The 4th Annual conference of the RIAB Minerva Center was held on Monday-Wednesday, May 27-29, 2019 (see here for schedule).
The conference included two excellent days of lectures. The first day and half was held at Bar-Ilan University, at the laboratory of the RIAB Center and the Tell es-Safi/Gath Archaeological Project, and a half day at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.
At the Israel Museum, we had a session of lectures, and in addition to this, we were able to visit to the galleries, and the museum store rooms of finds from the Iron Age and Persian Periods (which in general is closed to the public), where we were guided by Dr. Eran Arie, the Iron Age curator of the museum.
The papers presented during the conference, and the discussions that followed, were excellent, covering a broad range of topics relating to ancient Israel, Aram and Phoenicia, and various connections and differences between these cultures.
Participants came from Israel, Germany, Spain, Italy, USA and other countries, and included both senior and junior scholars. In addition, a nice group of scholars came to the meeting, to both hear the lectures and discuss them with the presenters.
The third day was a field trip to various sites in the north of Israel, including:
Khirbet Tevet, a recently discovered site with fascinating and important Iron Age remains, were we received a detailed explanation from the director of excavations, Dr. Omer Sergi;
Har Adir: An Iron Age site in the upper Galilee, on the border with Lebanon, where Dr. Haya Katz explained about the site and its regional role.
Achziv: We visited this important Phoenician site and Prof. Assaf Yasur-Landau explained the site to the group.
Kabri: Assaf also guided the group to this important MB site, and in particular the impressive remains of the MB palace.
In addition to this, the group enjoyed excellent food and drink, including three excellent suppers, where the participants were able to get to know each other, and a very special visit to the winery at Binyamina, where we also tasted some of the local wines.
All told, a very fruitful and enjoyable conference, in which new ideas and finds were discussed and debated, and scholarly and friendly relationships were fostered between the participants
Here are some pictures from the three days: