Israel Finkelstein’s Latest Contribution to the Field: The Iron Age in Israel: The Exact and Life Sciences Perspective

The Iron Age in Israel: The Exact and Life Sciences Perspective, edited by Israel Finkelstein, Steve Weiner, and Elisabetta Boaretto.

Full Issue


‘Sea Peoples’? Maybe Not After All

This is a very interesting essay.

Professor Jens Kamlah, emphasizes the significance of disproving the “sea peoples” theory. He says, “The goal of our research is to disprove the evidence supporting this old, extremely simplified, model. Mr. Millek’s work represents a significant contribution to this effect. The time period we are investigating is crucial for the rise of the Israel we know from the Old Testament of the Bible. Demonstrating the different reasons and complex economic relationships behind the decline in trade can provide new insights into this key epoch.”

Read the piece.

Eric Cline’s Lecture at the Oriental Institute, Chicago

Eric told me to post this with some complimentary remarks along with links to every translation in which his (genuinely excellent) book is found. But I’m disinclined (simply because he’s already at #1 on Amazon and they’re making his book into a movie and Harrison Ford is playing Cline as he wanders around Troy trying to find the golden fleece and the ark of the covenant).


The Palestine Exploration Fund’s 150th Anniversary

Yuval Goren, Tel Aviv University

4pm, 9th April  2015, BP Lecture Theatre, Clore Education Centre, British Museum. To book, contact the British Museum Box Office:  020 7323 8181 or

Lecture Poster April 9th 2015.pdf


Re-Historicizing the Exodus- A Valiant (But Failed) Go By David Rohl

David Rohl is interviewed by Popular Archaeology and, apparently, you can access it for free for a limited time:


… regards himself as an agnostic, yet he argues for a historical Bible. He accepts that he is a heterodox who does not accept orthodoxy simply because it is the consensus view. Rohl is a fully trained scholar with a degree in Egyptology, ancient history, Levantine archaeology, and the history of ancient Greece, whilst his post-graduate research concentrated on the complex and rarely studied chronology of the Third Intermediate Period in Egypt.

Rohl’s conclusions have been dismissed by academia, mainly on the grounds that they are too bold, too radical and not supported by the evidence. He would disagree with the last sentiment, arguing that most scholars who dismiss his work are not themselves familiar with the material and have not understood his evidence, since they have not actually read his books. He feels they are simply regurgitating an anti-Rohl consensus, which amounts to “we all know he’s wrong”, even though a detailed and thorough critique of his work has never been offered. Many in the general public, on the other hand, have been captivated by his research and, as a result, he has become the de facto leader of a new ‘Bible as history’ movement.

Here Rohl discusses the question of the historical basis for the Exodus story, given the renewed interest engendered by two new films on the subject released in the last twelve months.

None of the questions answered points to Rohl being particularly engaged in biblical scholarship or, in some sense, even familiar with it.

Exodus as a Mnemo-Narrative: An Archaeological Perspective

From Aren Maeir,

…a paper on the Exodus from a cultural/collective memory perspective, which just appeared in a volume edited by Tom Levy et al., the proceedings of a conference on the Exodus which was held in San Diego two years ago. It’s called Exodus as a Mnemo-Narrative: An Archaeological Perspective. Pp. 409–19 in Israel’s Exodus in Transdisciplinary Perspective – Text, Archaeology, Culture, and Geoscience, eds. T. E. Levy, T. Schneider and W. H. C. Propp. Quantitative Methods in the Humanities and Social Sciences. Heidelberg: Springer.

The abstract states:

I discuss possible archaeological correlates from the second and first millennia BCE Levant and Egypt—spanning the Middle and Late Bronze Ages, the Iron Age I and II, and the Persian and Hellenistic periods— which may have served as background(s) for the formation, preservation, and transformation of the biblical and extra-biblical Exodus traditions. I will attempt to assess the character and relevance of strands of evidence from diverse periods and contexts and discuss the possible interface, and/ or lack thereof, between these artifactually-based cultural events and the various Exodus narratives as reflected in the biblical texts and traditions.

Get a copy of the book from your local library and give it a read.

More Archaeological Evidence that Canaan/ Palestine/ Israel Was Little More Than an Egyptian Buffer Zone

Archaeological excavations at a construction site in the White City found remains of a 5,000-year-old brewery belonging to a Bronze Age Egyptian settlement, Israel’s Antiquities Authority announced Sunday.  The site, located in the heart of Tel Aviv, is the northernmost Egyptian site from the Early Bronze Age.  It was excavated by IAA archaeologists as part of a salvage dig before the construction of a new tower on Hamasger Street.

An Egyptian outpost… That’s what Canaan was.  Throughout its history.

Happy 66th Birthday, Israel Finkelstein!

Today is Israel’s birthday. He’s an incredibly influential Israeli archaeologist and he has overseen the excavation of most of Israel’s most important sites. Over the years he’s been a great friend and I appreciate his great work. Check out a plethora of posts in celebration of his birth-iversary and a gallery of images:

Happy birthday!

PBS is Re-Airing ‘The Bible’s Buried Secrets’

It was first aired back in 2011 and features Ron Tappy and other archaeologists doing archaeological stuff.  NOVA has aired it around this time every year since.  You’ll enjoy it.  As I opined years ago (and it still remains true), it is the best of the ‘bible on tv’ genre.  Still.

Airing Wednesday, March 25, at 9 pm on PBS.  Watch the Program – Watch the entire program online now if you’d rather not wait.

Excavate Ashdod

From Alexander Fantalkin:

Ashdod-Yam Archaeological Excavations, Israel:
The 2015 Season is coming!

This summer, join the international project (headed by Tel Aviv University and the University of Leipzig), which intends to continue the excavations of the Iron Age compound at Ashdod-Yam, in order to find out what happened when the Assyrians crushed Ashdod and expanded and fortified this nearby city. During the 2015 season we shall continue the exposure of enormous system of fortifications from the 8th century BCE, discovered in 2013. We shall also attempt to locate an artificial harbor nearby and clarify the nature of Hellenistic occupation, traces of which (including what seems to be an earthquake destruction) were discovered last season as well. The excavations will shed light on the on modes of Assyrian imperial control of subjected areas, clarifying the nature of interaction between different peoples in the Mediterranean melting pot at Ashdod-Yam.


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