When our editor, Hershel Shanks, told me several months ago that he was going to take a two-month sabbatical to work on his autobiography and that I’d be writing the First Person for this issue of BAR, I was both excited and overwhelmed by the task of deciding what to write. Hershel suggested that I consider things that give me a different perspective from his. While that offered me a few options, I settled on our age difference and decided to discuss what I’ll call “my generation” in Biblical archaeology.
Okay, I’ll admit it: I am younger than BAR, which will celebrate 35 years of publication in 2010. But so are many of the students who work in the trenches every summer. They contribute energy and enthusiasm to the back-breaking work that produces the exciting and amazing finds ultimately analyzed and published by their professors. And, as our recent presidential election showed, our generation is active, engaged and can make quite an impact on society when we feel passionate about something.