Thursday, October 20, 2011

New Book: Archaeology in the Israel Museum

When teaching a group in Israel, one never lacks for books to recommend. The major exception to this is a resource for the Israel Museum. The archaeology wing is a natural place to conclude one’s studies in Israel, viewing many of the artifacts that we have talked about during the course. But a tour of several hours only provides just a taste and students are always disappointed when I inform them that there is no book surveying the collection. A brief and limited work was published in 1984 but this has been difficult to find.israel-museum

A book review in the latest issue of Biblical Archaeology Review reveals that this significant gap has now been closed. Chronicles of the Land: Archaeology in The Israel Museum Jerusalem is a 352-page work that takes the reader on a tour of the most important discoveries on display in the newly reopened archaeology wing. Steven Fine’s review (pages 64-65) is enthusiastic: “This is more than just a coffee-table book to be schlepped home by excited tourists....Scholars from many fields will find much here than enhances their work....Chronicles of the Land marks an event to be celebrated by all readers of BAR, by scholars and by all who delight in marvelous museums.”

With 326 full-color illustrations, the book is not inexpensive ($58). Since the book is published by the Israel Museum, I was not expecting to find it available outside of the gift shop. But I see that Amazon has a few copies, discounted to $48. For those not on a student budget, this is a happy day.

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6 Comments:

  • Thanks for the post. I ordered the book and there are now only six left.

    By Blogger NikonAddict, at Thu Oct 20, 09:49:00 AM  

  • If anyone gets a copy, please let me know if it contains any photos of their LMLK handles or stamped storage jars. Like the resurrection accounts, I prefer eyewitness testimonies before I buy into something.

    By Blogger G.M. Grena, at Fri Oct 21, 12:32:00 AM  

  • G.M. - I don't see anything LMLK or stamped in a brief scan of the book. Overall my impression: lots of outstanding photographs and too little text.

    By Blogger Todd Bolen, at Fri Oct 21, 05:00:00 PM  

  • Is there an index? Hebron & MMST are classic keywords. I'd be very surprised (& disappointed for scholars) if LMLKs were not even mentioned in the book, considering their importance relative to dating strata & the encounter w/ Sennacherib. I wouldn't be surprised at the lack of text though, since most museum placards cater to disinterested people (who look, but rarely read).

    By Blogger G.M. Grena, at Fri Oct 21, 09:22:00 PM  

  • There's not an alphabetical index. There is a "checklist" that gives the details of each item, and I scanned through that before to see if anything LMLK was mentioned. This is a highly selective work.

    By Blogger Todd Bolen, at Fri Oct 21, 09:44:00 PM  

  • Thanks, Todd! That's very disappointing (from my selfish perspective). I'm sure the book is interesting & useful in other respects.

    By Blogger G.M. Grena, at Fri Oct 21, 10:00:00 PM  

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