4th Annual RIAB Center conference

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:

Schedule of the 4th Annual Meeting of the RIAB Center – “Between Israel, Aram and Phoenicia: Archaeological and Historical Perspectives” (May 27-29, 2019)

On Monday-Wednesday, May 27-29, 2019, the 4th annual conference of the RIAB Minerva Center will be held. The first two days of the conference will conducted at Bar-Ilan University in Ramat Gan (May 27th and morning of May 28th) and at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem (afternoon/evening of May 28th). On Wednesday, May 29th, the invited participants of the conference will go on a field trip to selected sites in the north of Israel.

Here is the schedule of the first two days of the conference:

The Minerva Center for the Relations between Israel and Aram in Biblical Times

Between Israel, Aram and Phoenicia: Archaeological and Historical Perspectives

Fourth Annual Conference – May 27-28, 2019

Monday, May 27 (Tell es-Safi/Gath Archaeological Project Laboratory, Basement, Building 410 [Jewish Studies Faculty Building], Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan)

8:30-9:00 – Gathering and refreshments

9:00-9:10 – Greetings

Welcome – Aren M. Maeir & Angelika Berlejung

Greetings – Yaron Harel, Dean of the Faculty of Jewish Studies

9:10-10:40 – Session IA: Phoenicia and Israel I (Chair Aren M. Maeir)

9:10-9:40: Gunnar Lehmann (Ben-Gurion University) – The Emergence of Early Phoenicia: A View from South Phoenicia

9:40-10:10: Yifat Thareani (Hebrew Union College) – Characterizing an Iron Age II Mediterranean Community: A Preliminary View from Tel Achziv

10:10-10:40: Yigal Levin (Bar-Ilan University) – David, Hiram and Solomon: A Look at the Geography

10:40-10:50: Discussion

10:50-11:15 – Coffee Break

11:15-13:00 – Session IB: Phoenicia and Israel II (Chair Yigal Levin)

11:15-11:45: Hayah Katz (Kinneret Academic College and the Open University) – The Meiron ridges during the Iron Age Period: between Border and Frontier

11:45-12:15: Meir Edrey (Tel Aviv University & University of Haifa) – The Persistence of Canaanite-Phoenician Religion as Demonstrated by Temple Architecture

12:15-12:45: Janca Brenner (Eberhard-Karls Universität Tübingen) – Jeroboam II, the Phoenicians and Kuntillet ʿAjrud

12:45-13:00 – Discussion

13:00-14:30 – Lunch

14:30-16:30 – Session IC – Archaeological Insights from the Levant (Chair Assaf Yasur-Landau)

14:30-15:00: Giuseppe Minunno (Università degli Studi di Firenze) – Evidence of Ritual Activities from Iron Age Tell Afis

15:00-15:30: Barbara Bolognani (Hebrew University of Jerusalem) – Tracing out the Phoenician Pattern in the Coroplastic Production of the Coastal Levant

15:30-16:00: Hans-Peter Mathys (Universität Basel) – Phoenician Inscriptions from the Eschmoun Sanctuary in Bostan esh-Sheikh (Sidon)

16:00-16:10: Discussion

16:10-16:30 – Coffee Break

16:30-18:30 – Session ID – Judah and Phoenicia: Selected topics (Chair Lawson Younger)

16:30-17:00: Assaf Yasur-Landau (University of Haifa) – Rethinking Phoenician Harbors of the Iron Age

17:00-17:30: Joe Uziel (Israel Antiquities Authority) – Open or Shut? On the Connections and Disconnections between Jerusalem and its surroundings in the Iron Age II

17:30-18:00: Yuval Gadot (Tel Aviv University) – Jerusalem, Menasheh and the Assyrian Order

18:00-18:15: Discussion

18:30-20:30 – Supper at BIU (for participants)

20:30 – Transportation to Hotel (for participants)


Tuesday, May 28 (Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan and Israel Museum, Jerusalem)

8:00-8:30 – Gathering and refreshments (Tell es-Safi/Gath Archaeological Project Laboratory, Basement, Building 410 [Jewish Studies Faculty Building], Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan)

8:30-9:45 – Session IIA: Phoenicians and the West (Chair Ann Killebrew)

8:30-9:00: Sebastián Celestino-Pérez & Esther Rodríguez-González (Spanish National Research Council) – The Phoenicians of the West and the Origin of Tartessos

9:00-9:30: Tzilla Eshel (University of Haifa) – Lead Isotopes in Silver Reveal Earliest Phoenician Quest for Metals in the West Mediterranean

9:30-9:45: Coffee Break

9:45-10:45 – Session IIB – Doctoral Student Workshop (Chair Joe Uziel)

9:45-10:15 – Kristina S. Reed (Bar-Ilan University) – Chronology and Function of Dolmens: A New Look at an Ancient Phenomenon

10:15-10:45 – Juliane Stein (Leipzig University) & Gunnar Lehmann (Ben-Gurion University) – Arpad: Archaeology of an Aramean (?) City: A Report of Work in Progress

10:45-11:15 – Coffee Break

11:15-13:00 – Session IIC – Phoenicians, Assyrians and Persians (Chair Hans-Peter Mathys)

11:15-11:45: Eran Arie (Israel Museum & University of Haifa) – The Relations between Israel and Phoenicia in Light of the Archaeological Evidence

11:45-12:15: Ann E. Killebrew (Pennsylvania State University & Recanati Institute for Maritime Studies, University of Haifa) – Akko and the Plain of Akko during the Iron II – Persian Periods (ca. 8th–5th cent. BCE)

12:15-12:45: Shawn Zelig Aster (Bar-Ilan University) – Phoenicia as an Assyrian “Control Point” in Domination of the Southern Levant in the Reign of Tiglath-pileser III

12:45-13:00: Discussion

13:00-14:00 – Lunch

14:00 – Bus leaves for Jerusalem (for participants)

15:30-16:00 – Gathering and refreshments (Israel Museum)

16:00-17:00 – Tour of Israel Museum galleries and storerooms (Eran Arie & Aren Maeir)

17:00-18:30 – Session IID – Phoenicians and their interactions (Chair Angelika Berlejung)

17:00-17:30: Lawson Younger (Trinity International University) – Phoenician and Phoenicians in North Syria

17:30-18:00: Naama Yahalom-Mack & Nava Panitz-Cohen (Hebrew University of Jerusalem) – A Tale of Two Cities: What’s between Tyre and Abel Beth Maacah in the Early Iron Age?

18:00-18:30: Mireia López-Bertran (Univesitat de València) – Sacred Landscapes and Pilgrimages in Phoenician and Punic Western Mediterranean (7th-2nd centuries BCE)

18:30-18:45: Discussion

18:45 – Transportation to Supper (for participants)

19:00-21:00 – Supper (for participants)

21:00 – Transportation to Hotel in Ramat-Gan (for participants)


4th Annual Meeting of the RIAB Center – May 27-29, 2019

The 4th Annual Meeting of the RIAB Minerva Center will take place on May 27-29, 2019.

This year’s meeting will be held in Israel, at Bar-Ilan University in Ramat-Gan (27-28/5), at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem (28/5 in the evening), and on a one day, field trip/workshop to archaeological sites in northern Israel (29/5).

The topic of the Annual Meeting will be: Relations between Israel, Judah, Aram and the Phoenicians in the Iron Age and Beyond.

The schedule of the lectures (invited) will be published in the near future.

Registration (free, but mandatory) for participation in the meeting will open in the coming weeks.

RIAB Minerva Center Student Workshops at the University of Leipzig

On 15-16 and 22-23/1/2019, a series of student workshops, dealing with different topics of the archaeology, iconography and history of Ancient Israel, were conducted by Dr. Omer Sergi and Dr. Ido Koch (both of Tel Aviv University) at the University of Leipzig. The workshops were conducted as part of the regular activities of the RIAB Minerva Center.

They following topics were dealt with in the workshops:

  • “The archaeology of a clan and the archaeology of palace-clan relations”
  • “Archives and Libraries in Ancient Israel: a Look to the Scribal Culture of Israel and Judah”
  • “The Iconography of Kings”
  • “The Relationship between Images and Texts in Kuntillet Ajrud”
  • “Assyrian Deportations”

In addition to their presentations, Drs. Sergi and Koch had meetings and consultations with Leipzig Phd students.

Workshop on votive objects

On Wednesday, December 19th, 2018, the RIAB Minerva Center conducted a workshop on votive objects in the ancient Near East (see details here).

In the workshop, which was held in the RIAB Minerva Center at BIU, 4 presentation were given:

Angelika Berlejung (RIAB co-director) gave a general introduction to votive objects and their meaning in the ancient Near East.

Itzik Shai (Ariel) spoke about the votive objects from the LB temple at Tel Burna

Shua Kiselevitz spoke about the votive objects from the Iron IIA Judahite temple at Moza, near Jerusalem

Maria Eniukhina presented the votive objects from the Iron I/II temple in the lower city of Tell es-Safi/Gath.

In addition, there was a hands on “show and tell” of the finds from Moza and Tell es-Safi/Gath, as well as some very interesting discussions during and after the talks.

Here are some pictures from the day:

RIAB Center Workshop on Votives – Dec. 19, 2018

Next Wednesday, 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