Before the 1970s, biblical archaeology was the dominant research paradigm for those excavating the history of Palestine. Today most people prefer to speak of Syro/Palestinian archaeology. This is not just a normal shift but reflects a major theoretical and methodological change. It has even been labelled a revolution. In the popular mind, however, biblical archaeology is still alive and well. In Shifting Sands, Thomas W. Davis charts the evolution and the demise of the discipline. Biblical archaeology, he writes, was an attempt to ground the historical witness of the Bible in demonstrable historical reality.

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