Israel's Bar-Ilan University has proposed an Institute of Biblical Archeology to counter historians who deny an archeological-biblical link.

The proposed $50 million institute would become part of the predominantly religious university's Department of Land of Israel Studies and Archeology, The Jerusalem Post reported.

"The university has made a long-term commitment to place archeology at the forefront if its priorities at a time when archeology has been pushed to the wayside," said Institute Director Aren Maeir.

Maeir told the newspaper the proposal is an attempt to reach a compromise between "post-modernist revisionist nihilists" and "ideologically driven conservatives," using archeology to study past Jewish history within the context of contemporary culture.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International