RIAB Minerva Center Workshop on Palace-Clan Relations in the Ancient Near East – Leipzig, Nov. 12-13, 2018

A research colloquium on “Palace-Clan Relations in their Ancient Near Eastern Context” will be held on the 12–13 November 2018, at the Universität Leipzig, Campus Augustusplatz in the Neues Seminargebäude, Room S 203

Here is the schedule:

Monday, November 12th

14.00 Gathering, Coffee and Refreshments

14.30 Greetings and Introduction, Angelika Berlejung, Aren Maeir, Omer Sergi.

15.00 First Session: Palace-Clan Relations in Second and First Millennium BCE Mesopotamia

Brit Kärger, Universität Göttingen, Threats, Manslaughter and Gifts: Some Aspects of Political Control in the Kingdom of Mari in 2nd Millennium B.C.

Jacob Jan de-Ridder, Universität Leipzig, Family Companies and the Palace in Kültepe

16.30 Coffee Break

17.00 First Session – Continuation

Aaron Schmitt, Universität Mainz, Kinship and Palace-Clan Relations in Assyria during the Middle and Neo-Assyrian Periods: The Stela Site at Assur as a Case Study

19.00 Dinner

Tuesday, November 13th

08.45 Gathering

09.00 Second Session: Palace-Clan Relations in Judah and in Israel

Aren Maeir, Bar-Ilan University, Palace-Clan Relations in Iron Age Judah: What do we know? What can we assume?

Hannes Bezzel, Universität Jena, Beth Saul–Beth David–Beth Judah–Beth Israel: A Bipolar, Triangular or Quadrangular Relationship?

10.30 Coffee Break

11.00 Second Session – Continuation

Henrik Pfeifer, Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, The Story of Ehud and the ‘Book of Saviors’

Assaf Kleiman, Tel Aviv University, Storage Jars, Inscriptions and Stamp Impressions: An Archaeological Perspective on Palace-Clan Relations in the Kingdom of Israel.

12.30 Lunch Break

14.00 Third Session: Archaeological and Historical Test Case in the Jezreel Valley, Israel

Karen Covallo-Paran, Israel Antiquities Authority, Ḥorvat Tevet in the Jezreel Valley as a Test Case for Palace-Clan Relations in Omride Israel.

Omer Sergi, Tel Aviv University, Palace Clan Relations in the Kingdom of Israel and the Case of the Tribe of Issachar.

15.30 Coffee Break

16.00 Concluding Discussion

RIAB Center workshop on votives – Dec. 19, 2018

On December 19, 2018, the RIAB Center will conduct a workshop on votive objects in the the Late Bronze and Iron Age Levant.

Here are the details of the workshop:

“Votive offerings in Ancient Israel, Aram and Surrounding Cultures”

The workshop will be held on Wednesday, December 19, 2018, at the Laboratory of the Tell es-Safi/Gath Archaeological Project and the RIAB Minerva Center, located in the basement of the Judaic Studies Faculty Building (#410), Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan.


8:00-8:30           Gathering and refreshments

8:30-9:15           Angelika Berlejung (Leipzig) – “Gifts for life”: Votive offerings in Ancient Israel

9:15-10:00         Itzik Shai (Ariel) – Canaanite Votive Gifts and their Importance within their context at Tel Burna

10:00-10:30       Refreshments

10:30-11:15       Shua Kisilevitz (IAA and TAU) – What’s the Cache? Cultic Vessels and Figurines from the Temple at Moẓa

11:15-12:00       Maria Eniukhina (BIU) – Votive objects from the Iron Age I/IIA Temple in Area D, in the lower city of Tell es-Safi/Gath.

12:00-13:00       Lunch for presenters


Interim schedule for RIAB Center activities for the 2018/2019 academic year

Interim list of planned events for the 2018/2019 academic year of the RIAB Minerva Center:

* RIAB Minerva Center workshop on the subject of “Palace-Clan Relations in the Ancient Near East” (organized by Dr. Omer Sergi), to be held in Leipzig, November 12-13, 2018. See here for the schedule: Minerva-RIAB- Palace Clan program_Nov2018

* RIAB Minerva Center workshop on the subject of “Votive offerings in Ancient Israel, Aram and Surrounding Cultures” (main presenter: Prof. Angelika Berlejung), to be held in Ramat-Gan, December 19, 2018.

* RIAB Minerva Center workshop on the subject of “Rulers and Rulership in Canaan: Between Egyptian Hegemony and Territorial states in LB-early Iron Canaan” (presenters, A. Berlejung, O. Sergi, I. Koch), to be held in Leipzig, January 15-16, 2019.

* RIAB Minerva Center Annual Meeting, on the subject of “Israel, Aram and the Phoenicians”, to be held in Ramat-Gan (BIU) and Jerusalem (IMJ), May 27-29, 2019.
Additional RIAB Minerva Center events for the 2018/2019 year will be announced at a later date.

Note: Mark your calendars for the dates of the 2020 RIAB Minerva Center Annual Meeting, to be held in Leipzig and Berlin (VAM), June 1-4, 2020.

Final Program of Conference: “Biblical Exegesis through the Ages”

Below is the final program of the international conference “Biblical Exegesis through the Ages”, held under the auspices of the Faculty of Jewish Studies and the Zalman Shamir Department of Bible at Bar-Ilan University, along with the Israel Society for Biblical Research, and the RIAB Minerva Center, will take place on Wednesday-Thursday, May 9-10, 2018.

Here is the program: Final program May 2018 bible dept conference


Workshop on the Abel Beth Maacha Excavations, 26/4/18

On Thursday, April 26th, 2018, the RIAB Minerva Center, in collaboration with the Institute of Archaeology of the Hebrew University, conducted a workshop on the excavations at Tel Abel Beth Maacha. The workshop was conducted in the Institute of Archaeology of the Hebrew University.

At the workshop, in which close to 80 people participated, the directors of the excavations, Drs. Nava Panitz Cohen and Naama Yahalom Mack, along with Dr. Izaak de Hulster and Ms. Ruhama Bonfil, presented lectures on the results of the excavations. Following this, a hands-on exhibit of selected finds (and in particular, the pottery) from the excavations were presented in the collections room of the institute.

The excavations at Abel Beth Maacha are of particular interest to those studying the interaction between Israel and Aram in the Iron Age, due to the geographic location of the site, just on the border between current day Israel and Lebanon. As such, it is one of the few sites currently being excavated in a region that may represent southern Aram.

The lectures and the exhibit generated a lively and very interesting discussion among the participants, indicating how important such workshops are for moving ahead research on this and related matters.

Here are some pictures from the workshop:

Workshop on Ancient Maskes (April 25th, 2018)

Prof. Angelika Berlejung, co-director of the RIAB Minerva Center, conducted an excellent workshop on masks at Bar-Ilan University, on Wednesday, April 25th in the RIAB Minerva Center and Tell es-Safi/Gath Archaeological Project lab.

In the workshop, Prof. Berlejung gave to presentations: 1) On masks (or the lack thereof) in the biblical texts; 2) An overall survey of masks in the early southern Levant.

These presentations were based on the recent volume that Angelika recently published:  Berlejung, A., and Filitz, J. E., eds. 018. The Physicality of the Other: Masks from the Ancient Near East and the Eastern Mediterranean. Orientalische Religionen in der Antike 27. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck.

In addition, a small exhibition of masks was set up in the lab for the workshop, including three replicas of masks from the Israel Museum (thanks to Dr. Eran Arieh for arranging this) – one from LB Hazor and two from Iron Age Achziv; an LB mask from Tel Burna (thanks to Itzik Shai) and an LB mask from Tell es-Safi/Gath.

The workshop was extremely interesting and generated some fascinating discussions.

Here are some pictures of the workshop.