We are among the longest-running archaeology courses in the world! 

For over 45 years, Tel Aviv University's Sonia and Marco Nadler Institute of Archaeology, and the Department of Archaeology and Ancient Near Eastern Cultures have been offering a course in the Archaeology of Israel to a mixed group of diplomats’ spouses, members of the International Women’s Club and local residents who seek quality lectures on the ancient history of Israel and the region in English.

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The course on offer for the fall 2019 semester is:
The So-Called 'Israelite Religion' - An Archaeological Perspective with archaeologist Shua Kisilevitz
Tuesdays, 10:15-11:45 at Gilman Building, Room #282

Traditionally, the study of early 'Israelite religion' has primarily centered on the biblical accounts, which are laced with later additions and religious agenda and remain heavily debated among scholars. This eventuality is a combination of the everlasting popularity of religious studies, and the paucity of contextualized cultic finds unearthed in the region. However, with the growing corpus of Iron Age cultic finds throughout the southern Levant in recent years, the time has come for a reassessment of the so-called 'Israelite Religion’. 

In this course we will utilize archaeological and social criteria for the definition of cultic remains and places throughout the southern Levant, traversing the period spanning the Late Bronze Age through the Iron Age. The Iron Age cultic finds will be examined considering the cultural influences they reflect and against the backdrop of the ancient Near East. Emphasis will be given to the impact the biblical narrative has had on the perception and study of Iron Age cult and religion, predominately pertaining finds attributed to the Kingdoms of Judah and Israel.  

IMPORTANT NOTE:  It will be possible to attend the first lecture on Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019 for free, BEFORE committing to the whole lecture series.

Cost for the semester: 550 NIS

Location: Gilman Building, Room 282, Tel Aviv University

Time: 10:15 AM - 11:45 AM

Oct. 29, 2019

10:15 AM

Israelite Religion’ and key principles in the study of cult from an archaeological perspective Criteria for the definition of cult places

Nov. 5, 2019

10:15 AM

Cult and religion in the Late Bronze Age Temple architecture; Tel Hazor as a case study Plaque Figurines

Nov. 12, 2019

10:15 AM

Iron I cultic remains in the Southern Levant

Nov. 19, 2019

10:15 AM

The Biblical perspective: cult rituals and cult places in Judah and Israel and the influence of “Biblical Archaeology”

Nov. 26, 2019

10:15 AM

Iron IIA cultic remains

Dec. 3, 2019

10:15 AM

Iron IIA cultic remains: Dan

Dec. 10, 2019

10:15 AM

Iron IIA cultic remains: The northern valleys – Beth Shean, Megiddo, Pella, Tel Rehov Tel ‘Amal, Ta’anach

Dec. 17, 2019

10:15 AM

Iron IIA cultic remains: Hill Region and Judah

Dec. 24, 2019

10:15 AM

Iron IIA cultic remains: Neighboring Regions: North Syria; Philistia; Trans-Jordan

Dec. 31, 2019

10:15 AM

Iron IIA cultic remains: Tel Moẓa: the site, the temple, and implications for the study of cult in the region

Jan. 7, 2020

10:15 AM

No Class (Field trip instead)

Jan. 14, 2020

10:15 AM

Iron IIB–C cultic remains: Judah and Israel Inscriptions referencing Yahweh Theophoric names in Hebrew seals Judean Pillar Figurines Northern Syria, Philistia, Edom Changes in cult places as a reflection of crises versus continuity Summary of Iron Age cult in the southern Levant

Jan. 21, 2020

10:15 AM

Individual meetings to discuss outline of course paper

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