Lectures – Forthcoming

THURSDAY 12th MARCH 2015

JEFFREY BLAKELY

(University of Wisconsin)

REFLECTIONS ON THE CHANGING INTERPRETATIONS OF TELL EL-HESI AND ITS ENVIRONS: 1838-2015

4.00 pm in the Stevenson Lecture Theatre, Clore Education Centre, The British Museum

Early 19th century explorers of south-western Palestine saw khirbets of the Roman and Byzantine periods and concluded that the environs of Wadi el-Hesi had been a productive agrarian region for millennia, with towns, villages, and hamlets dotting the landscape. The coming of Islam, however, was seen as the event that ended sedentary life for the region and soon initiated a millennium of a semi-nomadic lifestyle that was still practiced as they explored the region. With this perspective these 19th century scholars sought biblical sites in what they saw as an agricultural region, focusing on the city Lachish, a site first identified as Umm Lakis and later as Tell el-Hesi. By the mid-20th century Lachish was known to be located east of this region and Tell el-Hesi was thought to be a biblical town, Eglon, but soon even that identification was called in to question. By the start of the 21st century not a single site in the Hesi region could be identified as a specific biblical town or village and many scholars questioned whether the region was even within the borders of Judah. This was a significant shift in scholarly interpretation from a century earlier. The agricultural nature of the region, however, remained unquestioned. A recent reconsideration of the Hesi region’s archaeological record suggests that for all periods post-dating the Early Bronze Age, excepting the Roman and Byzantine periods, the region supported nomads or semi-nomads who generally herded sheep and goats. It was not farmland tilled by sedentary villagers as earlier scholars thought. For the 10th, 9th, and early 8th centuries B.C.E., in particular, the Hesi region was a pasturage controlled by governmental installations at Tell el-Hesi and Khirbet Summeily. The identity of the political entity, or entities, controlling Tell el-Hesi and Khirbet Summeily is far less clear, but one entity certainly could have been Judah.

Jeffrey A. Blakely attended Oberlin College, Wilfrid Laurier University and the University of Pennsylvania, where he wrote a Ph.D. in Oriental Studies with a concentration in the archaeology of the Levant. He has participated in the renewed excavations at Tell el-Hesi since 1971, now serving as co-director. He has also excavated at Caesarea Maritima in Israel, Aqaba in Jordan, Wadi al-Jubah in Yemen, and in numerous archaeological projects in the United States. He lives in Madison, Wisconsin, and teaches at the University of Wisconsin.

(Organised jointly with the Palestine Exploration Fund)

*Please ensure you book your ticket for this lecture by telephone at the British Museum Box office on: +44 (0)20 7323 8181 or online at www.britishmuseum.org


MONDAY 20th APRIL 2015

DR KATHRYN E. PIQUETTE

(Cologne Center for eHumanities, Universität zu Köln)

REVEALING ‘INVISIBLE’ GREEK MAGICAL TEXTS FROM THE LEVANT

At 6.00pm in the Institute of Archaeology, University College, Lecture Theatre G6,

Ground Floor, 31-34 Gordon Square, London WC1H OPY

Inscription

Greek Inscription on lead sheet

Dr Piquette will present the results of new digital imaging techniques on the study of Greek magical texts from the Levant dating from the first to fifth centuries CE. These texts, which range from protective or binding spells to curses that target both humans and animals, are inscribed on thin sheets of lead recovered from sites such as Beth Guvrin, Beth Shemesh, Caesarea, Jerash and Jerusalem. They are very difficult to read, but thanks to the power of new digital imaging methods, it is now possible to make these hidden texts visible once more.

Dr Piquette will describe the image capture method and illustrate the insights which Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI) provides into this fascinating corpus of material. Two newly studied tablets will be presented for the tantalising insights they provide into private life more than 1700 years ago.

Dr. Kathryn E. Piquette is a Research Associate at the Cologne Centre for eHumanities (CCeH), Universität zu Köln, where she is currently engaged both in the Magica Levantina project  and in infrared imaging of the carbonised papyri from Herculaneum.

(Organised jointly with the Institute of Archaeology, University College, London)

All welcome. Admission free. No ticket required. Enquiries 020 8349 5754


MONDAY 11th MAY 2015

    DR CARLY CROUCH

     (University of Nottingham)

     HAVE POTS, WILL TRAVEL: ISRAELITE IDENTITY IN THE SEVENTH CENTURY BCE FROM AN ARCHAEOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVE

     6.00 pm at King’s College, K2.31, Nash Lecture Theatre, Strand Building, London WC2R 2LS

(Organised jointly with King’s College, London) 


MONDAY 1st JUNE 2015 (AGM Lecture)

PROFESSOR ESTEE DVORJETSKI

(Oxford Brookes University, Department of History, Philosophy and Religion,

and University of Haifa, The Zinman Institute of Archaeology)

ADVERTISING AND PROMOTION OF MEDICINE AND PUBLIC HEALTH IN ROMAN PALESTINE

6.00 pm Lecture Theatre G6, Ground Floor, Institute of Archaeology, University College London, 31-34 Gordon Square, London WC1H OPY

(Organised jointly with the Institute of Archaeology, University College, London)

(AGM commences at 5.00 pm)