The Professional Excavation Staff At Khirbet el-Maqatir -- By: Scott Stripling

Journal: Bible and Spade (Second Run)
Volume: BSPADE 26:4 (Fall 2013)
Article: The Professional Excavation Staff At Khirbet el-Maqatir
Author: Scott Stripling


The Professional Excavation Staff At Khirbet el-Maqatir

Scott Stripling

The quality and effectiveness of any organization is a direct result of its key personnel. This is nowhere more true than in the field of archaeology. Since its inception in 1995, the Associates for Biblical Research (ABR) excavation at Khirbet el-Maqatir has been under the exceptional direction of Dr. Bryant Wood. At Bryant’s side have been an indefatigable staff and team of volunteers, most notably Administrative Director Gary Byers, Photographer Mike Luddeni, and Pottery and Object Registrar Sandy Souza. Effective January 2014, I will have the daunting task of succeeding Bryant Wood as Dig Director. Fortunately, Bryant will be continuing as a key member of our leadership team, as will Gary, Mike, and Sandy. Bryant’s official title will be Ceramic Typologist, but most of us will think of him more affectionately as Director Emeritus. So, ABR supporters can rest easy because Bryant will be by my side to keep me from messing things up too badly. It is a privilege for me to introduce the Khirbet el-Maqatir key professional staff.

Dr. Bryant Wood – Ceramic Typologist And Director Emeritus

Bryant Wood’s archaeological career has spanned four decades. As part of his doctoral requirements at the University of Toronto, Bryant worked for three seasons at Tell el-Maskhuta in Egypt. Upon completion of his PhD, Bryant joined the ABR excavation at Khirbet Nisya, where he worked for 6 seasons between 1985-1994. In this same period he published his first book, The Sociology of Pottery in Ancient Palestine, along with numerous scholarly and popular articles. One of those articles was his ground-breaking research on Jericho, demonstrating the historicity of the biblical account of the Israelite conquest of Jericho. After several years of research into candidate sites for the Ai of Jos 7-8, in 1995 Bryant launched the excavation at Khirbet el-Maqatir. In 2000, the outbreak of the intifada (Palestinian uprising) forced the closing of the dig for nine years. He remained active in academic writing, as evidenced by the 96 articles published in 2006 in the Zondervan Archaeological Study Bible.

Michael Luddeni

Dr. Bryant Wood recording field data at Khirbet el-Maqatir.

By 2009, conditions in the West Bank had calmed enough to allow the resumption of the excavation at Khirbet el-Maqatir. Five more seasons of excavation under his leadership followed. Many Evangelicals and others now believe that Khirbet el- Maqatir is the site of Joshua’s Ai. For his meticulous, untiring work on Jericho and Ai, Bible believers everywhere owe an i...

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