Biblical archaeology involves the recovery and scientific investigation of the material remains of past cultures that can illuminate the periods and descriptions in the Bible, be they from the Old Testament (Tanakh) or from the New Testament, as well as the history and cosmogony of the Judeo-Christian religions.The principal location of interest is what is known in the relevant religions as the Holy Land, which from a western perspective is also called the Middle East.
Vicente Vilar expands on this point by stating that archaeology is both art and science: as an art it searches for the material remains of ancient civilizations and tries to reconstruct, as far as possible, the environment and the organizations of one or many historical epochs; It might be thought that archaeology would have to disregard the information contained within religions and many philosophical systems.
However, apart from the great deal of factual material that they provide such as places of worship, holy objects and other scientifically observable things, there are other aspects that are equally important for scientific archaeological investigation such as religious texts, rites, customs and traditions.
Kaswalder comments that: The study of biblical archaeology started at the same time as general archaeology and obviously its development relates to the discovery of highly important ancient artifacts.
The development of biblical archaeology has been marked by different periods: Biblical archaeology is the subject of ongoing debate.
The two schools are not separate units but form a continuum, making it difficult to define different camps and limits.
However, it is possible to define points of difference, although these differences seem to be decreasing over time.Perhaps the most important of these include: The Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered by Bedouins in the caves of Kiryit Qumran in 1947 and subsequent excavations were initially led by Roland de Vaux.The Scrolls comprise some 800 documents in tens of thousands of fragments.One of the sources of greatest dispute is the period when kings ruled Israel and more generally the historicity of the Bible.It is possible to define two loose schools of thought regarding these areas: biblical minimalism and maximalism, depending on whether the bible is considered to be a non-historical, religious document or not.Asia Minor, Macedonia, Greece and Rome have greater connections with the stories from the New Testament.