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The effects of the COVID-19 coronavirus are being felt within the world of biblical archaeology. Southwest Baptist Theological Seminary recently announced that they will be shutting down their archaeology program due to budgetary restrictions.This is partly in response to COVID-19 and partly as a result of an “institutional reset” in its mission. Five professors have been let go and 25 graduate students are left without a program to finish. SWBTS recently finished a decade of excavations at Gezer and its unclear how this decision affects the publication of their final excavation report. COVID-19 has also led to the cancellation of planned excavations in Israel, including the dig at Tel Dan by Grand Rapids Theological Seminary and the Mount Zion Archaeological Project, directed by Shimon Gibson. Both plan to resume excavations in 2021. ABR’s dig at Shiloh may also be affected. Scott Stripling, ABR’s Director of Excavations, is monitoring the situation. He says, ““Right now, it is looking like we will have a postponed and shortened dig season—if at all.”


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