Eric Cline

Eric Cline
Dr. Eric H. Cline is currently Chair of the Department of Classical and Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations and Director of the Capitol Archaeological Institute at The George Washington University. A former Fulbright scholar, he is an award-winning author and teacher with degrees in Classical Archaeology, Near Eastern Archaeology and Ancient History from Dartmouth College, Yale University, and the University of Pennsylvania. Author and editor of ten books and almost 100 articles, Dr. Cline has three times won the Biblical Archaeology Society’s Publication Award for “Best Popular Book on Archaeology” and has had his books translated into Bulgarian, Hungarian, Serbian, and Korean. He is perhaps best known for The Battles of Armageddon: Megiddo and the Jezreel Valley from the Bronze Age to the Nuclear Age (2000); Jerusalem Besieged: From Ancient Canaan to Modern Israel (2004); From Eden to Exile: Unraveling Mysteries of the Bible (2007); and Biblical Archaeology: A Very Short Introduction (2009). An experienced archaeologist, Dr. Cline has 28 seasons of field excavation and survey to his credit, including eight seasons at the site of Megiddo (Biblical Armageddon) in Israel, where he is currently the Associate Director (USA).

Presenter at

  • Bible & Archaeology Fest XVI, November 22 - 24, 2013
    1177 BC: The Year Civilization Collapsed
    For more than three hundred years during the Late Bronze Age (ca. 1500 BC to 1200 BC), the Mediterranean region played host to a complex international world in which Egyptians, Mycenaeans, Minoans, Hittites, Assyrians, Babylonians, Cypriots, and Canaanites all interacted, creating a cosmopolitan and globalized world-system such as has only rarely been seen before the current day. It may have been this very internationalism that contributed to the apocalyptic disaster that ended the Bronze Age. Large empires and small kingdoms that had taken centuries to evolve collapsed rapidly. With their end came the world’s first recorded Dark Ages. Blame for the end of the Late Bronze Age is usually laid squarely at the feet of the so-called Sea Peoples, known to us from the records of the Egyptian pharaohs Merneptah and Ramses III. However, the end of the Bronze Age empires in this region was not the result of a single invasion, but of multiple causes. The Sea Peoples may well have been responsible for some of the destruction that occurred at the end of the Late Bronze Age, but it is much more likely that a concatenation of events, both human and natural including earthquake storms, droughts, rebellions, and systems collapse coalesced to create a “perfect storm” that brought the age to an end. This illustrated lecture is based upon a forthcoming book by the same title that will be published by Princeton University Press in February 2014.
  • ASOR/BAS Seminar on Biblical Archaeology, January 13 - 15, 2012

    1. Biblical Archaeology Through the Ages—From its Origins to the Present
    Public interest in biblical archaeology is at an all-time high. Television documentaries pull in millions of viewers to watch shows on the Exodus, the Ark of the Covenant, and the Lost Tomb of Jesus. Important discoveries with relevance to the Bible are made virtually every year. In this illustrated lecture, based on his book that has just been awarded the BAS 2011 prize for “Best Popular Book on Archaeology” (Biblical Archaeology: A Very Short Introduction; Oxford University Press, 2009), Professor Cline will present an overview of this exciting field. Join him in reexamining the early pioneers such as Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie and William Foxwell Albright and the major controversies that first prompted explorers to go in search of objects and sites that would “prove” the Bible. Meet some of the most well-known biblical archaeologists, including Kathleen Kenyon, Yigael Yadin, and Israel Finkelstein, and the sites that are essential sources of knowledge for biblical archaeology, such as Hazor, Megiddo, Gezer, Lachish, Masada, and Jerusalem. Relive again some of the most important discoveries that have been made, including the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Mesha Inscription, and the Tel Dan Stele. You’ll come away with a concise knowledge of the field and a desire to go dig in the Holy Land next summer!
    2. In Search of Armageddon—The Excavations of Megiddo Through Time
    Apocalypse. Judgment Day. The End Time. Armageddon. Students of the Bible know it as the place where the cataclysmic battle between the forces of good and the forces of evil will unfold. Many believe that this battle will take place in the very near future. But few know that Armageddon is a real place—one that has seen more fighting and bloodshed than any other spot on earth. The name Armageddon is a corruption of the Hebrew phrase Har Megiddo, and it means “Mount of Megiddo.” Professor Cline is currently the Associate Director (USA) of the Megiddo Expedition and has been involved in the excavations at the site from 1994 to the present. Based upon his experiences there, and using material from his book that was awarded the BAS 2001 prize for “Best Popular Book on Archaeology” (The Battles of Armageddon: Megiddo and the Jezreel Valley from the Bronze Age to the Nuclear Age; University of Michigan Press, 2000), he will present an illustrated overview of the renewed excavations at the site and highlight some of the discoveries made during the 1994-2010 excavation seasons. . Unresolved questions including the palace, stables, and other ruins initially attributed to King Solomon’s building activities and the extent of King David’s involvement at the site will be re-examined and discussed in detail, as will some of the numerous battles that have already been fought at Armageddon.
    3. The Search for the Arks (Noah’s and of the Covenant)—Fruitful Quests or Fruitless Forays?
    Numerous amateur archaeologists have sought some trace of Noah’s Ark, only to meet with failure. Although no serious scholar has undertaken such a literal search, many agree that the Flood was no myth but perhaps the cultural memory of a real, catastrophic inundation, retold and reshaped over countless generations. Likewise, many enthusiasts have searched for the Ark of the Covenant—brought to Jerusalem by King David and installed in the Temple by King Solomon, but now lost to history. In this illustrated lecture, using material from his book that was awarded the BAS 2009 prize for “Best Popular Book on Archaeology” (From Eden to Exile: Unraveling Mysteries of the Bible; National Geographic Books, 2007), Professor Cline will examine several examples of such searches, while at the same time using the tools of his trade to lay out each mystery, evaluate all available evidence—from established fact to arguable assumption to far-fetched leap of faith—and propose possible explanations that reconcile Scripture, science, and history.
  • Bible & Archaeology Fest XIV, November 18 - 20, 2011
    The Ten Lost Tribes of Israel Aren’t Lost (and never were)
    Speculating on the whereabouts of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel has been popular for longer than the search for the Ark of the Covenant and the Holy Grail. Suggestions for where they ended up have ranged from America and Britain to India and Africa, and virtually every place in between. However, few proper investigations of this “mystery” have been conducted. Now, utilizing three separate and completely independent sources—the Biblical account, the contemporary Neo-Assyrian inscriptions, and the archaeological remains from both the northern kingdom of Israel and the southern kingdom of Judah—it can be confidently shown that the Ten Tribes of Israel were never lost.

Selected Articles by Eric Cline

Selected Books by Eric Cline