927 E. Gjersted did notable work at Enkomi, Lapethos and Vouni in Cyprus.
1928 Elihu Grant began a series of five campaigns at Beth-Shemesh with aid from Fisher. The principal addition to knowledge was in the period of Israelite occupation between the 12th and 9th centuries. With the able assistance of G. E. Wright, the chronology was clarified in time for the report. E. Chiera, working at Nuzi (as also between 1930 and 1932) identified the Hurrians. (The same archeologist worked at Khorsabad in 1928 and 1929.) From 1928 to 1937 M. Rostovtzeff and others continued the work at Dura Europos first begun six years earlier by F. Cumont for the French Academy. From 1928 to 1934 J. D. S. Pendlebury, Director of Egyptian Exploration Society excavations, was working at Tell el-Amarna, and in 1928 T. Wiegand worked on the Pergamum Asklepeion, a task which occupied the next three years. P. L. O. Guy, now in the third season at Megiddo, discovered the famous royal stables.
1929 In 1929 Dorothy Garrod, a Cambridge pre-historian, began her six years’ work on Palestinian caves, notably on Carmel. She worked under the joint auspices of the British School of Archaeology at Jerusalem and the American School of Prehistoric Research. Hence some knowledge of the so-called Natufian Culture (see W. F. Albright, The Archaeology of Palestine, pp. 52ff.). Horsfield was at work at Petra, C. F. Schaeffer making his remarkable finds at Ras Shamra (Albright, op. cit., p. 187), and the Jesuits beginning on Teilat-el-Ghassul in the Jordan valley in the same year. The Jesuits conducted eight campaigns up to 1938 (Albright, op. cit., p. 45).
1930 Theodore D. McCown, with C. S. Fisher, continued working at Gerasa and on the Carmel caves (with Dorothy Garrod)—see Albright, op cit., pp. 169, 170. G. L. Robinson discovered Petra’s “high place.” John Garstang, Director of the Palestine Department of Antiquities, began six years’ work at Jericho. The work had been initiated by the Germans, Sellin and Watzinger in 1913, and was continued (1952-1958) by Kathleen Kenyon. Garstang discovered the first Neolithic urban culture (see J. B. Garstang, The Story of Jericho, 1948).
1931 Ernest Herzfeld was at work at Persepolis, and A. Maiui at Pompeii and Herculaneum, O. R. Sellers with W. F. Albright was working at Bethzur, a site of interesting Maccabaean remains, commanding the road from Jerusalem to Hebron. The British-American-Hebrew University project at Samaria—a four-year dig—began in 1931, and was to continue under J. W. Crowfoot who began where Reisner left off, and with much more exact chronology. M. E. L. Mallowan appeared on the scene with work at Nineveh. He was to work extensively in this area for more than thirty years. The excavation of the agora at Athens began in this year and extended to 1939. It was directed for the American School of Classical Studies by Oscar Broneer. The Chester-Beatty Papyri were discovered.
1932 G. E. Ederkin worked on the site of Syrian Antioch. Excavations continued there until 1939 without producing significant evidence for the apostolic period. On behalf of the Wellcome Expedition, J. L. Starkey began excavations at Lachish. The work went on for four years until the tragic death of the notable archeologist at the hands of an Arab bandit in 1938. The major find was the Lachish Letters with their light on Jeremiah. Starkey was Petrie’s pupil. The Dura synagogue (a.d. 244) was found almost intact by the French-American expedition in this year (Albright, op. cit., pp. 175, 176). In 1932 and 1933, R. W. Hamilton, of the Palestine Department of Antiquities, worked on a Bronze Age II site at the foot of Carmel on the coastal plain—Tell Abu Hawam. Importance of the Nazareth Decree, in the Louvre for half a cent. was recognized in an article in JHS by M. Rostovtzeff in this year.
1933 Roman Ghirshman began five years’ work on Tepe Siyalk, P. Dikaias was busy in Cyprus. Mme Judith Marquet-Krause began an important excavation at Ai, a work interrupted by the untimely death of the archeologist after two season’s work. Charles Morey continued work at the Syrian Antioch, aided by Richard Stillwell. In this year, Andre Parrot, excavating Tell Harari, near the Euphrates in SE Syria, began uncovering Mari, a project which extended to 1960. The lit. discovered was of immense Biblical importance. In 1933 the rabbi archeologist, Nelson Glueck, began his thirteen-year survey of Trans-Jordan from Aqaba to the Syrian border, patiently identifying and dating the sites in an almost untouched area (see Albright, op. sup. cit., pp. 44, 76, 77, 78). Glueck’s remarkable book (The Jordan) was published in London in 1946—with a second edition nine years later.
1934 Hetty Goldman began work at Gozlu Kule (ancient Tarsus). Two volumes of her report appeared in 1950 and 1956 (Excavations at Gozlu Kule, London). The task covered four seasons. Excavations at Bethel were conducted by J. L. Kelso and W. F. Albright in this year. J. H. Steckweh brought the Ger. project at Shechem (Balatah) to a close—a work initiated by E. Sellin in 1913 and resumed by him in 1926. The work had been a badly organized project interrupted by Germany’s troubles, and tension in the party. In a brief season Steckweh cleared up much detail and salvaged valuable results, Albright, op. cit., pp. 45, 46. Also article in Avraham Negev’s Archaeological Encyclopedia of the Holy Land [New York, 1972], p. 257).
1935 J. W. Black was working at Samaria, Erich Schmidt at Persepolis, and Gordon Loud at Megiddo succeeded by P. L. O. Guy. Two seasons later he found the famous Megiddo ivories. The archeological reports, as the article on Megiddo shows, are extensive and cover a generation. A further season of the joint expedition at Samaria (1931-1933) was undertaken this year. C. H. Roberts published papyrus fragments of John’s Gospel, now in John Rylands Library at Manchester.
1936 The large Jewish town and necropolis of Beth-shearim saw begun a four-year project under B. Mazar for the Hebrew University and Israel Exploration Society. Here B. Maisler and his colleagues found an important Jewish cemetery.
1937 Nelson Glueck excavated at a Nabataean cemetery on Jebel-et-Tannur, SE of the Dead Sea (Albright, op. cit., p. 165).
1938 J. L. Starkey was murdered early in the year. It was symptomatic of a gathering darkness, and Lancaster Harding and Charles H. Inge carried on briefly at Lachish, but the troubles of seven years were bringing to a close the greatest decade of archeology yet known.
1939 Just before the Second World War broke out, the immensely expensive Megiddo exploration was brought to an end, though in 1941, Yigael Yadin, a new great name appearing in the story, did some work on the site—and also at Hazor. Yadin was the son of E. L. Sukenik, who had already worked on many sites in Pal., concentrating on Jewish tombs and synagogues. At intervals between 1925 and 1940 he had investigated, along with L. A. Mayer, the location of the third wall of Jerusalem, discovered by Robinson a cent. earler. The turbulent years preceding the formation of the State of Israel in 1948 delayed the launching of post-war projects in Pal., save that, in 1946, French excavation began at Tell el-Farak, NE of Nablus. Post-war inflation set a limit on funds and the size of the project.
1947 The end of this year (November 23), E. L. Sukenik of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem received the first information over the telephone about the famous. The acquisition of these priceless documents, accidentally discovered during the preceding winter (1946/1947) by Beduin is told in John C. Trevers’ 1965 publication (The Untold Story of Qumran). The Scrolls were, in W. F. Albright’s opinion, “the greatest manuscript discovery of modern times...an absolutely incredible find,” and they have evoked a great mass of writing. The discoveries from the Qumran caves continued until the present time, and in 1972 some Gr. fragments from the caves were still a matter of controversy. (It will suffice in this chronological survey to list the vital years of 1947 and 1948, leaving the specialist articles on Qumran and the caves to provide the successive dates of exploration and discovery and the bibliography.) In 1947 John Cook was working at Smyrna.
1948 Robert Braidwood worked at Qalat Jarmo in NE Irak on a number of prehistoric villages. Anthropologists may find them relevant in the outline account of human prehistory in the first four chapters of Genesis. Braidwood’s work continued at intervals to 1958. Excavations in Israel, as Israeli archeology promptly began work, were undertaken at Tell Kasileh near Tel Aviv (1948, 1949). They were directed by B. Mazar on behalf of the Israel Exploration Society and the Tel Aviv Museum. Excavations at Joppa began in the same year and continued to 1950 and in 1952 and 1955 by J. Kaplan for the Jaffa Museum.
1949 Taking up Layard’s work of over a cent. before, the British School of Archaeology in Irak spent twelve years (1949 to 1961) in tracing Calah’s history from prehistoric to Hellenistic times (see M. E. L. Mallowan, Nimrud and its Remains, 1962; Iraq 13-21, 1952-1959). R. de Vaux began his digging on the Essene sites of Qumran and Ain Feshkhah.
1950 The seven-year investigation of the cemetery under St. Peter’s in Rome began under the direction of Ludwig Kaas. The excavation at Dibon in Moab by William Merton for the American School at Jerusalem began. They covered seven seasons. In this and the following years, J. L. Kelso and J. B. Pritchard worked on Rom. Jericho. Explorations by the the American Foundation for the Study of Man (1950-1953), followed by those of the University of Louvain (1951, 1952), brought to light much Sabaean art and the 8th cent. b.c. temple of the Moon Goddess at Marib.
1951 G. L. Harding and Ronald de Vaux came into possession of the first Bar Kochba documents, but the source was undisclosed to them.
1952 Copper rolls from the Dead Sea caves, sent to Manchester College of Technology for unrolling, gave clue to Qumran community. Work which was to extend to 1958 was begun at Jericho, sponsored by the British School of Archaeology in Jerusalem, by the Palestine Exploration Fund, in collaboration with the American School of Oriental Research in Jerusalem and the Royal Ontario Museum. Dr. Kathleen Kenyon was in charge, and this was to prove the most complete exploration of the ancient site yet undertaken. Nelson Glueck’s exploration of the Negev began in 1952. Roman Ghirshman, who had worked at Tepe Siyalk from 1933 to 1937 and at Susa from 1946, began, in 1952, his eight-year task of clearing the elaborate ziggurat of the Elamite city of Chaga-Zambil, in Iran.
1953 Joseph P. Free, sponsored by Wheaton College, Illinois, began a series of campaigns at Dothan. Excavation reports are to be found in BA and BASOR over many succeeding years.
1954 Pages were added to Mycenaean archeology by Carl Blegen’s work at Pylos. Kurt Bittel did notable work at Boghazkoy. This scholar had been at work for some score of years on the Hittite Empire, its language and script. His work lies, like some other themes here listed, only on the periphery of Biblical archeology, but a popular account of both Bittel’s and Bossert’s work, and the decipherment of Hittite, is to be found in C. W. Ceram’s Narrow Pass, Black Mountain (London, 1956). This was a year of some activity, with Zakarie Goneiun busy at Saqqara, Andre Godard at Persepolis, Richard Haines at Nippur (where he discovered the Inanna temple), Philip Hammond at Petra, Kamal el Mallakh at Gizeh, Jean Perrot at Tell Abu Matar, near Beersheba, Heinrich Lenzen, for the German Archaeological Society, at Warka (ancient Erech), Seton Lloyd at Beycesultan, J. A. Puglish at Rome. Y. Aharoni opened the first of his four digs at Ramat Rahel (1954, 1959, 1960, 1963) on behalf of the University of Rome and associated Israeli institutions. Five occupation levels from the Iron Age to Christian and Arab times were distinguished. A. J. B. Wace was beginning a decade’s work at Mycenae.
1955 Emil Kunze was at work at Olympia. The Gr. games (Pythian at Delphi, Isthmian at Corinth, and Olympic at Olympia in the western Peloponnese) are relevant to Biblical archeology only for the imagery they supplied for Paul and Hebrews. S. Yeivan continued the vigorous Israeli work at Caesarea, where Antonio Frova, the Italian, has uncovered the theater in which, in 1960, a stone bearing a fragmented inscr. of, was found. The excavation of Hazor by Y. Yadin began this year, extended to 1958, and was continued in 1968. It was undertaken on behalf of the Hebrew University, and revealed the ability of a new, locally trained generation of Israeli archeologists. The Jordan Department of Antiquities commissioned P. J. Parr to clear and restore monuments at Petra. A Rom. villa, uncovered in Kent, at Lullingstone, contains evidence for Christianity in 3rd cent. Britain (G. W. Meates, Lullingstone Roman Villa, [London]).
1956 In this year, the next, and in 1962, 1964, and 1966, Shechem was excavated by G. F. Wright on behalf of the McCormick Archaeological Expedition, and J. B. Pritchard began important work at Gibeon. It was carried on in 1957, 1959, 1960 and 1962 by the same archeologist on behalf of the Museum of the University of Pennsylvania. At Caesarea, M. Avi-Yonah, for the Hebrew University, excavated synagogue ruins. (The troubles of Israel following the Suez crisis of this year held up many projects, esp. those under the widening sponsorship of local institutions of learning.)
1957 B. Ravani worked at Tiberias. He excacavated the baths at this ancient spa.
1958 Harvard and Cornell Universities, in cooperation with the American Schools of Oriental Research, began new excavations at Sardis (BASOR, April 1959, pp. 1-35). Franz Mittner was working at Ephesus, and N. Zori at Bethshan.
1959 A four-year dig, resuming interrupted work, was begun at Caesarea. Saul S. Weinberg was at work in Corinth. In 1959 UNESCO first broached the project of an international effort to lift and save the great temples of Abu Simbel from the forthcoming inundation of the Aswan High Dam. At immense expense this was accomplished (see A. S. McQuitty, Abu Simbel [London, 1965]. Burckhardt had first discovered this temple in 1812.).
1960 A three-year research project at Caesarea in underwater archeology, worked on the Rom. port. A. Negev, on behalf of the National Parks Authority, worked on the Crusader town. In the third season of excavations at Shechem by the Drew-McCormick Expedition, the Bronze Age beginnings of the town were revealed (see Addendum to article in IDB 4.315). In this year the Israel Exploration Society made a thorough exploration of the Dead Sea caves, and Y. Yadin, in charge of one of the four teams, made a significant discovery behind Engedi. He used a helicopter to photograph the area, and located a Rom. camp which led to the discovery of the Bar-Kochba relics in the caves below (see, for a readily accessible account, Ronald Harker, Digging up Bible Lands [London, 1972], pp. 96 to 108). The exploration was fruitfully resumed in March, 1961.
1961 Paul Lapp excavated at Araq el Emir, 1961 to 1963, and at Taanach in 1964. He was Director of the Jerusalem School of the American Society for Oriental Research (1961-1964). In a cave N of Jericho he found important papyri from Samaria (722 b.c.) in 1963. James Mellaart worked at Iconium (modern Konya) from 1961 to 1963.
1962 H. F. Squarciapino worked at Ostia, the Tiber port of Rome, in 1962. He discovered a 4th cent. a.d. synagogue, the oldest found in W Europe. In 1962 and 1963 the Rom. theater was excavated at Petra by the Princeton Theological Seminary under the direction of P. Hammond, Jr. From 1962 to 1967 Yohanan Aharoni Professor of Biblical Archaeology at Tel Aviv University, along with R. Amiram, excavated on behalf of the Hebrew University and the Israel Exploration Society at Arad; and, for the Department of Antiquities and Museums, M. Dothan worked at Ashdod. Both seasons extended until 1967. Simultaneously (until 1968) Kathleen Kenyon continued working at Jericho for the British School of Archaeology at Jerusalem, and W. G. Dever for the Hebrew Union College.
1963 In this and the two succeeding seasons, Y. Yadin organized and completed his mass archeological assault on Masada, of which he told the story in his fine book—Masada.
1964 J. Callaway worked at Ai and K. Schoonover at Et Tell.
1965 Mampsis, the easternmost town of the central Negev, twenty-five m. E of Beersheba, was excavated by A. Negev for the Hebrew University and Parks Administration. The work covered three seasons. (The site had been visited by E. Robinson in 1838 and E. H. Palmer in 1871. C. L. Wooley and T. E. Lawrence drew a plan of the ruins in 1914 and a final survey was made in 1937 by G. G. Kirk and P. L. O. Guy.)
1967 The Six Days’ War brought many historic sites into Israeli control—for example Old Jerusalem, and the whole of the Sinai Peninsula. In Sinai, during the brief period of Israeli occupation from 1956 to 1957, a detailed survey of sites was conducted and published in a magnificent book called God’s Wilderness, by Beno Rothenberg (London, 1961). A fine scroll from the Dead Sea (8.6 meters long) was bought by Y. Yadin from an Arab dealer who could be located only after the occupation of Jordanian Jerusalem. It was a manual containing religious rules, architectural notes on how the temple at Jerusalem should be built, and a mass of other directions. A plan for mobilization was oddly similar to that put into operation exactly two thousand years after the concealment of the writings.
1968 In this year B. Mazar began the excavation of the South wall of the Temple Mount on behalf of three Israeli institutions. The decade’s work on this difficult site is detailed in Kathleen Kenyon’s Royal Cities of the O.T. (London, 1971), pp. 39, 43, 45, 61, 110, 111, 114. In this year, during building operations at Givat Ha-Mivtar, NE of Jerusalem, the ossuary of Yehohanan Ha-Gaqol, a man who had been crucified, was discovered.
1969 N. Avigad began excavations in the Jewish Quarter of of the Old City of Jerusalem where remains of a magnificent Hellenistic villa have been revealed, and S. Weinberg, on behalf of the Museum of Art and Archeology of the University of Missouri, began work at Tel Anafah in the Hula Valley.
Conclusion Chronological recording becomes difficult from this point. This is written with the peace of Israel again uncertain following theWar. Projects in all the Middle East may be hampered. Much is going on around the wall of Jerusalem. The place of the Trumpet and Herodian streets have been found. Ossuaries in numbers have authenticated names in the fourth gospel. Evidence of early Christianity has accumulated from Jerusalem to Herculeaneum. But reports this wiki Encyclopedia was mnade available, activity in many areas relevant to Biblical archeology has continued. The Israeli diggers are reluctant to publish their work until findings have been meticulously checked and completed. It is known that Tel Aviv University is engaged in important work on Lachish and Beersheba, while any visitor to Jerusalem can see the rapid progress of clearance around the SE corner of the walls of Old Jerusalem. Capernaum has received notable attention summarized in G. G. Garner’s article in Buried History (June, 1975), a valuable little periodical. It presents the results of archeological scholarship to the intelligent lay reader. Alfred Glock has taken up the task at Taanach following the death of Paul Lapp. The final volumes of the Shechem report, a huge project, are nearing completion. Another report on Tell-el Ful is due, and a dozen other projects &--; Shema, Tell el-Hesi, Ai, Caesarea, etc., &--; are active.
Newsletter 9 (1973, 1974) from the American Schools of Oriental Research summarizes work of recent years from half a dozen fields. Rast and Schaub’s work at Bab edh-Dhra, and Horn’s at Heshbon account for two important sites in the Dead Sea area. In Jordan Van Elderen and Sauer have continued their work. The former archeologist has discovered a large church at Merdeba. Publication is active in all spheres, but is confined largely to scholarly monographs, serial reports, and articles of a specialist cast in learned publications. It appears that the first half of the decade of the seventies will be as fruitful in new discovery as the previous five years, and will prove as interesting and inspiring to the general reader when it filters through to popular publication.
The following list is not intended to be exhaustive, but rather to provide the interested reader with a selection of authoritative books relevant to the themes discussed in this article. They are roughly divided into sections, but they necessarily overlap considerably. It has been thought wise to include many titles which are currently out of print. Libraries contain them in many cases, and there is a movement, which could well be accelerated, to revive and reprint worthy books which retain their interest, relevance, and authority. G. A. Smith’s great geographical work is a supreme example.
A. Geography. G. A. Smith, The Historical Geography of the Holy Land (25th ed., 1931); J. H. Kitchen, Holy Fields (1955); E. M. Blaiklock, Pictorial Atlas of the Bible (1969).
B. History. R. K. Harrison, A History ofTimes (1957); F. F. Bruce, Israel and the Nations (1963); W. Keller (1964).
C. General archaeology and description. S. L. Caiger, Bible and Spade (1936); J. P. Free, Archaeology and Bible History (1950); C. W. Ceram, Gods, Graves and Scholars (1952); W. H. Boulton, Archaeology Explains (1952); S. G. Brade Birks, Teach Yourself Archaeology (1953); W. F. Albright, The Archaeology of Palestine (1960); L. Cottrell, Wonders of Antiquity (1960); J. A. Thompson, The Bible and Archaeology (1962); D. J. Wiseman, Illustrations in Biblical Archaeology (1962); A. Eisenberg and D. P. Elkins, Worlds Lost and Found (1964).
D. The Old Testament. R. Koldewey, The Excavations at Babylon (1914); R. A. S. Macalister, The Philistines (1914); J. Baikie, The Amarna Age (1926); R. A. S. Macalister, A Century of Excavation in Palestine (1930); J. Garstang, Joshua-Judges (1931) G. A. Barton, Archaeology and the Bible (1933); A. S. Yahuda, The Accuracy of the Bible (1934); P. Carleton, Buried Empires (1939); J. Garstang, The Story of Jericho (1940); N. Glueck, The River Jordan (1946); H. H. Rowley, From Joseph to Joshua (1950); C. L. Woolley, Ur of the Chaldees (1950); Digging up the Past (1954); Excavations at Ur (2nd ed., 1954); A. Parrott, The Flood and Noah’s Ark; Discovering Buried Worlds; Nineveh and the Old Testament (1955); The Temple of Jerusalem (1957); Samaria (1958); O. R. Gurney, The Hittites (1955); W. Phillips, Qataban and Sheba (1955); C. W. Ceram, Narrow Pass, Black Mountain (1956); K. Kenyon, Digging up Jericho (1957); G. R. Driver, Aramaic Documents of the Fifth Century B.C. (1957); S. N. Kramer, History Begins at Sumer (1959); N. Glueck, Rivers in the Desert (1960); C. F. Pfeiffer, The Patriarchal Age (1961); M. F. Unger, Archaeology and the Old Testament (1962); J. Laessoe, The People of Ancient Assyria (1963); M. Noth, The Old Testament World (1966).
E. The New Testament. W. M. Ramsay, Was Christ Born in Bethehem? (1898); The Letters to the Seven Churches (1908); J. Baikie, Egyptian Papyri and Papyrus Hunting (1925); G. A. Deisman, Light from the Ancient East (1927); W. H. Davis, Greek Papyri of the First Century (1933); A. G. Mackinnon, The Rome of the Early Church (1933); F. A. Banks, Coins of Bible Days (1955); F. F. Bruce, Second Thoughts on the Dead Sea Scrolls (1956); C. K. Barrett, The New Testament Background (1958); E. M. Blaiklock, The Archaeology of the New Testament (1970); A. Guillaumont and G. Quispel, The Gospel According to Thomas (1959); F. F. Bruce, Are the New Testament Documents Reliable? (1960); W. M. Ramsay, The Cities of St. Paul (1960); M. F. Unger, Archaeology and the New Testament (1962); R. K. Harrison, Archaeology of the New Testament (1964); E. M. Blaiklock, The Cities of the New Testament (1965).