Review of three web sites about Megiddo

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This review looks at three sites featuring Megiddo: one from the Institute of Archaeology, Tel-Aviv University (The Megiddo Expedition) and two from Pennsylvania State University (The Megiddo Expedition 98 and The Megiddo Expedition).

The Megiddo Expedition

Navigation is relatively easy at this site. Arranged vertically along the left are links to a history of Megiddo, a history of the excavations at Megiddo (including some images), a chronology, a presentation, the Megiddo newsletter "Revelations", a 3D virtual flyover of Megiddo (you must download Viscape in order to see the flyover), and publications. In addiition, a link entitled "Dig Megiddo 2000" directs those interested in participating in the excavations. Visual images enliven the web site but are not uniformly clear or consistently sharp. The pop-up map of the Jazreel Valley, for example, is difficult to read.

The site does justice to Megiddo, its history, its significance in Biblical archaeology, and the on-going excavations.The accounts of the history of Megiddo and of the expeditions is succinct but thorough. Inclusion of articles such as Finkelstein and Ussishkin's "Back to Megiddo: A New Expedition Will Explore the Jewel in the Crown of Canaan/Israel" (BAR 1994 vol. 20 issue 1) supplements the historical account of the site. The segment on past and present excavations and projects includes a helpful bibliography which in turn enhances the publications segment. The site does not include links to the Penn State Megiddo Expedition 98, although that site is linked to the Tel-Aviv site.

The result is a site which suits the needs of a general reader at the same time that the scholar will find the site helpful.

The Megiddo Expedition 98

While this site does not claim to cover more than the '98 season, it actually provides a good background in the history of Megiddo and excavations there. Moreover, it is linked to the Tel Aviv site on Megiddo, which supplements the Penn State material.

Navigation is straightforward using either the hot links at the bottom of each page or the icons which duplicate the links and which run vertically down the left side. These links include history, a list of staff, a report of each area (with a clickable image of the site), diggers and dig life complete with photographs, a page of the dig artwork used in the web site, and a link to books. This site links to the Tel Aviv Megiddo site several times, e.g., the Books link takes you to the Publications link at the Tel Aviv site; discussions of the different areas at the site link you back to the Tel Aviv discussions. Thus, the '98 web site becomes part of the larger discussion in the Tel Aviv site.

The Megiddo Expedition

While the Tel-Aviv University Megiddo Web site is a fairly complex site with material of interest to the general reader as well as to the specialist, the Penn State site is designed to attract and inform those who seek to join the Megiddo expedition. As with the Tel Aviv site, so here navigation is simple; hot links at the top of the page direct you to a series of pages which address the questions one would have if eager to participate in the dig at Megiddo: a main page with attractive claims for Megiddo and its significance as a site, an application, information about the educational programs which one can participate in, a list of the staff members, dig expectations and the preparations necessary to participate in the dig, a summary of what dig life is like, a bibliography, and dig goals and a historical overview. This last segment presents material similar to what is included in the Tel-Aviv site, but in a briefer form. The bibliography includes entries which would be very helpful if one were preparing to join the 2000 expedition. This site does not include links to the Tel-Aviv site.

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