When Evangelicals Go Digging

Dylan Bergeson examines the “biblical archaeology” of the West Bank, funded by American churches and administered by Israel:

At first blush, [Texas Pastor Randall] Price seems like an unlikely candidate to head excavations amid one of the bitterest land disputes in the modern world. Though he never actually received a degree in archaeology, he built a global network around his brand of Near East biblical scholarship with an apocalyptic bent. He has written extensively for the website RaptureReady.com, given lectures suggesting that Iran is fulfilling the role of Antichrist, and has openly called for the United States to declare war on Islam.

They are getting lots of false positives:

[Prominent Israeli archaeologist Raphael] Greenberg estimates the majority of funding for excavations in Israel and Palestine comes from religious sources. As a result, he said, researchers are plagued by financial pressure to produce religiously significant discoveries. Recent years have seen multiple claims of finding Noah’s Ark, the secret location of the Ark of the Covenant, and most recently, a fraudulent ossuary that was claimed to contain the bones of Jesus’ family.