This online anthology of several papers given by Robert Kraft on copies of Greek Jewish scriptures contains, apart from actual texts, a number of images of fragments of the Septuagint and a short bibliography. The main scope of Kraft's site is the extent of continuity or discontinuity between Jewish scribal culture and early Christian practices at the beginning of the Christian era. 'Textual Mechanics' also lists a number of links to related sites, document lists, and bibliographic information. 'Textual Mechanics' is not the most user-friendly site you may encounter: its layout could be much improved. However, it is worth making an effort to read through this resource, as its content fully compensates for its lack in form.
The American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR) is one of the main sponsors of Near Eastern archaeology in the United States and supports research and publications on the peoples and cultures of the Near East from the earliest times to the present day. It also directs overseas research centres in Amman, Jerusalem and Nicosia. The website for their newsletter gives access to online or PDF versions of the ASOR Newsletter from 1996 to the present. The newsletter includes reports on research funded by ASOR and the activities of their overseas research centres. It is published quarterly. The majority of the research sponsored by ASOR is archaeological, but ethnographic and other types of research are reported in the newsletter as well. The publication will be of interest to students and researchers in Near Eastern archaeology, history and heritage.
This website publishes the online version of the exhibition "Ancient Treasures and the Dead Sea Scrolls" held at the Canadian Museum of Civilization between 2003 and 2004. Through a series of short and illustrated articles, on all main topics related to the material culture in Israel during the First and Second Temple periods (ca. 1000 to 500 BC), the website presents the cultural context of the Dead Sea Scrolls, and not just the scrolls themselves. The menu activates itself by hovering the mouse over the table of contents, but the actual menu may appear anywhere in the page. The index appears a more practical way of navigating this website. Some audio commentaries and even entire lectures (for example check out "Women in the Dead Sea Scrolls" by Dr Eileen Schuller) are available in Real Media format. A useful bibliography is also available. This website may be useful especially to undergraduate students.
This website publishes a collection of illustrated articles, each focusing on individual archaeological sites in Israel. Among the topics are Akko during the Crusader Kingdom; the Canaanite sites of Arad, Gezer, Hatzor and Nahal Refa'im; the Chalcolithic sites of Be'er Sheva , Golan, and Cave of the Treasure (metal hoard); Bethsaida (of Biblical fame); the Lower and Middle Palaeolithic Carmel Caves; the Philistine settlements of Ekron and Tel Qasile; the Herodium; Jericho; Jerusalem; Masada; Megiddo; the Islamic Nimrod fortress; Qumran (settlement and Dead Sea Scrolls); a Roman boat from the Sea of Galilee; Shaar HaGolan (Neolithic figurines); Tiberias; Timna (copper mines and Hathor Temple); Zippori (Sepphoris); and several articles on recent discoveries and underwater archaeology. Many articles focus on Biblical archaeology, but there are also some on prehistoric, Roman, Islamic and Medieval archaeology. This website maybe useful especially to students considering the introductory character of the articles.
This website publishes the video recordings (with slides) of the conference "Archéologie du judaïsme en France et en Europe" held in January 2010. There is a full program of the conference in PDF and each presentation including introductions and discussions can be watched online. Most presentations are in French and aimed at scholars. The conference focused on the Middle Age, but there are also some presentations relevant to Classical antiquity (i.e. Roman catacombs; Saranda in Albania and Syracuse in Italy). Researchers may find this website very useful.
This is the official website of the Italian association of orientalists, scholars who study the ancient Near East. The website publishes information on the association and how to submit a CV or personal information to be published in "OrientaLista", a list of (mostly Italian) orientalists. The "Orientalia" publishes short reports; reviews; bibliographies; pre-prints; and papers; most files are in PDF format, and written in Italian or English. Among such contents are: "Wisdom Literature and Proverbs 1-9: A Bibliography"; "The Ugaritic Poems of Keret and Aqhat: A Bibliography"; "The So-Called ‘Jehoash Inscription’: Transcription and Bibliography"; "Magic and Divination in the Neo-Assyrian Period: A Selected Bibliography"; "Archaeometry of a Stone Tablet with Hebrew Inscription Referring to Repair of the House"; "Review of Gérard Toffin, Entre hindouisme et bouddhisme: la religion néwar, Népal"; "The Construction of Biblical Monotheism: An Unfinished Task"; "I colori nell’astrologia mesopotamica".
The association also organises some learned meetings; some information on recent meetings is provided on this website. In section "Orientalia" are also available the free and full-text PDF editions of the proceedings of such meetings, including Le discipline orientalistiche come scienze storiche. Atti del 1º Incontro «Orientalisti» (Roma, 6-7 Dicembre 2001), edited by Giuseppe Regalzi; "Mutuare, interpretare, tradurre: storie di culture a confronto. Atti del 2º Incontro «Orientalisti» (Roma, 11-13 dicembre 2002)", edited by Giuseppe Regalzi; and "Definirsi e definire: percezione, rappresentazione e ricostruzione dell’identità. Atti del 3º Incontro «Orientalisti» (Roma, 23-25 febbraio 2004)", edited by Massimo Gargiulo, Chiara Peri and Giuseppe Regalzi. Researchers specialising on the ancient Near East will find this website useful.
This website introduces the archaeological excavations currently being undertaken in Bethsaida, Israel, just north of the Sea of Galilee. The town is frequently mentioned in the New Testament and it is purported to be where many of Jesus' miracles were performed. In addition to uncovering the Roman-Hellenistic town, excavations have revealed an iron-age city gate complex, and it is now believed that Iron Age Bethsaida was the capital of the kingdom of Geshur. The website provides a brief history of Bethsaida and the excavations, and contains details of lodgings and expenses for archaeologists wishing to work on the dig. There are pictures of a few of the more important recent finds, including Powerpoint presentations, and a three-dimensional virtual reality walk-around of the iron-age gate system (requires Cortona VRML client).
The Bible and Interpretation website aims to provide a non-sectarian platform for the study and interpretation of the Bible by supplying a wide range of material on biblical and related matters, including archaeology and textual studies from many sources. These resources include news stories and comments dating back to 2000, academic articles and Web links on matters of biblical interest as well as a comprehensive A-Z guide to archaeological excavations and sites of historic and biblical interest in Israel and surrounding countries.
The range and source of the many articles, comments and websites vary considerably, from academically sponsored research projects to popular and amateur publications. They are aimed at a wide audience ranging from committed believers and interested members of the public to students and researchers. Some of the articles are polemical in nature and aim to defend or debunk faith-based positions. The editors do not appear to endorse any particular viewpoint and merely provide a medium for discussion, leaving readers to judge the validity of the arguments for themselves. In addition to the wealth of practical information contained herein, this resource also provides an interesting insight into the relationship between religion, politics, and academic studies in the Middle East and highlights the various uses to which archaeology and textual studies in particular can be put by interest groups. Although there was a gap when the site was not updated, The Bible and Interpretation website resumed publishing in October 2008, and so news is being updated on a regular basis again.
The "Bible walks" website contains a series of illustrated articles outlining major places to visit at several Levantine archaeological sites that are mentioned in the Bible. Most articles focus on visiting the sites and contain Biblical references; there are numerous photographs shot by the author accompanying the texts and these may prove useful to students. The website also contains several articles on general topics related to the Old and New Testament; a mailing list; a blog (with a section focusing on archaeology); and forums (user registration required). The blog is updated and publishes interesting news. There is also a small shop that sells mainly books and photographs. This website, written by an amateur archaeologist, may be useful primarily to students as source of simple articles and pictures.
This website contains a selection of the free online ‘Occasional Papers’ published by the British Museum. At the time of writing, these (the result of specific research into the museum’s collections) were varied in range and included: ‘A researcher's guide to the Lachish collection in the British Museum’ covering the 17,000 objects from the 1930s British excavations at Lachish in Israel; ‘Sir Aurel Stein, proceedings of the British Museum study day’ a useful reference for the study of the “scholar, explorer, author”; ‘Albrecht Dürer and his Legacy ‘, the result of a conference accompanying the landmark 2002 exhibition of the same name; ‘Cleaning and Controversy: The Parthenon Sculptures 1811-1939’ a study of the controversial 1930s cleaning of the Elgin marbles, and the historical context of this; ‘Development and evaluation of the HSBC Money Gallery at the British Museum’ a narration the creation of a new and important gallery at the museum, and a study of its impact; ‘Access to Museum Culture: the British Museum from 1753 to 1836’ a study of the early access arrangements to the museum’s collections. Each of these PDF documents is broken down by chapter for ease of reference and speed of download.
The Institute for Antiquity and Christianity (IAC) is part of the Claremont Graduate School and is a research centre which focuses on the origins of western civilisation; its bulletin is made available online by the Claremont Colleges Digital Library. Volumes available here date from 1970 to 1997. The user may browse contents lists for each volume and then access each volume page-by-page in PDF format. Of particular academic interest are the texts of IAC public lectures, and a wide range of topics is covered by these, including: archaeology relating to Biblical sites; the writing of the New Testament; ancient Roman education; Judaism and Christianity; Alexandrian poetry; ancient magic; the synagogue; and papyrology.
This website is part of the Digital Library for International Research, a project of the Council of American Overseas Research Centers (CAORC), and it publishes all volumes of the "Bulletin of the Jewish Palestine Exploration Society" journal from 1933 to 1967. Papers are written in Hebrew and English summaries are available at the end of each volume; they are accessible as individual full-text PDF files, with searchable text.
Among the papers are: "The expedition of Tiglath Pileser III to Palestine in 732 B.C."; "An ancient Jewish cave on the Jerusalem-Shechem Road"; "The list of Canaanite kings (Joshua 12)"; "Greek inscription from the vicinity of Caesarea"; "The cleaning of coins"; "The origin of the mosques and the open air-weli in Shilo"; "The Palestino-Sinaitic inscriptions"; "The ancient water supply of Jerusalem"; "Rain and water conditions in the Negev"; "The Tabula Peutingeriana"; and "The Neolithic period in Palestine". There are also numerous preliminary reports from archaeological excavations running in the 1930s to 1960s in Israel and Palestine.
'Dead Sea Scrolls and Qumran' offers a treasure of information about the Dead Sea Scrolls themselves and the context in which they were written. Mitchell Hoselton has created a site which combines his own knowledge and material on the field with that of other electronic resources, which make these pages a gateway to other sites as well as a very useful secondary source in its own right. Among the most interesting contents are the inventory of caves; the timelines; ancient and modern profiles (short biographies); the glossary; and the bibliography. His links include images, bibliographies, and URLs of major academic departments and centres studying the Scrolls, although unfortunately the list does not appear to have been updated recently, resulting in some broken links.
Tell Dothan, a large settlement site located in a fertile and strategic plain in the northern Samaria hills of Israel, was occupied almost continuously from the Chalcolithic through to the Byzantine period and has been identified as the location of various biblical events. The Dothan Publication Project is an attempt to publish online the results of the main excavations at the site between 1953 and 1964.Published so far are the excavations in the Western Cemetery of the settlement which has produced tombs spanning the Late Bronze II-Iron Age I periods (ca. 1400-1100 B.C.). The complete inventory of grave goods is published along with a full photographic archive and a description and analysis of the tomb architecture and a discussion of burial customs in the Eastern Mediterranean in Late Bronze and Early Iron Age. Several articles reproduced from the Annual of the American Schools of Oriental Research provide a general introduction to the site.This website is a useful addition to the corpus of online excavation reports and will appeal to students and researchers in archaeology and related fields.
The website 'Eras' is an online journal produced by postgraduate students from the School of Historical Studies at Monash University, Melbourne, Australia. The journal focuses on the areas of history, archaeology, religion and theology, and Jewish civilisation. Readers are encouraged to respond through the discussion page. Eras is intended to provide a platform to showcase recent Masters and doctoral research. There are links to back editions and each edition contains five or six full articles plus some book reviews. The articles are presented in both abstract and full form (in PDF format). The journal lacks a thematic approach, which would help or even engage the reader. Instead, each issue contains random material and it is necessary to trawl through the issues to discover if there is anything useful. Guidelines for contributors are available on the site together with calls for papers. There is scope to contact the editors and contribute to the discussion page.
ETANA is a cooperative project between ten scholarly institutions and organizations, funded by the Mellon Foundation, with the aim of enabling wider access to Abzu (the Internet gateway for Ancient Near East studies) and the digitization of core texts in the field. At the time of review, there were over 350 digitized texts, covering topics including ancient Egyptian and Babylonian history, biblical archaeology, and the religion of the Semites. There are also over 180 digitized cuneiform texts. Texts include an electronic version of the 'Pantheon Babylonicum: Nomina Deorum e Textibus Cuneiformibus Excerpta et Ordine Alphabetico Distributa' by Deimel, Panara, Patsch and Schneider. The site also offers a short list of links to archaeological projects and organizations affiliated with ETANA. The ETANA core texts collection can be browsed alphabetically, or keyword searches can be performed using the Abzu interface. Abzu also offers details of a vast array of websites, online journals, and ebooks relevant to academics and students working in this area.
'A Great Assemblage: An Exhibit of Judaica', which is hosted by Yale University Library, takes the form of an online museum and brings together the highlights of the university's many collections related to Judaica. Contributions are here from the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library; the Judaica Collection of the Sterling Memorial Library; Yale's Babylonian Collection; Yale's Map Collection; Yale's Manuscripts and Archives; and Yale's Art and Architecture Library. It enables visitors to view manucripts, rare books and prints in Hebrew and Yiddish, as well as artefacts ranging from Babylonian times to the 1930s. Each image can be enlarged and is accompanied by a brief description. This site contains remarkable images of Babylonian art, 16th-18th-century Jewish marriage contracts, early 20th-century religious prints from Palestine, and more.
The Great Isaiah Scroll website concerns one of the Dead Sea Scrolls, discovered in the caves at Qumran. The scroll dates from around 100 B.C. and contains the complete text of the biblical book of Isaiah. This site provides quality images of the scroll, column by column, each accompanied by an English translation and a transcription into modern Hebrew. Also given is a description of the physical characteristics of each scroll section, and information about differences between the Qumran text and the Masoretic version of Isaiah (that is, the version on which the standard biblical text has traditionally been based). An interesting resource for those wishing to learn more about the Dead Sea Scrolls.
This website publishes the online free and full-text version (since volume 116) of the Hadashot arkheologiyot journal, which publishes reports of excavations carried out by the Israel Antiquities Authority. Most reports are short, and only a few are illustrated; none has references. Individual papers can be conveniently printed with or without images (PDF files may be produced in this way if appropriate software is installed on the computer). There are some prepared PDF versions of whole volumes. The website also includes contents and abstracts of a few of the past volumes, from 1996 to 2002. Each volume contains an initial table listing all site for which a report is available in that volume and a search form allows to search by name or keyword. The advanced search allows to browse the contents of the available volumes according area or period and might be more useful. The website also publishes the guidelines for prospective authors. Researchers interested in the archaeology of Israel will find this website essential.
This site provides an attractively illustrated introduction to the coins and measures of Judaea from early times until the crusader period with historical background and a useful basic bibliography. Before the adoption of Greek and, later, Persian coins (or 'darics') in the 7th-4th centuries BC, a sophisticated system of inscribed weights, based on the unit of the Shekel, was used in Jewish areas. The first Judaean issues proper were not struck until the 4th century BC under Persian and Seleucid licence and were based on the widely used Athenian owls or Persian modes. The Seleucid Antiochus VII also struck hybrid Syrian-Jewish issues in the later 2nd century. The first properly 'Jewish' coins, with Hebrew inscriptions and lacking the portrait heads of earlier issues for religious reasons, did not appear until the time of John Hyrcanus (135-104 BC) and his successors when Judaea became fully independent. The series of coins from the reign of the Herodian dynasty and the Roman conquest down to the Late Empire and Byzantine period provide a fascinating potted history of Judaea as well as important insights on economic and iconographic matters. There is also a short section on the revival of coins of Israel in the 20th century, both in the Mandate period and after independence in 1948. The resource is part of the Jewish History Ring published by Amuseum.org (The Jewish Museum in Cyberspace) and associated with the American Jewish Historical Society. It is a useful complementary source for students of ancient history and archaeology working in the East Mediterranean or those studying general numismatics as well as an attractive introduction for the interested amateur.
This website publishes information on the current archaeological excavations by staff at the Institute of Archaeology of "The Hebrew University of Jerusalem" in Israel. Several projects run fieldschools or invite volunteers and students to participate. Contact details and dates of field seasons at each site are given. Both students (for the fieldwork opportunities) and researchers (for the preliminary reports) may find this website useful.
The House of Ptolemy is a resource guide, intended as a study aid and to provide bibliographical material for students of Greco-Roman Egypt. The main focus of the site, as its name suggests, is the period of the Ptolemaic kings (331 BCE - 30 BCE), descendants of Macedonian Greeks. There are also compendious sections on Roman, Byzantine and modern Egypt. Within these periods, links are arranged by theme into sets and subsets, in a fashion that is generally clear and efficient. Topics covered include: historical overviews; Ptolemaic numismatics; Ptolemaic genealogy and king lists; the transition to Roman provincial Egypt; the city of Alexandria; the culture of Ptolemaic Egypt; the Ptolemaic empire outside Egypt; the Jews of Egypt. Most of the links are presented with a comment from the site's author: this is a personal list, not a faculty or institutional webpage. The selection of items is therefore prone to subjectivity and its completeness cannot be guaranteed; furthermore, material of widely varying intellectual depth, rigour, and specialisation is included among the links. At the time of writing this review, the site was last updated in 2002 - this meant that some of the links were no longer functional. Nonetheless, there is a wealth of material here, well organised; the numerous awards garnered by the page indicate its worth. This site is a useful starting point for students.
The Inscriptions of Israel/Palestine website aims to publish an electronic version of all inscriptions found in Israel dating from the Hellenistic period (ca. 330 BCE) to the Islamic Conquest (640 CE). A search engine allows users to access some 15,000 inscriptions, with searches possible for individual inscriptions or words, including proper names, occurring in one or more inscriptions. There is, however, no browse function, which makes general access to the site difficult without prior knowledge of sources. Ultimately users should be able to access detailed maps of every single archaeological site that contains inscriptions of the period concerned, as well as photographs of every inscription with a translation. The site also provides a bibliographic database and lists related links; links to some scholarly essays on epigraphy were broken at the time of last review.
The Israel Antiquities Authority website is the official website for the Israeli body responsible for Israel's antiquities and antiquity sites, including their: excavation; preservation; conservation; study; and publication. The website provides information on ongoing and past excavations (with an interactive map), and publishes an annual report and news items about Israeli archaeology. It is possible to volunteer for many excavations by contacting the authority. There is a section focusing on underwater archaeology, which provides some general information and mentions some of the past and current projects. There are numerous abstracts of papers on recent research. There is also an excellent exhibition of the Dead Sea Scrolls. A short section reports on the "archaeological survey of Israel". The most valuable content is in the "gallery of sites and finds" section, which contains brief illustrated reports on several sites. It is possible to enlarge the pictures on these reports by clicking on them.
The "Jerusalem Archaeological Park" website boasts a virtual reconstruction model of Israel's most important site stretching from Temple Mount to the Mount of Olives. The park is an open museum and the archaeological discoveries span a range of 5,000 years from the Bronze Age to the Middle Age. The park also contains the Davidson Center within a palace dating from the Umayyad period, which has been combined with modern architecture in an innovative way. The website provides historical notes on three key periods: First Temple period; Second Temple period; and the Early Islamic period. There are also sections on water systems; the history of research; biographies of excavators of the site and historical figures; a bibliography; and historical sources. There are maps and a comprehensive timeline. A section on virtual panoramas publishes a few small panoramas, and interestingly it documents each step undertaken in their production with a series of illustrated articles. This is a wonderful site for those interested in archaeology, Biblical History, Jewish Studies and may be useful to both students and researchers.
The Jewish community of Nevis archaeology project aims to record the history of the seventeenth and eighteenth century Jewish community of the Caribbean island of Nevis through ongoing documentary research and archaeological investigations. This research is supported by the Nevis Historical and Conservation Society, the Nevis Field Research Centre and a grant from The Commonwealth Jewish Council. The small five by seven mile island of Nevis is located in the leeward portion of the Caribbean's Lesser Antilles. During the period - from the mid-17th through late 18th centuries - Nevis was a bustling centre of economic activity in the Lesser Antilles. It is within this context that a vibrant Jewish community clustered in the capital Charlestown existed on the island. The website presents information on four different aspects of the projects' research and a general introduction to the early colonial history of Nevis. The Nevis Synagogue page provides information on the ongoing archaeological search for the location of the synagogue of the 17th- and 18th-century Jewish community of Nevis. The Nevis Jewish Cemetery contains general information about the cemetery and the recorded burials and The Cemetery Resistivity Survey presents the results of a resistivity survey carried out on the cemetery site. The final research area is genealogy, and several pages provide information on Nevis and St. Kitts families.
The emergence of new Jewish communities in Britain following their readmission in the 1650s resulted in the creation of a rich and unique heritage of religious building types such as synagogues, cemeteries and ritual bathhouses, but also social spaces such as schools, soup kitchens and hospitals. The decline in the size of the Jewish population and changes in the economic status of congregations since WWII has placed many Jewish buildings of considerable social and architectural importance under threat. This website describes the attempts of a project organised by the Jewish Memorial Council (JMC) and substantially funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund to survey, photograph and archive some 350 surviving examples of Jewish buildings constructed up to the Second World War. The resource includes a map of survey sites in the British Isles, a list of listed synagogues and other Jewish buildings, an outline of sites under risk (or lost, including the last major synagogue in Dublin demolished in 1999) and details of plans for publication and preservation of surviving monuments. Many of the structures under threat are characterised by lavish 19th and 20th century architectural or decorative features and fine craftsmanship, often combing contemporary styles with specifically Jewish features. The resource also provides practical advice for individuals and groups, both members of synagogue communities or the general public, to record any part of the Jewish built heritage which is under threat. This site will interest in particular architectural and social historians and heritage professionals but will also broaden public awareness of this important aspect of the built environment in the British Isles.
The wiki-style webpage presenting the "Kfar HaHoresh Neolithic Excavations" includes a simple table of contents and a small gallery of pictures. Kfar HaHoresh is a Pre-Pottery Neolithic B (ca. 8,500-6,750 BC) site in use for about 1,500 years. "Six distinct architectural levels have been recognised; the main architectural features at Kfar HaHoresh include several terrace walls, as well as a series of mostly quadrilateral lime plaster-surfaces. Numerous human burials have been documented at Kfar HaHoresh". Among the artefacts are lithic tools; exotica from Mesopotamia; and several figurines of both human and animal depictions (including a phallus), made on stone and clay. Both researchers and students may find this website useful.
The official website of the excavations being carried out at Ashkelon, Israel and funded by the Leon Levy Fundation provides a basic overview of the recent (2007 onwards) campaigns primarily aimed at attracting volunteers and students. Section "Learn" at the time of review only contained a useful bibliographic list. There are also a few galleries of images (without captions) and some old press releases.
The excavations focus on the local Canaanite (2000-1200 BC) and Philistine (1175-604 BC) periods, or the Bronze and Iron Ages. During the Canaanite period Ashkelon was one of the oldest and largest harbours. During the Philistine period Ashkelon thrived as member of the Philistine pentapolis. Undergraduate students, especially if looking for fieldwork opportunities, may find this website useful.
This is an excellent resource offering articles on ancient history and archaeology together with an impressive library of photographic images of ancient sites which can be down-loaded for free for non-commercial use. The website is laid out geographically with sections on Greece, Persia, Anatolia, Carthage and Punic Sicily, Mesopotamia, Egypt, Judaea, Germania and Rome (as well a Dutch language resource on Dutch history) while the authoritative but very readable text has many cross links between them. There is no overall structure to individual sections: the Greek entries have a strong emphasis on Alexander the Great and his successors, on various authors such as Plutarch and Herodotos (including selections of extracted texts) and a series of short encyclopaedia-style entries on politicians, philosophers and literary figures. The Judaean passages discuss, for instance, Messianic claimants, the Diaspora and anti-Semitism in the ancient and mediaeval worlds, alongside more linear accounts of the Roman wars and potted biographies of leading Jewish figures. This website will benefit both students and teachers of the ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern world but the author makes the pointed observation that students must combine the use of electronic resources with proper library research for which the Web is not a substitute.
This is the website of the Megiddo Expedition of Tel Aviv University. The archaeological site of Megiddo in Israel, the Armageddon of the Book of Revelation, was occupied continuously from ca. 7000-500 B.C. and features prominently in Near Eastern and biblical history in the second and first millennia B.C., particularly in the period of the United Monarchy when it was one of King Solomon's regional capitals. This attractively presented website provides a useful introduction to the history and archaeology of the settlement and surrounding region as well as providing information on a wide range of topics connected with digging in Israel and biblical archaeology. Apart from providing reports on the renewed excavations at the site by Tel Aviv University and a history of previous campaigns at Megiddo, this website describes a number of ancillary projects connected with Megiddo including the landscape survey of the surrounding countryside, the magnetometer survey of the city itself, the petrographic analysis of the pottery discovered during excavations and a guide to the controversy surrounding the dating of archaeological sites of the United Monarchy. Also featured is "Revelations from Megiddo" the newsletter of the expedition which has numerous articles on issues related to the archaeology and history of Megiddo and the Jezreel Valley.The text is accompanied by numerous attractive images including a 3D virtual tour of the highlights of the archaeology. VISCAPE is required for this presentation. The website also provides detailed information for volunteers wishing to take part in the archaeological excavations.This site will mainly appeal to the interested amateur and to undergraduates but also provides a useful overview for a more specialist audience, particularly the extensive bibliography and the up-to-date chronological information.
The website of the Moab Archaeological Resource Survey (MARS), which has been exploring the Madaba Plain in modern Jordan since 1999. Although Moab is best known as an Old Testament kingdom in frequent contact and conflict with the kings of Israel and Judah, and later for its numerous Byzantine churches, the area is rich in archaeological remains of many periods. The chief focus of MARS is on the development of urban society and its subsequent collapse over the course of the late Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age (c. 3500-2000 BC) by studying changes in settlement pattern and material culture through surface survey, mapping and limited excavation at a limited number of sites in the western part of the Madaba Plain (Khirbet Qarn al-Qubish, Murayghat and Libb) which may have functioned as a single settlement system. The cluster of over 60 dolmens (megalithic monuments) at Murayghat, thus far unique in the Madaba area, may have been a religious or ritual focus for the surrounding settlements and provide links to a cultural phenomenon observed elsewhere in Israel and Palestine in the EB period. The resource, directed by Dr Stephen Savage of the Department of Anthropology at Arizona State University, provides attractively illustrated summaries of the 2000 and 2001 seasons which include detailed discussions (with bibliography) of the academic debate about the development of complex societies in the ancient Levant and of the methodologies employed in the Madaba region. There is also information for prospective members of the next survey season. This website will interest undergraduate and graduate students and researchers in Near Eastern archaeology and related subjects. Some links on the site were broken at the time of last review.
Har Karkom is an important archaeological region located in Israel that is being investigated by Prof. Anati. This website contains a biographic note of Prof. Anati and extracts from his printed book "The Riddle of Mount Sinai - Archaeological Discoveries at Har Karkom". In the book, Anati suggests that Har Karkom is the Biblical Mount Sinai. Apart from this interpretation, a full catalogue of about 1,200 archaeological sites and features in the region of Har Karkom is provided. Har Karkom appears to have been a ritual or cult place since the Palaeolithic, and probably it was a sacred mountain at least since the Bronze Age. A significant concentration of rock art has been reported from Jebel Ideid, in the Har Karkom region, and in the same region there are also large geoglyphs. Most texts include small galleries of pictures and maps. The website also offers information on current activities of the excavation team. The website requires Microsoft Internet Explorer for an optimal navigation.
This is the official website of "The New Tiberias Excavation Project". Tiberias is an important site for the Jewish; Christian; and Islamic religions. The website at the time of review only contained a few pictures and practical information on how to participate in the fieldwork, which will be useful to students.
This Web page gives access to the full-text of 'Orient: Report of the Society for Near Eastern Studies in Japan' (1960-2004), and despite the word 'report' in the title this is actually a substantial academic journal. Tables of contents, abstracts, and PDF files of articles are all freely available online. The journal was published in English, with occasional articles in German and French, and was devoted to reports and scholarly articles on archaeological and historical topics, with forays into linguistics. Example article titles include: 'Historical problems of the early Achaemenian period'; 'Hadiths as historical sources for a biography of the prophet'; 'A Japanese view of Lord Cromer's rule in Egypt'; and 'A Century of Turkish Studies in Japan', among many others. The latest issue available at 2009 is the 2004 issue, a special on the history of glass and glass-making. This will be a useful full-text resource for those engaged in the historical study of the Near East. The journal issues are held on the Japanese central online archive of ejournals (which is presented in English, but which otherwise contains only scientific journals), and as such the page does not have details of editors and Editorial Board - but these may be found by browsing the preface of recent issues or by searching Google.
'The Origins and Emergence of West-Semitic Alphabet Scripts' is dedicated to the ground-breaking work of two scholars, James Harris and Dann Hone, in deciphering a number of inscriptions found in the desert between the borders of Egypt, Israel and the Jordan. This resource traces earlier theories on and interpretations of this particular alphabet and provides images of a number of inscriptions with their transliteration in Hebrew. A third section of this site deals with the religious and cultural background of the texts, focusing on the rendering of the divine name in this script. Unfortunately, a bibliography on the subject is lacking in this resource.
This resource is the home page of the international Orion Center for the Study of the Dead Sea Scrolls and Associated Literature, based at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. The main aim of this site is to inform the reader on the Center's research and teaching programmes, its bibliographic resources and the state of its scholarship. Apart from programme outlines and calendars of papers and publications, this page provides an excellent and frequently updated bibliography on the Dead Sea Scrolls, including works in more than ten languages. A separate list of suggested introductory reading is provided in the beginner's guide to the Scrolls. The site also offers a 'tour' of one of the caves at Qumran, complete with aerial photographs and pictures and descriptions of some of the manuscript finds. Finally, it provides details of a discussion list (g-Megillot), and has a page with links to related sites.
The Palestine Exploration Fund (PEQ) was established in 1865 to promote research into the archaeology, history, culture, topography, geology and natural sciences of the Holy Land and has been at the forefront of archaeological research in the modern Levant in recent times. It also published an academic journal, Palestine Exploration Quarterly. The official website offers a succinct guide to the society's various activities, facilities and publications, past and present, and provides details of its annual programme of lectures, grants for research and excavations in addition to supplying information on its executive committee and staff and on joining the PEQ. The brief guide to the history of the society provides a useful introduction to archaeological research in Israel and Palestine with concise, illustrated biographies of its numerous eminent associates, such as T.E. Lawrence, Leonard Woolley, Chales Warren, Flinders Petrie, John Garstang, Kathleen Kenyon and Olga Tufnell, in addition to short accounts of past archaeological campaigns. The PEQ's extensive archives, collections and library holdings are described together with information on how to contact curatorial staff. There is also a useful page of links to the webpages of relevant journals and archaeological institutions in the United Kingdom, United States and Middle East while the 'Features' section provides useful insights into various aspects of the archaeology and history of the Levant. This website, in addition to providing useful practical information on the PEQ, will benefit students and researchers interested in the history of early scientific research and travel in the Middle East and in the origins of contemporary attitudes to the culture and politics of this region.
The aim of the Geniza Project of the Department of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University is to develop better methodologies for Hebrew and Arabic scholars working with the so-called 'Geniza fragments', which are documents found in the Geniza chamber of the Ben Ezra Synagogue in Cairo in the late 19th century. This project ultimately intends to create a full-text database of transcriptions of the documents and to offer a dictionary and morphological tools to facilitate the study of the Geniza texts. The site's target audience is the scholar interested in Middle Eastern archaeology, history and religious developments. This resource requires Hebrew fonts. The site has its own search engine.
The webpage of Professor Jeffrey R. Zorn focuses on Tell en-Nasbeh, which is a multi-period settlement some 8 miles north of Jerusalem in Israel. Many scholars believe the settlement to be the biblical site of Mizpah, the scene of many important events in the Bible. In this attractively presented and well illustrated website, Dr. Zorn of Cornell University attempts to re-interpret the results of the old excavations from the 1920s-1930s in the light of more recent research into the archaeology of the Bronze and Iron Age in Israel. The author provides a useful introduction to the biblical history of the town, illustrated with extensive quotations, in addition to a brief history of the older excavations and a full bibliography of research up to 2006. Also included is a stratum by stratum description of the archaeological levels which extend from the Late Chalcolithic to the Hellenistic and Roman periods, illustrated with many useful, though rather small scale, photographs. Of added interest is a series of video clips of the 1935 excavations (MPG format) and a large scale reproduction of the original site plan from the 1947 report. The website also provides a link to the excavations at the important Iron Age site of Tel Dor excavations which are directed by Professor Zorn. There is also a collection of papers and articles (in PDF format) published by the author. This resource will be useful to those studying or interested in the Bronze and Iron archaeology of ancient Israel at a basic level and provides a useful interface between material culture and biblical texts.
The Project on Ancient Cultural Engagement (PACE) focuses on ancient authors who found themselves in between cultures in order to address problems of cultural identity and cultural interaction in the Roman world, 200 BCE to 300 CE, with particular emphasis to the Greek and eastern world. Among the texts included are those of Polybius of Megalopolis; Flavius Josephus; Diodorus Siculus and others. The website publishes Classical texts with original text; English translations; full commentary; and textual parallels. The website also publishes full-text papers and books in PDF format ("scholarly studies") and abstracts of relevant theses ("dissertations"). There is a section on "History of Reception" concerned with the reception of "The Judean War"; "The Judean Antiquities"; "Life of Josephus"; and "Against Apion". It is possible to perform keyword searches on the bibliographic database only or on the bibliographic database plus the geographical (places) and archaeological notes; the notes can also be browsed. It is possible to contribute to this project by registering using a form. This website may interest researchers interested in the topics of cultural identity and acceptance in the Roman world.
The research section of the British Museum website has provided this online version of their publication no.161 entitled 'A Researcher's Guide to the Lachish Collection in the British Museum', by Pamela Magrill, published in 2006. This catalogue lists over 17,000 objects from the 1930 British excavations at Lachish (Tell ed-Duweir) in Israel, located approximately 40km south-west of Jerusalem, which were acquired by the British Museum from the Institute of Archaeology, University of London in 1980. A brief overview of the excavations and the division of the finds is provided, together with essential notes for users of this handlist in the introduction. As with the introduction, each of the five chapters which cover cemeteries, Fosse temple, tell rooms, sections, surfaced and unprovenanced items are provided in separate PDF format.
The blog of Ritmeyer Archaeological Design contains news about Biblical archaeology and especially on new illustrations produced by this commercial firm. In addition to some short reports on recent archaeological projects, several posts in the blog contain quality imagery that may be useful to students. Anyone interested in virtual reconstructions and their use in movies and public presentations may also find some interesting posts. It is also possible to purchase some finished products in the online store.
Scrolls from the Dead Sea is an online exhibit based on the Dead Sea Scroll exhibition held at the Library of Congress, Washington DC in 1993. In spite of its rather primitive layout and sometimes outdated bibliographical references (users should note that the dominant scholarly opinion has shifted since the site was written), it provides valuable information not just about the Scrolls themselves, but also about the Qumran community, about archaeological finds in the area and about the Scrolls' impact on contemporary Jewish and Christian thought. The site includes images of Scroll fragments accompanied by translations of the text, a map of the region, a glossary, resources for teachers and a bibliography.
Evolving out of his own doctoral dissertation, Donald Binder's Second Temple Synagogues website offers a high-quality introduction to synagogues and their function within Jewish society before the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 A.D. The author has brought together a wide variety of textual material for the general reader, beginning with a literary archive offering quotations and references about the synagogues from ancient sources. There is a brief but helpful FAQ, clarifying some of the more basic issues pertaining to social function, and a dozen detailed overviews of ancient synagogues are available, each discussing its history and prominent features, and usually including detailed archaeological cross-sections and beautiful colour photographs. The site also offers a substantial collection of links to other Judeo-Christian resources online, although this section does not appear to have been updated for some time.
The archaeological site of Sha'ar Hagolan in the Jordan Valley in Israel, dating from the 6th millennium BC, is one of the most important early Neolithic villages excavated in the Near East and has produced an impressive quantity of ancient art objects and the largest assemblage of prehistoric artefacts recovered in the country. This resource offers a guide to various aspects of the settlement which has been excavated by Yosef Garfinkel of the Institute of Archaeology, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, since 1989. The website provides a brief summary of the aims and methods of the research excavations and an account of the historical significance of the site as well as a brief note on the Sha'ar Hagolan museum and some images of the excavations and its key artefacts. An online version of Garfinkel's article "The Yarmukian Culture in Israel" from the journal Paleorient 19, 1 (1993) provides a useful introduction to the Neolithic background of the site and is complemented by a short bibliography of key readings (in addition to the more extensive bibliography published with Garfinkel's article). This site is a useful addition to the online resources available in Near Eastern prehistory for knowledgeable undergraduate students and researchers.
This website, featuring the new excavations initiated by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 2003, provides a valuable illustrated overview of the history and archaeology of Tel Dor, including a comprehensive and up-to-date bibliography, and includes details of the project personnel and publication strategy of the project. Tel Dor is a large and important archaeological site on the Mediterranean coast 30km south of Haifa which played an important part in the commercial and cultural history of the Levant in the second and first millennia BC, though the archaeological record extends almost continuously down to Crusader times, circa 1300 AD. A period by period account outlining older and more recent discoveries is complemented by useful interactive photographs which provide a virtual guided tour of Dor. The chief aims of the new work and the wider research issues include: to provide a detailed stratified database to study cultural and ethnic changes at the town over time, particularly the presence and role of the Sea Peoples and the Phoenicians in the Late Bronze and Iron Age I-II periods; to further define the role of important harbour settlements such as Dor in the economy of inland empires, such as the Assyrians and the Persians, who dominated the region in the first millennium BC; the Hellenisation, and later Romanisation, of the indigenous populations of the region in the later centuries of the first millennium; the application of scientific methods such as sedimentology to aid the understanding of site formation; the application of computer technology to ceramic analysis. Given the quantity and quality of the archaeology and the important historical questions raised by Dor, this website will interest students and researchers in ancient Near Eastern and Eastern Mediterranean archaeology and history.
This website describes the results of the renewed excavations at Tel Hazor conducted since 1990 by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the Complutense University of Madrid and the Israel Exploration Society. The bulk of the website is a series of illustrated reports covering the years 1991-2008 (further reports are planned), together with an introduction to the history of Hazor and a basic bibliography of recent research. This website will provide a useful introduction to the site for undergraduates studying Near Eastern archaeology or biblical studies or to those interested in participating in archaeological fieldwork in Israel. Students and volunteers may also find information to participate in the excavations.
Tel Hazor was the largest urban centre in Bronze and Iron Age Israel, straddling the major communication routes to Egypt, and played an important role in the history and culture of ancient Canaan and the biblical world. It has been declared by UNESCO a World Heritage Site.
The West Semitic Research Project at the University of Southern California's School of Religion, directed by Bruce Zuckerman, aims to facilitate the study of ancient texts by developing a database system using advanced photographic and computer imaging techniques. The project's website is intended for students, teachers and researchers and features both educational and scholarly sections. The educational section provides images and notes relating to non-biblical inscriptions and documents which assist in understanding the Bible; biblical manuscripts, represented by the Leningrad Codex; the Dead Sea Scrolls; and photographs and images from other collections and historic sites. The scholarly site is intended to make available high resolution images from the West Semitic Research project, particularly in the languages and scripts of Northwest Semitic. At the time of writing the database did not contain images, though catalogue records describing the language, script, type of object were available (and images may be obtained by application to the project). A related project, InscriptiFact, is building a database of high resolution images. Information (mainly lists) about other holdings is also available, with subjects including: Assyriological texts; Elephantine papyri; Syrus Siniaticus. Of particular interest to scholars working with digital images will be the Adobe Photoshop Scholar's Manual for working with digital inscriptions. Users must register with the site in order gain access to some of its resources.
This is the official website of the archaeological excavations at Khirbet Wadi Hamam, a Roman-period village. The website contains a small gallery of pictures and information on the field school run at the site. Several synagogues have been found, though some may be of Byzantine period. "A unique mosaic synagogue floor with depictions of biblical episodes was a major find in previous seasons. Other interesting finds were a massive destruction layer in a residential structure which buried the entire household (including weapons and a hoard of coins from the days of Hadrian); houses with passages to underground chambers; oil lamps; pottery vessels and hundreds of coins". The site was an important part of Roman Galilee. Students in particular may find this website useful.
This is the website of the World Monuments Fund, a New York-based non-profit organisation dedicated to preserving and protecting endangered works of historic art and architecture around the world. The World Monuments Fund compiles a list of the 100 most endangered sites every two years. This list is published on the website and is viewable by a clickable map. Each site has a short entry with photograph and a description of the site, its history and the threats to its survival. A page lists information on specific projects sponsored by the World Monuments Fund. A news page has articles relevant to the World Monuments Fund's activities. Another page describes the Jewish Heritage Grant Program, a project responding to the widespread neglect of the rich architectural heritage of Jewish communities around the world.
The Yavneh-Yam Project, begun in 1992, is being conducted under the auspices of the Department of Classical Studies, Tel Aviv University. The site is situated on the Mediterranean coast of Israel, between Ashdod and Tel-Aviv. The project is intended partly as a training excavation for students, and the website is keen to recruit for forthcoming excavations. The aim of the project is to analyse the physical and social-anthropological characteristics of the various civilizations that have occupied the town since antiquity. These have included Greeks, Phoenicians, Jews, Christians, Samaritans, and Muslims. The website introduces the history and geography of Yavneh-Yam, and describes the excavations that have been undertaken. It also includes illustrations of some of the more impressive finds that have been made. A section on the recreational side of the excavations is intended to tempt future participants, and an online application form is available for those so induced.
This website gives an introduction to the Yorkshire Dales Hunter Gatherer Research Project which has been granted an Arts and Humanities Research Board grant. The website provides an introduction to the research project's archaeological field school and detailed information on the program for prospective students. The research project aims to test hypotheses regarding hunter-gatherer mobility and subsistence strategies during the Mesolithic in northern England. The site is directly aimed at those interested in joining the field school, and contains few details of current or on-going research. The site is split into sections which give information on the types of activities carried out by students, equipment lists, photographs, student log book excerpts and a very brief introduction to the research aims and objectives of the project. It is well laid out and easy to navigate between these different sections. Unfortunately the reading list is incomplete and the link to the project page is broken. The links section is useful to those interested in Mesolithic archaeology, and lithics in general, and also includes general tourist sites on the Yorkshire Dales. The glossary is a useful introduction to archaeological technical terms, especially those concerning the study of lithics, or stone tools and the waste associated with their production.Application forms for the field school are available on the site in PDF format.
This is the website of the Zippori (Sepphoris) excavation project, an archaeological site in the Lower Galilee between the Mediterranean and the Sea of Galilee. It is run by the Israel National Park Authority. This resource includes information on: Zippori during the Roman Period; the Art and Architecture of Byzantine Zippori; the Mosaic Pavements of Roman and Byzantine Zippori; a Bibliography; and a History of the excavation and the Hebrew University team. A history of the site's excavations is provided, as are recent reports on the park, running from 1998 onward.
Zippori, a former ancient capital of the Galilee, possessed a vibrant religious, commercial, and social community. Today, Zippori covers 16 square km and the excavations were opened to the public in 1992.