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Doing Archaeology in the Land of the Bible: A Basic Guide Paperback – August 1, 1999

4.4 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

At last, a book on the basics of Palestinian archaeology! John Currids much-needed text fills a significant gap in the currently available literature in the field. Archaeology in the Land of the Bible is an excellent introduction that will be of great assistance to the beginning student as well as to the interested layperson. -- Bryant G. Wood, Associates for Biblical Research

Currids volume is a useful introduction to archaeologyits history, vocabulary, and methodsfor the beginner. The systematic unveiling of these themes provides a stratigraphy for study that many students and lay persons will find fascinating. In addition, the short bibliographies add substance to the work, allowing readers to take the additional step of further study. Such aids to first-time student excavators have often taken the form of Xeroxed handouts. Currid has provided them with an easy reference work that they can read on the plane to Israel and pull out during the excavation to explain what is happening around them. -- Victor H. Matthews, Southwest Missouri State University

In this brief study, Currid sketches the birth and development of archaeological method and answers many of the basic questions having to do with field work. The book should be a must read for anyone interested in volunteering to participate on a dig in Palestine. The bibliographies concluding each chapter will greatly help the reader who wishes to know more. -- Alfred J. Hoerth

Professor Currid has written an excellent manual for the history and practice of archaeological excavation in the Middle East, systematically outlined with considerable bibliographical documentation. I recommend the work as supplementary reading for courses requiring a knowledge of the history and methodology of ancient Near Eastern archaeology. I plan to use it as a supplementary text in my classes, both on the introductory and advanced levels. -- John McRay, Wheaton College Graduate School

About the Author

John D. Currid (PhD, Oriental Institute, University of Chicago) is Carl W. McMurray Professor of Old Testament at Reformed Theological Seminary. He has served on several archaeological excavations and is author of Ancient Egypt and the Old Testament.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Baker Academic; 7.2.1999 edition (August 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801022134
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801022135
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.3 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #391,666 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

JOHN D. CURRID is the Carl McMurray Professor of Old Testament at Reformed Theological Seminary in Charlotte, North Carolina, and the author of several books and Old Testament commentaries. A PhD graduate in Syro-Palestinian archaeology (University of Chicago), he has extensive archaeological field experience from projects throughout Israel and Tunisia.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is a great little book (128 p.) that aims to instruct neophyte archaeologists in the history and core concepts of biblical archaeology. Given the length of the book, it's obvious that nothing is covered exhaustively. But that's not the aim of the book. Currid answers "what is Biblical archaeology?", then follows with a brief history of the field outlining the different techniques and approaches over the past 2 centuries. He then discusses, in individual chapters, the importance and structure of tells (mounds = habitation), land surveying, site identification, the process of excavation, data collection methods, data interpretation, the importance of pottery in archaeology, the philosophy of pottery chronology, the importance of small finds (anything non-pottery), and finally buildings and structures. He keenly closes the book by applying and integrating the concepts discussed in the previous chapters to the archaeology currently being undertaken at Bethsaida. This final chapter is extremely interesting as he shows the importance of each element in acquiring and interpreting data. A helpful B&W map is found early in the book, on which I was able to find all but 1 or 2 of the many sites he mentions. Closeby the map page is a small table showing the breakdown of the various ages (Bronze, Iron, etc.) and their respective date ranges. Several picures are included that assist in understanding vital concepts. Archaeological terms discussed in the text are defined further in inset boxes on the same page. The book is very well done, and perfect for those interested in biblical archaeology (which everyone should be), but uneducated in the basics of the field. Highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback
It is asserted often that the results of archaeology are empirical, can be assured, or can be verified. After one reads John Currid's "basic guide," one can see why many past conclusions are no longer accepted and why there is a great debate among archaeologists today about what archaeology has proven. Archaeology is a discipline which continues to learn.
Currid tells the story of how archaeology of the land of the Bible began in 1838 when Edward Robinson and Eli Smith traveled the Middle East and identified many biblical sites based upon their modern names. In 1890 William Flinders Petrie began the development of stratio-graphy and its inherent notion that each occupational layer of a mound could be dated by its pottery. After WW II Kathleen Kenyon revolutionized archaeology by digging in small squares within a grid.
So, of course as methods change, conclusions change.
Currid has written a book for someone who has little prior knowledge of archaeology. One thing that is missing is a chapter on Ground Penetrating Radar. It is interesting to read, but as the subtitle says, it is a basic guide.
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Format: Kindle Edition
John Currid has done a valuable work in his book “Doing Archaeology in the Land of the Bible. I’m sure as Christian you’ve probably heard many times about how certain sites were dug up and shows how accurate the bible is, that is of course a heart warming discovery, but how does one actually to know where to dig, and how to dig? Why aren’t there much more startlingly archaeological finds?

This is the first of such book that I’ve read and found that it was especially helpful for this book to be written in such a non-technical laymen way. In this thin book (approx. 120 pg), Currid does a great job giving a brief overview of the subject, along with a brief history of the growth and improvement in archaeology.

Thereafter, he has specific chapters to explain technical terms that are used in archaeology and highlights the many problems an archaeologist faces in the field, such as decided/knowing where to start digging, how do you date the items you have found, what can you tell from the soil patterns you see while digging. It does bring with it many interesting facts and finding that you might not expect from such a dry looking topic.

Pictures and diagrams are also located within the book to help the reader visualise what the author is describing, and these pictures are certainly helpful when you are lost at what the author is trying to describe.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Currid provides what was promised: A concise, clear overview of archeology as applied in the lands of the Bible. The greatest concentration is on the "Holy Land" as appropriate. Explanation of vocabulary and contributors provides a orientation for further study. The reader also gains the ability to properly appreciate the development of the field, the limitation and contributions of earlier work, and the actual application should one wish.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am training to be a docent at a cultural center and museum that features an archeological dig among the various exhibitions. This book is proving to be most informative and useful in preparing me to be knowledgable and prepared.
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