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Book: Critical Approaches to Cypriot and Wider Mediterranean Archaeology

Chapter: Reflections on Thirty Years of the Journal of Mediterranean Archaeology with Bernardo

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.42477


Bernard Knapp founded the Journal of Mediterranean Archaeology in 1988, being joined as co-editors by John Cherry in 1990 and by Peter van Dommelen in 2006. The 1980s were a time of disciplinary turmoil in archaeology at large, as well as a period that saw numerous new Mediterranean-themed journals come on the scene. Knapp, who did not at the time have job security, took a chance on a new, small, Biblical Studies press to produce JMA, and created for the journal a distinctive mission statement that emphasized the need to meld data with a theoretical context for interpretation, and the necessity of setting one’s own locally situated study within the broader comparative context of Mediterranean archaeology. This chapter briefly reviews some of the factors that led to the launch of JMA, some of its early difficulties in achieving its goal of publishing theoretically-informed articles of interest to a Mediterranean-wide readership, and the distinctive character of the journal as it has evolved over more than three decades. In the context of a volume intended to honor Bernard Knapp’s wide-ranging contributions to the field of archaeology, in the Mediterranean and beyond, it is important that we also recognize his quiet, behind-the-scenes work for over 30 years — since journal editors receive little kudos for their efforts — in creating a powerful and influential venue for the publication of new research in the Mediterranean.

Chapter Contributors

  • John Cherry ( - jfcherry) 'Brown University'