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Villain or Visionary? (Hardback)

Ancient History > Ancient Near East

Imprint: Maney Publishing
Series: Palestine Exploration Fund Annuals
Pages: 200
ISBN: 9781909662605
Published: 30th July 2015
Casemate UK Academic

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R. A. Stewart Macalister is an important but controversial figure in the history of Palestinian archaeology. This volume celebrates his excavations at Gezer just over a century ago (1902–1912), under the auspices of the PEF, which was one of the first methodological and large-scale excavations in the land and, among other artefacts, unearthed the Gezer Calendar. This volume, to which many eminent scholars have contributed, not only reflects on the man and his work, but also reports on current work at both Gezer and Tell-es-Safi. It is also richly illustrated with images from the PEF archives.Evaluations of Macalister’s work vary tremendously and are reflected here. Many learnt from him, others deplore his methods and his record-keeping. As one contributor puts it, ‘an excellent archaeologists but an awful excavator’, and a man who was both admired and intensely disliked: regarded as both a villain and a visionary. But it is generally agreed that he is a figure who cannot be ignored, and anyone interested in Palestinian archaeology will find a great deal to learn from this book.

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