University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Athropology

Author: Frances W. James

Beth Shan

By: Frances W. James

“If paradise is situated in the land of Israel, its entrance is Beth Shan.” – Rabbi Simeon Ben Lachish, c. A.D. 350. The Biblical Book of Samuel tells us that the bodies of Saul and his sons were exposed by the Philistines on the walls of Beth Shan–one of the greatest and most powerful cities […]

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 […]

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. […]

A Milestone in Palestinian Archaeology

By: Frances W. James

The University Museum takes pleasure in congratulating the Palestine Exploration Fund on its centenary and in recording its appreciation of the always friendly relations which have existed between the two institutions. The Museum’s first expedition to Palestine was in 1921 when the excavation of Beth Shan was begun. Work continued there for eight seasons, the […]

Stone Knobs and Chariot Tracks

By: Frances W. James

Among the Late Bronze materials from the University Museum’s excavation of biblical Beth Shan, 12 miles south of Lake Galilee, there are a number of stone knobs of varying sizes and shapes. Some are of marble; some of Egyptian alabaster, or calcite; some are of the local Beth Shan alabaster, or gypsum. Last year when […]


Its Life and Culture

By: Frances W. James

One of the great puzzles of cultural diffusion is why yoğurt, that greatest of all the gastronomic gifts of Allah, should have reached the English-speaking world under its Turkish name. It is true that the Turks spread themselves and their absolutely splendid cuisine across the Balkans even unto the gates of Vienna in the 16th […]

The Revelation of Jerusalem

A Review of Archaeological Research

By: Frances W. James

Ever since the year 587 B.C. when the Temple was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar and the 18-year old Jehoiachin of Judah led off to exile in Babylonia, the reign and works of Solomon have represented the classic peak of human well-being—spiritual and material—to much of humankind. Needless to say, during the millennia the size and magnificence […]