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.

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

2020-2021 SEASON all lectures via zoom

 

The Roman Army in the Negev Wednesday, January 26th - 8:00 PM
What Were the Words of God? Sunday, February 6th - 7:30 PM
Architectural Development of Ancient Galilean Synagogues Wednesday, March 9th - 8:00 PM
Digging Homer: The Mycenaean Palace at Iklaina & Birth of Greek Epic Poetry Wednesday, April 13th - 8:00 PM
Famine and Festival in Ancient Egypt Wednesday, April 27th - 8:00 PM
Riddle of the Rosetta Wednesday, July 13th - 8:00 PM

The Roman Army in the Negev

Wednesday, January 26th
8:00 PM

The Roman Army in the Negev
Wednesday, January 26, 2022 at 8 pm Eastern via Zoom

Alexandra Ratzlaff

The landscape of the Roman Eastern Empire included extreme conditions in barren, marginal zones such as the region of the Negev located in modern-day southern Israel. One of the strengths of the Roman mechanisms of imperialism was the extent to which the Roman army, while in many ways considered a very standardized and homogenous institution, excelled at optimizing indigenous strategies of occupation in such trying regions and making them their own.

Roman internal security in the Negev developed out of modification of the established Nabataean system of trade routes. Roman army units monitored road systems, secured supply lines, and performed local policing duties. Here the Roman army functioned as agents of imperial administration in a region without large urban centers or embedded officials.

This presentation will explore how the Roman army facilitated imperial interests throughout the Negev from the 1st century BCE – 6th century CE for economic reasons, rather than for military or security concerns.

Alexandra Ratzlaff, Assistant Professor of Classical Studies at Brandeis University


How to Access the BAF/BASONOVA Zoom Lecture Series

If you wish to subscribe to the lecture series, please access the BASONOVA PayPal portal and use a credit card for an annual subscription ($35 per family). Go to: http://www.basonova.org/ membership-form.html

It is also possible to access the series one lecture at a time, for $7 per lecture. To reserve your single-lecture Zoom spot for this event, go to: http://www.basonova.org/ next-lecture-reservation.html

Questions: info@basonova.org

What Were the Words of God?

Sunday, February 6th
7:30 PM

What Were the Words of God?

Sunday, February 6, 2022 at 7:30 pm Eastern – Hybrid Presentation

Donald Kane, BAF and BASONOVA

Moses wrote down everything the Lord had said (Exodus 24:4)

Then the Lord reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, “I have put my words in your mouth” (Jeremiah 1:9)

Does the Hebrew Bible contain the immutable words of God? Did the prophets speak the words of God? Might there be older versions of our sacred writings that we can point to that add or subtract from the text or, in some cases, demonstrate different theological meanings?

This illustrated lecture will highlight differences between what is called the “Masoretic” Bible Jews use today, the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible known as the Septuagint, sacred texts recovered from among the Dead Sea Scrolls, and the Pentateuch used by Israel’s Samaritans.

The presentation will also put into context how the ancestors of today’s Jews apprehended the sacred writings that were pluriform in their time, and; examine the role scribes played in reproducing, harmonizing and changing these texts, and indeed, in preserving Revelation.


How to Access the BAF/BASONOVA Zoom Lecture Series

If you wish to subscribe to the lecture series, please access the BASONOVA PayPal portal and use a credit card for an annual subscription ($35 per family). Go to: http://www.basonova.org/ membership-form.html

It is also possible to access the series one lecture at a time, for $7 per lecture. To reserve your single-lecture Zoom spot for this event, go to: http://www.basonova.org/ next-lecture-reservation.html

Questions: info@basonova.org

Architectural Development of Ancient Galilean Synagogues
Wednesday, March 9, 2022, at 8 pm Eastern via Zoom

Paul Flesher

In the first six centuries CE, Galilee was a vibrant center for the religious and demographic growth of Judaism. It thus provides a prime laboratory for studying the architectural development of the early synagogue, especially as it became Judaism’s primary religious structure after the Jerusalem Temple’s destruction in 70 CE.

Archaeological excavations have unearthed four different architectural styles of synagogues common during this time, from the early, open-center layout of Jesus’ time to the basilica styles widespread later in this period.

It turns out that as synagogue architecture developed away from the early, open-center plan, each new style enhanced the ability of the audience to hear the reading of Scripture—a primary ritual activity. This presentation will show how the synagogue increasing became a building custom-designed for hearing the Scripture reading.

Paul Flesher, Professor of Religious Studies, University of Wyoming

 

How to Access the Twice Monthly BAF/BASONOVA Zoom Lecture Series

If you wish to subscribe to the lecture series, please access the BASONOVA PayPal portal and use a credit card for an annual subscription ($35 per family). Go to: http://www.basonova.org/ membership-form.html

It is also possible to access the series one lecture at a time, for $7 per lecture. To reserve your single-lecture Zoom spot for this event, wait 10 days before the scheduled date and then go to: http://www.basonova.org/ next-lecture-reservation.html

Questions: info@basonova.org

Digging Homer: The Mycenaean Palace at Iklaina & Birth of Greek Epic Poetry

Wednesday, April 13, 2022 at 8 pm Eastern via Zoom

Michael Cosmopoulos, University of Missouri-St. Louis

For thousands of years Homer’s Iliad has remained the classic tale of love, honor, and war. Exciting archaeological discoveries in the past 150 years have unearthed the great palaces of the Homeric heroes and revived the fascinating society of the Mycenaeans. In antiquity itself, and in our memory of antiquity, the great palaces at Mycenae, Tiryns, Pylos, and Troy stand at the crossroads between myths and historical reality.

The world of the Mycenaeans still holds many surprises. Recent excavations at the site of Iklaina have brought to light one of the capitals of the Mycenaean state of Pylos. Massive Cyclopean structures, monumental buildings decorated with beautiful wall paintings, advanced urban infrastructure, and the earliest known records of state bureaucracy challenge current knowledge about the origins and operation of Mycenaean states.

These findings allow us a glimpse into previously unknown aspects of the Homeric epics. In this illustrated lecture Professor Cosmopoulos will present the exciting archaeological discoveries at Iklaina and discuss their significance for the historical foundation of Homer’s epics.


How to Access the BAF/BASONOVA Zoom Lecture Series

If you wish to subscribe to the lecture series, please access the BASONOVA PayPal portal and use a credit card for an annual subscription ($35 per family). Go to: http://www.basonova.org/ membership-form.html

It is also possible to access the series one lecture at a time, for $7 per lecture. To reserve your single-lecture Zoom spot for this event, go to: http://www.basonova.org/ next-lecture-reservation.html

Questions: info@basonova.org

Famine and Festival in Ancient Egypt

Wednesday, April 27th
8:00 PM

Famine and Festival in Ancient Egypt

Wednesday, April 27, 2022 at 8 pm Eastern via Zoom

Ellen Morris, Barnard College, Columbia University

Two events in pharaonic and Greco-Roman Egypt radically transformed the status quo: revolution and mass mortality. When these two distinct events co-occurred, they often destabilized a rigid social hierarchy.

Such moments – at which underlings threatened to gain the upper hand or at least exhibited a marked reluctance to return to their former subservience – caused an immense degree of anxiety among Egypt’s elites. Extremely severe famines and the plagues that often engendered this destabilization occurred infrequently, but such were the upheavals and social transformations that happened in their wake that their memory had to be passed down through generations as a caution.

For people who knew only strong kings and times of plenty, it was necessary to “remember” hunger, suffering, and terror in order that they take warning signs seriously. Although written testimony and prophesy helped keep such memories alive, echoes of social upheavals that were invested into performance rites and animal fables recited during the New Year’s festival may have been among the most effective methods of transmitting intergenerational memories of collective trauma.


How to Access the BAF/BASONOVA Zoom Lecture Series

If you wish to subscribe to the lecture series, please access the BASONOVA PayPal portal and use a credit card for an annual subscription ($35 per family). Go to: http://www.basonova.org/ membership-form.html

It is also possible to access the series one lecture at a time, for $7 per lecture. To reserve your single-lecture Zoom spot for this event, go to: http://www.basonova.org/ next-lecture-reservation.html

Questions: info@basonova.org

Riddle of the Rosetta

Wednesday, July 13th
8:00 PM

Riddle of the Rosetta
Wednesday, July 13, 2022, at 8 pm via Zoom

Diane Josefowicz

In 1799, a French Army officer was rebuilding the defenses of a fort on the banks of the Nile when he discovered an ancient stele fragment bearing a decree inscribed in three different scripts: ancient Greek, Egyptian Demotic, and Egyptian hieroglyphs whose meanings had been forgotten for centuries. So begins one of the most familiar tales in Egyptology―that of the Rosetta Stone and the quest to decipher hieroglyphs.

At the center of the story were two very different protagonists: the polyglot French scholar Jean-François Champollion, who sought clues in ancient Egyptian history, geography, and culture, and; the English doctor and physicist Thomas Young, who took more of a puzzle-solving approach to the mysterious script. Much more than a decoding exercise centered on a single artifact, the race to decipher the Rosetta Stone brought humanists and scientists together in a wild and unpredictable intellectual adventure.

This presentation will feature new and neglected archival evidence at the heart of this quest and situate the decipherment within broader nineteenth-century disputes about language, historical evidence, biblical truth, and the value of classical learning.

Diane Josefowicz, Boston University Professor

 

How to Access the Twice Monthly BAF/BASONOVA Zoom Lecture Series

If you wish to subscribe to the lecture series, please access the BASONOVA PayPal portal and use a credit card for an annual subscription ($35 per family). Go to: http://www.basonova.org/ membership-form.html

It is also possible to access the series one lecture at a time, for $7 per lecture. To reserve your single-lecture Zoom spot for this event, wait 10 days before the scheduled date and then go to: http://www.basonova.org/ next-lecture-reservation.html

Questions: info@basonova.org