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Archaeology of the Land of the Bible: 10,000-586 B.C.E. (Anchor Bible Reference Library) Reprint Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
Instead, this is a detailed overview of and introduction to the archaeology of the land of the Bible, starting well before biblical events begin in any recognizable geography (i.e., Abraham) and ending in the sixth century (i.e., the book covers most of the Old Testament period). The book provides great context for the biblical narrative -- the application, you provide yourself.
In addition to being a very readable account of a potentially very dry subject, Mazar's book is profusely illustrated with maps, diagrams and black and white photographs. The footnotes are profuse and detailed, giving you ample avenue to any follow up research you desire.
This book does not deal exclusively with the biblical period; rather, it is an archaeological overview of the region as a whole, from the beginning of the Epipaleolithic (10,500 BCE) down to the Neo-Babylonian conquest (586 BCE). A clear picture of the material culture of the region is painted, particularly of the Canaanite civilization of the Middle and Late Bronze Age. When the archaeological data is relevant to the biblical narrative, this is pointed out. I do find Mazar's argument for elements as early as the Middle Bronze Age in the Patriarchal stories to be unconvincing, but his interpretation of the evidence is solid with regards to Iron Age.
The main problem with the book is that, apart from pointing out where the evidence corroborates or contradicts biblical testimony, the focus is almost entirely on material culture. While this is no doubt important in any synthesis, no attempt is made to produce a coherent picture of either the history or culture of the pre-Israelite period. While I know this is basically impossible to do before the Late Bronze Age, the Late Bronze itself has provided us with several primary sources which remain unutilized or underutilized: the Ugaritic archives and the Amarna Letters could be detailed a lot more thoroughly than they are. The coverage of the Israelite kingdoms is significantly better, but even so, it doesn't use Assyrian and Babylonian sources nearly as much as it could. Despite this, this book is still essential reading for anyone interested in biblical archaeology.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The perfect book of Archaeology of the southern Levant (Biblical Israel)! if archaeology is your thing, than this book will give you the complete picture of what happened here... Read morePublished on April 20, 2013 by Harel
I enjoyed every minute of Amihai Mazar's book and wished for more. He takes the reader through the entire archaeological history of Israel in a way that is understandable and... Read morePublished on January 18, 2007 by CRISTI A CAVE
I bought this book because it seemed to be the one which would give me the most complete information on current archaeological data of the Land of the Bible from earliest times,... Read morePublished on December 15, 2004 by David Oldacre
I have to agree with the other two reviews of this book. It's not reading for pleasure, but it is packed with balanced information, tables and photographs. Read morePublished on November 7, 2001 by Timothy Dougal