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PEF Annual XIII: The Excavations of Beth Shemesh, November–December 1912

By Duncan Mackenzie, Nicoletta Momigliano, Shlomo Bunimovitz, & Zvi Lederman

In 1909 the Scottish archaeologist Duncan Mackenzie was appointed ‘Explorer’ of the PEF. From the spring of 1910 until December 1912 he was engaged in archaeological fieldwork in Palestine, especially directing excavation campaigns at Ain Shems (biblical Beth Shemesh) – an important site in the Shephelah of Judah at the crossroads of Canaanite, Philistine, and Israelite cultures.  Because of a financial dispute with the PEF, however, he never submitted a detailed publication of his last campaign at Beth Shemesh, conducted in November-December 1912.

PEF Annual XIII cover

In 1992 Nicoletta Momigliano rediscovered Mackenzie’s lost manuscript, which one of his nephews had kept for nearly 80 years at his old family home in the Scottish Highlands. At about the same time, Shlomo Bunimovitz and Zvi Lederman initiated new excavations at Beth Shemesh.  This volume presents Mackenzie’s detailed discussion of his last excavations in the light of these more recent discoveries. Although written over a century ago, Mackenzie’s manuscript provides significant new information on this important site and constitutes an intriguing historical document, shedding light on the history of field archaeology and of biblical archaeology. Moreover, Mackenzie’s pioneering approach and the significance of his finds can often be better appreciated today, from the perspective of more recent developments and discoveries.

ISBN: 978-1-138-64074-0 (hbk)  

 ISBN: 978-1-315-63074-8 (ebk)   

 ISSN: 1753-9234


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