Wadi Rum, the majestic, mountainous desert located in the far south of Jordan, was named this summer to UNESCO’s World Heritage List. The Wadi Rum protected area, which includes more than 275 square miles of sweeping dunes and dramatic, sheer-sided mountains, has become one of Jordan’s top tourist attractions. It is also home to many of Jordan’s traditional Bedouin tribes, as well as a number of archaeological sites dating from the prehistoric periods to the Islamic era. Particularly prominent are inscriptions and carvings dating to the time of the Nabataean kingdom of Petra,* which controlled the trade routes that passed through the region more than 2,000 years ago. Rum is referred to, both in the Bible and classical sources, as Aram or Iram, while it may also be the land of Uz mentioned in the book of Job (1:1).
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- Archaeology Today
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Robert Littman and Jay Silverstein
Explore an Egyptian excavation. Meet Kufti archaeologists, explore ancient streets and the mudbricks that shaped them and dive into the port of Alexandria.
Biblical Archaeology Society Staff
Chiseled on the forehead of this marble Aphrodite, a first-century A.D. copy of a fourth-century B.C. statue by Praxiteles, is a cross. The cross was likely carved by Christians, who had also damaged the goddess’s face to “close” the eyes and “silence” the mouth. More than just an act of vandalism, Christians may have reused such statues as stand-ins for saints or even the Virgin.
Enjoy book reviews by top scholars on wide-ranging topics in religion, archaeology and Biblical studies.
Reviews by William G. Dever and Aaron Burke
The Forgotten Kingdom by Israel Finkelstein traces the development of the northern kingdom of Israel to an earlier time associated with the reign of King Saul. The award-winning work is critically and independently reviewed by William G. Dever and Aaron Burke.