Online lectures from the 2nd Annual RIAB Center meeting (March, 2017)

The Lectures presented at the 2nd day of the 2nd Annual Conference of the RIAB Minerva Center, which took place at the Israel Institute of Advanced Studies (on the Givat Ram Campus of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, on March 2nd, 2017), can now be watched online.

Here is a list of the lectures – and links to the online versions:

Session 1: Aramaic in the Dead Sea Scrolls

Loren Stuckenbruck – Remaining Issues in the Textual Study of 1Enoch:

Daniel Machiela – The Aramaic Dead Sea Scrolls as Evidence of a Second-Temple Period Literary Movement:

Hillel Mali – ולאלפא יתי דין כהונתא: The Aramaic Levi Document and the Mishnaic Sources:

Jonathan Ben-Dov – Multiple Literary Editions of the Astronomical Book of Enoch:

Session 2: Small Aramaic Narratives

James Nathan Ford – Some Contributions of the Incantation Bowls to the Jewish Babylonian Aramaic Lexicon:

Marco Frenschkowski – Jesus as an Aramaic Story Teller:

Session 3: Hebrew and Aramaic Epigraphy

Shmuel Ahituv – The Jerusalem Papyrus:

Christopher Rollston – The Jerusalem Papyrus: Another Perspective:

Esther Eshel – Aramaic Ostraca from Maresha:


Doctoral Stipends through the RIAB Minerva Center

The RIAB Minerva Center is offering 2-3 stipends for the coming years for PhD students dealing with topics relating to the center’s research topics. If you have not yet started a PhD program, are interested in doing one in affiliation with the RIAB Center, do get in touch with Prof. Aren Maeir, the center co-director, for details on this, and if relevant, how to apply for these stipends. If you are interested, please send in your enquirty by the end of April, 2017 (

Planned activities of the RIAB Center for the year and half

See below a list of the planned activities of the RIAB Center for the next year and a half:

1)  Monday, June 12th 2017 (at 14:00), a workshop on use of the biblical software “Accordance” by Dr. Leeor Gottlieb, to be held at Leipzig University.

2) Tuesday, June 13th, 2017 (11.00-13.00), a workshop on the linguistic dating of biblical texts, with Dr. Leeor Gottlieb and Prof. Louis Jonker (Univ. of Stellenbosch), to be held at Leipzig University.

3) Thursday, June 15, 2017: A workshop on “Social aspects of multi-linguistic settings in the Ancient Near East,” organized by Dr. Yuval Levavi. The workshop at BIU.

4)  Tuesday, Nov. 14th, 2017: A workshop on identity in the ancient world in Leipzig, with the participation of Aren Maeir, Omer Sergei, and Izaak Cornelius (Univ. of Stellenbosch), as well as possible additional participants.

4) Monday, May 14th, 2018, at 14.00-18.00. The pre-Annual Conference Workshop (in Leipzig) on the Aramean ostraca from Idumea, with Bezalel Porten, Andre Lemaire, Israel Eph’al, Michael Langlois, Holger Gzella, Dirk Schwiderski, and others (chair – B. Porten)

5)  Tuesday-Wednesday, May 15th-16th, 2018: Annual conference of the center (in Leipzig). General topic: Writing and Re-Writing of History through Destruction.

In addition, we are looking into additional activities (this year and possibly next), including:

1) A workshop on the excavations at Tel Abel Beth Maachah, by Nava Panitz Cohen and Naama Yahalom (to be held at BIU).

2) A joint field trip/workshop to Jordan with the Swiss/Israeli Synergia research group, tentatively planned for December, 2018

2017 Annual Conference was an Astounding Success!

As previously noted, the 2nd annual conference of the RIAB center was held on March 1-3, 2017, at Bar-Ilan University and Hebrew University, and included two days of lectures and a field trip on the third day (to the Shephelah, with emphasis on Tell es-Safi/Gath and Azekah).

The meeting including talks, workshops and discussions on a broad range of topics connected to the RIAB Center’s fields of interests. The conference, according to all participants, guests and visitors, was an astounding success. The proceedings of the conference will be published in the future.

Here are some pictures from the three days:

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.