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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 60 Number 4
December 1997

From the Guest Editor

194 Ancient Moab: Still Largely Unknown
Max Miller
Ancient times knew the region immediately east of the Dead Sea as Moab. Until recently, mapmakers and explorers from Tristram to Glueck added only fitfully to what we knew of the land of Moab from ancient inscriptions and the Hebrew Bible. Advances in archaeological method and the interpretation of literary traditions have brought new insights to this legacy. The study of Moab is gaining momentum.

205 Roads and Settlements in Moab
J. Andrew Dearman
Roadways and cities in ancient Moab? The most obvious road was emperor Trajan's Via nova Traiana. One can only infer predecessor highways during the Bronze and Iron Ages. As far as cities and settlements go, a welter of ambiguities keeps historical geographers in a state of uncertainty.

214 A New Agenda for Research on Ancient Moab
Gerald L. Mattingly
The recently initiated Karak Resources Project has set out to document natural resource utilizahon by the inhabitants of central Jordan's Karak plateau. The crucial issue is whether the realia of archaeology can help us discover the very genesis of a people like the Moabites.

222 Moab's Northern Boarder: Khirbat al-Mudayna on the Wadi ath-Thamad
P. M. Michèle Daviau
Current excavations at Khirbat al-Mudayna on the Wadi ath-Thamad mark the beginning of an effort to bring the landscape of Moabite ethnicity into focus. Data from excavation and regional survey suggest that Khirbat al-Mudayna may have indeed anchored Moab's Iron Age northern frontier.

229 Egypt and Moab
Udo Worschech
The earliest references to the peoples of Moab appear in two inscriptions from the reign of Ramesses II. While Egyptian sources offer nothing regarding Moab during the Iron Age, fortunately, other sources, such as the Balu' Stele and the Mesha Inscription, step in. On the whole, the evidence suggests that Moab was a larger political factor than historians have realized.

237 Moabite Social Structure
Randall W. Younker
Was ancient Moab a tribal kingdom, a state, or a nation? While some characteristics of Moabite material culture such as public buildings and monumental art may suggest the presence of a state, there are more than a few hints that argue for the persistence of "tribalism" in Moab.

249 Arti-Facts

255 Caught in the Net

On the cover:
A modern road traverses the gorge of Wadi al-Mujib. The massive gorge isolates the central plateau of Moab fromthe northern.
Photograph courtesy of R. Cleave.