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Volume 47, Number 1
Spring 1997



Napa, California: The 1997 Annual Meeting Site

The Annual Meeting of ASOR is set for Napa, California, during the week of November 16. The academic program contains a rich variety of offerings, rang ing from reports from the 1997 field season to the latest in Dead Sea Scroll studies, the breadth of papers reflecting the breadth of our Members' interests. The 1997 meeting will be an exciting one. Perhaps as welcome as the program's fullness will be the relaxed atmosphere of Napa and the opportunities to spend time meeting and talking to one another.

Napa, itself, will add a new flavor to our meetings. The town and the valley offer numerous opportunities for relaxation, touring, wine-tasting and shopping. The program includes an optional package tour on Wednesday afternoon; I urge you to take advantage of this opportunity by including in your annual meeting experience some time to enjoy the sites. In fact, if you decide to rent an automobile, you will have several opportunities to visit nearby restaurants, wineries, and tourist sites. As one of our members said on seeing the location of the Meeting, "Who can resist Napa?"

Following the decision by ASOR last November to hold independent meetings, Napa was selected as the Annual Meeting site because of concerns of some members of the Board of Trustees. They felt it would be important to hold the 1997 Meeting in proximity to, and near the time of, the meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature. Such an arrangement permits travel to both ASOR and SBL Meetings on a single airfare. In addition, many felt the need for a more relaxed, less crowded ASOR Meeting, with opportunities to enjoy the surroundings. Napa fills those needs.

The reasons for ASOR's decision to hold independent meetings are numerous. Chief among these is that the circumstance of the supermeeting had increasingly eroded the integrity of ASOR's academic and business meetings. In fact, in the 1996 Annual Meeting program book, ASOR was not identified, and our meetings were not marked independently. All appeared as meetings of Joint Venture, a feature that has required separate publication of the ASOR Annual Meeting program for the past several years in the ASOR Newsletter. In addition, the costs of holding annual meetings in contract with Joint Venture had again begun to rise dramatically. With no income from membership registration, ASOR has paid more than $20,000 each year for meeting rooms, audio-visual rental, receptions, and printing of the meeting schedule. It seemed clear that the costs to ASOR for its own meetings were not going to decrease, that continuation of this financial burden would eventually bankrupt ASOR, and that one feature of an annual meeting is that it ought to pay for itself from membership registration fees. Thus, the 1997 Annual Meeting in Napa was born. I hope to see you there.

Paul F. Jacobs
Chair, Committee on the Annual Meeting and Program


Nominations for the following positions on the ASOR Board of Trustees will be accepted by the ASOR Nominations Committee through September 10, 1997:

- Three (3) trustees from the Institutional Members to be elected by representatives of the Founding, Consortium, Advisory and Overseas Centers Members, to serve July 1, 1998 through June 30, 2001.

- One (1) trustee from the Institutional Members to be elected by representatives of the Founding, Consortium, Advisory, and Overseas Centers Members, to serve upon election through June 30, 1999 (completing term of P. Jacobs, who is now ex-officio).

- Three (3) trustees from the Individual Members to be elected by Individual Voting Members, to serve July 1, 1998 through June 30, 2001. (Note: As currently defined, an ASOR "Individual Voting Member" is one who pays Professional Member dues of $110 or who contributes that amount or more to the organization.

Candidates must be members of ASOR in good standing, willing to serve a three-year working term and to attend both fall and spring meetings. A one-paragraph biography should accompany the nomination.

Current list of Trustees:

Class of 1998*    Class of 1999        Class of 2000            Overseas Centers Reps
D. Albright       W. Aufrecht (Inst)   J. Hansen (Ind)          P. Gerstenblith (AIAR)
E. Campbell       J. Blakely (Ind)     P. E. MacAllister(Board) A. Ogilvy (ACOR)
J. Cooper         W. Dever (Inst)      B. MacDonald (Ind.)	A. Oliver (CAARI)
N. Frederick      W. H. Gibbs (Board)  J. Magness (Inst)		
T. Schaub         H. Hendrix (Board)   J. Ross (Ind)              Ex officio
T. Schneider      E. Meyers (Ind)      J. Seger (Board)           P. Jacobs (CAMP)
D. Stern (Board)  R. Scheuer (Board)   J. Spencer (Inst)          A. Leonard (COP)
G. Thompson       L. Shufro (Ind)      G. Vincent (Board)         W. Rast (CAP)
                                       R. Younker (Inst)
1998 Trustees were elected                                        Life Trustee
before ASOR restructuring.                                        C. Harris
Note: Board representatives of the Founding Member societies (AIA, AOS and SBL) have yet to be designated.

Nominations for the positions on the following ASOR Committees will be accepted by the ASOR Nominations Committee through September 10, 1997: Nominations Committee

- One (1) recommended trustee representative for the Nominations Committee from the Institutional Members to be elected by representatives of Founding, Consortium, Advisory and Overseas Centers Members, to serve upon appointment by the Chairperson of the Board of Trustees through June 30, 2000.

- One (1) recommended trustee representative for the Nominations Committee from the Individual Members to be elected by Individual Voting Members, to serve upon appointment by the Chairperson of the Board of Trustees through June 30, 2000.

Current members of the Nominations Committee:

Ex Officio           Class of 1997        Class of 1998        Class of 1999
P. E. MacAllister    C. Miller (Board)    H. Hendrix (Board)    R. Younker (Board)
J. Seger             T. Schneider (Inst)  P. Jacobs (Inst)      J. Magness (Inst)
R. Hallote (Ind)     E. Meyers (Ind)      J. Blakely (Ind)
Agenda Committee

- One (1) Agenda Committee member from the Institutional Members to be elected by representatives of Founding, Consortium, Advisory and Overseas Centers Members, to serve July 1, 1998 through June 30, 2000.

- One (1) Agenda Committee member from the Individual Members, to be elected by the Individual Voting Members, to serve July 1, 1998 through June 30, 2000.

Agenda Committee candidates must be members of ASOR in good standing and willing to serve a two year working term. A one paragraph biography should accompany the nomination.

Current members of the Agenda Committee:

Ex Officio  Class of 1997	  Class of 1998         Class of 1999
J. Seger    R. T. Schaub (Inst)   B. Dahlberg (Inst)    B. Cresson (Inst)
J. Ross     J. Zorn (Ind)         M. Risser (Ind)       V. Matthews (Ind)
AGENDA ITEMS: Proposed agenda items for the 1997 Members Meeting may be submitted to the Committee Chair, to any member of the committee, or to the ASOR Boston office. A rationale for including items should accompany the submission.

Nominations with full documentation must be received by September 10, 1997. The Nominations Committee will review all nominations received and select slates for elections at the Annual Meeting in November. Please send nominations to Randall W. Younker, Chairperson, ASOR Nominations Committee, Andrews University, Berrien Springs, MI 49104; Tel. (616) 471-7771; Fax. (616) 471-3108; E-mail:

New Trustee and Committee Member Bios

Dr. Bruce C. Cresson received his B.A. from Wake Forest, holds a BD, ThM from SEBTS, and a Ph.D. from Duke University. He taught at Duke for 3 years and Baylor for 31 years. He is currently the W.W. Melton Professor of Religion, Director of University Scholars Program, Director of the Institute of Archaeology, and Director of the Institute of Biblical and Related Languages. He also served 3 years as Vice Provost of International Programs and five years as Dean of the University School. He participated in excavations in Israel for 22 seasons. For 17 seasons he was co-director with Ram Gophna and Yitzhaq Beit Arieh (Dalit, 'Uza, Radum, Malhata). He also excavated for one season in Jordan. He has held offices in professional societies: Vice President and President of SBL/SW, President and Secretary of ASOR/SW, Vice President and President of SW Commission on Religious Studies, and served two terms on the ASOR Board.

Dr. Julie Hansen received her B.A. in Anthropology/Archaeology from the University of Wisconsin and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Classical Area Studies/Archaeology from the University of Minnesota. Her primary area of interest is in Aegean/Eastern Mediterranean Prehistory with a specialization in palaeoethnobotany. She has analyzed plant remains from sites in Greece, Cyprus, Egypt, Ethiopia, and Albania ranging in age from the Upper Palaeolithic (ca. 15,000 BP) through the Byzantine period. Her publications include a monograph on the Palaeoethnobotany of Franchthi Cave, Greece, and articles in palaeoethnobotany and the origins of agriculture in such journals as the American Journal of Archaeology, Oxford Journal of Archaeology, and L'Anthropologie. She has held fellowships at CAARI and ACOR and is currently a member of the Board of Trustees of CAARI and the CAP Committee, as well as the Advisory Board of the Wiener Laboratory at the American School of Classical Studies in Athens.

Dr. Burton MacDonald received his B.A- in Philosophy from St. Francis Xavier University, Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada. His M.A. in Religious Studies was awarded by the University of Ottawa, Canada. In 1974 he earned a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Literature from the Catholic University of America. He is currently Professor and Chair of the Department of Religious Studies at St. Francis Xavier University. He has recently served as a board member of ASOR Canada. His books published include Ammon, Moab and Edom: Early States/Nations of Jordan in the Biblical Period (End of the 2 nd and During the 1st Millennium B.C.; The Southern Ghor and Northeast Arabah Archaeological Survey 1985-1986, Southern Jordan; The Wadi el Hasa Archaeological Survey 1979-1983, West-Central Jordan.

Dr. Jodi Magness was awarded a B.A. in Archaeology and History from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and her Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in Classical Archaeology. She is currently Assistant Professor of Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology at Tufts University, Medford, MA. Her publications include Jerusalem Ceramic Chronology circa 200-800 C.E. She has in excess of 20 encyclopedia entries published with more than 20 more forthcoming. Excavations participated in include Nahal Yattir (Iethira), Israel co-director; Masada, co-director of excavations in the Roman siege camps; Caesarea (CCE), Late Roman and Byzantine ceramics specialist. 1974-89 participated as a staff member or volunteer on 15 excavations in Israel and Greece.

Dr. Victor H. Matthews received his Ph.D. from the Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies at Brandeis University in 1977. He taught at Clemson University from 1978-80 and at Anderson College in South Carolina from 1980-84. In 1984 he joined the Department of Religious Studies at Southwest Missouri State University as a Professor of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament. He is the former editor of the ASOR Newsletter and the General Book Editor for ASOR. His field of interest is ancient Near Eastern history (ASOR Diss. Series, 3: Pastoral Nomadism in the Mari Kingdom), and the social world of ancient Israel. His recent research includes: Manners and Customs in the Bible, and The Social World of Ancient Israel.

Dr. Jim Ross is a graduate of Doane College and Union Theological Seminary and holds a B.D., Th.D. as well as an honorary D.D. from Doane College. He is now retired and living in Gaithersburg, MD. He has taught at Dartmouth, Drew, and Virginia Theological Seminary. He has been a visiting professor at both Swarthmore and Princeton University. He has served as a staff member on excavations at Shechemn, Caesarea, Tell Jemme, and Tell el-Hesi. He has received annual appointments as Archaeological Director at Hebrew Union College in Jerusalem and as Professor of Archaeology at the American School of Oriental Research (now Albright Institute).

Dr. John R. Spencer received his Ph.D. in Biblical Studies from the University of Chicago and has worked on the staffs of the excavations at Tell el-Hesi and Ashkelon. He is a professor of Biblical Studies and Archaeology and Director of the Honors Program at John Carron University. He is a member of several professional organizations and publishes in the fields of Archaeology and the Hebrew Bible. He serves as Vice-chair of the Board of Directors of the Tell el-Hesi Joint Archaeological Expedition and is the Treasurer of the Board of Trustees of the W.F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research. He has received several awards and honors, including the Distinguished Faculty Award from John Carroll University and USIA Research Fellowship.

Dr. Randall Younker received his M.A. and Ph.D. in Near Eastern Archaeology from the University of Arizona. He has served as Director of the Institute of Archeology and Assistant Professor of Old Testament and Biblical Archaeology at Andrews University since 1985. He directed excavations at Dreijat in 1989 and Tell Jawa, Jordan in 1989. He has been co-director of Tell Jalul in Jordan since 1989. In 1990 he was co-director at Gezer with Bill Dever. Since 1992 he has been director of Tell Jalul Excavations in Jordan. He has participated in thirteen archaeological field seasons in Israel and Jordan: Tel Dor, Tel Gezer, Tell el-Umeiri, Tell Jawa, Dreijat, and Tell Jalul. He has over 40 scholarly publications to his credit. He also has been co-editor of the Madaba Plains Project volumes. He is currently co-editor of a book on the Archaeology of the Ammonites with Burt MacDonald for E. J. Brill.

Dr. Jeffrey R. Zorn received his B.A. in Mesopotamian archaeology from UC Berkeley in 1980. He stayed on at Berkeley and received his M.A .and Ph.D. in Syro-Palestinian archaeology. His dissertation is entitled Tell en-Nasbeh: A Re-evaluation of the Architecture and Stratigraphy of the Early Bronze Age, Iron Age and Later Periods. He has held both NEH (1995-1996) and Samuel H. Kress Fellowships (1990-1991) at the Albright Institute. From 1985 to the present he has participated in various capacities in the excavations at Tel Dor, Israel and most recently as Assistant Director of the UC Berkeley team. He has served as Coordinator of the Bade Institute of Biblical Archaeology.

President's Report

The new ASOR is emerging, with many signs of new vitality and strength! My term as President is guided by three mandates, to create opportunity, to demand responsibility, and to encourage communication. Early success in all areas can be reported.

Response to the special challenge involved in planning an independent Annual Meeting has produced several new initiatives. To the announcement of the Lindstrom Foundation challenge gift for support of student participation in the Annual Meeting can now be added notice of a further $10,000 grant from the Dorot Foundation, designated specifically to support travel by advanced graduate students to the Napa sessions. Very special thanks are due again to the Lindstrom Foundation and now very specially to the Dorot Foundation for the opportunities and encouragement their generosity provide for our student members. At the same time, the program of sessions developing for the Napa meeting is most encouraging. Already included is a plenary session on the Dead Sea Scrolls, symposia on several major excavations projects, and new program sections on Cypriot archaeology. This is in addition to an otherwise full set of ongoing program options.

Meanwhile work on the Centennial Program continues to develop. The AIAR Board has already organized its schedule for symposia and other activities in Israel. Chairman Meyers and the exhibit committee are now in advanced states of exploring options for displays related to ASOR's work, and Chairman MacAllister is in the final stages of work on a first series of TV productions related to ASOR digs.

None of ASOR's work just happens. It requires the merging of many gifts, including money, time and talent. As Eleanore Roosevelt once said, "it is not fair to ask of others what you are not willing to do yourself." Happily, ASOR members have not proven reluctant to help shoulder their share of the load. The ASOR Board has responded well to the Chairman's and President's dictum that "there is no representation without taxation," and while there is still some part of the hill to climb before a budgeted goat of $1,000,000 in Trustee gifts is reached for this year, the effort is well underway. I am also pleased to report that over half of the needed $3,000 match for the Lindstrom Fund has already been contributed by ASOR members. At the same time, all members of ASOR's many committees continue their very productive work. Expressive of members' willingness to contribute help are the following who have more recently accepted appointments to new or continuing assignments: Randall Younker as Chair of the Nominations Committee, Lydie Shufro as Chair of a new Committee on ASOR Honors and Awards, Victor Matthews as Chair of the Agenda Committee, Tammi Schneider as Chair of the EBR Fellowship Committee and Tom Schaub as continuing representative for ASOR on the committee for the EBR-sponsored ASOR/SBL Joint Lectureship program. To these and to all of you who serve to maintain and carry forward ASOR's work, very sincere thanks.

Regarding communications, special efforts are being made to ensure that members have access to the most current information on ASOR activities and work even beyond the formative contributions being made through our excellent set of professional journals. You will note of course that the Newsletter has been "beefed up" considerably with added news and new features. Through the considerable efforts of the Newsletter editor and Director of Publications, Billie Jean Collins, this information and more is also available via the Scholars Press "TELA" site on the World Wide Web. TELA now also provides connection on-line to ASORDigs96 via the / Web Site. In addition, the Centennial Committee is continuing and extending its "Longlist" initiative to ensure that every possible member of ASOR's extended family can receive communications on Centennial programs and activities. Will everyone know everything we are doing all the time? Probably not! But we are trying to close the gap. And please remember, communication is a two way street. You may be sure that your questions addressed to Officers, Committee Chairs, Editors, and office staff will not go long unanswered.

ASOR at its best is ASOR interactive. Benjamin Franklin once said that the noblest question in the world is "what good can I do in it?" If all of us in ASOR continue to embrace that same spirit, the organization will have a bright future indeed.

Joe Seger, ASOR President


Lecture Series

CAARI continues its series of lectures covering the gamut of Cypriot studies which are designed to appeal to a diversity of interests. Upcoming lectures include:
    - Dr. Carole McCartney, 1996 John Grier Bartol Fellow, "Rethinking the Cypriot Aceramic."

    - Dr. Ian A. Todd, Director, Vasilikos Valley Project, "The Vasilikos Valley Project: The First Twenty Years."

    - Dr. David Roessel, Faculty, College Year in Athens, "George Seferis and Il Postino."

    - Dr. Nancy Serwint, Director, CAARI, "The Terracotta Sculpture from Ancient Marion."

    - Dr. Gisela Walberg, The Marion Rawson Professor of Aegean Prehistory, Department of Classics, University of Cincinnati, "The Excavation of the Megaron at Midea."

    - Timothy Boatswain, M.Sc., Dean, Faculty of Humanities, University of Luton, "Sir Arthur Evans and his Minoan Utopia."

    - Dr. Diana Wood Conroy, University of Woolagong, "Introduction to Aboriginal Art and Archaeology in Australia."

    - Mr. Joseph Parvis, 1996-1997 Fulbright Fellow, "Public and Private Responses to the Ideology and Implementation of British Colonialism during the Early Years of British Administration on Cyprus through the Medium of Photography."

    - Dr. Michal Artzy, University of Haifa, "Tell Nami."

    - Mr. Michael Mueller, 1996-1997 Fulbright Fellow, "Social Reorganization and Identity of Greek Cypriot Refugees Living in Southern Cyprus."

CAARI Field Trips

Trips to various sites and archaeological excavations form an important part of the CAARI program. Visits provide scholars with up-to-date information on excavations, and discussion with excavation directors allows CAARI scholars access to the latest archaeological discoveries and excavation methodologies. Trips this year have been to:
    - Kourion-Amathus Gate Cemetery, led by Ms. Danielle Parks, Director of the excavations and Ph.D. Candidate, University of Missouri at Columbia.

    - Larnaca Museums: Pierides Foundation Collection and Larnaca District Archaeological Museum, led by Nancy Serwint.

    - Khirokitia, led by Mme. Odile Le Brun, Director of Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique Restoration Project.

    - Paphos Mosaics, led by Professor Viktor Dashewski, Director, University of Trier excavations.

    - Marion/Arsinoe, led by Dr. Nancy Serwint, Assistant Director, Princeton excavations.

    - Kition-Bamboula, led by Mme. Marguerite Yon, Director of Maison de l'Orient MÚditerranÚen excavations.

    - Hala Sultan Tekke, led by Professor Paul ªstrom, Director, University of Goteborg excavations.

    - Cyprus Handicraft Service, led by Nancy Serwint.

    - Marki-Alonia, led by Dr. David Frankel and Dr. Jenny Webb, Co-Directors, Latrobe University excavations.

    - Adelphi-Lithospouri, led by Ms. Julia Ellis Burnet, Co-Director of Macquarie University excavations.


Greek Lessons at CAARI

Many scholars using CAARI as their base for long-term research projects quickly discover the need to learn Modern Greek to facilitate contacts with Cypriot colleagues, government officials, shopkeepers, and local villagers. Beginning in January, CAARI inaugurated Modern Greek lessons at the institute; a language teacher comes to CAARI once a week and offers instruction at various levels.

More Tremors Rock Cyprus

Following on the heels of the strong earthquake that rocked Cyprus last October, an almost equally strong quake (variously reported at 5.8 and 6.3 Richter scale), struck the island. Very little damage was reported island-wide, and there were no ill effects at CAARI. And a good thing-CAARI is still patching cracks from the October quake.


The Committee on Archaeological Policy (CAP ) has devel-oped an experimental online publication of field and pub-lication reports submitted by affiliated excavation projects. ASORDIGS96 went online in the fall of 1996, eventually including reports from twenty-one excavation and publication projects. Each of these brief reports contains not only text but also photographs, plans, maps, drawings, and/or movies.

The success of this first online publication by CAP may be judged from the numbers of users of ASORDIGS96. Created by Paul Jacobs and designed by Patty Seger, ASORDIGS96 is housed on the Cobb Institute of Archaeology's homepage (www. Since Dec. 17, 1996, (the date a new statistical package was installed), 38,477 "hosts" (individual computers) made contact with the Cobb site. ASORDIGS96 received 14,394 (37.41%) of these requests. Browsers from 45 domains (countries) logged onto the site in that time: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania, the Russian Federation, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Yugoslavia. In February alone 5,867 "hosts" logged on. ASORDIGS96 seems to have been a useful medium for dispensing information about ASOR related projects.

CAP plans an ASORDIGS97 to go online in late 1997. Project directors will again be invited to submit reports with illustrative graphics.

Endowment for Biblical Research Travel and Research Grant Recipient Profile and Final Report Information 1997

The members, officers and staff of the American Schools of Oriental Research would again like to express their gratitude to the Endowment for Biblical Research for making the ASOR-EBR Travel and Research Project possible. After reviewing the reports of the 1996-97 participants, it is again clear that the program was a great success. All of the participants had positive experiences which would not otherwise have been possible. This experience will undoubtedly carry through in the future as each of the scholar's careers progresses. Below are short review statements on each awardee and their projects. Copies of four of the Travel Fellowship reports and one Research Fellowship report have been included to provide a cross-section and illustration of the variety of projects involved. They consistently express their sincere gratitude for EBR's generous support.


Jeanne McCoy is a graduate student at McCormic Theological Seminary in Chicago. She participated in the Leon Levy Expedition at Tell Ashkelon in Israel. Her report follows:

I worked for three weeks at Tell Ashkelon, with the Leon Levy Expedition, associated with the Harvard Semitic Museum. The excavation is a teaching environment, where lectures were given on a nightly basis, and questions and research encouraged at all times. Digging was taking place in several areas at one time. I personally worked on excavating what we believe was a wine press, dating just a bit more recently than most of the rest of our grid. Though our goal was to get down to the level of the surrounding area, we did not progress as rapidly as that; we kept coming upon interesting and noteworthy things. My big find was a faience bead, closely resembling a Cheerio. In addition to the excavating I did, I also worked in the pottery compound, marking pieces to be used in reports or sent to museums.

My personal goals for this trip were to take the archaeology I have studied, and the Biblical perspectives I have, and move them out of a two-dimensional context and into real life. I also wanted to see for myself, and then be able to come home and share with others, the land of my faith roots, and the struggle that is going on there currently. Many of the lessons I learned happened during the nine day period of time I was travelling after I worked at the excavation. I traveled to Tel Aviv, where I met friends who traveled with me, and we proceeded to Jerusalem. We climbed Massada (actually, I went there twice and was especially thrilled with the baths, in light of my classical archaeology undergrad degree). I enjoyed our time around the Sea of Galilee best, especially an excellent tour we took of the Golan Heights.

At Ashkelon, the Harvard team has a good arrangement, staying at the Shulamit Gardens Hotel. They have a pottery compound set up just on the other side of the parking lot and a group of rooms in the basement for housing the library and office. The lectures were very informative, and the field trips were even more so. The staff was a very impressive collection of scholars from around the country, and I wish that the students had been able to work more closely with them. Overall, I found the set-up and working conditions to be as good, if not better than I had expected-granted, I was prepared by Melvin Lyons' booklet, The Care and Feeding of Dirt Archaeologists, written in 1978.

I am a seminary student, interested in teaching, not just adult education classes, but also at the college level. I feel that my time overseas has given me a greater perspective on Biblical studies, as well as a better understanding of the current situation. If the present were not mentioned, were not noticed, that would be as grievous an error as never paying attention to the past.

I am grateful for the opportunity to expand my horizons. I hope to be able to share some of the richness, beauty and understanding that I have discovered with those in my classes and congregations, as well as with my friends. I would strongly encourage classmates and associates to travel to Israel and see for themselves the land that has had so much written about it, and blood shed for it.

Jonathan David Lawrence is a graduate student at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary in Intertestamental Studies. He took part in the Sepphoris Regional Project in Israel and excavated at Sepphoris. Some of his comments on his summer's experience include the following:

I greatly appreciated the chance to spend more time in Israel. I lived in Jerusalem a couple of years ago, when I studied politics at the Hebrew University, but I was glad to be able to spend time this summer focusing on archaeological studies. As a graduate student, I was a few years older than many of the other students, but I appreciated the chance to meet other graduate students with interests similar to mine and to hear their perspectives on degree programs at various institutions. These discussions helped me think more clearly about my goals for future study and teaching. I think it was very important for us to be living and working together as a group. The students affiliated with Duke University who participated in the pre-dig tour bonded quickly and stayed together throughout the program. Although such group-bonding was positive, the intensity of the work and other activities involved in the excavation create a somewhat tense environment at times. Because Hoshaya is relatively isolated, there was really no place we could go to be by ourselves. However, I think the benefits of living together in such close quarters outweigh the difficulties.

Although I have already studied archaeology and the history of the Greco-Roman period, participation in this excavation helped make everything more tangible for me. I still have much to learn, but working at a site like Sepphoris, where Roman, Jewish, and Christian cultures interacted, helped me to get a better picture of life in that period. I also appreciated the interdisciplinary approach, which combined field work, historical studies, religious studies, and textual discussions. I appreciate the financial assistance I received from ASOR/EBR and my seminary, without which I would not have been able to participate in the excavation. I look forward to being part of more excavations in the future as I continue in my studies.

Jiri Moskala is a graduate student at Andrews University Theological Seminary in Barrien Springs, MI. He has an interesting background having been brought up behind the Iron Curtain but having received previous Theological training at a seminary in Prague, Czechoslovakia. He excavated at Tell Jalul, which is part of the Madaba plains project. A few comments from his report indicate the impact of his summer's experience as does the short article he published in the Adventist Review:

I was digging at Tell Jalul, Jordan from June 26 until July 30, 1996. This Jordanian site lies 20 miles south of Amman. The digging was a very rewarding experience for me, I learned many important things about archaeology, the peoples of the Middle East, their cultures, climate and geography. Some of my previous conceptions were corrected by actually living and digging in biblical lands. My view of the biblical world is now sharpened and is, I think, more realistic.

I was involved in the Madaba Plains Project sponsored by Andrews University in conjunction with Atlantic Union College, Canadian Union College, La Sierra University, Walla Walla College and in cooperation with the American Schools of Oriental Research and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. Madaba Plains are located in the central highlands of Central Transjordan, a once vital trade and communication corridor that linked North Africa with Asia and Europe. Today it provides a unique window on the exploits of generations of rulers including those from Egypt, Mesopotamia, Persia, Greece, Rome, Byzantium, Damascus, Baghdad, and Istanbul. Senior Madaba Plains Project Director was Lawrence T. Geraty from La Sierra University. Co-Field Directors were Larry G. Herr from Canadian Union College at Tell el-Umeiri, Oystein S. LaBianca from Andrews University for Hinterland and Randall W. Younker from Andrews University at Tell Jalul.

Scholars with No Previous Experience in the Middle East

James Blankespoor completed his undergraduate studies at Calvin College and participated in the expedition at Umm el Jimal in Jordan.

As part of the Umm el-Jimal 1996 archaeology project, I was assigned with ten others to continue excavation in an area where excavation began two years ago. This area, located to the southeast of the larger ruins thought to be a Byzantine town for which the Umm el-Jimal site is known, has no standing ruins above ground. Based mainly on examination of pottery, this recently discovered area is thought to be early to late Roman and for the most part to predate the Byzantine town. Our plans for the project consisted of digging the squares that had been started in this area down to sterile soil and then beginning a series of new squares located nearby in order to compare the finds of the two sets of squares. Our goals were to learn about the lives of the people who had lived in this area-how they lived, what they ate, how they died and were buried. We also wanted to determine how this earlier village related to the Byzantine town and what-the source of the ash piles had been.

We certainly learned about the lives of the people who used to live in this village. The pottery found indicated that this village likely existed before the town and might have been the original dwellings for the people that occupied the town. The exact relation of the village to the town is uncertain, although the evidence we found certainly eliminated many possibilities and pointed us toward several explanations that can be tested in future years. We brought the excavation down to sterile soil and thus managed to get some feel for the beginnings of settlement in this area. The source of the ash is still in question-further excavation and area surveys will provide more information in this regard. The new squares provide a comparison of the ashy region to a non-ashy region and further excavation in the new squares will facilitate this. No further excavation is planned for the original squares. Thus another season of survey work and then one more season of intense excavation pointed directly at answering the questions that still remain should be enough to tie together this stage of the Umm el-Jimal Project. The stratigraphy probe functioned as designed and provided a control with which to compare pottery findings and soil layers found in surrounding squares. The soil samples were floated and provided excellent information about what the people ate at different periods in time. Reports of the findings of this season are scheduled to be published as soon as possible. In addition a comprehensive report on the pottery found at Umm el-Jimal over many seasons should also be published. These reports should lead to a definitive Umm el-Jimal project report in upcoming years.

The work I did this summer directly contributed to my desire to teach theology at the college level. The work contributed to my understanding of the Biblical world as discussed later and emphasized to me the importance that other people know what I learned. In addition, over the next semester or two, I may work on compiling the Greek texts and names used on tombstones found at Umm el-Jimal and then compare them to names found throughout Arabia-including in Nabatean desert writings on rocks.

Being part of the community of scholars at ACOR helped me to feel like I was part of a larger picture. Because of this connection, I did not feel like Umm el-Jimal was an exception or an isolated occurrence. I realized that archaeology in Jordan was a common and important part of that country's culture. We felt like part of a group with a support base instead of feeling as though we had to do everything on our own. This support base gave us a foundation from which to work and gave us a connection to other Americans in Jordan with the same concerns as we had. Being able to communicate easily with other scholars allowed us to discuss our needs and concerns and receive new input on a situation from someone who could bring a fresh perspective to the problem. We felt connected to other projects and were able to release our frustrations and joys to people who would understand. The psychological support ACOR provided was as important as any of their scholarly or hardware support.

My understanding of the Biblical world was greatly broadened during the grant period. Much of this broadening came by watching the local people interact. In this way, I was able to receive a small taste of what life must have been like back in the time of Jesus. Furthermore, my understanding of the geography of Biblical lands was greatly improved. I gained a much better comprehension of how the lands of Edom, Moab, and Ammon related to each other and to the land of Israel. They ceased to be merely pagan countries that opposed Israel and each became a separate entity of living people-a people with loves, desires, hates, and fears. I had visited Israel before, and now I was able to view the "Promised Land" from the other side of the Jordan.

Because of the closeness in culture between the ancient people and the modern people, observation of the modern people helped me to understand some of the concerns, needs, loves, and hates that made up the lives of the Biblical characters. Excavation in Umm el-Jimal offered me a direct insight into the lives of some early Christians. My understanding and knowledge were expanded immensely. I thank The Endowment for Biblical Research for helping to make this possible.

Chaffee William Viets is an undergraduate student at North Carolina State University, and participated in the excavations at Roman Aqaba in Jordan. Selections from his report are included to demonstrate the impact that the summer's experience had on him.

The excavation during the final two weeks of the season was much easier and quite rewarding personally. Nearly all the artifacts found in both my trench and Area M were Early Roman and Nabataean. I successfully excavated one wall to below its foundations and excavated the remaining portion of the trench, with the exception of one wall, to the same elevation as the bottom of the modern pit.

I spent many hours not only excavating my trench, but also in postulating my own theories and considering theories of others that concerned my trench and area. Artifact processing helped me learn about the economy and history of ancient Aila, as detailed pottery readings often yielded information about regions as far away as the Mediterranean, the Arabian peninsula, Egypt and parts of Africa.

My summer in Aqaba was my first archaeological season, so I was placed on Student Staff as a trench supervisor rather than on Publication Staff. As a consequence, I have no plans to publish any interim or definitive reports. However, as far as completing or continuing work on the project, I do have specific goals.

The first of these is to go to Aqaba again and aid Dr. Parker as a trench supervisor in 1998. I am very much looking forward to the 1998 Season and contributing in a greater fashion than I was able to in 1996.

The second of these goals includes a series of slide presentations and lectures that I will give to various NCS campus organizations, including the NCSU History Club, and other off-campus symposia. As well, I have been asked to give a lecture on my experience in Aqaba to both the NCSU Scholars Program and the NCSU Board of Trustees. Finally, I intended to submit a presentation proposal to the Southern Regional Collegiate Honors Council for its annual spring meeting (March 1997).

I had unfortunately never been abroad, for work or vacation before my trip to the city of Aqaba and the country of Jordan. Spending this much time abroad studying and practicing Roman archaeology, I learned much about the culture of Aqaba, Jordan, and the Middle East. Perhaps an equally advantageous aspect was working with students and professors who were trained specialists.

My experience in Aqaba, Jordan was one of the most profitable experiences of my life. I would like to extend my sincere thanks to the American Schools of Oriental Research and the Endowment for Biblical Research, especially Dr. Rudolph Dornemann, who was extremely helpful in both correspondence and telephone communication.

Alexander Bauer is an undergraduate student in Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology at Haverford College. He participated in the excavations at Tell 'Ein Zippori in Israel. His report has been included in its entirety:

This travel grant partly financed my involvement in the excavations at Tell 'Ein Zippori, where I served as an Assistant Supervisor under the Field direction of J.P. Dessel. The excavation of this Bronze Age tenth century site in the Lower Galilee of Israel comprises a part of the Sepphoris Regional Project, sponsored by ASOR, Duke University, and Wake Forest University, directed by Eric Meyers and Carol Meyers.

While, as an Assistant Supervisor, I do not have any specific project plans as a result of this field experience, I do hope to return to this site in future seasons. My current research at the University of Pennsylvania in metals analysis also may extend to include the finds from 'Ein Zippori.

Although my contact with the Albright Institute in Jerusalem was limited, due to the fact that I was in the field for the majority of my trip, everyone there was very friendly and helpful.

What was most valuable about this experience was learning how to excavate, with special regard to the specific techniques and conditions for doing so in Israel. Being a staff member enabled me to understand the practical problems encountered during an excavation, and move beyond merely a textbook understanding of excavation strategy. I was also able to learn a great deal more about the identification of pottery wares and types from this period of Israel's history through the daily pottery readings that I was involved in.

Theodore Burgh is a graduate student at the University of Arizona with an M.A. in Religious studies from Howard University. He participated in the Madaba Plains project and excavated at Tell Jalul. A section of his report has been reproduced here:

This experience was invaluable to me as an aspiring scholar and archaeologist and was spiritually enriching. To actually see and touch these places that the Bible and other ancient writings speak of further energized my desire to continue studying in this field.

I would like to thank ASOR and EBR for providing financial assistance for me to have this experience.

Scholars with Previous Experience in the Middle East

Diane Douglas is a graduate student at Arizona State University who has been involved in the now-concluded excavations at Tell Abu Ni'aj in the Jordan Valley in Jordan. Since that work has just been completed she has not yet been able to submit her report.

Elizabeth Ann Pollard Lisi is a graduate student in Ancient History at North Carolina State University. She participated in the excavations at Roman Aqaba in Jordan. Her final report is included here in its entirety:

My research on"The Spread of Christianity into Jordan" was conducted from May 14 to July 4, 1996. During the award period, I resided in Aqaba, Jordan, where I participated in the Roman Aqaba Project under the direction of Dr. S. Thomas Parker of North Carolina State University. I will be entering my fourth year of graduate study at the University of Pennsylvania this Fall. During the upcoming academic year I will be completing my dissertation proposal, which may be based on the research I completed this summer.

My stated goals for the use of the EBR Travel Grant were to participate in the Roman Aqaba Project as a trench supervisor in Area J, to take advantage of ACOR resources in Amman and to visit archaeological sites in Jordan which were important in the development and spread of Christianity in the region. I was able to achieve each of these goals with varying degrees of success.

Work in Area J of the Roman Aqaba Project was most rewarding. I worked in trench J.3, which was thought to contain the architecture of a possible mudbrick basilica. This trench, a 5 x 5 meter trench in the 1994 season, was expanded to 8 x 7 m during this season. Most exciting in this trench was the architecture we uncovered.

Research Grants

Melissa Aubin was the recipient of the research grant for this year. She is a graduate student in Women's Studies at Duke University in North Carolina.

The title of my project is "Magic and Midwifery in Late Antique Palestine: Women's Religion According to Material Culture and Literary Evidence." This project is undertaken in order to fulfill the degree requirements for the Ph.D. in the Department of Religion at Duke University. My dissertation considers social magic as an element in Jewish popular religion from the late Hellenistic to the late Roman era, juxtaposing ambivalence toward magic in the literary record of Tannaitic and Talmudic material with the prevalence of amulets, magic bowls, and magical texts (many specific to women) throughout Palestine during this era.

During the award period, I conducted a significant amount of research which would have been impossible had I not travelled to Israel. The primary goal of my trip was to research in archaeological archives administrated by the Rishut Atiqot (Israel Antiquities Authority) to record the texts of unpublished amulets (inscribed metal sheets bearing incantations and worn as pendants). These texts comprise the primary pool of archaeological data for my dissertation, and so they are very important for my own research on the topic and for further projects.

Annual Meeting Information

Annual Meeting Schedule
The academic sessions of the Annual Meeting will begin on Tuesday morning, November 18 at 8:00am and end at 12:15 pm on Friday, November 21. The exhibit and registration desk, both located on the main floor of the Marriott outside the meeting rooms, will open on Monday at 1:00pm and close on Friday at 11:00am.

Registration Benefits
Your $90 registration fee will entitle you to participate in all the academic sessions (33 sessions are currently planned), the Annual Meeting Grand Reception on Wednesday evening, and the Plenary Session celebrating the Dead Sea Scrolls Jubilee. In addition, coffee breaks and a continental breakfast will be provided to all registered conference participants free of charge.

Air Transportation
Special airfares have been negotiated by Academy International Travel, Inc. with Delta and American Airlines. 5% discount off lowest published domestic fares round trip on Delta and American are available. Special zone fares that do not require a Saturday night overnight are also available. To receive the discount, your travel arrangements must be made through Academy International Travel Service, Inc., 1832 Century Place, Suite 105, Atlanta, GA 30345, USA. Tel. (404) 321-6943 or (800) 476-6943; Fax: (404) 633-7865.

Ground Transportation
Evans Airport Service provides ground transportation between the Napa Valley Marriott and San Francisco International Airport. Round trip fares are $36.00. A 24 hour answering service is available. Reservations can be made by telephoning (707) 255-1559. The shuttle departs the airport from outside the baggage claim area on the lower level at the center divider by the blue striped concrete pillars across from the North, South and Central terminals. Reservations are required. The schedule follows:

Departure	Arrival
SFO	Marriott
6:30am	8:00am
8:15am	9:50am
10:00am	11:50am
11:45am	1:45pm
1:45pm	3:35pm
3:15pm	5:20pm
4:45pm	7:05pm
6:15pm	8:00pm
8:00pm	9:40pm
9:30pm	11:05pm
10:45pm	12:15am

Departure	Arrival	
Marriott	SFO
4:45am	6:10am
5:40am	8:00am
7:40am	9:30am
9:40am	11:30am
11:40am	1:30pm
1:10pm	3:00pm
2:40pm	4:30pm
4:10pm	6:05pm
5:55pm	7:45pm
7:10pm	9:00pm
8:40pm	10:20pm
Car Rental
Special convention rates are available with Alamo Rent-A-Car and Avis Rent-A-Car. For more information, contact Academy International Travel Service, Inc., 1832 Century Place, Suite 105, Atlnata, GA 30345, USA. Tel. (404) 321-6943 or (800) 476-6943; Fax: (404) 633-7865.

Plenary Session
This year's Plenary Session promises to be one of our most exciting ever. The title of the session is "Dead Sea Scrolls Jubilee: The Scrolls and the Bible." Speakers include Magen Broshi, "The Archaeology of Khirbet Qumran and its Environs," Sidnie White Crawford "The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Rewritten Bible," Devorah Dimant "Faith and Ideology at Qumran," James H. Charlesworth "John the Baptist, Jesus, and the Essenes," and James D. G. Dunn "Paul and the Dead Sea Scrolls."

We Need Your Input!
The Committee on the Annual Meeting is currently faced with important decisions regarding future times and locations for the Annual Meeting, and we need your help! The questionnaire on the facing page is designed to give ASOR Members the opportunity to express an opinion on when and where future Annual Meetings should be held. Please take a few moments to answer the questions and return them to the address at the bottom of the page. Final decisions for 1998 will have to be made no later than June, so please do not delay. The future of the ASOR Annual Meeting is in your hands!

April 20 Program Copy, Participation Forms, and Session Request Forms are due to the Program Committee Chair.
May 15 Abstracts are due to the Program Committee Chair.
June 1 Travel reservations open.
July 7 Program and Abstract Book mailed out.
Oct. 1 Preregistration ends for 1997 Annual Meeting.
Oct. 15 Housing reservation deadline.
Nov. 18 1997 ASOR Annual Meeting begins.


Committee on Archaeological Policy Grant Recipients for 1997

The CAP Grant Subcommittee received nine applications for 1997. As in previous years, the review consisted of a dual process of "ranking" and "rating." Each application was rated on a 1 to 10 merit scale (10 = highest, 1= lowest). Each application was then ranked in priority order (1 = "fund first", 2 = "fund second," 3 = "fund third," etc.). Ranking and rating scores from each member of the subcommittee were added to make composit "Rating" and "Ranking" scores for each proposal.

The process resulted in awards as follows:
1. Tell el-Wawiyat: $2,100
2. Wadi Ramm: $1,750
3. Wadi eth-Themed: $1,150
Total: $5,000

Joseph A. Greene, Chair
CAP Grant Subcommittee

Ancient Limestone Lions and Sphinx Revealed

Nicosia, Feb 1 (CNA) - Four lions and two sphinxes, guardians of their long dead king, were relieved of their duties yesterday when they saw the sunlight for the first time in centuries. Members of the Cyprus Antiquities Department accidentally stumbled on the six oversized limestone statues, of inestimable archaeological value, while carrying out maintenance and restoration works on the royal tombs of Tamasos, an ancient kingdom, 20km southwest of Nicosia.

The finds unearthed are all in immaculate condition and date back to the sixth century B.C. when Cyprus was under Egyptian rule.

Head of the Antiquities Department, Demos Christou, told CNA the statues, found on the outer side of the western royal tomb, are of "unique style" and "possibly decorated the tomb." The lions, one missing an ear and one found in three pieces, are in a crouching position with their teeth bared, while the sphinxes are identical to those found in Egyptian museums. Christou said that "investigations will be continued next week, to determine whether there is a third tomb in the area."

POLITIKO, Cyprus (Reuter) - Nestled on a sunny, pine-dotted slope in the foothills of snow-capped mountains, Politiko bears little evidence of the grandeur of centuries past in the Mediterranean island of Cyprus. But first impressions can be misleading.

"Wherever we dig we will find antiquities," quipped a resident of the village of 500 inhabitants lying just southwest of Cyprus capital Nicosia. "It is very common. The whole village is built on ruins."

Politiko's claim to fame is that it was once called Tamassos, one of Cyprus's 11 city kingdoms famous for its copper smelting workshops. With a history dating back to at least 1200 BC, Tamassos flourished on the riches that copper brought to the island, selling it to the outside world with Idalion, another kingdom in central Cyprus and using Kition, the modern-day south coastal town of Larnaca, to ship it to neighboring countries.

Tamassos' richness in copper was mentioned by the Greek epic poet Homer in his famous Odyssey. Then it was known as Temese. Today two ancient royal tombs dating from 6 BC, the abandoned altar of a sanctuary to Aphrodite and nondescript rock formations are all that remain, uncovered by relentless excavations that foreign teams started last century. A third tomb was excavated so badly that it was destroyed.

New discoveries at the site by accident in January have spurred local archeologists to take a closer look at Tamassos and its history.

The discovery of six statues - four lions and two sphinxes- prompted debate that more archelogical treasures are waitingto be uncovered after centuries in the white chalky earth.

"We went there just to repair the walls and the roofs of the tombs and we found the statues accidentally,'' said Demos Christou, director of the Cyprus Department of Antiquities.

All six statues, made of Cypriot limestone and in immaculate condition, were found together one yard below the surface adjacent to the wall of one of the royal tombs at Tamassos.

Earlier this week laborers were busy building a concrete ridge next to the snow-covered timber entrance of one of the tombs. Rainwater had seeped into the tomb, a square chamber with an arched roof made of yellow limestone slabs, through a damaged wall.

The second royal tomb, about 30 yards away, is more elaborate with stone carvings at its entrance and a longer corridor before the burial chamber. The rectangular coffin made of stone is eerily visible through artificial lighting above its tiny entrance.

In archeological terms, royal tombs do not necessarily mean they were the burial places for kings, Christou said.

"They probably belonged to some local administrator or a very important person,'' he said, referring to another site dotted with royal tombs in Paphos, capital of Cyprus in antiquity on the island's western coast.

"Kings ceased to exist in Cyprus at the end of the 4th century BC so the tombs could not have belonged to royalty,'' said Christou. "Probably the same thing happened in Tamassos because in the 6th century Cyprus was under Egyptian influence.''

The statues, not unusual in design but in unusually good condition, are believed to date from 6 BC.

The presence of the sphinxes allows archeologists to narrow their creation down to years, not centuries. Similar to sphinxes in many Egyptian museums, Cyprus was under the domination of its neighboring country between 545-565 BC.

Cyprus later came under the Hellenistic state of the Ptolemies of Egypt from 325-58 BC.

"Usually these statues decorate tombs," Christou explained. "Lions and sphinxes are the tomb guards so we do not exclude the possibility of discovering another tomb, or something else in the area. We should know soon.''

Similar discoveries have been found at Tamassos in the past, but never in such good condition or grouped together.

"There were tourists here when the statues were found and their eyes nearly popped out of their heads when they saw what we had found,'' a guard on the site chuckled.

"We haven't seen anything like this for years," he added.

After a period of study and restoration the statues will be placed in the Cyprus museum, where exhibits of Cyprus's rich cultural heritage are displayed.

Many of its treasures are in foreign museums, legally exported by members of foreign missions to the island when Cyprus was either under Ottoman rule or as a British colony.

Antiquity exports are now banned. Under antiquity department supervision, a number of foreign archeological missions are allowed to excavate in designated areas in Cyprus. The antiquities department is handling excavations at Tamassos.

"We might excavate for years and we will only find some pottery and some coins and fragments. It is a matter of luck,'' Christou said.

Iraq Battles Against Archaeological Theft

BAGHDAD, Iraq (Reuter) - Excavations in the ruins of the ancient Assyrian capital Dur Shurrukin in 1993 led to the discovery in Iraq of a colossal statue of a winged bull with the head of a bearded man.

Unable to transport and preserve the nearly 4,000 year-old monster, Iraqi archaeologists reburied it by building a mudbrick wall round it and covering it with earth and straw.

The bull was excavated again this year -- this time not by experts, but by a new kind of Iraqi robber. They hacked off its head, the most precious part in the Assyrian motif, leaving its now worthless torso behind.

"We have captured a great number of archaeological thieves and retrieved a huge number of artifacts and one day we plan to put on show these retrieved artifacts which could fill three big rooms of the Iraq Museum," Muaya Demeriji, head of Iraq's Antiquities Department told Reuters. Iraq has thrown considerable resources into the battle to catch the thieves plundering its archaeological treasures.

Demeriji said the campaign cost Iraq's cash-strapped treasury more than 400,000 million dinars in 1996 (about $500,000). This was paid as a reward to the police for catching smuggled artifacts and to Iraqis returning archaeological items.

According to Dony George, an archaeologist at the Department, more than 45,000 artifacts, some of them unique to the history of Mesopotamia, have been recovered but he feared many more were still missing.

He said the items, among them statues, cylinder seals, pottery, beads, coins, gold and silver wares, were illegally dug up over the last six years of U.N. trade sanctions on Iraq, imposed for its 1990 invasion of Kuwait.

"A lot of illegal excavation is taking place in Iraq. We have more than 10,000 registered archaeological sites but only several hundred guards," George said.

A guard gets 5,000 dinars per month -- less than five U.S. dollars. A cylinder seal of a precious stone, a common Mesopotamian artifact available in almost all ancient mounds in Iraq, could fetch thousands of dollars abroad.

"The guards are flying out and the thieves are coming in," George said.

One archaeologist said two thieves, currently behind bars pending trial, had confessed to selling two 5,000 year-old Sumerian statues they illegally dug up from a mound in southern Iraq for about 100 million dinars (approximately $100,000).

This is a huge sum in a country where the average monthly salary of a civil servant is 3,500 dinars.

Iraq is waging a two-front war on archaeological theft.

Harsh penalties, including the death sentence, await thieves once caught and convicted. Huge financial rewards await anyone voluntarily surrendering artefacts. The police catching the items get 100 percent of the estimated value as an incentive.

George said the department last year paid 30 million dinars (about $30,000) for a statue from the stone-city of Hatra which flourished in the second century A.D. "We had to take it. It was unique," he said.

One of the most significant items retrieved was a slab of black diorite inscribed with cuneiform writing. "It is the biography of one of the famous kings of Babylonia in the second millenium B.C. It tells the story of King Lubat Ishtar (heart of Ishtar the goddess).

"It is a wonderful piece. It cost us more than five million dinars (about $5,000)," he said.

Demeriji said there were people outside Iraq financing illegal excavations. "It is a new (war) of attrition against our heritage. We have the proof that some of the workers in diplomatic corps and the United Nations are purchasing antiquities and trying to smuggle them," he said.

Experts said they were aware of hundreds of small Mesopotamian artifacts offered for sale at antique shops abroad. "But how can you claim a smuggled artifact if you do not have its number, picture or description?" asked one archaeologist.

It is relatively easy for thieves to dig up an ancient mound in Iraq. Finds usually lie close to the surface and digging can be undertaken with shovels and spades.

International institutes have recently come to Iraq's aid in its fight against the robbers.

George said U.S. and British experts have produced pictorial inventories of the artifacts which have disappeared from Iraqi museums and distributed them throughout the world. Iraq has also recently resorted to the Internet network of worldwide interconnecting computers to thwart the smugglers, with a Website displaying stolen items.

James Pritchard; professor and biblical archaeologist

James Bennett Pritchard, 87, of Haverford, former professor of religious thought at the University of Pennsylvania and an archaeologist who spent more than 40 years sifting the dust of ancient Middle Eastern towns to learn about the daily lives of their inhabitants, died on New Year's Day at the Bryn Mawr Terrace nursing home.

Dr. Pritchard, who was associated with Penn's University Museum from 1950 to 1978 and was curator of biblical archaeology there for 16 years, died of complications from a stroke he had in November.

From the time he first volunteered to help excavate the biblical city of Bethel while a student in the 1930s until war chased him out of Lebanon in 1975, his career, as he sometimes said, "was in ruins."

He saw his job as an attempt to learn how daily life was lived in the ancient Near East and thus to help set the Bible "in the time and area in which it was written" he once told a reporter.

"We don't know what the ancient Israelites ate for breakfast," he said. "That is amazing, isn't it?"

But because of him, scholars do know more about how wine was made, food stored and water provided to cities. And they know better what people wore and how they fortified their towns.

Much of what he found during his years in the desert is included in two scholarly but popular books published by Princeton University Press: Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament and a companion book, The Ancient Near East in Pictures Relating to the Old Testament. The first book "was a very important text for biblical scholars," said Robert Dyson, former director of the University Museum. "It brought together in one place a variety of texts that dealt with cult practices in the biblical area."

Dr. Pritchard, a quiet, scholarly, soft-spoken man with a droll sense of humor, earned his extensive knowledge of the region by directing the exploration into some sites whose names are very familiar to readers of the Old Testament.

Gibeon, for example, is mentioned at least 40 times in the Bible. Work at that site filled five years and produced some of his most exciting discoveries. The city was heavily fortified within two massive surrounding walls, and it contained a pool of water, 36 feet in diameter, cut out of solid rock and supplied with stone stairs that gave the inhabitants access as the water level receded.

Dr. Pritchard positively identified the city as the Old Testament Gibeon, the site of a biblical battle between Abner and Joab, when jar handles with the city's name inscribed in ancient Hebrew script were found in the ruins. "That put the city on the map," said Dr. Pritchard's daughter, Sally Hayman.

In another dig in the mid-1960s, at Tel es-Sa'idiyeh, his archaeologists found a jewel-covered skeleton of a woman in what was said to be the richest tomb found in Jordan up till that time. Although they didn't find out what the long ago inhabitants ate for breakfast, they found ashes from 2,800-year-old cooking fires and grains of wheat in storage bins.

Born in Louisville, KY, Dr. Pritchard earned a bachelor's degree at Asbury College in 1930, a bachelor of divinity degree at Drew University in 1935, and a Ph.D. at the University of Pennsylvania in 1942.

He began his field work at Dhiban, Jordan, on an expedition with the American Schools of Oriental Research in 1950. The following year, he was the field director of an expedition at Jericho.

He was the author of numerous books, monographs and magazine articles on the ancient history of the Near East. Among his books were Gibeon, Where the Sun Stood Still, and Recovering Serepta, a Phoenician City. He was editor of the Harper Atlas of the Bible and The London Times Biblical Atlas, which also has been popular with Bible readers. He was former editor of the Journal of the American Oriental Society.

In 1993 in his honor, the University of Pennsylvania endowed the James B. Pritchard Chair for Biblical Archaeology and Related Fields.

Besides his daughter, he is survived by his wife Anne Cassedy Pritchard; another daughter, Mary Mitchell; four grandchildren; and a sister.