This spring witnessed another excavation season at Khirbet el-Maqatir, an archaeological site identified by its excavators as the biblical ‘Ai and located about 15 km north of Jerusalem. Khirbet el-Maqatir has a long history of excavations with participation of enthusiastic evangelical volunteers, led and sponsored in recent years by the Associates of Biblical Research (ABR) — Christian ministry based in Pennsylvania, USA. According to its website, ABR is “dedicated to demonstrating the historical reliability of the Bible through archaeological and biblical research”. More specifically for Khirbet el-Maqatir, the main motivation behind the excavations is, according to ABR's Director of Research Bryant Wood, to “determine if Kh. el-Maqatir meets the Biblical requirements to be identified as the Ai of Joshua”.
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