James B. Pritchard

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James Bennett Pritchard (born October 4, 1909 in Louisville (Kentucky) , † January 1, 1997 ) was an American Biblical archaeologist and religious scholar.


He examined the relationships between the religions of ancient Israel, Canaan , Egypt , Assyria and Babylon . He took part in numerous important excavations: Gibeon , Tell es-Sa'idiyeh on the east bank of the Jordan in Jordan , and Sarafand , Lebanon , where the ancient Phoenician city ​​of Sarepta was uncovered.

He worked for a long time at the University of Pennsylvania , where he was Professor of Religious Studies (religious thought) and the first curator of Biblical Archeology at the University Museum . Pritchard's strength was that he placed the Bible in a broader cultural context in the ancient Middle East .

His work Ancient Near Eastern Texts relating to the Old Testament in three editions (1950, 1955, 1969), which provides reliable translations of texts, became an internationally acclaimed book that shed light on the context of the Hebrew Bible . This anthology brings together the most significant historical, jurisprudential, mythological, liturgical and secular texts of the ancient Near East with the aim of providing a rich contextual framework for understanding the people, cultures and literature of the Old Testament . Eminent linguists, historians and archaeologists were selected to translate the texts: William Foxwell Albright ( Johns Hopkins University ), H. Louis Ginzberg ( Jewish Theological Seminary ), Albrecht Goetze ( Yale University ), Samuel Noah Kramer ( University of Pennsylvania ), Theophile J. Meek ( University of Toronto ), A. Leo Oppenheim ( University of Chicago ), Robert H. Pfeiffer ( Harvard University ), A. Sachs ( Brown University ), Ephraim Avigdor Speiser (University of Pennsylvania), Ferris J. Stephens ( Yale University), John A. Wilson (University of Chicago).

The American Philosophical Society , of which he had been an elected member since 1973, honored him with their Benjamin Franklin Medal in 1990 .


  • Palestinian Figurines in Relation to certain Goddesses known through Litterature (= American Oriental Series 24). Philadelphia 1943.
  • Ancient Near Eastern Texts, relating to the Old Testament. Princeton: Princeton University Press 1950.
  • The Ancient Near East in Pictures, relating to the Old Testament. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press 1954.
  • with Sherman E. Johnson E. & George C. Miles: The Excavations at Herodian Jericho 1951 (= Annual of the American Schools of Oriental Research 32/33). New Haven: Yale University Press 1958.
  • Archeology and the Old Testament. Princeton University Press 1958 (German under the title: Die Aräologie und das Alte Testament. Wiesbaden: Rheinische Verlags-Anstalt [undated])
  • Hebrew Inscriptions and Stamps from Gibeon (= University Museum Monograph 16). Philadelphia: The University Museum 1959.
  • Gibeon where the Sun Stood Still: The Discovery of the Biblical City. Princeton: Princeton University Press 1962.
  • with Samuel Noah Kramer u. a. (Ed.): Everyday Life in Bible Times. Washington, DC: National Geographic Society 1967. (German under the title: Alltagsleben in Biblischer Zeit. Luzern, Frankfurt / M .: Bucher 1975. ISBN 3-7658-0201-8 )
  • The Ancient Near East: Supplementary Texts and Pictures relating to the Old Testament. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press 1969.
  • (Eds.): Solomon & Sheba. London: Phaidon 1974. ISBN 0-7148-1613-2
  • Sarepta. A Preliminary Report on the Iron Age. Excavations of the University Museum of the University of Pennsylvania, 1970-72. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania 1975.
  • Recovering Sarepta, a Phoenician City: Excavations at Sarafand, Lebanon, 1969-1974 by the University Museum of the University of Pennsylvania. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press 1978. ISBN 0-691-09378-4
  • Tell es-Saʿidiyeh: Excavations on the Tell, 1964-1966 (= University Museum Monograph 60). Philadelphia: University Museum 1985. ISBN 0-934718-60-1
  • (Ed.): The Times Atlas of the Bible. London: Guild Publishing 1987 (German Herder's large Bible Atlas. Freiburg: Herder 2002. ISBN 3-451-27998-3 )

See also


  • Anderson, William P .: James Bennett Pritchard (October 4, 1909-1 January 1997) , in: Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society 143 (1999), 471-477. on-line

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Member History: James B. Pritchard. American Philosophical Society, accessed January 24, 2019 .