BAR 8:05, Sep/Oct 1982
Books in Brief
The Old Testament and the Archaeologist
H. Darrell Lance
(Fortress Press: Philadelphia, 1981) 98 pp., paperback, $4.50
This short book introduces the student to archaeological methods and the assumptions that underlie the reconstruction of history from artifacts.
Lance begins by reviewing the history of Near Eastern archaeology, emphasizing the development of methodology and interpretation. He briefly describes discoveries and their significance, spanning the almost two centuries since Napoleons troops unearthed the Rosetta Stone in Egypt in 1798.
Next the author introduces the two basic principles of any modern archaeological exegesis of the ancient ruin: stratigraphy, the controlled removal of occupation layers, and typology, the distinguishing characteristics of artifacts that belong to the same chronological phase of occupation.