Lecture Summaries, 2020

RAFI LEWISTime-thinking, Archaeology and the Battle of Hattin

View of the Horns of Hattin, and surrounding fields, from the south west. Image courtesy of Rafi Lewis.

On 16 July 2020, Dr Rafael Lewis, Senior Lecturer at Ashkelon Academic College, presented an online lecture on ‘Time-Thinking, Archaeology and the Battle of Hattin‘.

How does one study a battlefield in a landscape which has seen numerous conflicts and was subjected to so many changes over the years? And how can you locate archaeologically a catastrophe which has not left behind a destruction layer?

To find out, go to: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1nGTXmSaYc7QvXuS-khfkwltL3iVTz_ua/view – where you can view a recording of the session. The presentation starts at 2:54 minutes.

SHIMON GIBSON — Recent Archaeological Excavations on Mount Zion in Jerusalem

On 18 June 2020, Professor Shimon Gibson of the University of North Carolina presented a virtual lecture on his fieldwork at Mount Zion. To watch his lecture, go to: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1SMH9KYOkGKyRgKsn9RPOjcz-k8Tq2J6D/view. The presentation starts at 3:46 minutes.

YOSEF GARFINKEL — The Murder of James Lesley Starkey, Discoverer of Lachish

Our inaugural Zoom lecture was presented by Professor Yosef Garfinkel on Tuesday 26 May 2020, who spoke on ‘The Murder of James Lesley Starkey, Discoverer of Lachish‘ – combining a murder mystery from the 1930s with the archaeology of one of Israel’s most famous sites.

Professor Garfinkel.

We were delighted to see so many of our members attending virtually. If you weren’t able to join us, or would like to watch the lecture again – just click on this link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1mq4iCQJagrb6iB5D0yrp7RkI3y2lLw3m/view.

The actual lecture starts at 2:55 minutes. You can watch it online, or download the file to watch later (helpful for those suffering from a slow internet connection).

ADI ERLICH — In the Court of the Patriarch: New Excavations at Roman Beth She’arim in the Galilee

13th January 2020, University College London

This lecture introduced the work from recent excavations at the famous Roman settlement of Beth She’arim in the Galilee, which have focused for the first time on the hill-top town.

Six seasons of excavations have brought to light a large and well-planned settlement with a monumental gate, public buildings, houses, water installations and traces of industry. Ritual baths confirm the town’s Jewish character, while hiding complexes may relate to the Bar Kokhba revolt (132-136 CE).

In the 2nd century Beth She’arim was a major centre of Jewish life and culture, the seat of the Jewish sages, the Sanhedrin, and home to Rabbi Judah, the patriarch who compiled the Mishnah-Jewish law. The town became a favoured cemetery for Jews drawn from the Land of Israel and across the eastern diaspora in the 3rd Century.