Armageddon and the Roman VIth Ferrata Legion: New Excavations at Legio, Israel, and Early Jewish-Christian-Roman Relations


Mon, 11/14/2016 - 16:00

In the late 1st and early 2nd Centuries CE, dangerous Jewish (and incipient Christian) rebels were causing problems for the Roman Empire in Palestine. Though the First Revolt resulted in the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem in 70 CE and in the establishment of a permanent base of the Xth Legion there, these groups continued to harass their overlords. Historical sources indicate that the Roman VIth Ferrata Legion was deployed to Palestine in the early 2nd Century CE to provide support fo rthe Xth, a sure sign that the rebels were acting up again. The VIth Legion established their base somewhere near Megiddo, but its exact location has been a long-standing question in the archaeology of the period. Using historical and geographical sources, aerial photography, and remote sensing, the Jezreel Valley Regional Project searched for potential locations of the elusive fortress. In 2013, one of these locations was tested by excavation, providing the first glimpse of a 2nd Century Roman military base yet uncovered in the entire eastern Empire. Together with the early Christian Prayer hall discovered by Yotam Tepper of the Israel Antiquities authority in 2005 in the adjacent Jewish village of Caparcotani, the new excavations have new implications for Jewish-Christian-Roman relations and for the composition of the Book of Revelation.

Matthew Adams ​is the Director of the W.F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research in Jerusalem. ​He  received his PhD in History from the Pennsylvania State University in 2007, specializing in Egyptology and Near Eastern Archaeology. While he has broad interests in space and time throughout the ancient world, his primary research focus is on the development of urban communities in 3rd Millennium Egypt and Levant. ​He directs several archaeological projects in Israel, Palestine, and Egypt, including the Jezreel Valley Regional Project, Excavations at the Legionary Base of the Roman VIth Legion at Legio, and the Excavations at Mendes, Egypt. He is also co-director of the Tel Aviv University Megiddo Expedition.

This lecture will take place at Hillel on the University of Arizona campus located at 1245 East 2nd street. The lecture will begin at 4 P.M. 

Parking will be available at 2nd street garage. 



University of Arizona Hillel Foundation
1225 E. Second St.
85721 Tucson , AZ