The Minerva Center or the Relations between Aram and Israel in Ancient Times
invites you to a workshop:
Masks in the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible? Masks in Ancient Israel/Palestine
Prof. Angelika Berlejung, University of Leipzig/University of Stellenbosch/Bar-Ilan University
Wednesday, April 25th, 2018, 8:30 to 11:30 am
The Tell es-Safi/Gath Archaeological Project and RIAB Minerva Center Laboratory
Basement Floor of the Judaic Studies Faculty Building (Building #410)
Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan, Israel
The title of this workshop has a question mark. This question mark has proven to be justified, for I have not succeeded in finding clear evidence of masks in the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible. This, of course, does not mean that there were no masks in ancient Israel/Palestine, since we now have archaeological evidence of many things that are not mentioned in the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible. Masks (and protomes) of all sizes are well-documented in Israel/Palestine until the Roman Period.
When the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible does not speak of something for which there is clear archaeological evidence in Israel/Palestine (especially for the 1st millennium BCE), it can be asked why it is not mentioned. In the case of masks the question is: are masks censored, ignored or simply forgotten? Are they so important that they are intentionally erased, or so unimportant that they are not worth talking about? If it is true that masks are media through which their bearer can physically contact “the Other” (god/gods, ancestors, etc.), what are the alternatives in the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible if there are really no masks? Or have masks remained hidden in the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible without being discovered thus far?
The workshop takes as its starting point the different terms which have been discussed in past scholarship as possible evidence for masks. There will be an introduction into the different types and possible uses of masks which were not limited to be worn on human faces.
Following the lecture, there will be a hands-on discussion at which several examples of masks from archaeological contexts in Israel will be presented.
8:30 – Gathering and refreshments
9:00 – A. Berlejung: Masks in the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible? Masks in Ancient Israel/Palestine
10:15: Break and refreshments
10:30: Hands-on discussion with examples of ancient masks
11:30: End of workshop