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From the Editor
It gives me great pleasure, as the new Editor of Near Eastern Archaeology, to present the June issue of the journal. Publishing Near Eastern Archaeology continues to be both a challenge and an opportunity. The challenge is to present, in single issues of just 64 pages, snapshots of the different civilizations of this vast area through the several millennia of their history and of the diversity of modern scholarship. Is there anything like an “ancient Near East,” defined by similar ideas and embraced by a common past? How can we hope to understand those cultures in light of the fragmentary nature of the evidence and our different modern mentalities? How do we inform our readers in a meaningful and accessible way of the controversial debates and the often highly specialized scholarly methods and approaches? At the same time, Near Eastern Archaeology offers the opportunity of engaging a wide audience of readers in what constitutes a major and indispensable part of the human experience, a history that is inextricably intertwined with the present Middle East through the region’s cultural heritage, its religious traditions and its political and intellectual legacy. The June issue tries to present a glimpse of the many aspects that the ancient Near East presents to us. Its five articles feature a wide variety of geographic regions and time periods: from Anatolia through the Jordan Valley and from Judea to Egypt and Dilmun, from the fourth millennium B.C.E. to the Byzantine period. In terms of its contents, the issue deals with toilet archaeology, forensic facial reconstruction, monumental rock art, material evidence for local administration, and the evolution and demise of a prominent city on the shore of Lake Kinneret in the Early Bronze Age.
To assume the function of Editor of Near Eastern Archaeology also means to acknowledge my deep gratitude to those individuals who steered the journal in the past and who are at present helping to keep it afloat. My sincere thanks go to Ann Killebrew, who in a tremendous effort rebuilt the foundations of Near Eastern Archaeology in the last years, and Jeff Blekely, who was kind enough to serve as guest editor for the March 2012 issue. Bob Buller continues to do outstanding work as the Journal’s Managing Editor. I take the opportunity to mention here that in the second half of 2012 an electronic article management system will be implemented for Near Eastern Archaeology that will help us to streamline production. Furthermore, my thanks go to all the colleagues who have agreed to continue to serve on or to join the editorial committees of NEA: in the class of 2012, Susan Ackerman (Dartmouth College), Lynn Swartz Dodd (University of Southern California), and Bethany Walker (Missouri State); in the class of 2013, Ömür Harmansah (Brown University), Ann-Marie Knoblauch (Virginia Tech), and K. Lawson Younger (Trinity International University); in the class of 2014, Beth Alpert Nakhai (University of Arizona), Marica Cassis (Memorial University), and Michael Harrower (Johns Hopkins); and in the class of 2015, Richard S. Hess (Denver Seminary), Nadine Moeller (Oriental Institute), and Jason Ur (Harvard University). I also warmly welcome Stephen Russell (Princeton Theological Seminary) as NEA’s new Book Review Editor. The success of NEA relies on the work, advice, and continuous enthusiasm of all of them and the indispensable assistance of the staff at ASOR’s Boston office. In the end, of course, it relies most of all on the interest, support, and enthusiasm of its readers. Thank you all very much.
Editor, Near Eastern Archaeology
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