Scott Stripling is once again our guest to report on the end of the Associates for Biblical Archaeology excavation in Israel, this year at Shiloh, since they have closed the excavations at Khirbet el-Maqatir. Shiloh, of course, was the location of the tabernacle and the ark of the covenant for most of the almost 400 years (by the biblical account), between the time of the exodus and conquest and the establishment of the temple in Jerusalem in Solomon’s time.
Many years ago an archaeologist told me that there wasn’t much left to excavate at Shiloh but that is apparently not the case, as Scott fills us in on what happened during this first season and what they are looking for in the seasons to come.
(illustration from the 1728 Figures de la Bible; illustrated by Gerard Hoet (1648–1733) and others, and published by P. de Hondt in The Hague; image courtesy Bizzell Bible Collection, University of Oklahoma Libraries, via Wikipedia.)
Israel Finkelstein is one of the top Israeli archaeologists, even if he advocates a dating chronology that a majority of archaeologists do not support. When I talked with him on the program 20 years ago we really didn’t get into the dating issue, at that time I didn’t really understand it very well. But rather we talked about reasons for his soon-to-begin excavation of Megiddo, which continues 20 years later, as well as his work at the Old Testament site of Shiloh. Archaeological survey work is connected to both of these excavations, and in fact his discussion of surveys related to Megiddo led to what we discussed with Matthew Adams just a few weeks ago.
As I said on the program, I like Finkelstein even though I disagree with his dating chronology. We first met 35 years ago when we both worked on the excavation at Tel Aphek. He was the protege of dig director Moshe Kochavi and I was a lowly volunteer getting my first hands-on experience with archaeology. Finkelstein is a professor of archaeology at Tel Aviv University.