BAR 34:05, Sep/Oct 2008
Unsurpassed Reference Updated
The New Enyclopedia of Archaeological Excavations in the Holy Land, Supplementary Volume 5
Ephraim Stern, editor
(Jerusalem: Israel Exploration Society; Washington, DC: Biblical Archaeology Society, 2008) 2,152 pp., $150 (hardcover)
This is a magnificent and massive volume, a veritable tour de force. It is difficult to submit a balanced review, because I cannot think of a negative comment. It is truly a magnum opus. What a marvelous resource for scholars and students alike!
In the course of reviewing this book, I formulated a dozen questions to test how comprehensive this supplementary volume to The New Encyclopedia really is; in every case I readily found the answer to my query. Four volumes of The New Encyclopedia were published in 1993. In the past 15 years so much has happened in Near Eastern archaeology: New excavations have been undertaken, and many previously dug sites were in need of update—for example, Jerusalem, the centerpiece of archaeological investigation. The present excavation report of the renewed investigation of the City of David and environs is a third as long as the 1993 article that covers the previous century or more. This supplementary volume updates all excavations through the year 2005.