Forthcoming Lectures

As you will be aware, all charities are going through hard times during the Covid-19 pandemic and the Anglo-Israel Archaeological Society is no exception. Although we do not charge for our lectures, any contribution to the general costs of the Society would be more than welcome, particularly from non-members.

Anyone who would like to make a donation, large or small, can send an email to:  secretary@aias.co.uk for details as to how to pay by credit card.


RE-APPROACHING THE BABATHA ARCHIVE
Dr Kimberley Czajkowski

Wednesday 18 November 2020, at 4:00 pm (GMT)
Cave of Letters
Cave of Letters (רשות העתיקות של ישראל Israel Antiquities Authority, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

The Cave of Letters in Israel’s Judean Desert has offered up a wealth of documentary evidence, including the rare archives of two families. These are commonly named after the Jewish women to whom most of the papyri belonged: Babatha and Salome Komaise.

These women lived in the village of Maoza on the southern coast of the Dead Sea in the Nabataean Kingdom and later Roman Arabia from 106 CE. Their administrative and legal papyri include deeds of sale and gift, marriage contracts, loans, census returns and disputes.

These few papyri have attracted huge scholarly interest over the years.

So why has the paperwork of these two women proved so important? And what is there still to learn from the Babatha archive? Join us to find out.

The lecture will be followed by a Q&A session.

This lecture is held in conjunction with the Institute of Jewish Studies, University College London, and will be held online via Zoom. Please email Mrs Sheila Ford to confirm your attendance at secretary@aias.org.uk; you will receive a Zoom link 48 hours ahead of the event.

About the Lecturer: Dr Kimberley Czajkowski is a Senior Lecturer in Ancient History at the University of Edinburgh. Her research mainly focuses on the legal history of the Roman Near East, with broader interests in the history of the Jewish people, Roman law and Romanization. She is the author of Localized Law: The Babatha and Salome Komaise Archives (2017) and co-editor of Law in the Roman Provinces (2020).

EZRA’S LEGACY IN THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS
Professor Charlotte Hempel

Thursday, 26 November 2020, at 4:00 pm (GMT)
View of Qumran cave 4
A view of Qumran Cave 4 (image copyright Joseph Scales, University of Birmingham)

Jewish legal debates feature prominently in the Dead Sea Scrolls – and yet Ezra, the Father of Judaism, who brought the law back from Babylon to Jerusalem, is surprisingly absent from these texts. He is again absent in the famous praise of key figures in Jewish history offered by the 2nd-century BCE priestly sage Ben Sira, who only mentions the returned exiles Zerubbabel, Jeshua and Nehemiah. And Ezra is also missing from 2 Maccabees, where Nehemiah alone appears as the builder of the temple and altar.

So what exactly is Ezra’s legacy in the Dead Sea Scrolls? Join us online to find out. The lecture will be followed by a Q&A session.

This lecture will be held online via Zoom. Please email Mrs Sheila Ford to confirm your attendance at secretary@aias.org.uk; you will receive a Zoom link 48 hours ahead of the event.

About the Lecturer: Charlotte Hempel is Professor of Hebrew Bible and Second Temple Judaism at the University of Birmingham; her many publications include the T&T Clark Companion to the Dead Dead Sea Scrolls, co-edited with George Brooke (Bloomsbury Press, 2018).

FUZZY FRONTIERS AND FUNNY FAITHS
Anthony Sheppard

Wednesday, 16 December 2020 at 4:00 pm (GMT)
View of the Sardis synagogue
The late 3rd century AD synagogue at Sardis, Turkey (image by Carole Raddato, https://www.flickr.com/photos/41523983@N08/18897218314, used under creative commons license CC BY-SA 2.0)

This lecture explores the concept of religious boundaries. How solid was the fence around the Jewish Law in the Greek-speaking diaspora of the Roman Empire?

In this lecture, Anthony Shepherd will argue that fluid boundaries, allied to the high standing of many Jewish communities such as Sardis, facilitated Jewish influence on contemporary pagan religious developments — and reflect a model of circles of decreasing influence. The model will be explored through reference to cults such as Theos Hypsistos (‘God Most High’) and the ‘Holy and Righteous One(s)’.

This lecture will be held online via Zoom. Please email Mrs Sheila Ford to confirm your attendance at secretary@aias.org.uk; you will receive a Zoom link 48 hours ahead of the event.

About the Lecturer: Anthony Shepherd has published articles on the religious and civic life of cities in Roman Asia Minor, and an alleged Roman plan to rebuild the Jerusalem temple. His latest research project is an exploration of the parabiblical romance Joseph and Aseneth.

MASADA SYMPOSIUM

To be rescheduled

This special event is under development, and we expect it to take place in 2021; the venue and guest speakers will be announced in due course. Please check back again for more information.

View of Masada
View of Masada (courtesy of Andrew Shiva / Wikimedia Commons)