BAR 37:04, Jul/Aug 2011
In Their Own Words
One of the most strongly felt currents in contemporary ancient Near Eastern archaeology is an almost automatic aversion on the part of most practitioners in the field to the very term “Biblical Archaeology.” So much so, very few practicing archaeologists are willing to identify themselves as “biblical archaeologists,” in light of feeling that the very name denotes an antiquated, parochial and ideologically driven endeavor. Thus, for example, several years ago, the editors of the journal Biblical Archaeologist expressed a wish to change the name of the journal to a more “modern” and up-to-date name (Near Eastern Archaeology) and held a poll among their readers. Despite the fact that there was an overall majority among the readers (of which, clearly, many are not professional archaeologists) to retain the old name, the editors changed the name to the suggested (and currently used) name.