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The Archaeology of Ancient Judea and Palestine

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The Archaeology of Ancient Judea and Palestine
By Ariel Lewin. Written in Collaboration with Leah Di Segni. Photographs by Dinu, Sandu, and Radu Mendrea. Translator, Brian D. Phillips. (Los Angeles, The J. Paul Getty Museum: 2005. Pg. 200. 240 Illustrations, 16 Maps, and 14 Building Plans.) ISBN: 0-89236-800-4.

Reviewed by Sheldon Ztvordokov - April 21, 2005

In The Archaeology of Ancient Judea and Palestine, Ariel Lewin presents a general overview of some of the most prominent archaeology sites found in present day Israel. The text includes two introductory essays that provide general information on Israel's ancient past. These essays are Jewish Origins by William H.C. Propp and Roman Judea and Palestine by Ariel Lewin. The bulk of the text is devoted to a thorough analysis of eighteen ancient cities, including: This section, The Ancient Cities was written by Lewin in collaboration with Leah Di Segni. The analysis of each of these ancient cities includes information on the city's ancient location, how it was primarily utilized, and an overview of the archaeological remains associated with each city. Throughout, the text is gorgeously illustrated with actual photographs of the various sites, as well as maps and drawings of various building plans. The final section of this book is devoted to a brief overview of the various archaeological remains of synagogues, churches, and monasteries that existed throughout ancient Judea and Palestine. A concise bibliography is also included.

Lewin is a teacher of Roman History at the University of Basilicata in Potenza, Italy and he has studied at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. In writing this book, his focus was on providing general readers with an accessible introduction into the history and archaeology of Judea and Ancient Palestine. He has succeeded admirably. The text is engaging, readable, and does not require any previous knowledge about the region or its history to appreciate the grandeur of this book. The Archaeology of Ancient Judea and Palestine serves as an excellent primer on the subject, and the copious photos also makes this an informative coffee-table book.

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