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Hershel Shanks Prize Awarded

June 15, 2007

The Hershel Shanks prize of $1,000 for the best paper in Archaeology Related to the Hebrew Bible delivered at the 2006 annual meeting of the American Schools of Oriental Research has been awarded to Assistant Professor Michael G. VanZant of Mount Vernon Nazarene University, Mount Vernon, Ohio.

Prize money of $4,000 in four other categories—Archaeology Related to the New Testament, Archaeology Related to Patristic Literature and Early Christianity, Archaeology Related to the Talmud and Late Antique Judaism, and Archaeology in Israel—went unclaimed.

VanZant’s paper analyzed the sociocultural aspects of Moabite society as gleaned from curses on Moab in the Bible, as compared with that revealed by the archaeologist’s spade. His winning paper is entitled, “Of Tents and States: A Socioarchaeological Analysis of the Oracles Against Moab in Isaiah 15-16 and Jeremiah 48.”

Shanks said that whether or not the prizes will be offered again is questionable, in light of the apparent lack of interest.

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