Backgrounders on the Bible through Biblical Archaeology

1067-1068 Qumran Reality Check


Archaeologist Jodi Magness of UNC-Chapel Hill has become the reality check for Qumran archaeology, the go-to person for clear thinking on whether or not the latest Qumran theories are grounded in reality or fantasy. So much so that she eventually had to write the book on “The Archaeology of Qumran.” Since we have several new Qumran archaeology theories that we’ve discussed on the program recently, those of Magen/Peleg and of James Tabor, it was time to check in with Jodi. She always speaks with great clarity and vigor and is a refreshing interview. She’s also the only archaeologist I’ve heard who used the phrase “well, duh” during an archaeology lecture.

Also on program 1067 we briefly discuss the passing of archaeologist Yizhar Hirschfeld, who died suddenly this month following an illness. Hirschfeld has been excavating most recently at Tiberias.

I noticed recently that the Tiberias excavation was selling replicas of a valuable coin they had discovered in the dig. So I sent some money and received the coin in the mail just a few weeks ago, along with a note “With my best wishes,” signed by professor Hirschfeld. So it was quite a shock to learn of his passing.

Hirschfeld had his own view on Qumran, which few other archaeologists supported. Fortunately he had been good about publishing his excavations, unlike some archaeologists.

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One response

  1. I agree with your comments about Dr. Magness. It’s always such a breath of fresh air to hear someone speak with authority on a subject–something that doesn’t always translate well from paper. Looking over her CV, she truly speaks out of the abundance of her heart! And I, too, appreciated her ability to work a good “well, duh” into an otherwise-technical discussion. She’s definitely the Ann Coulter of Biblical Archeology! Thanks for another informative, timely interview!

    December 4, 2006 at 1:49 pm

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