Ziony Zevit, «Three Debates about Bible and Archaeology», Vol. 83 (2002) 1-27
Three significant debates affecting perceptions of Israelite history, the Bible’s historiography, the relationship between this historiography and archaeology, and the dating of parts of the Bible’s literature have occupied Biblicists and archaeologists for the last 25 years. This article distinguishes the debates by analyzing the issues involved, the terminologies employed, as well as the professions of the protagonists engaged in each. It considers each within its own intellectual context. In light of these analyses, the article proposes a positive assessment of the contribution of these debates to the study ancient Israel’s history.
evidence for such projects is unaccountably missing, the absence may be attributed in part to erosion, ancient robbing, and, in the case of Jerusalem, to Roman engineers who preferred building on stable, hard, flat, surfaces. They shaved large areas almost to bedrock, removing the debris of earlier construction, in order to create uncluttered platforms for their own structures37. It has been suggested orally at a few archaeological meetings that since no clear tenth century BCE stratum was found at Jezreel, the absence of the burnished red slip ware in what was found sealed under the ninth century stratum may be due to Ahab who ordered a similar clearing of the site prior to constructing a palace and administrative center38. In any event, the absence of evidence may not be interpreted facilely as evidence of absence39.