Forthcoming Lectures

How and Why were Cities Burned?
A New Look on the Destructions of Canaanite Lachish

Thursday, 10 October 2019
6:00 – 7:00 PM

Harrie Massey Lecture Theatre, Ground floor UCLU building, 25 Gordon Street, London WC1H 0AY

Archaeologists frequently encounter destruction layers in the cities they excavate — a physical marker of the tragic events that can disrupt and destroy a community. Ironically, the fires that destroy also preserve, leaving physical evidence that helps us better understand past societies.

Experimental burning of a mud-brick structure (image courtesy of Igor Kreimerman)
Experimental burning of a mud-brick structure (image courtesy of Igor Kreimerman)

Several Bronze Age destruction layers of this kind were found during recent excavations at the site of Lachish. But what were the agents and reasons behind these events? And can we use these destructions to learn more about the Late Bronze Age collapse in the Levant?

This lecture will examine these questions through a multi-disciplinary approach that incorporates macro- and micro-archaeological methods, as well as experimental burning of mudbrick structures.

When the insights gained into the materiality of destruction are compared with literary evidence, it becomes clear that when we learn how a settlement was destroyed, we can begin to understand why.

This lecture will be followed at 7:15 pm by a special


David Gurevich & Anat Kidron (eds)
Exploring the Holy Land. 100 Years of the Palestine Exploration Fund

For this event, we will relocate to Room 609, Institute of Archaeology, 31-34 Gordon Square, UCL. London WC1H 0PY.

Underground cistern in Jerusalem
Underground cistern beneath the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Image courtesy of the Palestine Exploration Fund.

Marking the 150th anniversary of the PEF, this volume presents the results of a two-day conference held at the University of Haifa in 2015. It includes a retrospective reappraisal of the work of pioneering PEF archaeologists such as Charles Warren, Claude Conder, W.M. Flinders Petrie and R.A. Stewart Macalister.

This event includes a wine reception, sponsored by Equinox publishing.

For catering purposes, please book a place for this event using the following link —

Insights into the Jewish Homeland a Thousand Years Ago

Tuesday, 29 October 2019
6:00 – 7:00 PM

Lecture Theatre G6 (ground floor) — Institute of Archaeology, University College London, 31-34 Gordon Square, London WC1H OPY

Manuscript T-S K21.69 — A late medieval guide to Jewish tombs in the land of Israel. By permission of Cambridge University Library.

An exploration of the political and historical background of Jewish communities in the homeland before, during and after the Crusader period. Learn more about the Cairo Genizah and see some remarkable manuscripts; discover what these communities achieved, and how they interacted with those in Babylonia.

Stefan Reif is Emeritus Professor of Medieval Hebrew Studies, and Fellow of St John’s College in the University of Cambridge. He also holds senior research posts at the Universities of Haifa and Tel Aviv. Founding Director of the Genizah Research Unit at Cambridge University Library, Professor Reif is author of numerous books and over 400 articles, and has lectured widely across Europe, Israel, Canada and the USA.

All welcome. Admission free: no ticket required. Enquiries 020 8349 5754. Organised jointly with the Institute of Archaeology, UCL, and the Institute of Jewish Studies, UCL.

Shrines and Worship in Iron Age Israel

Thursday, 12 December 2019
6:00 – 7:00 PM

The Denys Holland Lecture Theatre (SB31) — Bentham House, University College London, 4-8 Endsleigh Gardens, Kings Cross, London WC1H 0EG