BAR 35:06, Nov/Dec 2009
Archaeological Views: The Economic Downturn Hits Biblical Archaeology
Professors of Biblical archaeology standing in bread lines? Well, no—at least not yet. The downturn in the economy, however, has hit the fields of Biblical archaeology and ancient Near Eastern studies particularly hard.
Even in the best of times, it is difficult to find a permanent job in these fields. The number of new Ph.D.s entering the job market every year almost always surpasses the number of available positions in universities, museums or antiquities departments. Scholars who teach Hebrew or Biblical archaeology are in a slightly better position than those teaching Hittite, for example, because these fields are more popular and are taught in a variety of seminaries and liberal arts colleges. However, because these fields are so popular, more people earn Ph.D.s in them, meaning the competition for available jobs is still fierce.