This past month, for the third year in a row, I again participated in the half-marathon race as part of the 2010 Baltimore (Maryland) Running Festival. Just for the record, running does not really describe what I did, and this year was my worst effort to date. But enough about me, participation in the event prompted me to consider a bit more carefully the origin of the event, which led me back to Queen Esther. My own academic work and interests have always been in the earlier periods of Biblical history. In fact, I have tended to consider the Persian period as modern history. I have had minimal contact with Persian material in my archaeological field work and my interest in that period has basically centered on my annual cycle teaching the book of Esther.