The ancient port city of Jaffa has long held the attention of scholars interested in biblical history. But it was not until recently that archeological evidence verified the true importance of the site. Aaron Burke, associate professor of archaeology at UCLA, will share what has been uncovered there during this year’s first Lynn H. Wood Archaeological Museum Lecture on September 20 at 7:30 p.m. in the Lynn Wood Hall Auditorium.
Jaffa lies roughly 40 miles to the northwest of Jerusalem along the southern Levantine coast of the Mediterranean Sea. Excavations conducted at Jaffa have uncovered a rich assemblage of Egyptian stoneware and other artifacts that bring new understanding of the important role the port played to ancient Canaan and Israel during biblical times.
“We are really excited about the evidence on Jaffa that is going to be presented,” said Justo Morales, museum coordinator. “As co-director of the Jaffa Cultural Heritage Project, Burke is able to bring an in-depth description of the work being done there.”
Artifacts uncovered at the site suggest that there was strong Egyptian influence and interaction taking place at Jaffa. This has given scholars a new glimpse into the international power struggle that took place between Egypt, the Hittite Empire, and Canaan.
The Lynn H. Wood Archaeological Museum Lecture Series is designed to bring the latest archaeological discoveries from the Southern Levant, Egypt, Cyprus, and Mesopotamia areas to Southern’s campus. Apart from Burke’s lecture, the museum has three other presentations planned for the academic year.
On November 17, Michael Hasel, director of the Institute of Archaeology, will be presenting “The Battle Over King David.” That lecture focuses on and correlates to the new Khirbet Qeiyafa museum exhibit opening on campus beginning November 7.
The February 12 guest speaker is Yosef Garfinkel, a professor of prehistoric and biblical period archeology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He will discuss the sanctuaries and cult at Khirbet Qeiyafa.
The final presentation features guest speaker Bryant Wood, director of the Associates for Biblical Research. The March 20 talk centers around the search for Ai, a city mentioned in the Book of Joshua.
“We are pleased to be able to make these lectures available to both Southern students and the surrounding community,” said Hasel. “The material covered here is invaluable to anyone interested in biblical history.”
The museum lecture series is free and open to the public.