The Renewed Hazor Excavations

By: Amnon Ben-Tor, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem Edited and abridged from NEA 76.2 (2013): 66–67 (see editorial note below) Tel Hazor, “the head of all those kingdoms” (Joshua 11:10), is the largest tell in Israel and encompasses a total of approximately 800 dunams (200 acres). With the exception of two gaps in the settlement, […]

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The Archaeology of World War I in Palestine and the Beginning of the Modern Middle East

By: Jeffrey A. Blakely Most Americans understand World War I in the Middle East through the epic 1962 film Lawrence of Arabia. Who can forget Peter O’Toole’s vibrant blue eyes as he blew up trains on the Hejaz railroad in modern Saudi Arabia and Jordan? Since American forces were not involved in the Egyptian/Palestine front, […]

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The Ancient Near East in Brazil and Argentina From the Origins of Research to the Present

By: Josué Berlesi Brazil and Argentina are not the first places you think of for ancient Near Eastern studies. But the story of ancient Near Eastern studies in these places is both interesting in its own right and says important things about education and culture in these countries. There are similarities between the discipline in […]

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Ten Years after Iraq: Archaeology, Archaeologists, and U.S. Foreign Relations

By: Morag M. Kersel and Christina Luke Ten years ago, in April of 2003, a coalition led by the United States invaded Iraq. This quickly toppled the Ba’athist regime of Saddam Hussein but also resulted in the loss of life, local unrest, displacement, and the ransacking of cultural institutions, archives, libraries, and the national museum […]

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Hand in Hand with Politics: The Challenges of Egyptian Studies in Serbia

By: Branislav Anđelković There is a saying that Balkans, sometimes rightly compared to a “powder keg”, is a place where the East offered a hand to the West but the West refused to shake it. The Balkan Peninsula is a land bridge between Europe and Asia, through which pass major cultural boundaries. The Balkans are […]

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Biblical Archaeology in Germany – Does it Have a Future?

By: Martin Peilstöcker What if Biblical Archaeology went extinct in your native country? More than twenty years ago I left my native Germany to get a Ph.D. at Tel Aviv University and to work for the Antiquities Authority in Israel. But when I returned in 2009, the situation I found in Germany came as a […]

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Archaeology after the Arab Spring

By: Jesse Casana The transformative political events in the Middle East over the past two years have had, among many other unexpected outcomes, profound effects on the direction of research in Near Eastern archaeology.  War and civil unrest act as both a carrot and a stick, forcing the cessation of fieldwork in some areas, while […]

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Ancient Tsunamis and their Modern Significance

By: Beverly Goodman On March 11, 2011, the word “tsunami” went from being an esoteric term to a household word. The world’s television screens were filled with images of destruction and carnage when massive waves generated by an offshore earthquake devastated large portions of northeastern Japan. Waves reaching as high as 40 meters resulted in […]

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Archaeology and Cultural Heritage in Egypt after Mubarak

By: Greg Williams Egypt’s January 25th revolution was originally seen as part of the larger “Arab Spring” across the Middle East where old political regimes were overthrown by popular protests and replaced by representative democracies. But on January 28th 2011, as chaos reigned in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, reports began circulating around the globe claiming that […]

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ASOR and Archaeological Ethics

By: Lynn Swartz Dodd “There is a tendency at every important but difficult crossroad to pretend that it’s not really there.” —Bill McKibben What should American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR) members do if new Dead Sea Scrolls are found? What if our country’s military actions increase uncontrolled looting of ancient sites? Or if war […]

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Using Inscriptions from the Antiquities Market: Polarized Positions and Pragmatic Proposals

By: Christopher A. Rollston Archaeological sites in the Middle East have been ransacked, pillaged, and plundered for many decades. The motivations of the actual pillaging are normally economic: the pursuit of marketable artifacts. That is, the pillagers wish to find objects that can be sold to collectors. Of course, the motivations of the collectors who […]

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The Dilemma of Denial: Scholarly Publication Policies and the Illusion of Power

By: Jonathan Rosenbaum President Emeritus, Gratz College For generations, academic journals have been deemed the appropriate venue for the initial publication of ancient inscriptions and artifacts. Nevertheless, last fall, the New York Times became the source of an editio princeps when it announced the discovery of a “faded papyrus fragment” that seemed to be “first […]

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