Beth Alpert Nakhai

Beth Alpert Nakhai

Ph.D., Professor, Judaic Studies

Beth Alpert Nakhai is a Professor in The Arizona Center for Judaic Studies and an affiliated member of the School of Anthropology. In addition, she is affiliated with the School of Middle East and North African Studies and the Religious Studies Program. She received her M.T.S. in Old Testament Studies from Harvard Divinity School, and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Near Eastern Archaeology from the University of Arizona. 

Nakhai was recently honored with a festschrift volume, In Pursuit of Visibility: Essays in Archaeology, Ethnography, and Text in Honor of Beth Alpert Nakhai, eds. Jennie Ebeling and Laura Mazow. Oxford: Archaeopress. 2022.

Her publications focus on the lives of women in antiquity, on Canaanite and Israelite religion and culture, on Israelite ethnogenesis and village life, and on women working in the field of Near Eastern archaeology. Her books include Archaeology and the Religions of Canaan and Israel, as well as two edited volumes (The Near East in the Southwest: Essays in Honor of William G. Dever; The World of Women in the Ancient and Classical Near East) and four co-edited volumes (The Mummy under the Bed: Essays on Gender and Methodology in the Ancient Near East; Oxford Encyclopedia of the Bible and Archaeology; Celebrate Her for the Fruit of Her Hands: Studies in Honor of Carol L. Meyers; Household Religion: Toward a Synthesis of Old Testament Studies, Archaeology, Epigraphy, Epigraphy, and Cultural Studies). In addition, she is the author of numerous articles and lectures widely on various topics. 

Nakhai co-directed the Tell el-Wawiyat (Israel) Excavation Project and is currently preparing the publication of that site. She served on the Board of Directors of the American Schools of Overseas Research and chairs its Initiative on the Status of Women. She is an officer of the W. F. Albright School of Archaeological Research in Jerusalem, serving as its secretary.




I served for more than a decade on ASOR's Board of Trustees (2002-2015). Particularly important to me is my ongoing work as head of ASOR's Initiative on the Status of Women. I am working with others to document - and improve - the status of women in ASOR and in the field of Near Eastern archaeology.


I have served on the Board of Trustees of the W. F. Albright School of Archaeological Research in Jerusalem since 2015. Since 2019, I have been the Board Secretary. 


Tell el-Wawiyat, a four-dunam site in the Beit Netofah Valley in Israel’s Lower Galilee, was excavated in the mid-1980s, under the direction of J. P. Dessel, Bonnie L. Wisthoff, and me.  Funding was provided by University of Arizona, with support from the Albright Institute of Archaeological Research and ASOR. Funding for publication is provided by a grant from The Shelby White - Leon Levy Program for Archaeological Publications. I am currently working on the site publication. 


I am working on a new book, Un-Housewifely Skills: Women in Levantine Archaeology, to be published by Routledge. It explores the history and status of women working in the southern Levant, and emphasizes the importance of including women in all reconstructions of the past. 


  • Ph.D., The University of Arizona - Syro-Palestinian Archaeology; Biblical Studies. Department of Near Eastern Studies. 1993
  • M.A., The University of Arizona - Syro-Palestinian Archaeology; Biblical Studies. Department of Oriental Studies. 1985
  • M.T.S., Harvard Divinity School - Old Testament; New Testament. 1979
  • B.A., Connecticut College - Government. 1972