The Archaeology of Biblical Israel will cover archaeological, Biblical, and other contemporaneous textual sources to explore the cultures of ancient Israel, also known as the Southern Levant, from the Middle Bronze Age (Age of the Patriarchs) to the end of the Babylonian Exile (ca. 2000-300 BCE). The course will also explore the current state of Biblical archaeology, and consider the various viewpoints in this discipline.
We begin with the history of archaeology in the region, and an exploration of the various schools of thought in Biblical archaeology. The remainder of the course is a chronological study of what is known from archaeology about the various cultures and peoples of the southern Levant, from the Middle Bronze Age until the return of the Israelites from the Babylonian exile during the Persian Empire. This portion of the class will cover the known information of the cultures of the various peoples, including subjects such as religion, architecture, food ways, ceramic styles, decorative arts and subsistence patterns. We will study the archaeological material from these time periods to fuel discussions of the various issues in understanding the Bible as historical text.
Class will be live lectures and discussions, given via Zoom.