June 26, 2012

The Minimalist vs. Maximalist Debate in Israeli Archaeology

A new discovery at Khirbet Qeiyafa, an ancient city southwest of Jerusalem, has reignited a debate about the existence and influence of the biblical figures David and Solomon.

If you think that archaeology is boring, you should take thirty minutes and read Asaf Shtull-Trauring’s article in the Haaretz magazine. This lengthy piece interviews the major players in the chief dispute in Israeli archaeology today. Those familiar with the minimalist-maximalist debate over the United Kingdom of Israel will find a good bit that is new. Those looking for an introduction to the conflict can hardly do better than start here.

A slightly shorter and updated account can be read here.

Like any science of the past, archaeology is constantly developing and changing, and the views expressed in these articles are too young to have much merit, but it is interesting to see where things are and where they are going.