Tomb of the Royal Steward (Jerusalem)

Tomb of the Royal Steward (Jerusalem)

January 18, 2023
7:00 PM


Tomb of the Royal Steward (Jerusalem)

Wednesday, January 18

7 PM

Matthew Suriano, University of Maryland

Hidden from view in the Silwan neighborhood of Jerusalem are the remains of a monumental sepulcher hewn out of bedrock, known today as the Tomb of the Royal Steward.

A royal steward was a high-ranking position in the Kingdom of Judah, equivalent to a vizier or prime minister. This Tomb may have held the remains of Shebna, a royal steward during the reign of King Hezekiah of Judah (in the eighth and seventh centuries BCE). Shebna was criticized by the prophet Isaiah for building such a grand tomb for himself.

The Tomb is famous in modern times for its inscription in pre-Exilic Hebrew, which warns away putative grave robbers. The inscription is so rare and valuable that it was stripped from the Tomb and taken to the British Museum. This lecture traces the rediscovery of the Tomb, examines its design, and follows the decipherment and ownership of the inscription.

The Biblical Archaeology Forum (BAF) begins its thirty-eighth year this autumn. This season we will welcome presentations from evolutionary biologist Ellen Gretak on ancient DNA, Johns Hopkins Egyptologist Betsy Bryan on the 100th anniversary of King Tut’s Tomb discovery, John Ahn of the Howard University Divinity School on the Return from the Babylonian Exile, and several more events which will be listed here as the dates approach

So, 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 (cash or check only):free – High school students;$5 – Residents of CES Life Communities, college students, and co-sponsors;$8 – BASONOVA & Bender JCC members$10 – General public.

To subscribe to the entire 8-session lecture series for $48, or for more information, please contact