Data that elucidates the practice of child sacrifice in the ancient Mediterranean world include the literary relation of legendary instances, myth, foreigners’ descriptions and occasional references to the living practice from Late Bronze Hatti forward. Extensive archaeological manifestation, with an accompanying trove of physical evidence and formulaic inscriptions, has made the practice, if anything, even more inscrutable. Against that background, I take this occasion to explore both some scholarly explanations of the practice and what seem the most fruitful approaches to it for the future.
Baruch Halpern received his doctorate from Harvard University. He has taught at York University, Penn State University and the University of Georgia. He was co-director of the Megiddo Expedition and Survey of the Jezreel Valley, as well as of an archaeological survey in southeastern Cilicia, Turkey.