Biblical Archaeology Forum

BAFtitle

The Biblical Archaeology Forum (BAF) begins its thirty-fifth year this autumn. This season we will welcome presentations from Johns Hopkins Egyptologist Betsy Bryan, a scholar of early Judaism Lawrence Schiffman of NYU, and George Washington University professor Eric Cline discussing excavations at Megiddo (Biblical Armageddon). A National Geographic archaeologist will update us on the restoration of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. We will also be joined by the husband and wife team of Eric and Carol Meyer of Duke University; and by Christopher Gregg of George Mason University, who will lead us on a tour of the Roman Forum as it was in antiquity.

Please join us for a series of eight scholarly lectures on the latest archaeological research findings and related fields such as history, art, and texts of ancient times in the Near East and Eastern Mediterranean. No reservations.

Fees per lecture are
free – high school students;
$5 – Residents of CES Life Communities, college students, and co-sponsors;
$8 – BASONOVA & Bender JCC members, a
$10 – the general public.
Pay at the door – cash or check only

To subscribe to the entire 8 session lecture series for $48, or for more information, please contact BAF.JCCGW@gmail.com.

2019-2020 SEASON

 

The Battle of Kadesh Wednesday, March 25th - 8:00 PM
Archaeology in Israel: Where the Past Meets the Present Wednesday, April 22nd - 8:00 PM
Digging Up Armageddon: The Search for the Lost City of Solomon Wednesday, May 27th - 8:00 PM

The Battle of Kadesh

Wednesday, March 25th
8:00 PM

The Battle of Kadesh | Betsy Bryan

The Battle of Kadesh, sometimes called the first world war, featured one of the largest-ever chariot battles. It was fought in 1275 B.C.E. in present-day Syria between the Egyptians under Pharaoh Ramses II, and the Hittites under King Muwatalli II who were supported by eighteen of their allies and vassal states.

The invasion by Ramses II sought to wrest Syria from the Hittites and recapture the Hittite-held city of Kadesh. Ramses II led his forces into an ambush by 2,500 Hittite chariots, lured by Hittite spies who gave false information to their Egyptian captors.

The battle may be the earliest military action recorded in detail, mostly from Egyptian sources which proclaimed the siege a great victory for Ramses II. Some historians disagree and proclaim the encounter a Hittite victory as Ramses failed to achieve his military objective. A draw?

This illustrated lecture will lay the predicate for the Battle, follow the contours of the military engagement and discuss its aftermath.

Betsy Bryan is the Alexander Badawy Chair in Egyptian Art and Archaeology at Johns Hopkins University

Fees per lecture are
free – high school students;
$5 – Residents of CES Life Communities, college students, and co-sponsors;
$8 – BASONOVA & Bender JCC members, a
$10 – the general public.
Pay at the door – cash or check only

To subscribe to the entire 8 session lecture series for $48, or for more information, please contact BAF.JCCGW@gmail.com.

Archaeology in Israel: Where the Past Meets the Present | Eric Meyers and Carol Meyers

Archaeology is commonly understood as the study of past human life undertaken by analyzing material remains. What is not usually recognized is that the archaeological quest for the past is inevitably shaped by the excavators’ present environment. Moreover, archaeology can serve a variety of purposes, in addition to the recovery of ancient cultures.

This presentation will analyze findings at several ancient key sites in Israel to illustrate the intersection between the discoveries there and the pressures of the modern world. Highlighted excavation sites include Masada, Hazor, Beth Alpha (on the northern slopes of the Gilboa mountains near Beit She’an), Jerusalem, and Sepphoris (located in the Galilee). The excavation of these well-known sites – all national parks in Israel – exemplify the ways excavators respond to contemporary issues and problems.

Eric Meyers is an emeritus professor in Judaic Studies at Duke University

Carol Meyers is an emeritus professor of Religious Studies at Duke University

Fees per lecture are
free – high school students;
$5 – Residents of CES Life Communities, college students, and co-sponsors;
$8 – BASONOVA & Bender JCC members, a
$10 – the general public.
Pay at the door – cash or check only

To subscribe to the entire 8 session lecture series for $48, or for more information, please contact BAF.JCCGW@gmail.com.

Digging Up Armageddon: The Search for the Lost City of Solomon | Eric Cline

In 1925 archaeologists from the University of Chicago’s Oriental Institute began a fourteen-year excavation of the ancient site of Megiddo (biblical Armageddon), one of the most important cities in biblical times. A consequential 15th century BCE battle was fought there by Pharaoh Thutmose III against a Canaanite coalition. Another famous battle was waged there in 609 BCE between Egypt and the Kingdom of Judah, in which King Josiah fell.

Unfortunately, official publications from the Oriental Institute provide scant details behind their amazing discoveries, which include “Solomon’s Stables” uncovered among twenty-six layers of ruins.

Some of the more compelling episodes in Chicago’s search for Solomon’s city at Megiddo will be presented in this illustrated lecture, drawn from a treasure trove of more than three decades worth of letters, cablegrams, cards, notes, and diaries. These materials shed substantial, often surprising light on the internal workings of the excavations and its discoveries, situated against the backdrop of the Great Depression and the growing troubles of the British Mandate between the two world wars.

Eric Cline is a professor of ancient history and archaeology at George Washington University. His new book, Digging Up Armageddon, will be available for purchase and signing.

Fees per lecture are
free – high school students;
$5 – Residents of CES Life Communities, college students, and co-sponsors;
$8 – BASONOVA & Bender JCC members, a
$10 – the general public.
Pay at the door – cash or check only

To subscribe to the entire 8 session lecture series for $48, or for more information, please contact BAF.JCCGW@gmail.com.