2nd Annual Meeting of the RIAB Center – March 1-3, 2017

The 2nd Annual Meeting of the RIAB Minerva Center will be held at Bar-Ilan University and Hebrew University on March 1-3, 2017. The meeting will be held jointly with the Jeselsohn Epigraphic Center for Jewish History.

The topic of the meeting is:

New Perspectives on Aramean and Israelite Epigraphy, Inscriptions and Related Issues

For the full program, see: riab-march-2017-meeting_schedule_2_17

“Hazael Destructions Workshop (Jan. 19, 2017) Lectures Online

The 1st workshop for 2017 was held today (Jan. 19th, 2017)at BIU, and the topic was discussions of sites with possible remains of a Hazael-related destruction, and sites of similar chronological/regional sequences. This included papers on Tell es-Safi/Gath, Gezer, Tel Hamid, Aphek and Jerusalem.

In the 2nd part of the day, a workshop in which pottery from Tell es-Safi/Gath and Gezer were displayed and discussed.

One the things that clearly could be seen from the discussions is that very distinct “micro-regionality” can be seen at sites from the 9th and early 8th cent. BCE in the Shephelah, Philistia and the southern parts of the Israelite (northern) Kingdom, and it may very well be that pottery types that are often seen as indicative of this or that chronological phase, may appear at earlier or later phases at different sites. Similarly, sites which are very close to one another, have very distinct differences in more or less the same chronological horizon.

What is clear from this day was that more research and joint discussions and workshops are needed. We have to have additional ones in the future.

The lectures in the first part were filmed live, using “Facebook Live” – which turns out is an excellent method to live stream an entire series of lectures and discussions, for those who could not be at the workshop.

And here are some pictures from the pottery workshop, with discussions on the Gezer and Tell es-Safi/Gath materials.

All told, the day was very interesting and enlightening.


RIAB Workshop 2017/1: Archaeological Evidence of the Hazael Campaign to the “South” – Jan. 19, 2017

The first workshop for the 2016/2017 academic year of the Minerva Center for the Relations between Israel and Aram in Biblical Times (RIAB), will be held this Thursday (January 19th, 2017) at Bar-Ilan University.

The workshop will deal with the archaeological evidence of the Hazael campaign to the south of the Land of Israel/Canaan, both from sites with direct evidence of this, sites with possible evidence of this, and sites from the same time period.

The title of the workshop is:

”And Hazael set his face to go up to Jerusalem”: Following Hazael’s Campaign to the South – An Archaeological Perspective

The workshop will start with short lectures about the relevant levels and finds from the five sites that will be discussed (Tell es-Safi/Gath, Gezer, Aphek/Antipatris, Jerusalem and Qubur el-Walayda).

Following lunch, a hands-on workshop with pottery from these sites will be presented, in which the participants will be able to see, touch, and discuss representative pottery from the relevant assemblages.

If you are interested in participating, please contact Dr. Amit Dagan or Dr. Omer Sergi, the organizers.

Here is the full invitation and schedule: riab-hazael-workshop_biu-jan-19-2017

Update for upcoming RIAB Center activities (2017)

Upcoming Activities (2017)

The following activities are currently planned for 2017:

  1. January 19, 2017: Workshop on pottery assemblages from sites in southern Israel in relation to the Hazael destruction levels. The workshop will be held at BIU, and will include short lectures and a hands-on workshop of relevant pottery from various sites. Participation is by invitation only, but there are a few open places for researches and advanced students. If you are interested in participating, please contact Dr. Amit Dagan or Dr. Omer Sergi who are organizing the workshop. The full program will be published shortly.
  2. Feb. 13, 2017: A joint workshop with the BIU Bible Department, in which Dr. Leeor Gottlieb will demonstrate and teach the use of the “Accordance” Bible software. The workshop is for a small group and all places have already been reserved.
  3. March 1-3, 2017: The annual meeting of the RIAB center will be held in Israel, in collaboration with the Jeselsohn Epigraphic Center for Jewish History at BIU. The conference will focus on various topics relating to Aramaic and Hebrew epigraphy, inscriptions and related issues from the Iron Age through late Antiquity. The first day of lectures will be held at BIU and the 2nd at the Institute for Advanced Studies at HU in Jerusalem. The 3rd day will be a field trip to sites in the Shephelah. More details on the conference will be published in the near future.
  4. June 15, 2017: A workshop on “Social aspects of multi-linguistic settings in the Ancient Near East,” organized by Dr. Yuval Levavi. The workshop will be held at BIU. If you are interested in participating, please contact Yuval. More details on the workshop will be published in the near future.

“Wandering Arameans” volume in press

Please note that the first volume directly relating to the RIAB Minerva Center is now officially in press – and appears on the Harrassowitz website.

The full title of the volume is:

Berlejung, A., Maeir, A. M. and Schuele, A. eds. In press. Wandering Aramaeans – Aramaeans Outside Syria Textual and Archaeological Perspectives. Leipziger Altorientalistische Studien 5. Harrassowitz: Wiesbaden.

Here is the book’s description:

The present volume contains the updated versions of the papers presented at the workshop “Wandering Arameans: Arameans Inside and Outside of Syria”, held at the Faculty of Theology of the University of Leipzig in October 2014. The intention of the workshop was to explore Aramean cultures and their impact on their neighbors, including linguistic influences. The division of the volume into the sections “Syria and Palestine” and “Mesopotamia and Egypt” reflects the areas in which the presence of Arameans or of their language, Aramaic, in the first millennium BCE is visible. Arameans (including the Aramaic languages) in Syria, Palestine, Mesopotamia, and Egypt cannot be treated as a single entity but have to be carefully distinguished. The contributions in this volume show that identifying “Arameans” and defining pertinent identity markers is a difficult task. Interactions between Arameans, including their languages, and their neighbors were complex and depended on specific cultural and historical circumstances.

We hope that the volume will be out in the coming months.

New volume on Israel-Aramean relations

Dr. Omer Sergi, RIAB center member, and his colleagues M. Oeming and I. de Hulster, have just published a very important volume – “In Search for Aram and Israel: Politics, Culture, and Identity” which has come out in the ORA series from Mohr Siebeck.

The volume, which is based on a conference held a few years ago in Heidelberg, includes a variety of studies on archaeological, historical and biblical perspectives on the relations between Israel and Aram in biblical times, the archaeology of Iron II Israel, Judah and Aram, and many other topics relevant to the RIAB research topics.

Several of the RIAB Center members participated in the volume, including: Berlejung, Maeir, Wazana, Sergi, Kleimann, and Panitz-Cohen.

Upcoming workshop on Hazael Destruction Levels – Jan. 19, 2017

Please reserve the date for an upcoming workshop (for researchers and graduate students in the field), the first of the RIAB Minerva Center for this academic year, which will be held at BIU on Thursday, Jan. 19th, 2017.

The workshop, organized by Dr. Amit Dagan and Dr. Omer Sergey, will deal with sites in southern Israel at which there is possible evidence of a “Hazael destruction” – as well as some more or less contemporaneous sites. The workshop will include short presentations about the various sites and then a hands-on “table-top” presentation of ceramic assemblages from the relevant sites.

More details will be posted in the future. In the meantime – save the day!