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Archaeology of the Land of the Bible (Anchor Bible Reference) [Paperback]

By Amihai Mazar (Author)
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Item Number 158196  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   608
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.8" Width: 6" Height: 1.8"
Weight:   1.5 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Sep 30, 1992
Publisher   Anchor Bible
ISBN  0385425902  
EAN  9780385425902  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Step-by-step, era-by-era, Mazar shows what each major archaeological discovery has to say about the mysterious stories of the Bible--from the beginnings of recorded of human habitation to the tumultuous period of the divided monarchy of Israel and Judah.

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More About Amihai Mazar

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Ephraim Stern, one of the leading archaeologists in Israel, is a professor at the Institute of Archaeology of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Over the past forty-five years he has been working in some of the most important excavations in Israel, such as Hazor, Masada, En Gedi, and Beer-Sheba, and served as director of many others, including the major twenty seasons dig at Tel Dor.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Excellent and readable  Jan 19, 2007
I enjoyed every minute of Amihai Mazar's book and wished for more. He takes the reader through the entire archaeological history of Israel in a way that is understandable and fascinating, including great pictures, diagrams, and maps along the way. Very useful and illuminating.
what it is, and what it isn't  Jul 8, 2006
I bought this one as a pleasure read. (Yes, I know...) I was hoping that this would be an examination of the Biblical text and checking against the archaeological record. It's not. It's primarily an examination of the archaeological record, and the Bible is really only mentioned after you get about 300 pages in and is really just an incidental player in the text. It's relevant to Scriptural studies, but not the book for a beginner. However, despite my disappointment, I read the book all the way through. Despite the fact that I have little background in archaeology, I was impressed by how clear the writing was. Mazar does a fantastic job conveying the development of the area, and discussing how the people lived in each era. If you're more interested in the Bible, this isn't your book. If you're more interested in archaeology, this book is pretty good.
Great overview overall, although somewhat limited in scope.  Nov 14, 2005
This a ultimately an essential read for anyone interested in biblical archaeology. Due to its somewhat technical nature, before reading this book it would be best to familiarize yourself with archaeological terminology, along with the basic chronology of Egyptian and Mesopotamian history, as this book makes extensive correlations of what was going on in Palestine with what was going on in Egypt and/or Mesopotamia at the same time.

This book does not deal exclusively with the biblical period; rather, it is an archaeological overview of the region as a whole, from the beginning of the Epipaleolithic (10,500 BCE) down to the Neo-Babylonian conquest (586 BCE). A clear picture of the material culture of the region is painted, particularly of the Canaanite civilization of the Middle and Late Bronze Age. When the archaeological data is relevant to the biblical narrative, this is pointed out. I do find Mazar's argument for elements as early as the Middle Bronze Age in the Patriarchal stories to be unconvincing, but his interpretation of the evidence is solid with regards to Iron Age.

The main problem with the book is that, apart from pointing out where the evidence corroborates or contradicts biblical testimony, the focus is almost entirely on material culture. While this is no doubt important in any synthesis, no attempt is made to produce a coherent picture of either the history or culture of the pre-Israelite period. While I know this is basically impossible to do before the Late Bronze Age, the Late Bronze itself has provided us with several primary sources which remain unutilized or underutilized: the Ugaritic archives and the Amarna Letters could be detailed a lot more thoroughly than they are. The coverage of the Israelite kingdoms is significantly better, but even so, it doesn't use Assyrian and Babylonian sources nearly as much as it could. Despite this, this book is still essential reading for anyone interested in biblical archaeology.
A detailed and factual survey  Dec 16, 2004
I bought this book because it seemed to be the one which would give me the most complete information on current archaeological data of the Land of the Bible from earliest times, and it met my expectations completely. As other reviewers have noted, it concentrates on what has been found , rather than dealing with specific archaeological issues, and describes what the remains tell us about the community who lived there, and how they lived.

There is an depth introduction explaining the geographical setting, which is one of the most concise and helpful that I have read about Palestine, as well as a thorough review of the archaeological surveys which have taken place from the 19th century to the present time (the first edition of the book was written in 1987). There is a useful table of excavations carried out in Israel since 1948, as well as summaries on the techniques of excavation, chronology, terminology, publications, ideology and interpretation.

There were many things I liked about the structure of the book, the most important being that each of its chapters covered a specific era of time starting with the first agricultural communities from 8500-4300BCE, and continuing with separate chapters on the communities of the Chalcolithic period (4300-3300BCE), the emergence of cities in the early Bronze age (3000-2300BCE), the period of sparse population between the Early and Middle Bronze ages (2300-2000BCE), the development of the Canaanite city states from 2000-1550BCE, and the Late Bronze Age when the area came under Egyptian domination. The remaining 5 chapters cover the period of Israelite domination, the Judges, the United Monarchy, the Divided Monarchy, with closing chapters on Israelite material culture and a brief final review of Israel's neighbours. There is also an appendix briefly describing recent discoveries to when the book was published in 1992

Each chapter is well provided with maps, photographs, tables, and diagrams, with explanatory notes at the end of each chapter rather than one big section at the back. I found the diagrams particularly helpful because they have generally been kept simple enough so that one can understand the basic concept of what is being explained. On many occasions I found these more useful than the photographs which are every good in themselves.

I agree that the book was somewhat dry in places, but, nevertheless, it retained my interest throughout and I often found myself saying "I didn't know that". There were some chapters which caught my interest more than others such Chapters 5 and 6, which cover the period of the Middle Bronze Age from about 2300-1500BCE, which happens to be the period that is coterminous with the Akkadian and Old Babylonian dynasties of Iraq. I also thought that the chapter 7 "In the shadow of Egyptian Domination" and chapter 8 "The Days of the Judges" were particularly informative, with the latter having a full description on the settlements, pottery, architecture, artifacts, and culture of the Philistines and other Sea Peoples, which can be compared and contrasted with an equally detailed description for that of the Israelite tribes in the period of the Judges. In this chapter as in all for the later chapters Dr Mazar provides an historical outline which is careful delineated from the "facts on the ground".

I found that the best way to read this book is to read it a chapter at a time, and then taking some time to reflect on what I had read, or perhaps reread certain parts. That was necessary because it is in great detail, and I found my eyes "glazing over" at times, which for me is always a sign that I am probably going to miss something important. I will certainly find it a useful reference for the other books on Canaan and Israel which I have on my reading list, and recommend it highly to anyone who is interested in reconciling the archaeological record of the biblical period with that of written historical accounts.

No wonder this text is the standard work...  Feb 20, 2003
Amihai Mazar is an expert on the Archaeology of the Land of the Bible. His book is an amazing resource for anyone interested in the archaeology of Palestine/Israel. In his book, Mazar goes into great detail concerning the various important archaeological periods. His book is very will structured and allows for easy comparison of the different time period. This book is considered by many to be the standard text on archaeology in this area. Mazar, in his book, takes a rather neutral standpoint towards the bible. Sometimes, he compares his findings to what we can read in the bible, but he does not swing either way. It is his neutralism that makes him fairly objective as well as the best read on the subject. I would personally greatly recommend this book. There are many misconceptions about how what is in the bible compares to what is really there, this book will definitly help you clear up some of these misconceptions. For students of Christianity, whether Christian themselves or not, this book is an invaluable to finding the truth.

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