News FocusAmerican Schools Of Oriental Research Annual Meeting

A Change of Biblical Proportions Strikes Mideast Archaeology

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Science  10 Dec 2010:
Vol. 330, Issue 6010, pp. 1472-1473
DOI: 10.1126/science.330.6010.1472-a

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At the meeting, a series of biblical archaeologists came to the podium for 2 hours of data-rich presentations—and put their colleagues on notice that their field is in the midst of a scientific revolution. Biblical archaeology has often been heavy on textual analysis and slow to adopt scientific methods such as radiocarbon dating. Attempts to prove the accuracy of biblical accounts or to legitimize Jewish claims to the region have dogged the field. Now researchers are revolutionizing the region's archaeology by applying a host of new technologies. The goal of their 5-year, $4 million effort, funded by the European Research Council, is to overcome the "strong ideological agenda" pervading the field.