Institute of Archaeology at Andrews University

Recent Publication Releases of the Institute of Archaeology

Hesban 11 - Ceramic Finds: Typological and Technological Studies of the Pottery Remains from Tell Hesban and Vicinity - Edited by James A. Sauer and Larry G. Herr

Hesban 12 - Small Finds: Studies of  Bone, Iron, Glass, Figurines, and Stone Objects from Tell Hesban and Vicinity - Edited by Paul J. Ray, Jr.

William Foxwell Albright: and the Origins of Biblical Archaeology - by Peter Douglas Feinman

Old Babylonian Account Texts in the Horn Archaeological Museum - by Marcel Sigrist

Madaba Plains Project - 'Umayri 5: The 1994 Season at Tall al-'Umayri and Subsequent Studies - Edited by Larry G. Herr, Douglas R. Clark, Lawrence T. Geraty, Randall W. Younker, and Øystein S. LaBianca

Hesban 6 - Tell Hesban and Vicinity in the Iron Age - by Paul J. Ray, Jr.


edited by: James A. Sauer and Larry G. Herr

This volume is devoted in part to the typological analysis of the Tall Hisban pottery. It comprises some of the ca. 6000 sherds from the 1971, 1973, 1974, and 1976 excavation seasons at the site. It also provides a technological analysis of more than 200 sherds along with six Iron Age sherds from Tall al-'Umayri, as well as a detailed Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis of 99 Iron Age sherds from Hisban and 'Umayri.




Table of Contents:


  • 1. Introduction - by Larry G. Herr
  • 2. The Iron Age - by Larry G. Herr
  • 3. The Classical Periods - by Yvonne Gerber
  • 4. The Islamic Period - by Bethany Walker
  • 5. Ceramic Technology at Hisban - by Gloria London and Robert Shuster
  • 6. Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis of Iron Age Pottery From Hisban - by Michael D. Glascock and Hector Neff


edited by: Paul J. Ray, Jr.

This volume coordinates the reports of a spectrum of specialists dealing with Arab, Greek, Latin and Ammonite inscriptions bone, iron samples, glass fragments, domestic stone objects, ceramic figurines, scarabs, textile tools, cosmetic objects, jewelty, coins and other objects recovered during the excavations at Tell Hesban, its cemeteries, probes and regional survey sites from 1968-76.




Table of Contents:


  • 1. Introduction - by Paul J. Ray, Jr.
  • 2. The Arab Inscriptions From Tell Hesban - by Ghazi Bisheh
  • 3. Latin and Greek Inscriptions from Tell Hesban - by James J.C. Cox, Lawrence T. Geraty, Bastiaan Van Eldern and Volker Langholf
  • 4. Ammonite Ostraca from Tell Hesban - by Frank M. Cross
  • 5. Terrracota Figurines from Tell Hesban and Vicinity - by Boguslav Dabrowski
  • 6. An Early Roman Fenestrated Bowl From Hesban - by Ralph E. Hendrix
  • 7. Scarabs From Hesban - by Siegfried Horn
  • 8. Glass From Hesban - by Sidney M. Goldstein
  • 9. Objects of Stone, Clay, Bone, and Ivory From Tell Hesban and Vicinity - by Wade R. Kotter and Paul J. Ray, Jr.
  • 10. Metallurgical Samples From Tell Hesban - by Blair D. London
  • 11. The Textile Tools From Tell Hesban and Vicinity - by Elizabeth E. Platt and Paul J. Ray, Jr.
  • 12. The Cosmetic Objects From Tell Hesban and Vicinity - by Elizabeth E. Platt
  • 13. The Jewely From Tell Hesban and Vicinity - by Elizabeth E. Platt
  • 14. Miscellaneous Obhects From Tell Hesban and Vicinity - by Maria-Louise Vollenweider and Elizabeth E. Platt
  • 15. The Coins From the Excavations at Hesban - by Abraham Terian
  • Appendix: Hesban Object List


William Foxwell Albright: and the Origins of Biblical Archaeology

by Peter Douglas Feinman

This study seeks to understand the origin of the scholarship of William Foxwell Albright (1891-1971), the Dean of (American) biblical archaeology, from his birth in 1891 to his departure for the Johns Hopkins University in 1913. It focuses on the influences and events which defined the world in which he was nurtured and suggests how his adult scholarship derived from these factors.

Table of Contents:

  • Introduction
  • The Early Years (1891-1903)
  • The Midwest Years (1903-1913)
  • Albright's Journey (1913)
  • Summary and Conclusions

AS VIII (= AUCT V) - Old Babylonian Account Texts in the Horn Archaeological Museum

by Marcel Sigrist

Sigrist completes his publication of cuneiform tablets in the Horn Archaeological Museum collection with this corpus of 276 Old Babylonian tablets. Once again, Sigrist presents index lists of personal names, names of deities, and geographical names with a catalogue (register and description) of the individual tablets as well as a classification of the texts ordered according to reigning king. Indexes of Akkadian words (by transliteration and by sign) are provided. The main body of the publication includes treatments of each tablet, including: tablet identification information, line-drawn illustrations, transliteration of all writing, and translation of most of the texts. This well-conceived and designed publication readily presents user-friendly data for study and comparison.

Table of Contents:

  • Foreward
  • Introduction
  • Indexes
    • Personal Names
    • Names of Deities
    • Toponyms
  • Catalogue
    • Registration and Description of Texts
    • Chronological Classification of the Tablets
    • Concordance of Accession Numbers
    • Concordance of Accession Numbers by Text
  • Akkadian Indexes
    • Word Index
    • Sign Index
  • Texts
  • Series Index

Madaba Plains Project - 'Umayri 5: The 1994 Season at Tall al-'Umayri and Subsequent Studies

Edited by Larry G. Herr, Douglas R. Clark, Lawrence T. Geraty, Randall W. Younker, and Øystein S. LaBianca

The fifth season of excavations at Tall al-'Umayri, continued work in two of the seven fields opened in previous seasons. Some previous squares of Fields A and B were deepened and Field B was expanded. Fields C, D, E, and G were completed in previous seasons, while Field F was left unfinished. In addition a new field, Field H was opened.

Summary of the 1994 Results:
Field A — At the western edge of the acropolis three previously opened squares were deepened to Iron I levels. The upper layers of the Iron I destruction were excavated as they sloped down to the south and the leveled debris on top of it were also dated to Iron I. In the northern part of the field, substantial architecture had no direct stratigraphic connections to the southern part of the Administrative complex in Field A where later structures were found. A few walls were dated to the early Iron II period, which has been found consistently below the massive administrative buildings and above the Iron I deposits.

The northern building seems to have been a domestic structure associated with the large administrative structures in the southern part of the field, however, no new architecture was discovered in this field during the 1994 season, except for the outer face of one small wall of the southern complex. A plaster surface was found which contained a cache of 18 stackable pottery vessels typical of Ammonite forms.

Field B -- The western slope of the site was extended by opening three new squares to the north of the previous excavations. Bedrock was reached in portions of five squares. In bedrock cavities small earth deposits contained EB pottery, which was evidently left behind when the rampart was constructed. The MB IIC rampart was constructed to create an artificial slope on top of the virtually level bedrock by increasing the pitch of multiple earth layers until it reached about 20o. An earthquake, which occurred ca. 1200 BC, caused the bedrock beneath the lower rampart to break and the rampart was eroded so that very little was found below the break. Thus, the MB IIC rampart was in use through the Late Bronze Age.

A major new fortification system made up of several parts was constructed following the earthquake in Early Iron I. A new rampart was constructed over the MB IIC rampart with about 1.5-2.5 m of chalkstones and beaten earth, increasing the slope to about 30o. Supporting the rampart at the edge of the moat was a steeply sloping retaining wall held back the eroded MB rampart and retained the new rampart. Finally a perimeter wall, doubling as an outer wall for residences, was constructed at the top with its founding course on the surface of the MB rampart near its crest. This is the most complete and best-preserved fortification system from this time yet uncovered in Palestine.

Two or three houses were uncovered inside the casemate fortifications. The southern house (Building A) consisted of three rooms with a dirt-paved courtyard, a hearth and food-processing tools, a cultic room with flagstone pavement, standing stone and altar and a stepped stone platform room with several collared pithoi.

The northern house (Building B) was based upon a typical four-room house plan. The east a courtyard contained a rectangular area paved with flagstones and surrounded by an ephemeral wall and post bases. To the west of the courtyard were three long rooms separated by post bases about 1.5 m apart. Twenty smashed collared pithoi lined the walls of one of the rooms. Covering everything in the four-room area was a massive destruction over two meters deep and made up of layers of collapse. Within the destruction were tens of thousands of barley seeds, the articulated shanks of a horse and another large mammal with butchering marks, several types of pottery vessels, the smashed remains of ca 60 collared pithoi, 5 bronze weapons, a large alabaster vessel fragment, and the burned remains of at least two individuals. The ceramic evidence suggests that this destruction took place around 1200 BC or slightly earlier.

Field H -- The continuation of the administrative complex was examined by opening a new field south of Field A. The earliest walls were very thick and made of large boulders. A smaller wall connected to it from the east and probably dates to early Iron I. One room is clearly discernible, but later walls obscured the tops of some walls. This domestic reuse including the bins of the administrative complex, also found in Field A, dates to the late Iron II or early Persian periods. Later, the walls were again reused with cobble and plaster surfaces and an oven. A small terrace wall near the top of the western slope of the site was apparently used to hold back earth for an agricultural field during the Roman and Byzantine period. Pottery in topsoil and sub-topsoil was dated from Middle Islamic to the late Middle Ages when the site was also used agriculturally.

Other studies include reports on the excavations of the Dolmen and the Middle Bronze IIC tomb (on these excavations see here) as well as analyses of the pottery, objects, human remains, and seals. Also included are studies on subsistence at the tall during the Bronze Age and tribes and sedentarization of the region.

Table of Contents:

  • Chapter 1: An Overview of the 1994 Season of the Madaba Plains Project at Tall a;-'Umayri - by Larry G. Herr
  • Chapter 2: Excavation and Cumulative Results - by Larry G. Herr
  • Chapter 3: Field A: The Ammonite Administrative Complex (North) - by John I. Lawlor
  • Chapter 4: Field B: The Western Defense System - by Douglas R. Clark
  • Chapter 5: Field H: The Southwest Acropolis - by David R. Berge and Lloyd A. Willis
  • Chapter 6: The Pottery - by Larry G. Herr
  • Chapter 7: The Objects - by Elizabeth E. Platt and Larry G. Herr
  • Chapter 8: The Dolmen - by Elzbieta Dubis
  • Chapter 9: Middle Bronze Age IIC Tomb - by Mariusz Gorniak and Maryla Kapica
  • Chapter 10: Report on the Human Bones from Tall al-'Umayri 1992-1996 - by Joan W. Chase
  • Chapter 11: Metal Objects - by Elzbieta Dubis
  • Chapter 12: The Inscribed Seals - by Larry G. Herr
  • Chapter 13: Seals and Seal Impressions from Excavation Seasons 1984-2000 - by Juerg Eggler, Larry G. Herr, and Rhonda Root
  • Chapter 14: Early and Late Bronze Age Subsistence at Tall al-'Umayri - by Joris Peters, Nadja Poellath and Angela von den Driesch
  • Chapter 15: Tribes and Sedentarization in the Madaba Plains and Central Jordan During the Iron I and Ottoman Periods - by Chang-Ho Ji
  • Chapter 16: The 1989 Objects - by Larry G. Herr and Elizabeth E. Platt

Hesban 6 - Tell Hesban and Vicinity in the Iron Age

by Paul J. Ray, Jr.

Tell Hesban is a major archaeological ruin in central Transjordan. It was excavated from 1968-76 by Andrews University. However, almost 25 years after the termination of this endeavor, a final report dealing with the Iron Age remains has not yet appeared. Although relatively little remains from the Iron Age, which is the earliest period represented on the tell, an understanding of what is left is nevertheless important for comprehending the role the site played in the region at this time.

Photo courtesy of Richard Cleave

A historical research design has been used in this study. The excavated architectural and soil/debris layers were analyzed in order to isolate distinct strata. Their exact temporal parameters were arrived at by a comparison of representative samples of the ceramic remains gathered on the tell with those of the wider region. A reconstruction of the everyday life of the inhabitants of the tell and its environs has been made by the integration of the available lines of evidence, some of which were obtained from the research of the scientific specialists, who participated in this multi-disciplinary effort. In addition, a study of the evolution of the excavation methodology was undertaken in order to understand the unique niche of the Heshbon Expedition within the development of "Processual Archaeology."

Six strata have been isolated. The first and third settlements (strata 21 and 19) of Iron Age I Hesban appear to have been small unfortified Reubenite villages, while Stratum 20 seems to have been a large fortified village. These villages appear to have relied upon a medium intensity food production regime of mixed agro-pastoralism, dependent on cereal cultivation and animal products. Cottage industries played a major role among the economic activities. Stratum 18 became a small town with a high intensity food production regime extending its repertoire into olive, fruit, and wine production.

During Iron Age II, the site seems first to have been severely reduced in size as it became a Moabite squatter settlement of pastoralists (Stratum 17), and then to have blossomed under the Ammonites (Stratum 16) into a small, but prosperous town based on a market economy.

Table of Contents:


  • 1. Introduction
  • 2. The Evolution of the Archaeological Methodology at Tell Hesban
  • 3. Chronology
  • 4. Hesban and Vicinity in the Late Bronze Age
  • 5. Hesban and Vicinity in Iron Age I
  • 6. Hesban and Vicinity in Iron Age II
  • 7. Hesban and Vicinity in the Hellenistic Period
  • 8. Conclusions


  • A. Abbreviated Locus List for Strata 21-16
  • B. Tell Hesban Objects for Strata 21-16
  • C. Faunal Summary List for Strata 21-16