Classics and Religious Studies


Date of this Version



Published in AMERICAN JOURNAL OF ARCHAEOLOGY 108:1 (January 2004), pp. 118-119. Copyright 2004 Archaeological Institute of America.


This volume by Jodi Magness is part of a series entitled Studies in the Dead Sea Scrolls and Related Literature, edited by Peter W. Flint, Martin G. Abegg, Jr., and Florentino Garcia Martinez. The purpose o f the series is "to make the latest and best Dead Sea Scrolls scholarship accessible to scholars, students, and the thinking public" (i). Magness has designed her book with that general readership, not the specialist in the field, in mind. It contains no footnotes, very few quotations from the scholarly literature, and its bibliography is gathered and annotated at the end o f each chapter. The opening chapter, "An Introduction to the Archaeology of Qumran," introduces the reader not only to the subject of Qumran archaeology, but contains a subsection titled "What is Archaeology, and What Excavation Methods do Archaeologists Use?" In this subsection Magness introduces her readers to the methods of archaeology (e.g., pottery chronology) and explains why archaeologists use these methods when reconstructing the history of a particular site such as Qumran. Thus, while the specialist will find the present volume useful since it collects and synthesizes the latest research, its primary audience will be found in the undergraduate classroom, the library of the archaeology buff , and, most importantly, the shelves of Dead Sea Scroll specialists who are not archaeologists and need a clear and concise guide through the sometimes tortuous pathways of Qumran archaeology.

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