Ancient Israel

Ancient Israel


Jul 1

High Places, Altars and the Bamah

By: Ellen White

The open-air altar shrine, called a bamah (plural bamot), is known through several books of the Biblical canon. Often referred to as “high places” in translations of the Bible, bamot were worship sites that usually contained an altar.

Jun 28

Hezekiah’s Religious Reform—In the Bible and Archaeology

By: David Rafael Moulis

According to the Hebrew Bible, Hezekiah “removed the high places, broke down the pillars and cut down the sacred pole” (2 Kings 18:4). What was Hezekiah’s religious reform like on the ground, and what were his motives?


Apr 20

The Lod Mosaic—Jewish, Christian or Pagan?

By: Robin Ngo

A series of stunning mosaic floors dated to around 300 C.E. were uncovered in Lod, Israel. Plants, birds, fish and animals are depicted in the mosaics—but no human figures. Who made these mosaics?

Mar 27

Purity and Impurity in Iron Age Israel

By: Marek Dospěl

The idea of clean and unclean is universal, and we distinguish between clean and unclean things on daily basis when we ask ourselves: “Should I […]

Mar 26

Was Biblical Israel an Egalitarian Society?

By: Biblical Archaeology Society Staff

Although excavated structures, pottery and other household artifacts offer a glimpse of daily life in the Iron Age highlands of Canaan, no burials or tombs have been found. What do these findings reveal about the ideology of early Iron Age Israelite society?

Jan 20

A Feast for the Senses … and the Soul

By: Dorothy Willette

Go on a journey of the senses through history and discover the significance of ritual feasts and meals in antiquity.


Jan 19

The Magdala Stone: The Jerusalem Temple Embodied

By: Jennifer Ristine

For a people living in the diaspora, unable to visit the Jerusalem Temple frequently, what kept the memory and centrality of the Temple fresh in their minds? An intriguing stone uncovered at the Galilean site of Magdala might offer a clue.


Jan 18

First Person: Did the Kingdoms of Saul, David and Solomon Actually Exist?

By: Hershel Shanks

In BAR, Hershel Shanks examines a recent article published by archaeologist Amihai Mazar. Mazar contends that while the Biblical narratives were written hundreds of years after the reigns of Saul, David and Solomon, they “retain memories of reality.”

Jan 1

How Ancient Taxes Were Collected Under King Manasseh

By: Biblical Archaeology Society Staff

A seventh-century B.C.E. clay bulla inscribed in paleo-Hebrew script provides evidence for how ancient taxes were collected during the reign of the Biblical King Manasseh.

Aug 31

6,500-Year-Old DNA Points to Ancient Migration

By: Robin Ngo

A new DNA study demonstrates that humans migrated from modern-day Turkey and Iran to Israel’s Upper Galilee region 6,500 years ago.