Beth Alpert Nakhai | The Arizona Center for Judaic Studies

Beth Alpert Nakhai

About Beth Alpert Nakhai

Beth Alpert Nakhai is Acting Director and Associate 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 is graduate advisor for Judaic Studies' Graduate Certificate Program.  She received her M.T.S. (Master’s in Theological 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 Oriental 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.

Areas of Study

My current research project focuses on women working in the field of Near Eastern archaeology.



I served on the Board of Trustees of the American Schools of Oriental Research since 2002.  Particularly important to me is my work as head of ASOR's new 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.  


Tell el-Wawiyat, a four-dunam site in the Beit Netofah Valley in Israel’s Lower Galilee, was excavated in 1986 and 1987.  Excavation of the site was co-directed by J. P. Dessel, Bonnie L. Wisthoff, and myself.  The excavation was funded by The University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, with the support of the Albright Institute of Archaeological Research in Jerusalem and the American Schools of Oriental Research.  Funding for publication is provided by a grant from The Shelby White – Leon Levy Program for Archaeological Publications.  I am currently working with Dessel (University of Tennesse) on the site publication.


Beth Alpert Nakhai's picture

Contact Information

Beth Alpert Nakhai
Ph.D., Acting Director & Associate Professor, Judaic Studies
Telephone: Main Office (520) 626-5758
Fax: (520) 626-5767
Office: (520) 626-5762
Office Hours: By appointment


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

Courses Taught

Ancient Near East: Ancient Civilizations of the Near East; In the Beginning: Roots of Western Culture

Israel in Antiquity: Archaeology and the Bible; History and Religion of Ancient Israel in the First Temple Period; History and Religion of Ancient Israel in the Second Temple Period; Women in Ancient Israel

Hebrew Language: Biblical Hebrew (Introductory, Advanced)Modern Hebrew (First Year)

Judaic Studies: Introduction to JudaismWomen in Judaism