Backgrounders on the Bible through Biblical Archaeology

1628 Clyde Billington – Masada and Tel Shimron

Masada, Herod's fortress overlooking the Dead Sea.

Masada, Herod’s fortress overlooking the Dead Sea.

Masada is the most visited national park in Israel and also one of the most important archaeological sites of Israel. In the early 1960s, when Yigael Yadin excavated Masada, it was the first time crowdsourcing was used in archaeology. Yadin invited volunteers to come and work with him, and they did. And ever since, volunteers have been a key component in the institutional archaeological excavations which take place, mostly in the summer, every year.

Masada still has secrets to divulge to excavators even now more than a half century later and some of them are reported in the latest issue of Biblical Archaeology Review. Professor Billington and I discuss this report.

We also review another article which describes the beginning of a new excavation in the Jezreel Valley, Tel Shimron. This is an ancient city which at times in history apparently outshone it’s neighbor across the valley, Tel Megiddo. It will be interesting to see what this excavation reveals in the years ahead.

(Masada photo by John DeLancey)

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