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The Archaeology of the Holy Land: From the Destruction of Solomon's Temple to the Muslim Conquest [Paperback]

Jodi Magness

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Book Description

27 Aug 2012
This book provides an introduction to the archaeology and history of ancient Palestine – modern Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian territories – from the destruction of Solomon's temple in 586 BCE to the Muslim conquest in 640 CE. Special attention is paid to the archaeology of Jerusalem and the Second Temple period, in the time of Herod the Great and Jesus. For each period, the book offers a historical background for the Mediterranean world and the ancient Near East, as well as the events in Palestine. Major sites such as Masada, Caesarea Maritima and Petra are examined in archaeological and historical detail, along with the material culture – coins, pottery, glass and stone vessels – of each period. This book provides a thorough overview of the archaeology of this historically vibrant part of the world.

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Review

'The strength of Magness' volume are fourfold: first, it is well illustrated with maps and photographs; second, descriptions of archaeological periods are concise and salient; third, the information in the sidebars is used to debunk some of the pseudo-science that is prevalent in the media and in popular culture; fourth, this textbook is written in a manner that makes the subject matter accessible to undergraduate students. For instance, her chapter summarising archaeological methods is perhaps one of the best that I have read for an introductory textbook. It is readable and her use of contemporary analogies in order to illustrate archaeological methods is excellent.' Benjamin A. Saidel, East Carolina University

'In this beautifully-produced volume, Jodi Magness provides a superb introduction to the archaeology of the region of ancient Palestine, and creates a focus that is somewhat different from the usual presentations of 'biblical archaeology' … This book is an invaluable overview and full of Magness's characteristically sound and insightful judgements. It will be much used by students and scholars.' Joan Taylor, Strata: Bulletin of the Anglo-Israel Archaeological Society

Book Description

This book provides an introduction to the archaeology and history of ancient Palestine – modern Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian territories – from the destruction of Solomon's temple in 586 BCE to the Muslim conquest in 640 CE. Special attention is paid to the archaeology of Jerusalem and the Second Temple period, in the time of Herod the Great and Jesus.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

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Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This fine book provides a thorough overview of the archaeology of this historically rich part of the world 27 Nov 2012
By Didaskalex - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
****
"Yet archaeologists ... have failed to engage the larger intellectual issues--especially the challenge of integrating texts and artifacts in writing the real 'revisionist' histories of ancient Israel... one of the revisionists' major fault is that they ignore, cite selectively and cavalierly, misinterpret, distort, or otherwise abuse modern archaeology..." William G. Dever

William Dever, eminent American archaeologist, specializing in the history of Israel and the Near East in Biblical times, discussed two main trends in both archaeology and Biblical studies. The first was over-specialization, as archaeology became more theoretically sophisticated, less textually wedded, and more anthropologically oriented. The second development came when Biblical studies entered the historio-graphical crisis in the 1990s, that now sometimes called the 'Minimalist-Maximalist' controversy.

New archaeology moved away from being Biblical to a study of culture, it became interdisciplinary. In addition to radiocarbon dating and electron microscopes, advanced techniques introduced included neutron activation, gas chromatography, and DNA analysis. In the past three decades, archaeologists have made great strides in recovering the lost world of the Old Testament. Dozens of digs in the Levant changed experts' perception of ancient Israel and its neighbors, which is very well demonstrated here, by its author Jodi Magness.

This scholarly book provides an overview of the archaeology and history of ancient Palestine - modern Israel, and Jordan - to the advent of Islam in 640 CE. The archaeology of Jerusalem and the Second Temple, until 70 CE. It provides a historical background for the the ancient Near East world, as well as Palestine. Major sites as Masada, and Petra are explored with archaeology and history, along with cultural material as coins, glass, pottery, and vessels - of each period. I admired especially its plot plans, beautiful maps, and various plates which make the archaeology of the Holy land vivid.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Subject, Dry Presentation 16 Jan 2013
By John Jorgensen - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The history of the Holy Land is an area in which I have a fair amount of interest; it's not among my favorite historical subjects, but it's up there. I have only a vague familiarity with archaeology, I'm afraid, but was looking for an opportunity to brush up on the subject, get a bit of a layman's guide.

That's what this book seemed to me to be written as, based on its subject matter, organization, and the depth with which it treated those subjects. Unfortunately, the very dry presentation gave me the distinct impression that it was written for a far more advanced audience. Maybe it was; but it will attract casually interested readers like me. I found it technical and hard to follow. It was still informative, but getting to that information frankly required more effort than I wanted to invest. That may make me sound like a lazy reader. I don't think I am, but so be it. I can tell you that most people I know who have similar interests to mine would very likely give up on this book before getting to the pearls of wisdom it contains.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great historical reference 28 Nov 2012
By Roger Bagula - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
What I particularly like was the maps of Jerusalem in different historical ages,
and specifically after the revolt against Rome. Maps of the Israel area under
different rulers was also helpful.
The discussion of Masada was right on.
I like the Qumran discussions as well.
There is material here for me for much further study
than a first reading can give. This discussion and information
will be useful to biblical scholars of different religions as well.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Informative, well organized book 23 Nov 2013
By picturemereading - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is well organized and pretty thorough if not comprehensive. It's set up in chronological order with each era being designed with a historical overview and then a description of the evidence in four aspects of archaeology (pottery, coins, etc.). The format makes it easy to jump around and read about specific topics you're interested in. The book is well written with plenty of pictures of artifacts and digs, helpful historical maps, and a plethora of interesting sidebars that allowed me to reconstruct my visit to the Holy Land and put all those amazing things I saw into the proper context. In my humble opinion, Ms. Magness is respectful of all beliefs in her writing and is very easy to understand. I also appreciate her providing various scholarly opinions and from time to time providing her own.

I am relatively new to the topic and this book has greatly informed me on the historical evidence available today and it's complement to religious/historical texts. I wish it was a little more comprehensive (e.g. I didn't read anything on evidence of Solomon's mines or the changes of Jericho over the centuries), but perhaps that would require a larger time frame and a few hundred more pages. Very happy with the purchase.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A look at an area normally considered more holy than archeological 27 Oct 2013
By Weston Bergman Jr. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
For the average reader the holy land is seen from a theological standpoint. This author aims to present the archeological perspective to a land rich in history and theology. It would qualify as a beginning book on the subject.
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