The Spring 2022 issue of Biblical Archaeology Review brings together a fascinating array of articles that provide both fresh outlooks on old questions and insightful reflection on the history behind the season’s holidays.
“Piece by Piece: Exploring the Origins of the Philistines” examines the background to one of biblical archaeology’s most debated origins questions and presents new DNA evidence that may settle the issue once and for all. Similarly, “Jesus in Arabia” highlights an extraordinary new inscription that may not only offer the earliest evidence of Christian worship in the Arabian Peninsula but also indicate the Arabian adoption of monotheism centuries before Islam.
“Proof Positive: How We Used Math to Find Herod’s Palace at Banias” takes a fresh look at long-forgotten flooring pieces excavated at the beautiful Roman site of Banias near Mt. Hermon. Using geometry, the authors provide an ingenious construction of the floor’s design, which they propose once decorated a lost palace of King Herod the Great. And “Storage and Staples in Biblical Israel” explores how ancient everyday storage jars can open up new vistas on life in biblical times.
In Strata, you’ll find reflections from dig directors on how the pandemic has changed archaeological work. BAR also explore the critical but often underappreciated role that local labourers play in archaeological projects, as well as two new inscriptions excavated from ancient Israel, one of which might preserve the name of a biblical judge. In Epistles, the researchers explore the historical and biblical context for the sacred events at the heart of the season’s holidays, including biblical evidence for the location of the Israelite crossing of the Red Sea and for the apostle Paul’s understanding of Jesus’s resurrection.
Visit BAR online, at Bible History Daily, to see the latest news in biblical archaeology or to delve into additional articles, eBooks, and videos about key Bible and archaeology topics. For this issue, BAR’s updated Digs page highlights more than two dozen dig volunteer opportunities in Israel, Jordan, and elsewhere, and also provides important information about BAS Dig Scholarships.
Finally, All-Access Members can explore the BAS Library, which features every article ever published in BAR, Bible Review, and Archaeology Odyssey, as well as Special Collections of articles curated by BAS editors.
Daniel M. Master
The Philistines have gone down in history as ancient Israel’s archenemy. Yet they were much more than that. We have uncovered their cities, temples, houses, weapons, tools, and pots—and, recently, remains of the Philistines themselves. Thanks to new DNA analysis, we now can answer questions about the Philistines’ origins. (Ed. note: This article contains images of human skeletal remains.)
Our project may have found the earliest reference to Christian belief among the ancient Arabs. Likely dating to the fourth century, a desert inscription written in a peculiar script appears to invoke the name of Jesus. What does this unique text reveal about Christianity’s first spread to the Arabian tribes?
Securing and storing food was just as essential in biblical times as it is today. Across Israel, archaeologists have unearthed containers and installations used to store essential staples and foodstuffs, shedding light on everyday life in the biblical world.
Frankie Snyder and Rachel Bar-Nathan
Archaeology and mathematics may have identified a forgotten palace of Herod the Great at Banias (ancient Caesarea Philippi). The marvelous floor design that once decorated an early Roman monumental structure at the site has parallels in other Herodian palaces. Explore the similarities and learn about the ingenious step-by-step reconstruction that made the identification possible.
Milestone: Suzanne F. Singer
Bethsaida and the Church of the Apostles
Unsilencing the Archives
Then and Now: Acrobats
Name of Biblical Judge Surfaces
Silent Labor: Dig Workers in the Middle East
Digs 2022: COVID-19 and the Future of Archaeology
Book Review: Pig Taboo in History
A Sea Change? Finding the Biblical Red Sea
Text Arcana: Paul on the Resurrection
What’s in a Name?: Pontius Pilate
Text Treasures: Cairo Geniza
A Thousand Words: Plate with the Battle of David and Goliath