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Stones for Bread: Archaeology versus History

Anson F. Rainey
Near Eastern Archaeology
Vol. 64, No. 3 (Sep., 2001), pp. 140-149
DOI: 10.2307/3210843
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3210843
Page Count: 10
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Abstract

Regardless of where one falls in the current debate about historiography and the tenth century of Iron Age Israel, all would acknowledge that it has had the positive impact of making scholars rethink cherished positions as well as the methodology and data by which they are substantiated. In this spirited essay, the relationship between text and material culture, between archaeology and history, is put to the test. The author takes up the challenge presented by Israel Finkelstein's 1999 NEA article, "State Formation in Israel and Judah" with his own challenge, namely, that teachers and scholars pursue the serious study of ancient documents in their original languages as the best means for reconstructing the history of ancient Israel.

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