Ever since the pioneering excavation at Tel el-Hesi by Petrie in 1890 archeology has developed into a fully-fledged, professional field with specialists emerging on all manner of subjects, periods, and types of artifacts. Many thousands of sites have now been excavated in the Holy Land (Israel and Palestine) from prehistoric times through the Ottoman period. The focus on the excavation of tells (mound sites) and key settlements such as Jerusalem, Megiddo, and Beth Shean has revolutionized our knowledge of the chronology and material culture of the biblical period.This concise but comprehensive encyclopedia, edited by the veteran archeologist Avraham Negev and revised, expanded, and updated by Shimon Gibson, includes more than 600 entries, accompanied by drawings, plans, photographs, chronological charts, and an index. All of the principal biblical sites are covered, and there are entries on general subjects such as mosaics, pottery, and archeological method. Included among the major discoveries made in recent years are the amazing Chalcolithic period objects found in a cave at Pequ'in, the "House of David" inscription from Tel Dan, the Miqne inscription, the iron fortifications of Jerusalem, and much more.