University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Athropology

Volume 5 / Issue 1


Issue Cover

Special Issue: Biblical Archaeology

On the cover: Jerusalem, looking west, from the Mount of Olives.

The Museum Expands

picture of Froelich Rainey

By: Froelich Rainey

With this issue of¬†Expedition we are pleased to announce the establishment of a new section on Biblical Archaeology in the University Museum. Professor James B. Pritchard has been appointed Curator in charge and also Professor of Biblical Archaeology in the University of Pennsylvania’s Department of Religious Thought. Although this appointment places a new emphasis on […]

The Biblical “Song of Songs” and the Sumerian Love Songs

Photo of mosaic

By: Samuel Noah Kramer

The Biblical book commonly known as Solomon’s “Song of Songs” or “Canticles,” is like no other book in the Old Testament. Unlike the other Biblical writings, it is not concerned with the history of the Hebrew people, and contains no revealing prophesies or inspiring preachments; in fact it seems to be nothing more than a […]

A Greek Fragment of the St. Matthew Gospel

By: Kenneth D. Matthews, Jr.

On January 11, 1897 the Messrs. Bernard P. Grenfell and A.S. Hunt set a contingent of seventy men and boys to work on the excavation of a low rubbish heap just outside the ruins of Oxyrhynchus. This site, once the capital of the Egyptian nome or province bearing the same name, had appealed to Grenfell […]

Mesopotamian Motifs in the Early Chapters of Genesis

By: E.A. Speiser

Biblical history proper begins with the call to Abraham to leave his native country and set out for a destination that is to become the Promised Land. The event is recorded in Genesis 12. All that precedes, i.e. Gen. 1-11, is thus in a sense extra-biblical and, in more ways than one, prehistoric as well. […]

Lady Mary’s Monastery

Photo of stamp
An Early Christian church at Beth Shan excavated by a University Museum expedition.

By: Frances W. James

That the Roman Empire enjoyed a long Indian summer in its distant province of Palestine is sometimes overlooked. Even before the fall of Rome in the fifth century A.D., Jerusalem, geographically immune to the barbarians and emotionally magnetic as the center of Christendom, had embarked on its unparalleled conquest of the human mind and heart. […]

The Pottery of the Old Testament

photo of pottery

By: Frances W. James

From the moment when man is created of dust in the second chapter of Genesis to the moment, shortly before Judah is led off to exile in Babylon, that God orders the prophet Jeremiah to shatter an earthen bottle in symbol of this destiny, the Bible has a curious interest in pottery and the potter’s […]

Civil Defense at Gibeon

photo of etching into wall
"Gibeon was a great city...and all its men were mighty" - Joshua 10:2

By: James B. Pritchard

Defense was the most important single consideration in the planning and building of a city in Biblical Palestine, a land whose history is replete with accounts of destructive raids, invasions, and civil wars. In the five seasons of the Museum’s excavations at Gibeon we have found the defense of the city, which proved to be […]

Biblical Jerusalem

By: Kathleen M. Kenyon

Preface No one will question the statement that the center of Biblical archaeology is Jerusalem. Nearly a hundred years ago, this was given practical expression when the Palestine Exploration Fund, founded in 1865, made the investigation of Jerusalem its first objective. It is of incidental interest that this society, known to all practitioners in Western […]

Recent Advances in Palestinian Archaeology

Photos of pottery

By: William F. Albright

Palestine was always a very poor country, but at the same time it was a land bridge between continents. As such it was also one of the most important regions through which ancient caravans and trade routes crossed and met each other. All direct communication by land between Arabia and the Mediterranean world had to […]