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The Lynn H. Wood Archaeological Museum Lecture Series on the history and archaeology of the ancient Near East hosts leading experts from around the world. The Lecture Series is designed to bring the latest archaeological discoveries from the southern Levant, Egypt, Cyprus, and Mesopotamia. The lectures are open to the public and are free of charge.

Past Lectures

 

Overview:

Popular archaeological discoveries such as the Talpiyot Tomb and the Garden Tomb have led many to correlate these findings with events linked to the life and death of Jesus.  Are these correlations legimate or just popularized ideas?  In her lecture, Jodi Magness discusses the ancient burial customs among Jews, Romans, and other people groups as well as the the orgin and introduction of ossuaries (bone boxes) into ancient Jewish society.  

 

Presenter:

Jodi Magness (Ph.D. 1989, University of Pennsylvania) is the Kenan Distinguished Professor for Teaching Excellence in Early Judaism at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  Currently, she is director of the Huqoq Excavation Project in Israel.

 

 

 

 

Overview:

Tell Jalul, part of the long-running Madaba Plains Project in Jordan, has long been considered by many archaeologists and biblical scholars as being the site of biblical Heshbon. Dr. Randall Younker, director of the excavations at Tell Jalul, presents new data which reconfigures the biblical-period history at this site.

 

Presenter:

Randall Younker (Ph.D., University of Arizona) is Professor of Old Testament and Biblical Archaelogy at Andrews University.  Currently, he is director of the Tell Jalul excavations in central Jordan, as part of the Madaba Plains Project.  

 

 

 

 

Overview:

The biblical city of Lachish is mentioned 24 times in the Old Testament. Some of the most notable references are: the Israelite conquest of Lachish (Joshua 10:3-35; 12:11; 15:39), the Assyrian siege and destruction of the city by the Assyrian king Sennacherib in 701 B.C. (2 Kings 19:8; 2 Chronicles 32:9), and the destruction of both Lachish and Jerusalem by the Nebuchadnezzar II, king of Babylon, in 586 B.C. (Jeremiah 34:7). Lachish, during the Iron Age, stood as the most important city in Judah after Jerusalem. The biblical site of Lachish, known locally as Tell ed-Duweir, has been excavated in three prior expeditions. A fourth expedition to this site, along with reasons for this new project, serve as the focus of Dr. Michael Hasel’s presentation.

 

Presenter:

Michael Hasel (Ph.D. 1996, University of Arizona) is director of the Institute of Archaeology and curator of the Lynn H. Wood Archaeological Museum at Southern Adventist University. At present, he is co-director for The Fourth Expedition to Lachish.

 

 

 

 

Overview:
Archaeological excavations in the Near East have yielded many inscriptions over the last century. Inscriptions as they relate to the time period of the tenth century B.C. in Israel, however, are not common in the archaeological record. In his presentation, Dr. P. Kyle McCarter discusses the most recent epigraphic findings relating to the highly elusive United Monarchy period in ancient Israel.

 

Presenter:
P. Kyle McCarter (Ph.D. 1974, Harvard University) is William Foxwell Albright Professor in Biblical and Ancient Near Eastern Studies at Johns Hopkins University.  Dr. McCarter, one of the leading experts on the origin of the alphabet and the Dead Sea Scrolls, has most recently published on the Tel Zayit abecedary. 

 

 

Overview:
The location of Joshua's Ai has been a matter of mystery and controversy since the beginnings of archaeological research in Israel. Scholars have concluded that the location of Joshua's Ai is at et-Tell. They have also used this conclusion to discredit the biblical account of Joshua 7-8 because there is no evidence of occupation at et-Tell during the time of Joshua. Since 1995, under the direction of Associates for Biblical Research (ABR) Director of Research Bryant G. Wood (PhD, University of Toronto), ABR studies and excavations have uncovered important archaeological finds at Khirbet el-Maqatir, just 0.6 miles (1 km) west of et-Tell. The discoveries include a city gate and wall system, large amounts of pottery from the time of Joshua, evidence of destruction by fire, ancient coins, a house dating to the first century A.D., and a Byzantine monastery. This area is located 9 miles north of Jerusalem. These discoveries provide evidence for a tentative identification of Khirbet el-Maqatir as the biblical city of Ai.

Presenter:
Bryant Wood (Ph.D. 1985, University of Toronto) is the director of research at Associates for Biblical Research. Currently, he is directing excavations at Khirbet el-Maqatir.

  

 

Overview:
New findings at Khirbet Qeiyafa provide evidence that a cult existed at the site. Standing stones, altars, shrines, and libation vessels all point to the inhabitants’ religious practices. However, there is something unique about these cultic items. What does the lack of images tell archaeologists about the nature of this cult? Do these imageless cultic items tie in with the peculiar local diet? How do these findings relate with the biblical mandates on food and worship? Dr. Yosef Garfinkel flies in from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem to provide his highly respected view on both the definitive existence of sanctuaries and the role of the cult in this ancient city.

 

Presenter:
Yosef Garfinkel (Ph.D. 1992, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem) is co-director of the Khirbet Qeiyafa Archaeological Project and the Yigael Yadin Chair in Archaeology of Eretz Israel at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel. Currently, he is co-director for The Fourth Expedition to Lachish.

  

 

Overview:
This introductory lecture serves as a preview into the Lynn H. Wood Archaeological Museum’s latest exhibit “The Battle Over King David," which is based upon the joint excavations between The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Southern Adventist University between the 2009 and 2011 seasons at Khirbet Qeiyafa, Israel.

 

Presenter:
Michael Hasel (Ph.D. 1996, University of Arizona) is director of the Institute of Archaeology and curator of the Lynn H. Wood Archaeological Museum at Southern Adventist University. At present, he is co-director for The Fourth Expedition to Lachish.

 

 

Overview:

Aaron Burke discusses archaeological finds in the Jaffa region.

 
Presenter:
Aaron Burke (Ph.D. 2004, University of Chicago) is an associate professor of the Archaeology of the Levant and Ancient Israel at the University of California, Los Angeles. Since 2007, Aaron has served as co-director of the Jaffa Cultural Heritage Project.

  

 

Overview:
Thirty-five miles south of modern Tel-Aviv, the famous seaport of Ashkelon decorates the Mediterranean coast of Israel. This city, which holds the distinction of being both the oldest and largest maritime city in Israel, is ripe with nuggets of historical importance. After more than twenty-five years of excavation, archaeologists are still only beginning to piece together the significances of their findings. However, amongst the numerous occupation layers, the arrival of the Philistines at Ashkelon is of particular interest to biblical enthusiasts. Just who were these mighty opponents of the Hebrew people? Where did they come from? Were they really as barbaric as is frequently depicted? To answer these questions, Dr. Master offers theories developed from the most recent excavations at the site.

  

Presenter:
Daniel Master (Ph.D. 2001, Harvard University) is professor of archaeology at Wheaton College. Currently, he is co-director of the Leon Levy Expedition to Ashkelon.

 

 

 

Overview:
In the ancient world, stamp seals served as a tool for identification, a symbol of socioeconomic status, and a venue for personal expression. They were a platform for communication and diversification. Throughout the excavations at Khirbet Qeiyafa, several stamp seals have been found. If these seals could talk, what would they say? Which stories would they share about the people who lived long ago? Could these seals help illuminate gaps of ambiguity within the archaeological record? In this lecture, Dr. Martin G. Klingbeil invites viewers into the processes used to uncover the meaning of stamp seals. In doing so, he applies his research to the latest stamp seal findings at Qeiyafa and how possible interpretations of the stamp seals impact research.

  

Presenter:
Martin Klingbeil (D.Litt. 1995, Stellenbosch University) is a professor of Biblical Studies and Archaeology at Southern, as well as the associate director of its Institute of Archaeology. He is currently co-director for The Fourth Expedition to Lachish.

 

 

Overview:
Michael Hasel presents on the findings from the 2011 excavation season at Khirbet Qeiyafa--the final season of Southern Adventist University's participation in the Khirbet Qeiyafa Archaeological Project.

Presenter:
Michael Hasel (Ph.D. 1996, University of Arizona) is director of the Institute of Archaeology and curator of the Lynn H. Wood Archaeological Museum at Southern Adventist University. At present, he is a co-director The Fourth Expedition to Lachish.

 

  

 

 

Overview:
Tel Gezer sits at an important crossroads, guarding the pass from the coast up to Jerusalem. Throughout history this has been a site of major battles from the 2nd Millennium BC until the modern period. Gezer has become infamous with the reference to Solomon rebuilding Gezer along with Hazor and Megiddo (1 Kings 9:15) and receiving this city as a dowry upon the marriage to Pharaoh's daughter. Recent trends in biblical archaeology have questioned the historicity of the United Monarchy as reflected in the biblical text and a polemical debate has developed. A recent archaeological project headed by Steve Ortiz and Sam Wolff under the sponsorship of the Tandy Institute for Archaeology at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary is investigating the history of Gezer in light of these recent developments. Dr. Ortiz provides an overview of the results of the past five seasons of excavations.

 

Presenter:
Steven Ortiz (Ph.D. 2000, University of Arizona) is professor of Archaeology and Biblical Backgrounds and director of the Charles D. Tandy Archaeology Museum at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is currently the principal investigator and co-director of the excavations at Tel Gezer.

 

 

 


Overview:  The site of Khirbet Qeiyafa has drawn much attention--controversial and otherwise--particularly on the Iron Age stratum.  Equally important, however, are the findings from the following occupational activity at the site.  In this lecture, Yoav Farhi presents the numismatic findings from Khirbet Qeiyafa.

 

 
Presenter:
Yoav Farhi (Ph.D., The Hebrew University of Jerusalem) is the numismatic (coin) expert at Khirbet Qeiyafa. He has analyzed every coin, jewelry, and metal object unearthed over the course of the excavations.

  

 

Overview:
In this interview-style presentation, Michael Hasel dialogued with Dever over the past, present, and future of a discipline he has helped shape. In the 1970s Dever became famous (or infamous) for challenging the way biblical archaeology was practiced at the time. Biblical archaeology was, for the most part, an amateur discipline practiced by biblical scholars who were not trained as field archaeologists. "Biblical archaeology was parochial," he explains, "an aspect of biblical studies, not an independent discipline." Dever's excavations at biblical Gezer (1964–1974) helped change much of that.

  

Presenter:
William Dever (Ph.D. 1966, Harvard University) has been the director of the Albright Institute of Archaeological Research in Jerusalem and the Nelson Glueck School of Biblical Archaeology at the Hebrew Union College. He is best known at Southern Adventist University for placing on campus the artifact collection housed in the Lynn H. Wood Archaeological Museum.

  

 

Overview:
In this lecture, Hasel shares the latest archaeological discoveries found at Khirbet Qeiyafa. In the 2010 season, the Southern Adventist University excavation team uncovered a large building dating to the time of Alexander the Great, the late fourth century BC. This discovery, along with Hellenistic period pottery and coins, provides strong evidence for a second period of occupation at this important biblical site.

  

Presenter:
Michael Hasel (Ph.D. 1996, University of Arizona) is director of the Institute of Archaeology and curator of the Lynn H. Wood Archaeological Museum at Southern Adventist University. At present, he is co-director for The Fourth Expedition to Lachish.

  

 

Overview:
This lecture explicates on the basis of the most recent discoveries and understandings of the Mesopotamian and Egyptian astral traditions, and some of the implications to the biblical passage of 2 Kings 23, where Aramean astral priests are mentioned.

  

Presenter:
K. Lawson Younger (Ph.D. 1990, Sheffield University) is professor of Old Testament, Semitic Languages, and Ancient Near Eastern History at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Deerfield, Illinois.

 


Overview:
New findings at Khirbet Qeiyafa provide evidence that a cult existed at the site. Standing stones, altars, shrines, and libation vessels all point to the inhabitants’ religious practices. However, there is something unique about these cultic items. What does the lack of images tell archaeologists about the nature of this cult? Do these imageless cultic items tie in with the peculiar local diet? How do these findings relate with the biblical mandates on food and worship? Dr. Yosef Garfinkel flies in from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem to provide his highly respected view on both the definitive existence of sanctuaries and the role of the cult in this ancient city.

Presenter:
Yosef Garfinkel (Ph.D. 1992, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem) is co-director of the Khirbet Qeiyafa Archaeological Project and the Yigael Yadin Chair in Archaeology of Eretz Israel at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel. Currently, he is co-director for The Fourth Expedition to Lachish.

 

 

Overview:
In the past 40 years, biblical archaeology has sustained a number of attacks from inside and outside the discipline. In the '70s and '80s, William Dever called for a re-examination of the methodology and purpose of biblical archaeology as it was practiced at the time.

Presenter:
Michael Hasel (Ph.D. 1996, University of Arizona) is director of the Institute of Archaeology and curator of the Lynn H. Wood Archaeological Museum at Southern Adventist University. At present, he is co-director for The Fourth Expedition to Lachish.

 

 

Overview:
Two thousand years ago, long before high-resolution images and HDTVs, Romans emperors learned to disseminate their political message through coins. Roman coins, wrote numismatist Michael Grant, "served a propaganda purpose far greater than has any other national coinage before or since."

  

Presenter:
Stan Hudson (D.Min., Fuller Theological Seminary) is a biblical numismatist and pastor of the Moscow Seventh-day Adventist Church in Idaho and Pullman Community Worship in Washington. He was the main numismatist consultant for the Faces of Power exhibit, and many coins from his personal collection were on display for this exhibit in the Lynn H. Wood Archaeological Museum.

 

 

Overview:
Gaber traces the development of portraiture from its beginnings in Egypt down to Roman times. Portraits are either stylized or naturalistic (i.e., true to life). Ancient portraiture, for the most part, was stylized.

 

Presenter:
Pamela Gaber (Ph.D. 1982, Harvard University) is professor of Archaeology and Judaic Studies at Lycoming College in Pennsylvania. Every summer, she directs the Lycoming College Expedition to Idalion from her home in Alambra, Cyprus.

 

 

Overview:
In this lecture, Gaunt describes in great details the origins of portaits throughout Roman Art. Thousands of years before the first photograph, Greek artists learned to immortalize their heroes in portraits. While the Greeks did not invent the art of portraiture, they were the first to fully exploit its many uses.

 

Presenter:
Jasper Gaunt (Ph.D. 2002, New York University) is curator of Greek and Roman Art for the Michael C. Carlos Museum at Emory University in Atlanta. He is also adjunct professor of art history at Emory's graduate school.

  

 

Overview:
In his lecture, Brand re-examines splendid battle scenes secured Seti’s reputation as one of Egypt’s greatest conquering pharaohs. How much of the pharaoh’s war record is ancient “hype,” and how much reflected true strategic accomplishments? Brand answers these questions and a lot more.

 

Presenter:
Peter Brand (Ph.D. 1998, University of Toronto) is professor of history and Egyptology at the University of Memphis. He directs The Karnak Great Hypostyle Hall Project in Egypt, where he leads a team to record the rapidly deteriorating reliefs and inscriptions on the temple walls.

 


Overview:
Who were the gods of ancient Israel, as described in the Bible? Can we identify Baal and Asherah, and how did they come to play such a prominent role in the courts of the Judean kings, even being placed in the temple of Jerusalem by Manasseh? Dr. Hasel reveals why the prophets denounced these ancient gods of the Canaanites and why they proved such a pervasive tool in Israelite politics and religion.

Presenter:
Michael Hasel (Ph.D. 1996, University of Arizona) is director of the Institute of Archaeology and curator of the Lynn H. Wood Archaeological Museum at Southern Adventist University. At present, he is co-director for The Fourth Expedition to Lachish.

 

 

Overview:
Abraham's life in the Promised Land, by looking beyond kings and battles to such aspects of life as housing, dress, price index, diet (including a recipe for pigeon pot pie), and more, we can picture the world in which Abraham grew up and the length of his step of faith.

 

Presenter:
Alfred Hoerth (Ph.D. 1961, University of Chicago) is professor emeritus of archaeology at Wheaton College, outside of Chicago. He has excavated in the Sudan, Egypt, Joran, Israel, and Syria.

 

 

Overview:
Until recently, archaeologists in Israel had firmly established the Israelite kings David and Solomon as legendary monarchs in the Judeo-Christian world. The rise of postmodern biblical scholarship has challenged this conclusion. Some scholars have gone so far as to claim that David and Solomon were mythical figures that did not exist.

 

Presenter:
William Dever (Ph.D. 1966, Harvard University) has been the director of the Albright Institute of Archaeological Research in Jerusalem and the Nelson Glueck School of Biblical Archaeology at the Hebrew Union College. He is best known at Southern Adventist University for placing on campus the artifact collection housed in the Lynn H. Wood Archaeological Museum.

 

 

 

 

Overview:
In the past few years, much media attention has been brought on the Gnostic gospels as a result of the purchase and publication of the Gospel of Judas by the National Geographic Society. The global phenomenon The Da Vinci Code has captured the imagination of millions. What is Gnosticism? Is the Gospel of Judas as authoritative as the four New Testament Gospels?

 

Presenter:
Scott Carroll (Ph.D. 1987, Miami University) is co-director of the Center for the Study of Antiquity and a professor of history. He currently directs excavations at one of the oldest Christian monasteries located in the Wadi Natrun, Egypt.

 

 

Overview:
The historicity of the biblical exodus and the physical route of the journey of ancient Israel has long been a subject of intense debate. In this public lecture, Dr. Hoffmeier discussed his recent excavations at Tell el-Borg, which has produced dramatic new answers for these questions. Due to an exclusivity agreement, Dr. Hoffmeier's lecture is not available for purchase.

 

Presenter:
James Hoffmeier (Ph.D. 1983, University of Toronto) is professor of Old Testament and Ancient Near Eastern History and Archaeology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Since 1994, he has directed the North Sinai Archaeological Project.

 


Overview:
Dr. Merry served as Officer in Charge of all medical operations in post-war southern Iraq. During his tour of duty, he was also assigned the role of resident historian over the ancient cities of Ur and Babylon, where Saddam Hussein had built his palace. Dr. Merry spoke about his experience protecting these major archaeological sites and their unique place in history for the birth of civilization and connection to the Bible.

 

Presenter:
Thomas Merry (MD 1978, Loma Linda University) is a Family Practioner in Gardenville, Nevada.

 


Overview:
The biblical archaeology of William Foxwell Albright was an attempt to ground the historical witness of the Bible in realia, or demonstrable historical reality. Albright brought biblical archaeology out of the armchair and into the field in Palestine. His student, George Edward Wright, created a positivist theological/theoretical basis for biblical archaeology. Albright and Wright saw biblical archaeology as an objective science, providing historical reality to the Hebrew Bible.

 

Presenter:
Thomas Davis (Ph.D. 1987, University of Arizona) is professor of Archaeology and Biblical Backgrounds at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Currently, he directs the Soutwestern Baptist Theological Seminary excavations at the early Christian site of Kourion in Cyprus.

 

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