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Biblical Archaeologist

Biblical ArchaeologistPerspectives on the Ancient World from Mesopotamia to the Mediterranean
A Publication of the American Schools of Oriental Research

Volume 57 Number 4
December 1994

Feature: Beetles in Stone: The Egyptian Scarab

186 Beetles in Stone: The Egyptian Scarab
William A. Ward
A common beetle played an uncommon role in ancient Egyptian culture. Extraordinarily frequent as an artistic motif, the dung beetle's name and image portrayed the idea of birth, of life, and especially the second birth into eternal existence. What was so captivating about the dung beetle? As a powerful amulet, a seal, or piece of jewelry, the scarab also boasted a tremendous popularity beyond Egypt. Such popularity presents archaeology with intriguing, but complex possibilities for taking the measure of these "beetles in stone."

203 The Fortresses at 'En Haseva Rudolph Cohen
Excavations are beginning to unearth a singularly impressive series of superimposed fortress buildings near one of the most abundant springs in the Arabah Valley of Israel. Five occupation levels stretch from the Byzantine and Early Islamic Periods through the Roman and Nabataean Periods all the Way to the Eighth century of the Iron Age. Located strategically at the intersection of routes, 'En Haseva began its life as a royal outpost so significant that it may even have left a memory of its name.

215 What's in a name: The Anonymity of Ancient Umm el-Jimal
Bert de Vries
"Mother of Camels" is only one reading of the modern name of this stark and intriguing basalt-built settlement. Its ancient name? None of the tantalizing possibilities in the literary sources checks out. The ancient site will have to remain anonymous, with only the residues of its inhabitants' lives witnessing to their identity.

220 The Woman Question and Female Ascetics Among Essenes
Linda Bennett Elder
Were not the Essenes at Qumran celibate males? The presumption of a celibate male population on the shores of the Dead Sea continues to rule scholarly imaginations. But what about the skeletons of females in the cemeteries? And what about the textual references to liturgies involving women? Do not all the signs point to the presence of female ascetics at Qumran?

236 News, Notes, and Reviews
The Walls of Jerusalem. With its continuous urban occupation, extending back to the 20th century BCE, the city of Jerusalem offers a crucial case-study in urban development and spatial symbolism. A new, detailed analysis of its successive walls and gates by G. J. Wightman reveals Jerusalem's complex and often bloody history written in the city's mortar and stone.

On the cover: Numerous schematic representations of Egyptian design scarabs animate the background for three examples of the modification of the scarab outside of Egypt: the highly ornamental Phoenician scarab (top) and two European examples--Etruscan and Greek scarabs with obvious motifs from the classical repertoire.