About Rachel Hallote

Rachel Hallote

Rachel Hallote is an archaeologist and Professor of History at Purchase College SUNY. She is the author of several books and numerous articles about biblical archaeology, and the history of archaeology, including Bible, Map and Spade: The American Palestine Exploration Society, Frederick Jones Bliss and the Forgotten Story of Early American Biblical Archaeology (2006), and The Photographs of the American Palestine Exploration Society (2012). Her research revolves around the history of the discipline, especially focusing on the British and American archaeologists who excavated in Ottoman-controlled Palestine in the 19th century. In 2014, she received the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities, and in 2017 she received the ASOR Membership Service Award for her continued involvement in ASOR. She has worked at numerous archaeological sites in Israel, including Tell Miqne and Megiddo.


Presenter at

Bible & Archaeology Fest XXIV, October 16 – 17, 2021
From Treasure Hunting to Excavation: Why Dig up the Land of the Bible?

This lecture explores how the discipline of biblical archaeology evolved over time. The field was born slowly and in a less-than-scholarly fashion, often based on the work of gold seekers who made dubious and questionable claims about their archaeological finds. Learn about the missteps that happened along the way, as archaeology gradually evolved from treasure hunting to a truly scientific discipline.


BAS Virtual Summer Seminar, July 26 – 31, 2021

The Not-So-Innocents Abroad: How American Scholars Shaped the Discipline of Biblical Archaeology
Delve into the reasons for American interest in the land of the Bible and learn about the influence of American explorers and scholars on early biblical archaeology. By the early 20th century, the American archaeological presence in Ottoman Palestine via expeditions and the establishment of organizations rivaled that of France and England.

Politics and Archaeology: An Introduction
Trace the use of archaeology to promote political agendas through both correct and incorrect interpretations of archaeological remains. This started with Napoleon’s conquest of Egypt in the late 18th century and continues to modern times, such as the case of Masada in Israel.

Between Israel and Mesopotamia: Archaeology, Art, and Myth
Discuss the similarities and differences between ancient Mesopotamia and the biblical world of ancient Israel, drawing on the story of Noah and other flood accounts. After 200 years of scholarship, learn why biblical Israel can take its rightful place of importance within the ancient Near East.

Did the Exodus Really Happen?
The Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt is one of the most contested narratives of the Bible. For a century, scholarship has endeavored to show that there is no evidence for this event in Egyptian historical texts or in the archaeology of Egypt or Canaan. This talk refutes this view by showing that the core of the Exodus narrative reflects accurate history.

Was King Ahab Really So Bad? The 9th Century in History and Archaeology
Discover whether archaeological materials and non-biblical inscriptions from the Ninth Century BCE confirm the biblical narrative or tell a different story. Look at three ninth-century inscriptions—the Kurkh Stele, the Mesha Stele, and the Tel Dan Stele. Compare the history they describe to the biblical accounts of the reigns of kings Omri and Ahab and to the archaeology of ninth-century Israel.

Where’d That Artifact Come From?
Uncover how museums acquire their artifacts and the impact of repatriating them. Perhaps the best-known repatriation request is Greece’s petition for the British Museum to return the Parthenon Marbles (sometimes called the Elgin Marbles). Learn about five significant artifacts, which have not been repatriated, but which might be in the future.