Lectures – Forthcoming

THURSDAY 9th MARCH 2017

DR RUPERT CHAPMAN

(British Museum)

NEW LIGHT ON THE PALACE OF THE KINGS OF ISRAEL

4.00pm – BP Lecture Theatre, Clore Education Centre, The British Museum.

Excavations at Samaria in the 1930s
Excavations at Samaria in the 1930s (PEF archive photo)

The biblical account tells us that in the early ninth century B.C. Omri, King of Israel, bought land on which to found a new capital for his new kingdom.  While the excavations of Reisner and Kenyon made this one of the most extensively excavated sites in the region, it is still one of the least known.  This talk will look at the construction of the great royal compound, which included the palace itself and an enormous parade ground, as well as at the great platform on which the palace stood.  We will offer the first attempted reconstruction of the palace, and we will consider both its life and its destruction.

Dr Rupert Chapman was Executive Secretary of the Palestine Exploration Fund for 22 years, before joining the Middle East Department of the British Museum, where he was Curator of Levantine Antiquities and Departmental Librarian between 2006 and 2016. He has excavated in Mississippi, England, Wales, Jordan, Syria, Iraq, and Israel, and also in Oman and Saudi Arabia.   He is now working on the final report of the British Museum’s excavations at Tell es-Sa’idiyeh, Jordan, and researching the archaeology of ancient Samaria.

(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 

note the earlier start time 


WEDNESDAY 22nd MARCH 2017

PROF MARK GELLER

(University College, London)

IS THERE SUCH A THING AS MEDICINE IN THE BIBLE?

6.00pm – JZ Young Lecture Theatre, UCL Anatomy Building, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT

Was there ever such a thing as ‘medicine’ in the Bible? The identification of biblical ‘leprosy’ (Tzorat) has remained a perpetual problem for scholarship, since the ‘symptoms’ described in the Bible fit no modern patterns of illness, and certainly not leprosy or psoriasis. This lecture will view these passages from the point of view of contemporary medicine which is well documented in cuneiform tablets, to put biblical ‘medicine’ into its proper context within ancient healing arts. Comparisons will show many of the descriptions of this condition in the Bible have parallels which cast light on the passages in Leviticus, so that these passages can take their proper place within the history of ancient medicine.

Mark Geller is Jewish Chronicle Professor and Director of the Institute of Jewish Studies in the Dept. of Hebrew and Jewish Studies at UCL.  He is currently on secondment to the Freie Universitaet Berlin, where he is Professor fuer Wissensgeschichte and Principal Investigator of a 5 year European Research Council Project “BabMed”, which investigates both cuneiform and Talmudic medicine.  He has recently published books on ancient Babylonian medicine and on healing magic in ancient Mesopotamia and is currently working on medicine in the Babylonian Talmud.

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

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