Biblical Archaeology Review, July/August 2018

From Egypt to Israel and beyond, the July/August 2018 issue of Biblical Archaeology Review features the latest discoveries in the world of Biblical archaeology! Start in the tomb of ‘Abdiel, an Egyptian vizier with a Semitic name. After exploring his tomb and identity, journey north to investigate the site of Khirbet el-Mastarah and to look for evidence of the early Israelites in the Jordan Valley. Return to Egypt to analyze an enigmatic papyrus that contains three Israelite psalms. Then celebrate the legacies of three archaeological giants—Lawrence E. Stager, Ephraim Stern, and James F. Strange—who shaped and influenced the field of Biblical archaeology. Additionally, explore the prehistoric diet at Tel Tsaf in Israel, look for the scribes in the Dead Sea Scrolls, and come face to face with ancient Greek warriors.

Visit us online at Bible History Daily to see the latest news in Biblical archaeology, as well as additional articles and videos about key Bible and archaeology topics, including an article by T.M. Lemos of Huron University College about violence against children in the Hebrew Bible. Further, explore the translations of what may be three Israelite psalms in an Egyptian papyrus. And be sure to explore the BAS Library, which features every article ever published in BAR, Bible Review and Archaeology Odyssey, all footnoted articles in BAR Notables and Special Collections of articles curated by BAS editors. Revisit some notable BAR articles by Lawrence E. Stager, Ephraim Stern, and James F. Strange, which have been compiled by BAS editors in a special collection to celebrate the legacies of these three archaeological giants.



Pharaoh’s Man, ‘Abdiel: The Vizier with a Semitic Name

By Alain Zivie

Several decades ago, Egyptologist Alain Zivie excavated a tomb in Saqqara, Egypt. Discovering secret passageways and hidden staircases while reinforcing collapsing chambers, he and his team carefully uncovered the tomb level by level—until they came face to face with the tomb’s owner himself: ‘Abdiel. The high-ranking ‘Abdiel, who has a Semitic name, served as a vizier to two pharaohs: Amenhotep III and his son, Akhenaten. Join Dr. Zivie as he explores ‘Abdiel’s tomb and identity.

Egyptian Papyrus Sheds New Light on Jewish History

By Karel van der Toorn

The enigmatic Papyrus Amherst 63 was likely created by the descendants of the Aramean and Judean soldiers who in the fifth century B.C.E. had been stationed at the southern Egyptian border. Recorded in a cursive script derived from Egyptian hieroglyphs, the Aramaic texts of the Amherst papyrus keep challenging what we know about Aramean religion and the history of the Hebrew Bible.

Khirbet el-Mastarah: An Early Israelite Settlement?

By Ralph K. Hawkins and David Ben-Shlomo

Hidden in the Jordan Valley, Khirbet el-Mastarah may shed light on early Israelite origins. The site contains numerous enclosures and structures, which appear to have been used by a nomadic or semi-nomadic group at the beginning of the Iron Age (c. 1200 B.C.E.). Archaeologists Ralph K. Hawkins and David Ben-Shlomo examine the evidence.

“The Nobles of the People Dug It”: Remembering Three Archaeological Giants

By Daniel M. Master, Hillel Geva, Daniel Warner, Donald D. Binder, Eric M. Meyers, and James Riley Strange

Three significant scholars—who shaped and influenced the field of Biblical archaeology—recently passed away, but their legacies live on. The impact of Lawrence E. Stager, Ephraim Stern, and James F. Strange will be felt for generations to come.


First Person: The American Bible Society’s Electronic Inquisition

By Robert R. Cargill

Site-Seeing: Face to Face with Ancient Greek Warriors

By Beth Ann Judas

Biblical Views: Where Are the Scribes in the Dead Sea Scrolls?

By Charlotte Hempel

Archaeological Views: Prehistoric Dining at Tel Tsaf

By Danny Rosenberg and Florian Klimscha


Nahum’s Tomb—Safe for Now
BAS Fellowships for 2018
Where Is It?
New Dig Reports: Judah’s Iron Age Towns
DeMille’s Sphinx Uncovered
Exhibit Watch: Dead Sea Scrolls in Denver
Cartoon Caption Contest


Through the Lens of Archaeology: A High-Resolution Image of Ancient Israel
Beyond the Texts: An Archaeological Portrait of Ancient Israel and Judah
Reviewed by Richard Elliott Friedman

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