And I Will Make Samaria a Ruin in the Open Country' (Micah 1:6): On Biblical Ruins, Then and Now
Within the Hebrew Bible we encounter a substantial amount of references to ruins scattered across a number of biblical books. What these ancient writings demonstrate is that the individuals behind their making also lived in a world of ruins and were aware of the formidable locations connected to them. But what is striking about these biblical passages is that the importance granted to such remains is something other than the information they might provide about those populations who had once inhabited them. Never, in other words, do we read of attempts to explore these sites, to dig among them, and connect their ruins to the cultures and civilizations that had come before. This study asks why. Why, that is, in a collection of writings awash in references to ruins, is there not a single mention of a site unearthed in order to inspect what these remains might reveal about those who lived there previously?