Jerusalem: An Archaeological Biography

Jerusalem: An Archaeological Biography

by Hershel Shanks, Jason Epstein

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Shanks, president of the Biblical Archaeology Sociey and editor of Understanding the Dead Sea Scrolls (Random, 1993), has produced a sumptuous commemorative volume to mark the "3,000th anniversary of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel." He lavishly uses well-chosen, high-quality color photos, drawings, and plans. Two pages of simplified time lines put the major events of the book in clear chronological perspective. The 14 chapters range from "Jerusalem before the Israelites" and "How David Conquered Jerusalem" to "Herodian Jerusalem" and "Modern and Crusader Jerusalem." Shanks writes in an informal style and keeps the archaeology relatively simple. Although he incorporates the latest research, he does not introduce anything new. His work is an informative coffee-table book for the educated public; students in the field will find it an interesting, albeit expensive, picture book and summary of the highlights of Jerusalem's archaeology.-Eugene O. Bowser, Univ. of Northern Colorado, Greeley
Ilene Cooper
Although no one knows the exact date of Jerusalem's founding, 1996 has been designated as its 3,000th anniversary. Shanks, the editor of "Biblical Archaeology Review", offers a great anniversary present in the form of this impressive book. It begins with the remains of a house from the Bronze Age and takes readers on an archaeological tour that ends with the Ottoman period. And what a tour it is! Discover Jesus' tomb, Solomon's temple, and the palaces of Herod, just to name a few stops along the way. Shanks is able to pinpoint important finds and wrap them with history while, at the same time, introducing readers to the scientific techniques that make these finds possible. Matching the excellent text are numerous photographs and illustrations that capture both the mystery of this holiest of cities and its surprising everydayness. Jerusalem is a place where people have lived, dreamed, and died for a very long time, and this book offers fitting celebration of that fact.
The author began this history as an article for his journal, Biblical Archaeology Review, to participate in the 1996 tri- millennium celebration of King David's establishment of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel (the city was already about 2,500 years old at that time). The article grew to book length and is here accompanied by some 200 color photos (well-chosen, but reproduction is a bit flat). Writing for a non-expert audience, Shanks examines the archaeological evidence, explains its interpretation, and discusses some areas of diverse interpretations. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Product Details

Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
Edition description:
1st ed
Product dimensions:
8.83(w) x 11.19(h) x 0.88(d)

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