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 all lectures via zoom

 

“Lost Gospels” and Other Christian Apocrypha: New Discoveries and New Perspectives Wednesday, October 7th - 8:00 PM
Holy Of Holies – An Archaeological Walk Through The Jerusalem Temple Sunday, October 25th - 7:30 PM
Sea Peoples in the Promised Land Wednesday, November 18th - 8:00 PM
Wandering Arameans in Egypt: New Light on the Samarian and Judean Diaspora Wednesday, December 2nd - 8:00 PM
Writing on the Wall: Graffiti and the Forgotten Jews of Antiquity Wednesday, December 23rd - 8:00 PM
Egyptian Rule and Canaanite Resistance as Seen from Jaffa Wednesday, January 6th - 8:00 PM

Wednesday, October 7, 2020 at 8:00 pm EST via Zoom

Lost Gospels” and Other Christian Apocrypha: New Discoveries and New Perspectives

Tony Burke, York University

It is a common misconception (encouraged by intentional sensationalism) that apocryphal Christian texts—such as the Gospel of Thomas or the Acts of Peter—were “lost” before their rediscovery by scholars, revealed sometimes in dramatic announcements and high profile publications.

In truth, most apocryphal texts enjoyed a friendly co-existence with canonical Scripture throughout Christian history and their “discovery” often amounts to nothing more than their transition from manuscript to print. Some texts have indeed been lost to history and others recovered in fragmentary form thanks to archaeological excavations and happenstance discoveries, but likely their loss is due more to accidents of history than efforts at ecclesiastical censorship.

This presentation will introduce viewers to the broad range of apocryphal texts now known to scholars and illustrate the ways these texts have been used over time in Christian liturgy, literature, art, drama, and music. Far from “lost,” apocryphal texts have been and continue to be vital components of Christian culture.


BAF and its sister organization in Northern Virginia (BASONOVA), are delighted to announce a joint resumption of their lecture series on the ancient Near East and Eastern Mediterranean. This series will be broadcast “live” via Zoom, and “attendees” will be able to direct questions of the presenters.

How to Access the Lecture Series

We will announce additions to the line-up of presenters on a regular basis, as it is our aim to offer more than one event each month. Members will also receive a regular listing of recommended lectures in the public domain.

If you wish to subscribe to the series*, please access the BASONOVA PayPal portal and use a credit card for a one-year 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 $6 per lecture. To receive your single-lecture Zoom invitation, go to: http://www.basonova.org/next-lecture-reservation.html

*Maryland residents will be enrolled in BAF and Virginians will be enrolled in BASONOVA. There is no advantage in enrolling in one group versus the other, only that when in-person lectures begin again you will be apportioned to the group that matches your state of residence.

Sunday, October 25, 2020 at 7:30 pm EST via Zoom
Destination: Holy Of Holies – An Archaeological Walk Through The Jerusalem Temple

Joan Branham, Providence College
Co-hosted by B’nai Israel Congregation
Co-sponsored by the Haberman Institute for Jewish Studies

King Herod designed and built the Jerusalem Temple in the late first century BCE. Herod wanted a grander complex than the Second Temple, hastily constructed after the return from the Babylonian exile. Herod’s Temple lasted less than a century, as it was destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE.

In its time, Herod’s Temple was, and continues to be, a powerful symbol of sacred space; it continues to influence Judaism and Christianity to this day. It has been emulated, co-opted, exploited, and reinterpreted by religious traditions, from early churches and synagogues to Orlando’s evangelical theme park with its mock Temple recreation.

This illustrated talk will serve as a guide through the Jerusalem Temple by following in the footsteps of the High Priest and worshippers (including Jesus) and navigating the barriers of sanctity and systems of blood, purity, sacrifice, and gender.

Joan Branham is Professor of Art History and Associate Dean, School of Arts and Sciences at Providence College. She is also Chair of the W.F. Albright Institute for Archaeological Research.

 


BAF and its sister organization in Northern Virginia (BASONOVA), are delighted to announce a joint resumption of their lecture series on the ancient Near East and Eastern Mediterranean. This series will be broadcast “live” via Zoom, and “attendees” will be able to direct questions of the presenters.

How to Access the Lecture Series

We will announce additions to the line-up of presenters on a regular basis, as it is our aim to offer more than one event each month. Members will also receive a regular listing of recommended lectures in the public domain.

If you wish to subscribe to the series*, please access the BASONOVA PayPal portal and use a credit card for a one-year 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 $6 per lecture. To receive your single-lecture Zoom invitation, go to: http://www.basonova.org/next-lecture-reservation.html

*Maryland residents will be enrolled in BAF and Virginians will be enrolled in BASONOVA. There is no advantage in enrolling in one group versus the other, only that when in-person lectures begin again you will be apportioned to the group that matches your state of residence.

Sea Peoples in the Promised Land

Wednesday, November 18th
8:00 PM

Wednesday, November 18, 2020 at 8 pm via Zoom

Sea Peoples in the Promised Land

Robert Stieglitz, Rutgers University

Recent archaeological evidence unearthed in Israel and on Cyprus has shed new light on the Philistines, a leading tribe in the confederation the Egyptians termed ‘Peoples of the Sea’. These Sea Peoples settled along the coasts of Canaan at the very end of the Bronze Age (circa 1200 BCE).

Their material culture reveals that these newcomers to the Promised Land, together with allies such as the Sikala, brought from their Aegeo-Anatolian homeland a sophisticated heritage including ashlar architecture and innovations in naval technology.

Some Sea People were literate, using a syllabic script called Cypro-Minoan. Biblical narratives and Egyptian records both portray the Sea Peoples as highly organized warriors. The Philistines gave their name to their new homeland as Philistia (Pelešet/Plšt/Pilišti) whence the Greek transliteration as Palaistinē gave us the term Palestine.


BAF and its sister organization in Northern Virginia (BASONOVA), are delighted to announce a joint resumption of their lecture series on the ancient Near East and Eastern Mediterranean. This series will be broadcast “live” via Zoom, and “attendees” will be able to direct questions of the presenters.

How to Access the Lecture Series

We will announce additions to the line-up of presenters on a regular basis, as it is our aim to offer more than one event each month. Members will also receive a regular listing of recommended lectures in the public domain.

If you wish to subscribe to the series*, please access the BASONOVA PayPal portal and use a credit card for a one-year 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 $6 per lecture. To receive your single-lecture Zoom invitation, go to: http://www.basonova.org/next-lecture-reservation.html

*Maryland residents will be enrolled in BAF and Virginians will be enrolled in BASONOVA. There is no advantage in enrolling in one group versus the other, only that when in-person lectures begin again you will be apportioned to the group that matches your state of residence.

Wednesday, December 2, 2020 at 8 pm EST via Zoom

Wandering Arameans in Egypt: New Light on the Samarian and Judean Diaspora

Tawny Holm, Penn State University

The Hebrew Bible views Egypt as the location of both slavery and refuge. The “wandering Aramean” ancestor mentioned in Deuteronomy 26:5 was a slave in Egypt, whereas the prophet Jeremiah and others chose to flee there after the fall of Samaria/Israel and Judah. This presentation offers a look at the evidence for diaspora life in Egypt found in Papyrus Amherst 63, a long and difficult text written in Aramaic but using the Demotic Egyptian script.

The many compositions in the papyrus reflect the religious traditions and collective cultural memory of a group of Aramaic speakers in Egypt, including Samarians and Judeans. It contains hymns that praise Yaho/Yahweh over other deities, and even an idealized description of their arrival in a new land: “I come from Judah; my brother has been brought from Samaria; and now, a man is bringing up my sister from Jerusalem.”


BAF and its sister organization in Northern Virginia (BASONOVA), are delighted to announce a joint resumption of their lecture series on the ancient Near East and Eastern Mediterranean. This series will be broadcast “live” via Zoom, and “attendees” will be able to direct questions of the presenters.

How to Access the Lecture Series

We will announce additions to the line-up of presenters on a regular basis, as it is our aim to offer more than one event each month. Members will also receive a regular listing of recommended lectures in the public domain.

If you wish to subscribe to the series*, please access the BASONOVA PayPal portal and use a credit card for a one-year 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 $6 per lecture. To receive your single-lecture Zoom invitation, go to: http://www.basonova.org/next-lecture-reservation.html

*Maryland residents will be enrolled in BAF and Virginians will be enrolled in BASONOVA. There is no advantage in enrolling in one group versus the other, only that when in-person lectures begin again you will be apportioned to the group that matches your state of residence.

Wednesday, December 23, 2020 at 8 pm EST via Zoom

Writing on the Wall: Graffiti and the Forgotten Jews of Antiquity

Karen Stern, State University of New York, Brooklyn

Just like their neighbors throughout the eastern and southern Mediterranean, Mesopotamia, Arabia, and Egypt, ancient Jews scribbled and drew graffiti everyplace — in and around markets, hippodromes, theaters, pagan temples, open cliffs, sanctuaries, and even inside burial caves and synagogues. This presentation reveals what these markings tell us about the men and women who made them: people whose lives, beliefs, and behaviors eluded commemoration in grand literary and architectural works.

Making compelling analogies with modern graffiti practices, this presentation will demonstrate the overlooked connections between Jews and their neighbors, showing how popular Jewish practices of prayer, mortuary commemoration, commerce, and civic engagement regularly crossed ethnic and religious boundaries.

Illustrated throughout with examples of ancient graffiti, this lecture provides a tantalizingly intimate glimpse into the cultural worlds of forgotten populations living at the crossroads of Judaism, Christianity, paganism, and earliest Islam.


BAF and its sister organization in Northern Virginia (BASONOVA), are delighted to announce a joint resumption of their lecture series on the ancient Near East and Eastern Mediterranean. This series will be broadcast “live” via Zoom, and “attendees” will be able to direct questions of the presenters.

How to Access the Lecture Series

We will announce additions to the line-up of presenters on a regular basis, as it is our aim to offer more than one event each month. Members will also receive a regular listing of recommended lectures in the public domain.

If you wish to subscribe to the series*, please access the BASONOVA PayPal portal and use a credit card for a one-year 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 $6 per lecture. To receive your single-lecture Zoom invitation, go to: http://www.basonova.org/next-lecture-reservation.html

*Maryland residents will be enrolled in BAF and Virginians will be enrolled in BASONOVA. There is no advantage in enrolling in one group versus the other, only that when in-person lectures begin again you will be apportioned to the group that matches your state of residence.

Wednesday, January 6, 2021 at 8 pm EST via Zoom

Egyptian Rule and Canaanite Resistance as Seen from Jaffa

Aaron Burke, UCLA

Excavations of the Egyptian New Kingdom fortress in Jaffa, on the southern side of Tel Aviv, were undertaken from 1956 to 2014. As the only Egyptian fortress that has been excavated in Canaan, its archaeological record, particularly the evidence from several dramatic destructions, provides a unique perspective on Egyptian rule and local resistance to it from ca. 1460 to 1125 B.C.E.

The archaeological evidence, taken together with textual sources, yields a picture of Canaanite resistance to the Egyptian military presence in Jaffa that originated in centers located throughout the coastal plain and persisted for several centuries until the Egyptians withdrew their garrisons. This presentation is drawn from excavations directed by the speaker and undertaken by the Jaffa Cultural Heritage Project between 2011 and 2014.


BAF and its sister organization in Northern Virginia (BASONOVA), are delighted to announce a joint resumption of their lecture series on the ancient Near East and Eastern Mediterranean. This series will be broadcast “live” via Zoom, and “attendees” will be able to direct questions of the presenters.

How to Access the Lecture Series

We will announce additions to the line-up of presenters on a regular basis, as it is our aim to offer more than one event each month. Members will also receive a regular listing of recommended lectures in the public domain.

If you wish to subscribe to the series*, please access the BASONOVA PayPal portal and use a credit card for a one-year 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 $6 per lecture. To receive your single-lecture Zoom invitation, go to: http://www.basonova.org/next-lecture-reservation.html

*Maryland residents will be enrolled in BAF and Virginians will be enrolled in BASONOVA. There is no advantage in enrolling in one group versus the other, only that when in-person lectures begin again you will be apportioned to the group that matches your state of residence.

Learn more about our phased reopening!