Trude Dothan on Archaeology in Israel

Archaeologist Trude Dothan said in an interview with Hershel Shanks (The Philistines and the Dothans, Hershel Shanks, BAR 19:05, Sep/Oct 1993):

I am an archaeologist, a dirt archaeologist. But without having a framework I would just have to call what I find a pot. It would be anonymous. I think we are very fortunate that we have these Biblical records, but we take them cautiously. We don’t go with the Bible in one hand and the spade in the other, but it definitely must be used.

Why is this country so important archaeologically? It’s not because we have such grandiose finds. It’s important only because it speaks to us. It’s part of our heritage. It feels great that you can, in a way, read about your finds in the Bible. If you find an inscription, it talks to you straight. It bridges the centuries. I think that this is really a great feeling, but you have to do it cautiously. You can’t go about it blindly. I’m not a Biblical scholar. I am a plain archaeologist. I try to use all the sources available and go to the people who know more about these things for help. And then I try to integrate it all.

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