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Current Research

Seeking Solomon Seeking Solomon
Tuesday, March 29, 2011 by Eve Levavi Feinstein | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

For traditionalists, the biography of King Solomon is enshrined in the Bible, in the narrative accounts in the books of Kings and Chronicles. The son of King David, who spent his career battling Israel's enemies, Solomon is depicted as ushering in an era of peace and prosperity. Yet the Bible also relates that Solomon took numerous foreign wives and concubines—one thousand in total—who led him to worship foreign gods and build shrines for their service.
Science, Faith, and Biblical Archeology Science, Faith, and Biblical Archeology
Monday, January 17, 2011 by Alex Joffe | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Biblical archeology was born out of twinned desires: to "illuminate" the world of the Bible and, ultimately, to prove the truth of the Word.
A Dead Issue? A Dead Issue?
Monday, February 15, 2010 by Elli Fischer | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Since the electrifying discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls at Qumran in the late 1940's, the scholarly consensus has been that they were produced by the Essenes, a small Second Temple-era Jewish sect known to us from Josephus. Last year, a book by Rachel Elior, Memory and Oblivion: The Secret of the Dead Sea Scrolls (Hebrew), upended this seemingly settled issue by contending that, in fact, the Essenes never existed. Elior's revolutionary thesis, argued with force and stridency, has been discussed in major mainstream publications from Israeli newspapers to Time magazine. But the controversy, and clashing assessments of her achievement as a historian, have...
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Editors' Picks
Analyzing Ashkelon Sam Roberts, New York Times. Science is revolutionizing the study of ancient Ashkelon—revealing mysterious cylinders as parts of ancient looms, proving that what we thought were palaces may really have been stables.
The Afghanistan Genizah Gil Shefler, Jerusalem Post. The scholarly world is abuzz over a cave filled with ancient scrolls that may be the most significant historical discovery in the Jewish world since that of the Cairo Genizah.  (Hebrew report with video here.)      
Yehuda Halevi's Death and the Cairo Genizah Eliezer Brodt, Seforim. Legend says the great 12th-century Spanish hymnist reached Eretz Yisrael but was killed at Jerusalem's city gate. Genizah documents suggest that the legend was based on fact.
Elephants and Homo erectus Arieh O’Sullivan, Media Line. A cave near Tel Aviv may offer up evidence that modern man first emerged not in Africa but in the Middle East—because of a scarcity of elephant meat.
From Haran to Hebron Moshe Gilad, Haaretz. One anthropologist is on a campaign to mark the 1,200 kilometer path traveled by the patriarch Abraham through Jordan, Syria, Iraq, and Israel.
Holy Land Stonehenge Associated Press. In Arabic, the site's name means "stone heap of the wild cats." In Hebrew it is known as the "wheel of ghosts." Just what is the mysterious prehistoric structure?
Putting the Pieces Together Ofer Aderet, Haaretz. An ambitious new project aims to digitize the entire Cairo Genizah, thus virtually reassembling half a million document fragments scattered around the world.
Who Lived in Qumran? Biblical Archaeology Society, Bible History Daily. An architectural analysis of the area where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered supports the identification of the community as a Second Temple-era Jewish sect known as the Essenes.
Hitting Bedrock Nadav Shragai, Israel Hayom. Two-thousand years after Herod's builders laid them, the foundation stones of the ancient Temple of Jerusalem have at last been uncovered.
Superhuman Discovery Arieh O’Sullivan, Jerusalem Post. Muscles bulging, a lion skin draped over his shoulder, the Greek mythical hero Hercules has reappeared—headless—in a Roman-era bathhouse in northern Israel.