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Archaeology of the Land of the Bible: 10,000-586 B.C.E. (Anchor Bible Reference Library) Reprint Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0385425902
ISBN-10: 0385425902
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A monumental volume on archaeology." Methodist Recorder "The book's strength lies in its excellent summaries, period by period, of various aspects of material culture. These treatments are illustrated throughout with photographs, line drawings and charts." Anvil "Extremely well written and well organised. ... The pottery section is most useful as it presents in simple format the most salient points of each repertoire with a minimum of examples, very important for non-specialists ... will be most used as advanced text and reference. The many plates of line drawings of pottery, reliefs and objects are very clear." Palestine Exploration Quarterly --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Publisher

The standard text on biblical archaeology--an award-winning, comprehensive introduction to the subject, from the very beginnings to the divided monarchy and the kingdoms of Israel and Judah.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 608 pages
  • Publisher: Anchor Bible; Reprint edition (September 29, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385425902
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385425902
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #223,330 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This survey of biblical archaeology, thought written almost 10 years ago, still stands as the most comprehensive, lucidly written summary of the archaeology of Palestine/Israel during the Bronze and Iron Ages (the biblical Period). Though not updated with all the latest finds and discussions (and in particular about the historicity of the earlier Israelite monarchal period), it still provides the best introduction and overview of this very popular topic.
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Format: Paperback
If you're looking for a book dealing with specific archaeological issues relating to the Bible, or that applies archaeological insights to biblical passages (like an archaeologist's version of _The New Manners and Customs of Bible Times_), this is not it. In a few passages, Mazar does discuss the biblical narrative, but not that many.
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.
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Format: Paperback
This a ultimately an essential read for anyone interested in biblical archaeology. Due to its somewhat technical nature, before reading this book it would be best to familiarize yourself with archaeological terminology, along with the basic chronology of Egyptian and Mesopotamian history, as this book makes extensive correlations of what was going on in Palestine with what was going on in Egypt and/or Mesopotamia at the same time.

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.
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Format: Paperback
Amihai Mazar is an expert on the Archaeology of the Land of the Bible. His book is an amazing resource for anyone interested in the archaeology of Palestine/Israel. In his book, Mazar goes into great detail concerning the various important archaeological periods. His book is very will structured and allows for easy comparison of the different time period. This book is considered by many to be the standard text on archaeology in this area. Mazar, in his book, takes a rather neutral standpoint towards the bible. Sometimes, he compares his findings to what we can read in the bible, but he does not swing either way. It is his neutralism that makes him fairly objective as well as the best read on the subject. I would personally greatly recommend this book. There are many misconceptions about how what is in the bible compares to what is really there, this book will definitly help you clear up some of these misconceptions. For students of Christianity, whether Christian themselves or not, this book is an invaluable to finding the truth.
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Format: Paperback
I bought this one as a pleasure read. (Yes, I know...) I was hoping that this would be an examination of the Biblical text and checking against the archaeological record. It's not. It's primarily an examination of the archaeological record, and the Bible is really only mentioned after you get about 300 pages in and is really just an incidental player in the text. It's relevant to Scriptural studies, but not the book for a beginner. However, despite my disappointment, I read the book all the way through. Despite the fact that I have little background in archaeology, I was impressed by how clear the writing was. Mazar does a fantastic job conveying the development of the area, and discussing how the people lived in each era. If you're more interested in the Bible, this isn't your book. If you're more interested in archaeology, this book is pretty good.
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