Interpretation of archaeological data

The interpretation of archaeological data and its association to the biblical text is a veritable minefield,
as it is often inspired by the scholar’s personal attitude towards the text . . . we face over and over again arguments that, at their core, are circular.
This was as true at the time of William F. Albright and his followers as it is today.
There are few items of data in the archaeological record that are not disputable.
Amihai Mazar, “The Spade and the Text: The Interaction between Archaeology and Israelite History Relating to the Tenth-Ninth Centuries BCE,”
in Understanding the History of Ancient Israel, ed. H. G. M. Williamson,
Proceedings of the British Academy, vol. 143 (Oxford: Oxford University Press for The British Academy, 2007), 145.

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Preceding articles:

  1. Digging in words, theories and artefacts
  2. Archaeology and the Bible researcher 1/4Archaeology and the Bible researcher 2/4Archaeology and the Bible researcher 3/4Archaeology and the Bible researcher 4/4
  3. Modern day archaeological discoveries verify the Biblical account of historic events

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From the book William Foxwell Albright and the...

From the book William Foxwell Albright and the Origins of Biblical Archaeology by Peter Douglas Feinman (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When values matter (Lesure about Bailey)

Archaeology is this field of research where it is very difficult to build barriers that will make it only high quality discipline. The reasons are two: there is a standard (although wrong) view that every publication of a new archaeological material is a value. In fact, this view creates most damaging situation when instead values reviewers, readers and authors create or communicate pseudoscience and pseudoculture. The cult of new evidence in archaeology damages culture (Durankulak syndrome). Corrupted authors even begin to compare empirical archaeological publications (considered as high value) with theoretical most important archaeological contributions (considered as lower value) without recognizing that empirical is empirical and just first stage while theory is always the highest stage of knowledge although very often under the theme of theory can be seen pseudoknowledge.

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World Archaeological Congress in Jordan online

Bailey makes a bold effort to open up interpretation of Neolithic figurines from southeastern Europe…provoking thoughts far beyond any traditional archaeological bounds.

  • How To Become An Archaeologist (rukhaiyar.com)
    When you think of Archaeology, does Indiana Jones springs to your mind, or long-lost treasure hunters, traveling around the world delving into forgotten tombs and finding lost civilizations. While that is quite possible, that romanticized view of archaeology probably won’t persist very far. Still, Archaeology can be a very attractive field. Some might think of it as a more active form of engaging in historical research, but the truth of the matter is that the field is a sublime melding of the humanities and sciences.A single artifact, like the famed “Rosetta Stone” can dramatically change the viewpoint of a culture to all of humanity.
  • Some More Thoughts on Digital History (mediterraneanworld.wordpress.com)
    Digital Data Collection in the Field. This involves collecting digital data at the edge of the trench and involves applications, technologies, and methods designed to streamline the production of digital archaeological data in the field. This involves work using the iPad or other tablets, developing mobile applications, and efforts to deploy GIS, databases, and image catalogues in the field. Some of the most interesting and useful conversations at Paperless Archaeology revolve around these applications.
  • Archaeological Data and Small Projects: A Draft (mediterraneanworld.wordpress.com)
    In a cursory way, I attempted to define small and large archaeological projects based on their access to resources, and, then argue that these resources shape the way that these projects use technology.
  • What is Archaeology? Trends and Currents in Contemporary Archaeological Discourse in Israel (zwingliusredivivus.wordpress.com)
    The Lautenschläger Azekah Expedition– What is Archaeology? Trends and Currents in Contemporary Archaeological Discourse in Israel
  • In the global archaeology lab: higher or lower? (examiner.com)
    The integration of archaeologists as global community is one of the main opportunities of rebirth of this discipline as a branch of humanity that contributes to revealing and creating cultural values to serve the majority of society. However, the organization of archaeology has the impact of national traditional and current strategies.
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    The current issue of the electronic archaeological journal has even more devastating results – western scholars have been backing the worst of the traditions in Bulgarian archaeological publications, as the article by Valeri Petrov shows.
  • Archaeology/Archaeology Related Blogs to Read XXI (special double post) (dougsarchaeology.wordpress.com)
    Archaeological Networks: http://archaeologicalnetworks.wordpress.com/

    The project intends to develop analytical frameworks based on the network perspective for the current shift in Roman archaeology towards social analysis, based on two case-studies. It aims at developing network analysis methods for quantitative as well as qualitative research in Roman archaeology.

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    Crossroads of empires: http://crossroadsofempires.wordpress.com/

    We are a team of archaeologists, historians and anthropologists studying the Niger Valley where it borders Niger and Bénin (West Africa). We are carrying out new excavations and research to shed more light on the people that inhabited the area between about 1200 and 1850 AD.

  • Archaeology Should Resist Newswire Relevance [Aardvarchaeology] (scienceblogs.com)
    In recent years there’s been increasing numbers of archaeological research projects that reference climate change as part of what they want to study.
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    If archaeologists’ interpretations of ancient societies vary with whatever occupies our interest today, then I think we should pack it in as a scientific discipline and just call ourselves miners of ancient art for museums.

4 thoughts on “Interpretation of archaeological data

  1. Pingback: Archaeology and the Bible « Bijbelvorser = Bible Researcher

  2. Pingback: Something from nothing – Messiah For All

  3. Pingback: Can a scientist believe in God | Stepping Toes

  4. Pingback: Bijbelvorser or Biblescholar 2012-2014 in review | Bijbelvorser = Bible Researcher

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