"Holy Land Archaeology: Where the Past Meets the Present" | The Arizona Center for Judaic Studies

"Holy Land Archaeology: Where the Past Meets the Present"

Prof. Carol Meyers, 
Mary Grace Wilson
Professorship in Religion,
Duke University

The Rabbi Marcus Breger Memorial Lectureship 2013

February 4, 2013 - 4:30pm
Holy Land Archaeology: Where the Past Meets the Present
Prof. Carol Meyers, Mary Grace Wilson Professorship in Religion, Duke University

Location: University of Arizona Student Union Memorial Center
Union Kiva,  the main level of the Memorial Student Union (NE corner)
Suggested parking: 2nd Street Garage, Mountain Ave. & 2nd Street

Archaeology is commonly understood as the study of human life in the past by analyzing the material remains of the past. But it is not usually recognized that the archaeological quest for the past is inevitably shaped by the excavators’ present. Professor Meyers will use four case studies to illustrate the intersection between the discoveries at ancient sites and the pressures of the modern world. She will first present the stunning mosaics of the Beth Alpha synagogue in the context of the early Jewish settlement of the “Promised Land.” Then the excavations ofHazor, the largest biblical-era site in Israel, will be set against the background of the early days of the State of Israel. Next, the ruins atop the towering plateau of Masada near the Dead Sea, perhaps the best-known of all the archaeological sites in Israel, will be considered in light of the nationalist loyalties of the excavators. Finally, the discoveries at Sepphoris, a major Galilean city in the Roman and Byzantine periods, are viewed in relation to the turmoil in the Holy Land since the first intifada.

Carol Meyers is the Mary Grace Wilson Professor of Religion at Duke University. She has lectured and published widely in several fields: biblical studies, archaeology, and gender in the biblical world. Her reference work, Women in Scripture, is the most comprehensive study ever made of biblical women. Other recent books include Exodus (2005), Households and Holiness (2005), and (with Eric Meyers) Excavations at Ancient Nabratein (2009). Her latest book, Rediscovering Eve: Ancient Israelite Women in Context (2012), is a landmark study of women in the biblical past. Meyers has been a staff member or co-Director of numerous archaeological field projects. She has also been a frequent consultant for media productions, including DreamWorks’s “Prince of Egypt” and Nova’s “The Bible’s Buried Secrets.” Active in several scholarly organizations, she is a trustee of the American Schools of Oriental Research and of the Albright Institute of Archaeological Researchin Jerusalem. She also serves on the board of directors of the Dead Sea Scrolls Foundation and is currently president of the Society of Biblical Literature.


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