- Hardcover: 1552 pages
- Publisher: Carta; Volumes 1-4 ed. edition (January 1993)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0132762889
- ISBN-13: 978-0132762885
- Product Dimensions: 14.5 x 4.4 x 9.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,390,829 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The New Encyclopedia of Archaeological Excavations in the Holy Land Volumes 1-4 ed. Edition
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From Library Journal
This outstanding reference work is the updated and enlarged edition of the acclaimed Encyclopedia of Archaeological Excavations in the Holy Land (Prentice-Hall, c.1976-1978, ed. Michael Avi-Yonah). In this new edition, which keeps to the alphabetical arrangement of the earlier work, some 420 sites are included, many of them newly excavated, with coverage extended to work done through 1991. Over 200 archaeologists contributed articles to this edition. Whenever possible, the latest archaeologist to have excavated a site has been asked to write the entry. Material written by deceased major excavators, including Albright, Kenyon, and Yadin, have been retained except where information was out of date. As in the earlier edition, there are also subject entries (i.e., "churches" and "synagogues") and geographical regions (i.e., "Negev" and "Sinai"). In the writing included from the earlier edition, language has frequently been made more specific, if somewhat less lyrical; yet the larger type of the earlier edition, along with more spacious layouts, made reading more comfortable. These are minor considerations, however, compared with what this work achieves. Sir Flinders Petrie, who carried out the first scientifically excavated dig in Palestine at Tel el-Hesi in 1890, would no doubt be amazed and gratified with the superbly meticulous work done here in gathering and organ izing the findings of the following 100 years of archaeological work in the area. Scholars and researchers will find this reference set indis pensable.
- Joan Gartland, Detroit P.L.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
The first archaeological excavations in the Holy Land were conducted by private individuals seeking religious relics and works of art. It was not until the late nineteenth century that systematic excavations began. Organized archaeological expeditions were conducted by European archaeological societies mainly in search of biblical history. Now prehistoric archaeology and research in the social sciences have become motivating forces.
This encyclopedia is a handsome compendium of 365 articles by 205 archaeologists on these excavations and explorations. Site dates range from prehistoric digs to Persian, Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, Umayyad, and Ottoman periods. The geographic scope of the work includes "both sides of the Jordan River from Sinai and Elath in the south to the sources of the Jordan in the north." Some of the sites are well known to laypeople (Masada, Petra), but many will be familiar only to specialists.
The original two-volume edition of this work was published in Hebrew in 1970. An expanded English version, published between 1975 and 1978, was edited by Michael Avi-Yonah of Hebrew University. Ephraim Stern of Hebrew University, who completed the first English edition after Avi-Yonah's death, is editor of the current set. Authors of the entries are scholars from France, Italy, Great Britain, Israel, the U.S., and the Netherlands. The last archaeologist to conduct a dig at a site authored the new entries, when possible. Many excavations are reported here for the first time (Abila, Ain Ghazal, Appolonia). A list of these would have been helpful to scholars who are familiar with the old edition.
The alphabetically arranged entries vary in length from more than 100 pages (Jerusalem, extensively revised since the 1978 edition) to a brief page ("Bull" Site in Northern Samaria). Underwater exploration is included (Acco). Each entry includes a description accompanied by background material, such as accounts by ancient historians and biblical references. The detailed description often includes periods of occupation, techniques used, structures, pottery finds, and burial sites. Some authors carefully identify each stratum and note changes over periods of time. Most essays contain a bibliography.
The text is liberally illustrated with black-and-white photographs, stratigraphies, floor plans, and contour maps. Thirty-two colorplates depict overviews of excavations, structures such as temples, mosaics, pottery, jewelry, and much more. Entries cite latitude and longitude coordinates keyed to endpaper maps in each volume.
In addition to entries on individual sites, there are composite articles on subjects related to many excavations: Churches, Synagogues, Marine Archaeology, Judean Desert Caves. Biblical names conform to the Revised Standard Version of the Bible; Greco-Roman names are given in Latin form. Hebrew words are transliterated with alternative spellings in parentheses.
Many articles contain theories about community life and conclusions about trade, economy, and relations with other political entities. Caesarea notes, for example, that "in the Herodian state, this city was a pagan and Greek counterweight to Jewish Jerusalem." Various expeditions from the nineteenth century through 1990 are described in this entry, each authored by a different expert. They feature maritime explorations, aqueducts, and theaters and bring into focus the relationship of the site to a contemporary kibbutz. In Qumran, Khirbet and 'Ein Feshkha, the area where the Dead Scrolls were first discovered, the importance of coins and pottery in dating various occupations and periods is emphasized.
As in the 1975-78 edition, this new edition has a name index, a place-name index, and chronological tables. A useful addition is the "Index to Biblical References." Under each place-name or site appears a list of references to the Bible. The excellent user's guide explains symbols, map reference numbers, carbon-14 testing, and where to locate the indexes, bibliographies, and glossary. The latter is especially useful, providing not only the definition of a word but also reference to the concept in another language, for example, "horvah, horvat (Heb.) see khirbeh, khirbet (Arab.) `ruin.'" The new edition also contains a list of authors and their entries.
This scholarly encyclopedia is for anyone seriously interested in the historical archaeology of this region. It will appeal to travelers and to those attempting to understand the current complexities of this region: the Jordan Valley, Golan, Sinai. Collectors and art historians will treasure the photographs. Church and synagogue libraries, large public libraries, and academic libraries that serve archaeology, history, anthropology, classics, or religion departments will find this an invaluable reference work.
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