Workshop on State Formation and Identity at Megiddo and Rehov: Leipzig, Jan. 24, 2018

Omer Sergi and Assaf Kleiman of Tel Aviv University will be conducting a workshop on “State Formation and Identity in Ancient Israel: between Megiddo and Rehov”.

The workshop will be held at the Institut für Alttestamentliche Wissenschaft of the University of Leipzig and will take place on Wednesday, the 24th of January, 2018, at
Neuen Seminargebäude, Raum S 205, Campus Augustusplatz, of the University of Leipzig.  The RIAB Center is co-hosting this event.


Workshop on Ancient Masks – April 25th, 2018

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, 9:00 to 11:30 am

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

Abel Beth Maacah Workshop: April 26, 2018 (Hebrew University)

The RIAB center is happy to be an organizer of the following workshop:


Five Seasons of Excavation at Tel Abel Beth Maacah: An Interim Assessment

The Institute of Archaeology, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Thursday, April 26, 2018


This workshop will present a summary of the stratigraphic and architectural contexts, as well as major material culture finds, uncovered during the course of five seasons of excavation. Focus will be on the Iron Age I and II, with highlights from the Middle and Late Bronze Age, as well as the Persian-early Hellenistic period, in order to better understand the occupation sequence.

Following this presentation, a discussion will take place on issues generated by the finds and the research questions that guide the project, particularly, how the archaeological data from Abel Beth Maacah illuminate cultural and historical developments in the Hula Valley, from the Late Bronze Age city state of Hazor to the Iron Age IIA territorial kingdoms of Israel and Aram-Damascus. A presentation of pottery and other finds from these periods will take place and serve as the basis for a chronological, contextual and cultural discussion.



15:00: Convening and refreshments

15:15-17:00: Presentation of the archaeological field and artefactual data

17:00-17:30: Break

17:30-19:00: Presentation of pottery and other finds and discussion


If you are interested in participating, please contact:

“Wandering Arameans” volume published

Please note that the following volume has been published, the first book associated with the RIAB Center’s activities:

Berlejung, A., Maeir, A. M. and Schüle, A., eds. 2017. Wandering Aramaeans – Aramaeans Outside Syria: Textual and Archaeological Perspectives. Leipziger Altorientalische Studien 5. Harrassowitz: Wiesbaden.
See here for a link to the publisher’s page on the book, and to the table of contents.
The volume contains studies that were presented a conference held in Leipzig in October, 2014, as well as a few additional invited papers. While the conference was held prior to the official opening of the RIAB Center, preparation of the volume was conducted under the auspices of the center.

Research Colloquium: “(Re)Constructing Identities in the Bronze and Iron Age Levant” – Leipzig, Nov. 14th, 2017

On November 14th, 2017, the RIAB Center will conduct a research colloquium at Leipzig University on “(Re)Constructing Identities in the Bronze and Iron Age Levant”.

If you are interested in participating, please contact Dr. Omer Sergi, who is organizing the colloquium.

See here for the detailed program:

Leipzig identity seminar-program Nov 2017