Tuesday, September 15, 2009

BAS Lecture Series in New Orleans

The Biblical Archaeology Society is sponsoring the 12th Annual Bible and Archaeology Fest in New Orleans from November 20 to 22.  A full schedule is not yet out, but a preliminary posting of speakers and lecture titles is now available at the BAS website.  The line-up is outstanding, and I’m planning on attending.  Below are the lectures that look most interesting to me.

Anson Rainey, Tel Aviv University: Whence Came the Israelites and Their Language?

Aren Maeir, Bar Ilan University: Fleshing out the Bible at Philistine Gath: The Interface of Bible and Archaeology

Avraham Faust, Bar Ilan University: The Assyrian Peace: A Reexamination

Dan Schowalter, Carthage College: Architecture and Power: Excavations of a Roman Temple Site at Omrit in Northern Israel

James Charlesworth, Princeton Theological Seminary: Should the Gospel of John be Used in Jesus Research?

James Tabor, University of North Carolina at Charlotte: Media Hype, Academic Squabbles, and the James Ossuary: Getting the Facts Straight

Jim Hoffmeier, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School: Exploring David’s Strange Antics after Defeating Goliath

Leonard Greenspoon, Creighton University: Ten Common Misconceptions about Bible Translation: How I Learned to Live with—and even Love—Modern Versions of the Bible

Mark Wilson, Asia Minor Research Center: In the Footsteps of Paul in Asia Minor: Are there Still Roman Roads to Follow?

Steve Mason, York University: The Historical Problem of the Essenes

Sean Freyne, Trinity College, Dublin: The Archaeology of Roman Galilee: What we have and have not learned about Jesus the Galilean

Yosef Garfinkel, Hebrew University: *Plenary Session Speaker*: Khirbet Qeiyafa: Not Shaaraim, but Ephes-dammim. 

Just kidding on that last title.  (If you don’t get it, you’ll have to slog through last year’s posts on the subject, especially here, here, and here.)  The true title is: Khirbet Qeiyafa: A Fortified City in Judah from the Time of King David.


Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Free Video Lectures: Israel and Aram

Video from the Plenary Session of the Fifteenth World Congress of Jewish Studies (August 2-6, 2009) is now online.  The session was entitled, “Israel, Aram and Assyria: Between Bible and Archaeology,” but as moderator Mordechai Cogan notes at the beginning, the papers are more about Aram and Israel (not Assyria), especially in the 9th century BC.  Each presentation is in English and is 30 minutes long.

Tallay Ornan, Northern Inspiration: Aramean and Neo-Hittite Finds in Ninth–Eighth Century BCE Israel

Aren Maeir, Hazael in Southern Israel: The Campaign to Philistia and the Conquest of Philistine Gath

Amihai Mazar, Israel, the Arameans and Assyria: A View from Tel Beth-Shean and Tel Rehov

Doron Ben Ami and Nili Wazana, Enemy at the Gates: The Phenomenon of Fortifications in Israel and Judea Reexamined

HT: Aren Maeir


Thursday, June 11, 2009

ASOR 2008 and Biblical Archaeology

The annual meeting of the American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR) was held last November, but with 287 papers being presented, it is likely that you didn’t catch everything that went on, whether you were present or not. 

Brian Janeway has posted a summary of some key presentations related to biblical archaeology.  He notes:

Though the term ‘biblical archaeology’ has gone out of fashion, scholars are still preoccupied with correlating their finds with the biblical text. The fact that the vast majority of the sponsoring institutions are secular should encourage Christian believers of all stripes.

He reviews presentations about Jericho, Gath, the Philistines, Khirbet en-Nahas, LMLK seals, Qumran, and the “cave of John the Baptist.”  Janeway concludes:

This review of biblical papers delivered at the 2008 ASOR meetings clearly shows that biblical archaeology is anything but dead, even if scholars are uncomfortable with the term itself. Indeed, it illustrates the central role that the Bible continues to play in the history and archaeology of the region; a source unmatched and unrivaled in its rich detail and description of life in antiquity.

Information about the 2009 annual meeting is given at the ASOR website.  A schedule of the presentations may be downloaded here.

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Monday, April 20, 2009

Aren Maeir Lectures in Texas

Aren Maeir is lecturing several times this week in Texas:
Tues, 4/21 evening: Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
Wed, 4/22 noon: Baylor University
Thurs, 4/23 7pm: Houston Graduate School of Theology

For more details, contact the institutions.


Sunday, April 05, 2009

“Qumran and Biblical Interpretation” Conference Schedule

I mentioned this conference before, but now I have received a detailed schedule.  The conference is hosted by Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary, and the cost is a very reasonable $50 for professionals (non-students), $25 for spouses of registered guests, and $25 for students, and that includes snacks and a banquet meal.  A DVD of the conference is available for $39.95 (with free shipping).  For more information, see the MABTS website.  The line-up represents many of the most important scholars on the Dead Sea Scrolls today.

Thursday April 23, 2009

2:00-2:10 p.m. - Prayer, Welcome, and Instructions

2:10-2:15 p.m. – A Review of the Speakers

2:15-2:45 p.m. Steven L. Cox, Ph.D. Professor of Greek and New Testament, Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary, Cordova, TN. 

“Qumran and its Inhabitants: 170 B.C. - A.D. 70”

2:50-3:30 p.m. Peter Flint, Canada Research Chair of the Dead Sea Scrolls; Director, Dead Sea Scrolls Institute; Professor of Religious Studies, Trinity Western University

“The Three Favorite Books at Qumran. The Accuracy of our Biblical Text and Readings from the Scrolls Adopted by Various English Bible Translations”

3:30-4:00 p.m. Refreshment Break

4:00-4:40 p.m. James VanderKam, Ph.D. John A. O’Brien Professor of Theology, University of Notre Dame, South Bend, IN

“Eschatology in the Dead Sea Scrolls”

4:40-5:20 p.m. R. Kirk Kilpatrick, Ph.D. Dean of the Masters and Associates Programs, Professor, Department of Old Testament and Hebrew, Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary, Cordova, TN

“The Messiah and the Dead Sea Scrolls”

5:30-6:45 p.m. Banquet Dinner The Betty Howard Room

7:00-7:45 p.m. Lawrence H. Schiffman, Ph.D. Skirball Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies, New York University, New York

“Purity as Separation: Comparing Rabbinic Literature and the New Testament”

7:50-8:30 p.m. Emanuel Tov, Ph.D. Department of Bible, Hebrew University, Jerusalem

“The Biblical Dead Sea Scrolls”

8:35-8:55 p.m. A Panel Discussion with Speakers on Select Topics


Friday, April 24, 2009

8:30-9:10 a.m. Michael R. Spradlin, Ph.D. President, Chairman of the Faculty; Chairman and Professor, Department of Evangelism; Professor of Old Testament and Hebrew, Practical Theology, and Church History, Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary, Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary, Cordova, TN

“The Isaiah Scroll of Qumran: Current Analysis, Opinion, and Implications”

9:15-9:55 a.m. Steven M. Ortiz, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Archaeology and Biblical Backgrounds, Director of the Charles C. Tandy Archaeology Museum, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas

“Myth, Media Hype, and Multivocality: Storytelling and Qumran Archaeology”

10:00-10:40 a.m. Lawrence H. Schiffman, Ph.D. Skirball Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies, New York University, New York

“Israel, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and Jewish History”

10:40-11:15 a.m. Refreshment Break

11:15-11:55 a.m. James VanderKam, Ph.D. John A. O’Brien Professor of Theology, University of Notre Dame, South Bend, IN

“High Priests in the Dead Sea Scrolls”

12:00-12:40 p.m. Emanuel Tov, Department of Bible, Hebrew University, Jerusalem

“The Scribes of Qumran”

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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Conference: The Dead Sea Scrolls and Christian Origins

Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary is hosting a conference on “The Dead Sea Scrolls and Christian Origins” on March 12-14, 2009.

A tentative schedule (pdf) gives the lectures:

“A Dialogue on the Gospel of Thomas,” Craig A. Evans, Acadia Divinity College; Stephen J. Patterson, Eden Theological Seminary

“The Scrolls and the Hebrew Bible,” Peter W. Flint, Trinity Western University

“The Scrolls and the New Testament,” Craig A. Evans, Acadia Divinity College

“The Scrolls and the Dead Sea Community,” John J. Collins, Yale University

“The Scrolls and Interpretation of Scripture,” George J. Brooke, University of Manchester

“The Scrolls and the Scribes,” Terry L. Wilder, B&H Academic Publishers

“The Scrolls and the Messiah,” William M. Schniedewind, University of California, Los Angeles

“‘Dark Secrets’ of the DSS?,” R. Philip Roberts, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

You can also download a poster (pdf) promoting the conference.


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Qumran and the Dead Sea Scrolls and Biblical Interpretation Conference

Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary is hosting a conference on the Dead Sea Scrolls with an impressive line-up of speakers.  More information is on the school’s website, but unfortunately no list of lecture titles is given.

Qumran and the Dead Sea Scrolls and Biblical Interpretation Conference

Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary, 2095 Appling Road, Cordova, TN 38088 (901)-751-8453

April 23-24, 2009

This conference will include world class archaeologists, authors, and researchers as well as Old and New Testament scholars. The speakers will include:

  • Kirk Kilpatrick, Professor of Old Testament and Hebrew, Dean of the Masters and Associates Program, Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary
  • Jodi Magness, renowned author and the Kenan Distinguished Professor for Teaching Excellence in Early Judaism, University of North Carolina
  • Stephen Ortiz, Associate Professor of Archaeology and Biblical Backgrounds and Director of the Charles C. Tandy Archaeology Museum, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
  • Lawrence H. Schiffman, renowned author and the Ethel and Irvin A. Edelman Professor in Hebrew and Judaic Studies at New York University
  • Michael R. Spradlin, President, Chairman and Professor of Evangelism; Professor of Old Testament and Hebrew, Practical Theology, and Church History, Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary
  • Emanuel Tov, renowned author, Department of the Bible, Hebrew University, Jerusalem
  • James Clair Vanderkam, renowned author; and John A. O’Brien Professor of Theology, University of Notre Dame
  • Steven L. Cox, Professor of the New Testament and Greek, Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary

The registration cost is $25 for students, $30.00 for alumni, and $50 for others. Registration includes snacks and a banquet meal. Meal selections will be either beef, chicken or kosher. 

The conference and banquet will be held on the MABTS campus.

On April 23, the conference runs from 2:00 p.m. through 9:30 p.m. (the banquet will be from 5:45 through 6:45 p.m.) and on April 24, the conference runs from 8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

For a registration form, click here.

To register and pay online, click here.

The Tyndale House blog notes that DVDs of the conference will be for sale for $39.95.

HT: Joe Lauer

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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Lectures in Los Angeles: Jerusalem and Jaffa

The California Museum of Ancient Art has announced its Winter 2009 lecture series, “Digging into the Ancient World of the Bible.”

March 4, 7:30 p.m., Ronny Reich, “New Discoveries from the City of David.”

March 30, 7:30 p.m., Aaron Burke, “Egyptians and Greeks in Jaffa: A New Look at the Ancient Mediterranean Port.”

Both lectures will be held at the Wilshire Boulevard Temple in Los Angeles.  The cost for adults is $15 (students $12) per lecture. 

Aaron Burke is Assistant Professor of Archaeology of Ancient Israel and the Levant at UCLA and he began excavations in Jaffa in 2007 or 2008.  Ronny Reich is well known to readers of this blog as the excavator of numerous important sites in Jerusalem. 

More information about the lecture series is available at the museum website (pdf file here).

HT: George Grena


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Conference: Egypt, Canaan and Israel

The Departments of Archaeology and Biblical Studies at the University of Haifa would like to invite you to attend a conference on the subject:

“Egypt, Canaan and Israel: History, Imperialism and Ideology from the third to the first millennium BCE,” to be held at the University of Haifa, May 3-7, 2009.

The conference aims at discussing the political, military, cultural, economic, literary and administrative relations between Egypt, Canaan and Israel along the Millennia in the ideological level and in everyday life, according to literary and non-literary texts, plastic art, and archaeology.


Mrs. Ben Dor S.
Tel Aviv University, Israel
Shishak's Karnak Relief, in Comparison to Triumphal Reliefs of the NK in Karnak and Medinet Habu

Dr. Ben Tor D.
Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Israel
Egyptian-Canaanite Relations in the Middle and Late Bronze Ages as Reflected by Scarabs

Dr. Binder S.
Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia
The Egyptian Background to the Investiture of Joseph

Prof. Dr. Fischer-Elfert H. W.
University of Leipzig, Germany
A Fresh look at Palestine and Syria in Pap. Anastasi I: Toponyms, Archaeology and Literature

Dr. Gee J.
Brigham Young University, USA
The Export of the Egyptian Scribe

Dr. Gnirs A. M.
University of Basel, Switzerland
Narrativity in History: The Egyptian Brave Hero

Prof. Hasel M. G.
Southern Adventist University, USA
To be announced

Prof. Hoffmeier J.
Trinity International University, USA
Did Seti I Reestablish Egyptian Hegemony in Canaan?

Dr. Kahn D.
University of Haifa, Israel
One Step Forward, Two Steps Back: Egypt and Mitanni during the Amarna Age

Mr. Kraim Z.
Tel Aviv University, Israel
Logistical units and supply in the Egyptian army in New Kingdom

Dr. Ladynin I.
Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russia
'Neos Sesonchosis Kosmokrator': The Theme of Lost and Restored World Domination and the Egyptian Propaganda Before and Under Alexander the Great

Dr. Lehmann G.
Ben-Gurion University, Beer Sheva, Israel
An Egyptian Interlude: Egyptian Imperialism in the Levant between the Assyrian and the Neo-Babylonian Empire according to the Archaeological Evidence

Prof. Mazar A.
Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel
The Egyptian Garrison Town at Beth Shean in Light of the New Excavations (1989-1996)

Dr. Mizrachi Y.
University of Haifa, Israel
Hatschepsut - Founder of an Egyptian Emporium?

Dr. Morenz L.
University of Leipzig, Germany
Cultural Misunderstandings due to the Differences in the Egyptian versus the Canaanite Cultural Code

Dr. Muhlestein K.
Brigham Young University, USA
The Footprint of Levantine Influence in the Shipwrecked Sailor

Dr. Müller M.
Roemer-und Pelizaeus-Museum, Hildesheim, Germany
A View to a Kill: Egypt's Grand Strategy in her Northern Empire

Prof. Noegel S.
University of Washington, USA
The Ark of the Covenant and Egyptian Solar Boats: A Comparative Study

Prof. Ockinga B.
Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia
The Names of Emmanuel in Isaiah 9:5

Prof. Oren E.
Ben-Gurion University, Beer Sheva, Israel
Egyptian administration on the Ways of Horus and Canaan during the reign of Seti II

Dr. Von Recklinghausen D.
University of Tübingen, Germany
To be announced

Prof. Dr. Schipper B. U.
University of Bremen, Germany
Egypt and the Kingdom of Judah in the 26th dynasty

Prof. Dr. Schneider T.
University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada
"The Assyrian conquest in disguise: rewriting Egyptian history in the "Struggle for the Benefice of Amun"

Dr. Shirley JJ
The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, USA
What's in a Name? Military and Civil Officials in the 18th Dynasty Military Sphere

Prof. Shupak N.
University of Haifa, Israel
To be announced

Dr. Sweeney D.
Tel Aviv University, Israel
A Long Way from Home: Women from the Levant in Ancient Egypt

Prof. Tower Hollis S.
Empire State College, USA
Two Hymns as Praise Poems, Royal Ideology, and History in Ancient Israel and Ancient Egypt: A Comparative Reflection

Dr. Vogel C.
University of Mainz, Germany
This Far and Not a Step Further! The Ideological Concept of Ancient Egyptian Boundary Stelae

Prof. Warburton D. A.
    Université Lumière Lyon, France
Dr. Raedler C.
    University of Mainz, Germany
The End of the Egyptian Presence in the Bronze Age

Prof. Zertal A.
University of Haifa, Israel
El-Ahwat, a New Discovery on the Shardana and Egypt in the 12th century
The Sandal-shaped Enclosures in the Jordan Valley and their Egyptian and Biblical Connections


Tuesday, May 5, 0700: “In the Footsteps of Thutmosis III”: Excursion to Wadi 'Arah and Megiddo.

Wednesday, May 6, 1730: Visit to the Hecht Archaeological Museum in Haifa.

Optional Tour: Thursday, May 7, 0700: Departure to Jordan Valley excursion.

Conference price for non-lecturers: $250 per person for the entire conference (places must be booked in advance with the organizing Committee, pending availability).

Additional information can be found at the conference website.

HT: Joe Lauer


Friday, February 06, 2009

Conference: New Studies on the Negev and Its Surroundings

A pdf version of this announcement is available here.

Tel Aviv University
Lester and Sally Entin Faculty of Humanities
Sonia and Marco Nadler Institute of Archaeology
Jacob M. Alkow Department of Archaeology and Ancient Near Eastern Cultures
Friends of the Institute of Archaeology

New Studies on the Negev and Its Surroundings
Dedicated to the Memory of Prof. Moshe Kochavi (1928-2008)

The Annual Symposium of the Sonia and Marco Nadler
Institute of Archaeology, Tel Aviv University
Thursday, February 26, 2009, Hall 223,
The Gilman Building, Tel Aviv University Campus

14.00 Welcome Reception
Chairperson: Ze'ev Herzog (Tel Aviv University)

14.30 Greetings and awarding of the Institute stipends

14.45 In Memory of Moshe Kochavi
Ram Gophna (Tel Aviv University)

15.00-16.00 First Session
Chairperson: Itzhaq Beit-Arieh (Tel Aviv University)
*Qubur el-Walaydah: Results of the 2007-2008 Seasons
Gunnar Lehmann (Ben Gurion University of the Negev)

*A Philistine Cult Place in the Western Negev
Pirhiya Nahshoni (Israel Antiquities Authority)

*Reconstructing the Subsistence Economy of Iron Age Sites in the Negev Highlands: The Microscopic Approach
Ruth Shahack-Gross (Bar Ilan University and the Weizmann Institute of Science)

16.00-16.30 Coffee break

16.30-17.30 Second Session
Chairperson: Yuval Gadot (Tel Aviv University)

*Inside and Outside: Politics, Power and Social  Awareness in the Desert Frontier during the Iron Age
Yifat Thareani (Tel Aviv University and the Hebrew Union College)

*Ancient Agriculture in the Negev Highlands - A Reexamination
Gideon Avni (Israel Antiquities Authority), Yoav Avni and Naomi Porat (Geological Survey of Israel)

*The Land Behind Aqaba: Ayla and the Negev in the Early Islamic Period
Donald Whitcomb (The University of Chicago)

17.30 Third Session
Chairperson: Israel Finkelstein (Tel Aviv University)
*Historical Biblical Archaeology in Southern Jordan: A New Chronology for Iron Age Edom
Thomas E. Levy (The University of California, San Diego)

A special sale of Institute publications will be offered to symposium participants

HT: Joe Lauer


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Conference on the Philistines

Aren Maeir reported last week on an archaeological meeting in Beersheba that included eight presentations on recent research on the Philistines in Israel.  Reports like this are so helpful in giving the public a sense of the progress being made in the field.  Otherwise individual reports will appear in scattered journals or possibly an (over-priced) collection from a European publisher and be unknown by those with a general interest.  

You can read his summary of the presentations, but I’ll just note here Pirhiya Nahshoni’s excavation of a small Late Bronze fishing village which included “imported Minoan, Mycenaean, Anatolian, Cypriote, Egyptian and other finds.”  That’s quite a rich collection of imports.  Maeir had previously praised the significance of this site:

Meanwhile, what she has published in her MA thesis is of utmost importance! This study has been largely overlooked, but deserved close attention from anyone dealing with the final stages of the LB and the early Iron I periods. For example, the fact that the site is abandoned at the end of the LB and not resettled in the early Iron I, is a nice example of the major changes that occured in the settlement pattern, trade relations, economic structure, etc., between the two periods. It would appear to support the “normative” explanation on the Sea Peoples/Philistine phenomemon, i.e. that it is not a continuation of the LB, but rather, a new, intrusive event(s).

Maeir concludes his post with a description of the rocket attack he experienced while in Beersheba.

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Monday, November 10, 2008

Conference: New Studies on Jerusalem

The Ingeborg Rennert Center, The Martin (Szusz) Department of Land of Israel Studies and Archaeology, The Faculty of Jewish Studies, Bar-Ilan University invite you to

The 14th Annual Conference of The Ingeborg Rennert Center for Jerusalem Studies

Thursday, November 13, 2008

8:20 gathering

8:45 opening remarks:
Prof. M. Orfali, Dean of the Faculty of Jewish Studies, Bar-Ilan University
Prof. J. Schwartz, Director of the Ingeborg Rennert Center for Jerusalem Studies
Prof. A Faust & Dr. E. Baruch, conference organizers

Session 1 – 9:00- 10:30
Chair: Aaron Demsky

Eilat Mazar
The Stepped Stone Structure in the City of David in Light of the New Excavations in Area G

Moshe Garsiel
The Elah Valley's Battle, the Duel of David's and Goliath and Why Goliath's Head and Weapons End Up in Jerusalem

Avraham Faust
Sennacherib's Campaign to the Judean Highlands and Jerusalem: A New Perspective

Tsvika Tsuk
"And Brought the Water to the City" (2 Kings 20, 20): Water Consumption in Jerusalem in the Biblical Period


Special Discussion- 10:50-11:40

Shlomo Bunimovits & Avraham Faust
The Archaeology of the Biblical Period in the Twenty-First Century: Towards a New Dialogue between Archaeology and the Bible


Session 2 – 12:00- 13:50
Chair: Ben-Zion Rozenfeld

Joseph Patrich
On the Chamber Called House of Stone (beth even), Which was Facing the Northeast Corner of the Temple Building (birah) (Mishnah, Parah 3:1)

Michael Ben-Ari
Recollections of the Temple: Between Yavne and Lod and Between the Ideal and the Real

Ehud Netzer
How to Handle the Different Reconstructions of the Temple and its Surrounding Courts

Joshua Schwartz
The Temple Cult Without the Sages: Prolegomena on the Description of the Second Temple Period Cult according to Sources of the Second Temple Period

Yehoshua Peleg
The Pre-Herodian Sanctified Temple Area and Outer Court.

Lunch Break

Session 3 – 14:50-17:00
Chair: Hanan Eshel

Eyal Baruch
The Palatial Mansion in Jerusalem: Class and Ideology

Yuval Shahar
The Concept of the Temple Mount in the Second Temple Period

Ram Bouchnick, Nimrod Marom & Guy Bar-Oz
"Rams from Moab and Ewes from Hebron": Herd Maintenance Strategies in the Late Second Temple Period in Jerusalem

Zachi Zweig
New Information from Various Temple Mount Excavations from the Last Hundred Years

Yair Talmor
Between the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Nea Church - The Religious Space of Byzantine Jerusalem


Session 4 - 17:20- 19:10
Chair: Yvonne Friedman

Peretz Reuven
"A Female Slave from the Harem Who Became the Mother of the Caliph": a Suggestion to Connect an Unknown inscription from the Al-Aqsa Mosque to the Mother of the Abbasid Caliph Al- Muqtadir."

Nissim Dana
The Prophet Mohammad's Night Ascent to Heaven: A Review of the Passage in the Qur'an and in Other Islamic Sources

Shelomo Lotan
The Symbolism of Jerusalem and the House of King David in the Teutonic Military Order Medieval Heritage

Josef Drory
The Contribution of Franciscan Documents for Esteem of the Local Minorities' Rights in Mamluk Jerusalem

Oded Shay
The Beginning of Historical Documentation and Modern Archives of the General Population in Jerusalem at the End of the Ottoman Period


The conference proceedings (app. 400 pp. including 2 articles in English and 20 articles in Hebrew, with English abstracts) will be on sale during the conference.

HT: Joe Lauer

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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Wheaton Lectures: From Migdol to Aswan

The first one has passed, but Wheaton College has many more in their fall lecture series entitled, “From Migdol to Aswan: Geoarchaeology in Egypt and Sinai.”  I don’t see it stated explicitly on the website, but in previous years the lectures were open to the public, free of charge.  For locations and other information, see their website.

Monday, October 6, 7:00 PM
The Application of Satellite Imagery to Archaeological Research
Sarah Parcak, University of Alabama-Birmingham

Mining Operations in Sinai in Pharaonic Times
Greg Mumford, University of Alabama-Birmingham

Monday, November 3, 7:00 PM
"Moses Slept Here:" A Critical Review of Popular Exodus Theories
James K. Hoffmeier, Trinity International University
Stephen O. Moshier, Wheaton College

Monday, November 10, 7:00 PM
Some Applications of Geologic Science in Ancient Egyptian Archaeology
James A. Harrell, University of Toledo

Monday, November 17, 7:00 PM
New Insights into the Geography of the Exodus:
Reports from Excavations in the Eastern Delta and Northwest Sinai
James K. Hoffmeier, Trinity International University
Stephen O. Moshier, Wheaton College

Monday, December 1, 7:00 PM
Paleolithic Occupation of the Sinai
Jim Phillips, Field Museum of Natural History


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Dead Sea Scroll Lecture Series in NC

The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences is running a Distinguished Lecture Series in conjunction with its exhibition of the Dead Sea Scrolls. 

The list includes:

The Dead Sea Scrolls: Controversies and Theories of Early Judaism and Christianity
Eric Meyers
Wednesday, October 1

Women in the Dead Sea Scrolls and at Qumran
Sidnie White Crawford
Thursday, October 16

The Archaeology of Qumran and the Dead Sea Scrolls
Jodi Magness
Thursday, October 30

The Biblical Dead Sea Scrolls
Emanuel Tov
Thursday, November 20

The Dead Sea Scrolls and Early Christianity
Bart Ehrman
Wednesday, December 10

For more information, see the details hereTickets are $25.  For the subject of the Dead Sea Scrolls, you really cannot beat this line-up of speakers and topics.

HT: Joe Lauer


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Sepphoris Temple and More

A Roman temple from the 2nd century A.D. has been excavated at Sepphoris.  The temple was about 40 by 80 feet (12 x 24 m) and its facade faced the decumanus, the main east-west street of the city.  A church was later built over the temple.  The story is reported by ScienceDaily, Physorg, and the Jerusalem Post.  The first two links each have a photo.

Zondervan Academic has a new blog and they have, among other things, links to the online programs for the national meetings of AAR, ETS, and SBL.  I also liked John Walton's post on bad things people do in teaching children the Bible

The JPost has a short article about "Genesis Land," a tourist site that recreates patriarchal life midway between Jerusalem and Jericho.

Some people know General Charles Gordon because of his work in China and Sudan, and others for his popularization of "Gordon's Calvary" or the Garden Tomb.  NPR has a five-part series on China and Sudan, in which Gordon's influence is discussed in part one.

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Sunday, March 23, 2008

Steven Fine lecture: Imagining the Temple

History Talk:
In conjunction with the exhibit

Imagining the Temple:
The Models of Leen Ritmeyer

Steven Fine on

Sunday, March 30, 2008
2 pm

Ever since the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 CE, Jews and, later, Christians, have tried to picture what the Jerusalem Temple looked like. During the 20th century, this imagining often resulted in three-dimensional models of the Temple. In this talk, Steven Fine, professor of Jewish History at Yeshiva University, sets the Ritmeyer models within the contexts of Jewish and Christian conceptions of the Jerusalem Temple. 

Free with Museum admission.

Yeshiva University Museum
15 West 16th Street
New York, NY 10011

HT: Joe Lauer


Thursday, January 31, 2008

Dead Sea Scrolls at 60: Conference at NYU

The Ranieri Colloquium on Ancient Studies

The Dead Sea Scrolls at 60:

The Scholarly Contributions of NYU Faculty and Alumni

Co-sponsored by the New York University Center for Ancient Studies and

the Skirball Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies

March 6-7, 2008

Hemmerdinger Hall, Room 102
Silver Center, 100 Washington Square East

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Matthew S. Santirocco (Dean, College of Arts and Science, New York University) - Welcome

10:00a.m. - Session One: Rewriting the Bible
Erik Larson (Florida International University) - On The Identification of Two Greek Texts of Enoch
Mark Smith (New York University) - "In-between Texts": Biblical Texts, Inner-Biblical Interpretation, Second Temple Literature, and Textual Criticism
Moshe Bernstein (Yeshiva University, New York University) - The Dead Sea Scrolls and Jewish Biblical Interpretation in Antiquity

12:00 Noon - Lunch

1:30p.m. - Session Two: The Dead Sea Sect
Gary Rendsburg (Rutgers University) - Language at Qumran
Shani (Berrin) Tzoref (Hebrew University, University of Sydney) - The Pesharim and the Pentateuch: Explicit Citations, Overt Typologies, and Implicit Interpretation
Alexei Sivertsev (DePaul University) - Sectarians and Householders
4:00p.m. - Keynote Address
Lawrence H. Schiffman (New York University) - The Dead Sea Scrolls and the History of Judaism and Christianity

6:00p.m. - Reception

Friday, March 7, 2008

9:00a.m. - Session Three: The Scrolls and Second Temple Judaism
Alex Jassen (University of Minesota) - The Contribution of the Dead Sea Scrolls to the Study of Prophecy in Ancient Judaism
Yaakov Elman (Yeshiva University) - Zoroastrianism and the Dead Sea Scrolls
Joseph Angel (Yeshiva University) - The Historical and Exegetical Roots of Eschatological Priesthood at Qumran

11:00a.m. - Session Four: Judean Desert Texts

Judah Lefkovits (Independent Scholar) - The Copper Scroll (3Q15): A Reconsideration
Baruch Levine (New York University) - Judean Desert Documents of the Bar Kokhba Period: Epistolary and Legal
Andrew Gross (University of Pittsburgh) - The Judean Desert Formulary: A Case Study in the Continuity and Innovation of Ancient Near Eastern Traditions

The school's announcement is here.

HT: Joe Lauer, who says that the event is free and open to the public.  You can confirm attendance with Shayne Leslie Figueroa at shayne dot figueroa at nyu dot edu.


Sunday, January 27, 2008

Renfrew on "The Dawn of Civilization"

The Scotsman has an interesting preview of an upcoming lecture by Colin Renfrew.  The article is entitled, "Cemetery Looting Robs Archaeologists of DNA Link to Past," but I think the more interesting discussion is about other subjects.  For instance:

A greater puzzle is why, after Homo sapiens dispersed from Africa about 60,000 years ago, pockets of human culture developed in different ways at different rates. Urban civilisations developed independently in six or seven locations, thousands of years apart, with no contact between the different groups, from Sumerian culture in 4,000BC, to West African in AD1,000.

"It's one of the great unanswered problems of the human story," Lord Renfrew says. "Why did societies working independently in different parts of the world come up with civilisations, including cities, which are in some ways quite similar?

"For a long time, archaeologists assumed there was a diffusion of cultures from one area to another. There was even a theory that everything emerged from ancient Egypt, and wise people from there went over the world and built their pyramids in Mesoamerica. But as we get a much better understanding of the archaeological record, it is clear that there wasn't sailing over great distances until the time of the Conquistadores and early colonists, although the Polynesians did make some amazing voyages in their canoes."

You can read the whole here. The lecture is in Scotland on Monday.

HT: Joe Lauer


Thursday, January 24, 2008

New ASOR Session on Judaism and Christianity

Readers may find this of interest:

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

We are writing to inform you of a new session being proposed for the 2008 ASOR annual meeting in Boston that will focus on the archaeology of Judaism and Christianity in the Roman and Byzantine periods.  The session chairs are seeking papers that present architectural, art historic, inscriptional, or any type of material discussion of synagogues, churches, necropoleis, and/or their associated communities in either Palestine or the Diaspora.  We are also looking for papers that address material evidence for cultural and religious communication among Jews, Christians, and their neighbors.  Reports on field seasons are also encouraged where relevant.

This new session has not yet been accepted for the 2008 ASOR annual meeting.  Before it is proposed, we would like to demonstrate the interest in such a session to the Program Committee by assembling a list of possible presenters.  If you are interested in submitting an abstract for this session, please notify us before January 31 by emailing werlin@email.unc.edu.  We do not necessarily need abstracts or paper titles by then -- only a stated interest and intent to submit an abstract.

Please feel free to forward this message to colleagues, students, and others who may be interested in taking part in the proposed session.  Thank you for your support.


Steve Werlin and Carrie Duncan


Monday, January 14, 2008

Conference: Burials In Jerusalem

This conference has already started (Jan 13-16), but the program (pdf) may be of interest to those not in Jerusalem.  The full title of the conference is "Jewish Views of the After Life and Burial Practices in Second Temple Judaism: Evaluating the Talpiot Tomb in Context."  This is the Third Princeton Symposium on Judaism and Christian Origins, and it looks like James Charlesworth will likely edit a book from the proceedings, similar to his Jesus and Archaeology, which came out of a conference in Jerusalem in 2000.  Presenters or panel participants include Kloner, Vermes, Magnes, Meyers, Gibson, Lemaire, Zias, Tabor, Barkay, Netzer, and many others.

HT: Yehuda News


Monday, December 24, 2007

Netzer Lecture on Herod's Tomb

Ehud Netzer, the archaeologist who discovered Herod's tomb and excavated most of Herod's other sites throughout Israel, is lecturing (in Hebrew) this Thursday at Hebrew Union College, Jerusalem.  The details are:

Lecture: The Discovery of King Herod's Tomb at Herodium (in Hebrew) with Ehud Netzer

Location: HUC/JIR, 13 King David Street

Date: Thursday, Dec 27, 2007 at 5 PM
Website:  http://www.huc.edu/events/07/12/JE.shtml

HT: Joe Lauer


Saturday, November 17, 2007

ASOR Annual Meeting Report

Those interested in the goings-on at the ASOR meeting in San Diego should look at the LMLK Blogspot of George Grena. In his first post, he discusses some of the scholars he met and the first session which was on Ramat Rahel. I'm in town for another conference but opted to not to go the ASOR meetings because of the high admissions fee (and the Biblical Archaeology Society conference was even more outrageously priced). You can see the ASOR program schedule here. Other highlights of the day that Grena noted in a posting to the ANE-2 list are:

2) Interesting ruffling of feathers between attendees at Chang-Ho Ji's paper on Khirbat 'Ataruz (Ataroth?) regarding the interpretation of 2 male figures (homosexual deities?) on a cult statue.

3) A heated exchange between the excavators of Beth Shemesh & Yosef Garfinkel & Saar Ganor of the IAA after their consecutive papers. The former pointed out the lack of evidence for an 8th-century earthquake, but suggested that a burnt layer relates to 2Kings 14:11-2; the latter identified Khirbet Qeiyafa as Biblical Azekah.

4) A 6-line ink-inscription ostracon found at Tall Jalul, presented by Randall Younker--note that this was a surprise change from the topic originally planned--you won't find it in the abstracts program book.

5) A strong protest by Aren Maeir following the Zayit Abecedary session.


Monday, October 22, 2007

Wheaton Archaeology Lecture Series

The 52nd Annual Archaeology Lecture Series is underway at Wheaton College, entitled "Ashkelon and the Ports of the Mediterranean." The remaining lectures are:

Wednesday, Oct 31, 6:30pm
Brian Brisco, "The Persian Period at Ashkelon"
Billy Graham Center, Room 140

Wednesday, Nov 7, 6:30pm
Tracy Hoffman, "The Byzantine and Islamic Periods at Ashkelon"
Billy Graham Center, Room 140


Lectures at Oriental Institute

The following lectures are free, open to the public, and held in the Breasted Hall of the University of Chicago, Oriental Institute.  

Wednesday, Nov 7, 7pm-9pm
Allison Thomason, "Banquets, Baubles and Bronzes: Material Comforts in Neo-Assyrian Palaces"

Wednesday, Dec 5, 7pm-9pm
Scott Branting, "Mapping the Past"

Wednesday, Jan 9, 7pm-9pm
Harald Hauptmann, "Neolithic Revolution of the Ancient Near East"

Wednesday, Feb 6, 7pm-9pm
Terry Wilfong, "Anxious Egyptians: Personal Oracles as Indices of Anxieties in the Later Periods"

Wednesday, Mar 5, 7pm-9pm
David Schloen, "Excavations at Zincirli"

Wednesday, Apr 2, 7pm-9pm
Nadine Moeller, "Tell Edfu, Egypt"

Wednesday, May 7, 7pm-9pm
Larry Stager, "Excavating Ashkelon, Sea Port of the Phillistines"

Wednesday, Jun 4, 7pm-9pm
Stuart Tyson Smith, "Death at Tombos: Pyramids, Iron, and the Rise of the Nubian Dynasty"


Monday, October 08, 2007

Lectures in Biblical Archaeology

The American Jewish University (formerly University of Judaism) is hosting the 18th and final series of lectures on biblical archaeology at their Los Angeles campus starting next week.  The lectures are on Monday evenings, beginning at 8:00 p.m., and with a cost of $25 each.  The lecture dates, topics, and speakers are:

October 15
Jerusalem in the Days of David and Solomon: What Do We See in Excavations and What Does It Actually Mean?
Jane M. Cahill

October 22
Archaeology, History and the Patriarchs
Gary Rendsberg

October 29
The Exodus from Egypt and the Conquest of Canaan in Archaeology, Egyptology and the Bible: What Do We Know for Certain?
James K. Hoffmeier

November 12
Death Styles of the Rich and Famous and of the Kings of Israel: An Archaeologist Examines the Evidence and Arguments
Jodi Magness

November 19
Two Temples Stood in Zion: How New Excavations, Old Photographs, Recent Observations and Ancient Texts Enable Us to See the Temples of Solomon and Herod
Leen Ritmeyer

November 26
The First Synagogues and Churches: What Can We Learn from Newly Excavated Sites About the Beliefs, Organization and Origins of Early Christian and Jewish Groups?
Steven Fine

December 3
Cosmos from Chaos: the Creation of Heaven and the Search for Divine Presence in Israelite Religion
Ziony Zevit

This really is an outstanding program and if I didn't have to jump on an airplane to attend, I would go.  If you have limited time or funds, the four that would be of most interest to me are Cahill, Hoffmeier, Magness, and Ritmeyer.  The last three have great books on their subjects which I recommend to all.  (Perhaps they would sign it if you brought it.)  Those books are Hoffmeier, Israel in Egypt ($30); Magness, Archaeology of Qumran and the Dead Sea Scrolls ($15); Ritmeyer, The Quest ($60).


Thursday, February 08, 2007

Barkay Lecturing in U.S.

Dr. Gabriel Barkay is a distinguished archaeologist in Israel whose significant discoveries include the silver amulets from Ketef Hinnom.  His current project is sifting the debris from the Temple Mount.  Barkay is lecturing this month in various places in the U.S.

Feb. 1 New Rochelle, NY—Beth El Synagogue
Feb. 4-7 Dallas, TX—Dallas Theological Seminary
Feb. 5 Fort Worth, TX—Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary 7pm
Feb. 8 Lubbock, TX—Lubbock Christian University, 7 pm
Feb. 9-10 Ashland, OH—Ashland Theological Seminary
Feb. 11 Silver Spring, MD—Jewish Center, 2:00pm
Feb. 12 Wheaton, IL
Feb. 13 Milwaukee, WI
Feb. 14 Madison, WI
Feb. 15-16 Springfield, MO—Missouri State University
Feb. 20 Atlanta, GA—Atlanta Museum, Emory University
Feb. 22 Southern California—UCLA and UC Riverside, 9:00 AM and 6:00 PM
Feb. 27 Nyack, NY—Alliance Theological Seminary, 6:30-9 p.m

If you have never heard Barkay speak, you can see a short sample taken by a student on a recent tour here.  Of course, he's better in person.

HT: Yehuda News

Update (2/10): The entry for Feb 15 was corrected and the lecture for Feb. 27 added.


Sunday, November 12, 2006

Lecture Series at Bible Lands Museum

The Bible Lands Museum in Jerusalem has a special lecture series running through April 2007. The topic is "The Bible: A View from the 21st Century - Literary Genres," and it is advertised as addressing these questions:
How did ancient Israel's law resemble that of its neighbors? Who was a false prophet? What makes the writing of history in Ancient Israel unique? And more… Join us as leading Bible scholars will analyze the various literary genres of the books of the Bible, their content and their form.
The lecture schedule posted so far is as follows:

November 15, 2006
Lecture I in the Hebrew series “The Bible, A View from the 21st Century – Literary, Genres”:
The Bible – Beginning of the Jewish “Big Bang”
Prof. Yair Zakovitch, Hebrew Univ.
Lecture in Hebrew

November 22, 2006
A Chalcolithic Cemetery in Palmachim: Features of a Peripheral Site in the Center?
Amir Gorzalczany, IAA
Lecture in Hebrew

November 29, 2006
Lecture I in the English series “The Bible, A View from the 21st Century – Literary, Genres”:
The Bible – Beginning of the Jewish “Big Bang”
Prof. Yair Zakovitch, Hebrew Univ.
Lecture in English

December 6, 2006
Lecture II in the Hebrew Series “The Bible, A View from the 21st Century – Literary Genres”:
Teachings and Commandments; Laws and Statutes: Features of Biblical Law
Dr. Baruch Schwartz, Hebrew Univ.
Lecture in Hebrew

December 13, 2006
Antiochus IV and the Levant: the Wider Context of the Macchabean Revolt
Dr. Gerald Finkielsztejn, IAA
Lecture in Hebrew

December 27, 2006
Lecture II in the English Series “The Bible, A View from the 21st Century – Literary Genres”:
Teachings and Commandments; Laws and Statutes: Features of Biblical Law
Dr. Baruch Schwartz, Hebrew Univ.
Lecture in English

January 3, 2007
Lecture III in the Hebrew Series “The Bible, A View from the 21st Century – Literary Genres”:
History Writing in Israel: Scope, Origins, Forms, and View
Prof. Sarah Japhet, Hebrew Univ.
Lecture in Hebrew

The lectures are free with museum entrance.

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Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Archaeology Lecture Series at Wheaton

Here's another archaeology lecture series of interest, this time for those in the Chicago area. This is the 51st annual lecture series of Wheaton College, this year entitled "Greeks in the Holy Land." Note the lecture title by Kletter gives away the "startling new discoveries" that were to be revealed in his lecture in Los Angeles. Kudos to John Monson and the guys at Wheaton for making all of the lectures free! Here are the details:

There is a long history of interaction between the peoples of the Aegean and the Holy Land. This year's lecture series will emphasize the key points of intersection between these cultures and the impact that their interaction had upon the history, culture, and religion of ancient Israelites, Jews, and Christians. The lectures are free to the public and will be on select Tuesday evenings at 6:30 pm in the Billy Graham Center, Room 140.

Tuesday, September 26
David Chapman, Professor of New Testament and Biblical Archaeology, Curator of the W.H. Mare Institute for Biblical and Archaeological Studies, Covenant Theological Seminary
Marriage and family in the Jewish/Greek world

Tuesday, October 3
Assaf Yasur-Landau, Researcher, Institute of Archaeology, Tel-Aviv University
How the Philistines reached the Holy Land

Tuesday, October10
John McRay, Professor of archaeology emeritus, Wheaton College
Archaeology and the life of Paul

Tuesday, October 24
Gene Green, Professor of New Testament, Wheaton College
The Gospel and the Thessalonians in their cultural context

Tuesday, October 31
James Jeffers, Professor and Coordinator of Humanities MA, California State University, Dominguez Hills
Greeks, Romans, and religion in the Holy Land

Tuesday, November 7
Raz Kletter, Excavations and Surveys Department, Israel Antiquities Authority
What to do with a Hundred Cultic Stands--the Finds From Yavneh of the Philistines

Tuesday, Nov 28
Michael Graves, Visiting Professor, Wheaton College
A Roman in Greek Palestine: Jerome and the development of Near Eastern studies


Monday, September 11, 2006

Archaeology Lectures in Southern California

The University of Judaism has announced their fall lecture series on Archaeology and the Bible. This year the series is entitled, "Archaeology and the Bible: New Discoveries, New Methods, New Interpretations, New Insights." As in previous years, the cost to attend individual lectures is $25. Or if you register by October 6, the cost for all is $125. More information is available at the UoJ website. The UoJ campus is in Los Angeles, not far from the Getty Museum off the 405. The scheduled lectures are:

Christopher A. Rollston, "Fakers, Forgers, and Con Artists: How Forged Artifacts and Inscriptions Corrupt Biblical History" (Oct. 23)

Raz Kletter, "Philistine Cult and Religion: The Startling New Discoveries from Yavneh" (Oct. 30)

Tessa Rajak, "Melting Pot or Market Place? Jews, Christians and Pagans in the Cities of the Roman Empire" (Nov. 6)

Eveline van der Steen, "Bedouins and the Bible" (Nov. 13)

Avi Faust, "Biblical Archaeology, the Prophets of Israel and the Poor" (Nov. 20)

William Schniedewind, "The First Scribes in Ancient Israel and the Beginnings of Biblical Literature" (Nov. 27)

Marvin Meyer, "The Recently Published Gospel of Judas, Gnosticism, and the Jewish Connection" (Dec. 4)

Christoph Uehlinger, "Insights from Images: What Do Assyrian Sculptures Tell Us About the History of Religion in Ancient Israel?" (Dec. 11)

I think if my budget or time were limited, my first two choices would be the lectures by Faust and Schniedewind.


Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Barkay and others lecture in Los Angeles

I've known about this series for sometime because I originally had scheduled Gabriel Barkay for a trip for my class, but that had to be changed because of his LA engagement. In any case, full details of Excavating in Jerusalem and the Mountains Around Her: What the New Excavations Teach Us About the City, the Bible, the People and the Temple are now available from the University of Judaism. There are 7 lectures, with an entrance cost of $25 each. A few years ago I attended some of these lectures and I believe there was a student price at that time. The top three that I would attend if I could:

Gabriel Barkay: What Does Recent Excavation Reveal About the Temple Mount Past and Present?

Beth Alpert Nakhai: An Archaeological View of Biblical Women and Their Families

Thomas Levy: King Solomon’s Mines Revisited: Archaeological Explorations in Edom and What They Mean for Understanding Biblical History

$25 is not cheap, esp. for students, but these are the scholars who have made (or are making) the discoveries. And LA is a shorter drive than Israel.