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Volume 48, Number 1
Spring 1998



If any would doubt Herschel Shanks' support for ASOR and its work mark this! His was among the earliest contributions received in response to our 1997-98 Annual Appeal and he was the very first person to register for the 1998 fall meeting in Orlando! So I urge everyone to give a serious reading to his post-mortem on "The Annual Meeting(s)" just published in Biblical Archaeology Review 24:2 (henceforth BAR). Like most spin doctors his "Rx for ASOR" (p. 6) and "San Francisco Tremors" (p. 54) are burdened with journalistic hyperbole, but within and beyond the hype he scores a number of valid points. However, while several of his comments warrant repetition and review, a few others need to be corrected and/or refocused.

ASOR's constituency does indeed, as he notes (BAR p. 6), represent a broad spectrum of interests. These reach from Near Eastern prehistory to later classical antiquity and beyond, and from a narrower focus on bible related material culture to a broader concern with the full range of political and cultural entities of the Ancient Near East and of the eastern and even western Mediterranean regions. Throughout its nearly 100 year history, by initiating and supporting field excavation efforts, by encouraging scholarly and public dialogue via an active publications program, and through professional academic meetings, ASOR's mission has included service to all facets of this wide spectrum. Encouraged and supported by the academic societies that helped found it (AIA, AOS, and SBL), ASOR has succeeded in establishing a proud record of accomplishment.

As ASOR now arrives at the threshold of its second century of effort, there is nothing to suggest that the scope of its drive to pursue its broad historic mission should or will change. So while Shanks (with others) seems to want to interpret ASOR's recent decision to conduct an independent annual meeting apart from the SBL/AAR Joint Ventures as a sign of abandonment of its interests in biblical cultures, this is a most serious misreading of the situation. As even a cursory scan of the program of papers read at ASOR's Napa meeting will show, biblically related interests remain very much alive and well within ASOR. Accordingly, why Shanks (BAR p. 54) should find it at all strange that Avraham Biran, now the most senior of ASOR's community of former Jerusalem School fellows, was called on to speak about his experiences as a biblical archaeologist at a special Centennial Banquet is a puzzle. Moreover, coloring ASOR as "elitist" for seeking $125 a plate contributions for the event (BAR p. 55) completely misses, or at least badly misuses, the point that this was after all a special fund raising affair held to benefit the organization's Centennial program activities. Incidentally these funds are designed for support of ALL Centennial activities, including those of the affiliated overseas centers. Despite the now separate incorporation of CAARI, ACOR, and AIAR, their relationships with each other and with ASOR continue to be mutually supportive. However, contrary to Mr. Shanks representation (BAR p. 55), the help from the overseas schools is exclusively in-kind and is provided indirectly to ASOR in fellowship and other support to its constituent members, while ASOR's support to them is more direct through publication exchanges and specific financial contributions. Indeed, through the generosity of its Board Chairman, ASOR has been able to offer direct support of $100,000 to each center during the past two years. This record of largesse exceeds any ever met "in the old days."

Shanks continues with his attempt to paint ASOR into an "elitist" corner by claiming that "an aura emanates from ASOR leadership suggesting that only expert field archaeologists are entitled to engage in its subject matter." (BAR p. 6). He claims to support this by quoting, very much out of context, a comment I made at the committee meeting on archaeological programming we were invited to attend at SBL. Citing the early history of SBL programs when ASOR's part involved only one session on current dig reports, I had posed a question as to whether this type session should be continued. Several participants (not Mr. Shanks) responded quite negatively, stating that such reports were too dry and dull, often concentrating only on details of stratigraphic sequences and field methodologies. In counterpoint I noted that just as with other biblical studies disciplines (eg. philology, text criticism, literary criticism, etc.), concentration on details and methods form necessary features of an informed scholarly dialogue about archaeological data, and that if all SBL wanted were programs that would "skim the cream off the top," its programs would not serve to fairly represent archaeology's contributions. I would also note that in this discussion references were made, by Eric Meyers among others, to the higher standards of scholarship that SBL was pledged to maintain in its programs. My comments were intended to claim that archaeological sessions should not be held to any less rigorous standards.

So if this warrants being styled "elitist" I will stand by it. But no judgment on the value of more popular communications and discussions of archaeological results was intended. Indeed, in this connection ASOR's established record of more general outreach, including its publication of BA (and now NEA), encouragement of volunteer dig participants, sponsorship of public lectures, and initiatives in outreach education programs for High School teachers, speaks for itself.

Even more blatant than Shanks' charges of elitism, however, is his claim that ASOR's leadership has an "exclusionist ... attitude" and that ASOR "has long been ruled by an inner clique." (BAR p. 55) Please! Please! Please!, Mr. Shanks, show some better understanding and respect for our organization. ASOR is a fully democratic member based society. What problems it has are due more to the large numbers of voices that do resonate through its operational structures than to any that are excluded. ASOR operates on the backs of elected (not self appointed!) individuals who give very generously of their professional time and personal money, and who, in their terms as officers, trustees, editors, committee chairs and committee members, do their very best to provide responsible service. All are good and dedicated individuals who operate with open and collegial spirits. As president I personally strive to hold myself as open as possible to communication and dialogue with all of ASOR's members and member constituencies. ASOR's other current officers operate with a similar openness of concern. On this point I believe that Mr. Shanks owes all of us a note of apology.

However, while there is thus much to fault in Shanks' diagnosis of ASOR's problems (one suspects that his stethoscope is monitoring to many of his own self interests in the matter) he does seem to recognize that it is in ASOR's breadth of interest and broad cultural and historical focus that its strength lies, and that an independent meeting is necessary to provide opportunities for expression of this fuller scope. Of more positive importance then, are his comments on prospective annual meeting arrangements. The model he recommends, i.e. coupling support for bible related archaeological programs at SBL with subsequent (Spring?) independent meetings, is one that is already being given serious consideration by ASOR's Committee on Annual Meeting and Program. One clear outcome of ASOR's decision to manage its own Annual Meeting has been the heightened awareness within SBL's leadership regarding the importance of archaeological scholarship for biblical studies. Indeed, as suggested by Shanks, ASOR should and will continue to support SBL in pursuit of its (i.e. SBL's) proper interest in this regard. Through the participation of some of its (i.e. ASOR's) members within the SBL Consortium on Archaeology Programs this is already happening. But should ASOR formally offer to "take over" the task of organizing archaeological programs for SBL, as Shanks recommends? It's a thought! But I believe that it is with SBL, not with ASOR, that the initiative for such a move properly resides.

However, to whatever extent the "SBL plus independent" meeting model might work,it must not embrace Mr. Shanks' "bible folk go here, others go there" presumption. (BAR p.6) Within ASOR, W. F. Albright's early vision of the Ancient Near Eastern world as co-extensive and culturally interdependent must be preserved. Thus while the focus of archaeological interest at SBL should quite legitimately be on biblically related facets, ASOR's own meeting must, nonetheless, continue to embrace the fuller spectrum including interests in biblical cultures.

Tangentially, the Shanks commentary also touches on other miscellaneous matters of concern to ASOR members with regard to possible annual meeting arrangements. As he notes, some are concerned with the prospect of having two meetings to attend and/or of having to choose between them (BAR p. 6). Others worry that holding meetings concurrent with SBL will glut the agenda forcing individuals to choose between competing program sessions (BAR pp. 6 and 71). These quite directly echo comments made in discussions at the Members' Meeting at Napa, from all of which it is very clear that there is no "one size fits all" solution at hand.

But all said, Shanks is quite correct in recognizing that ASOR's great challenge with regard to its Annual Meeting schedule lies in organizing itself to serve the interests of its wider constituencies. ASOR is very much at work facing this challenge. Its opportunities here reside not only in continuing cooperation with SBL, but also in potential liaisons with AIA and AOS, its other Founding Societies, as well as perhaps with ARCE and others. Serious initiatives are underway by CAMP, along with officers and staff members, to explore prospective future meeting arrangements with each of these groups. The immediate objective is to bring forth those models for Annual Meeting arrangements that seem to best satisfy the various practical, financial and professional/intellectual needs of ASOR members. This is without doubt a rather daunting task. It will be accomplished only if member participants are willing to put aside private wishes and parochial concerns and give consideration to the society's greater good. I am optimistic that through open and informed discussions, coupled with deliberate and dedicated committee work, a statesman-like solution can be found.

So I encourage everyone to give the matter thoughtful consideration and to provide constructive input. An invitation for such exchange, accompanied by this commentary will be distributed via ASOR-L, our on-line subscribers' list (at asor-l@shemesh.scholar.emory. edu), but comments and suggestions will also be gladly received by ASOR officers, staff and CAMP members through other means. Shanks is right! ASOR's writ does run large, and its greatest days do lie ahead!

Lynch's Expedition to the Dead Sea

Between 1840 and 1850, the United States Navy launched several exploratory missions in support of science and commerce. American naval officers explored the North Pacific and the South Atlantic. Commodore William Perry visited China and Japan and Lieutenant William Herndon explored the Amazon River Basin. It was in that atmosphere that William Francis Lynch applied to Secretary of the Navy John Y. Mason for "permission to circumnavigate and thoroughly explore the Lake Asphalties or Dead Sea." Mason approved Lynch's proposal and directed him to take command of the U.S.S. Supply and "proceed to the Dead Sea, with your boats, and make the exploration and survey of that interesting sheet of water." The object "is to promote the cause of Sciences, and advance the character of the Naval service; to accomplish which a more favorable opportunity will probably not occur."

On board the Supply, as she weighed anchor on November 26, 1847, were two metal boats, one copper and one iron, and Lynch's crew of thirteen "young, muscular, native-born Americans, of sober habits," each of whom had sworn a pledge to abstain from both alcohol and tobacco.

After a three month voyage, the party landed at Constantinople, staying only long enough to win permission to enter the Jordan Valley from the Ottoman Sultan Abdel Mejid. They then went on to Acre. After an arduous 30 mile portage inland from Acre to Tiberias, Lynch launched his boats, the Fanny Mason and the Fanny Skinner, on the Sea of Galilee in early April, 1848, and began his journey downstream into history. His eight day journey to the Dead Sea was in fact a two-pronged assault. While Lynch navigated a Jordan River he quickly judged too tortuous and too tempestuous to be navigable for large-scale commercial purposes, a land party reconnoitered the surrounding banks. Along the way Lynch took careful measurements and recorded his observations; the land party collected mineral and biological samples, and surveyed archaeological sites including Um Qais, Pella, and Masada.

On April 18, 1848, Lynch and company arrived at the Dead Sea. They spent the next three weeks exploring the area before departing for Jerusalem on May 10. After the month-long survey of the lower Jordan Valley and Dead Sea, the crew spent several days in Jerusalem recovering before proceeding to the Mediterranean coast and Jaffa. Lynch's arrival at Jaffa at the end of May enabled a final calculation of the difference between the levels of the Mediterranean and the Dead Sea, which he ascertained as 1,316.7 feet (401.3 m). Subsequently, without the boats, they worked their way up to the source of the Jordan River. They then went on to Damascus and Baalbek and arrived at Beirut on June 30. One member of the party, Lieutenant John B. Dale, who had contracted a fever during the expedition, died in Lebanon. The party left Beirut for Malta on July 30.

Upon his return home, Lynch faced controversy. The mission became a target for politicians eager to exploit any issue for partisan purposes. One congressional critic argued that the $700 the survey cost should have been spent improving the Savannah River. Lynch took his case to the American people with his colorful and immensely popular Narrative of the United States Expedition to the River Jordan and the Dead Sea (1849), a book that detailed an exotic frontier for antebellum readers. Many of those same readers eventually watched the crisis over slavery become a national tragedy. Lynch published his technical findings as the Official Report of the United States' Expedition to Explore the Dead Sea and the River Jordan (1852). In 1860, he published Commerce and the Holy Land, in which he made an argument for a trade route to the east. He envisioned a canal opening the upper Jordan Valley to the Mediterranean and then road, rail and canal systems across to the Persian Gulf. Publication of Commerce and the Holy Land coincided with the hotly contested 1860 U.S. presidential election. Abraham Lincoln's victory in that election signaled the end of both the Union and Lynch's naval career. On April 21, 1861, Lynch resigned from the navy and, over the next four years, he served the Confederate Navy. At war's end, Lynch surrendered to federal authorities. He died six months later on October 17, 1865.

The story of the 1848 expedition was widely known at the time, but today is little remembered. The 150th anniversary is an appropriate occasion to recall both the accomplishments of the survey and to reflect on its era. The achievements of the expedition were not insignificant. Lynch's documentation of the territories, population sizes, and relationships of the peoples of the area is still useful. The maps created were used far into this century and the information on the Dead Sea, its configuration, depth, and chemical composition, is used today as a standard against which the condition of that fragile body of water can be measured.

The Dead Sea that Lynch and his crew reached on April 18, 1848, was not the same size and shape as it is today. Lynch saw it as one complete unit, not broken as it is now into a larger northern part and a smaller southern part. Lynch notes in his journal that the water depth in the area west of the Lisan Peninsula was shallow and difficult to navigate. By 1851, that stretch of water had been named Lynch's Strait in honor of the explorer. The sea kept a shape that Lynch would have recognized until the 1970s when the effects of water extraction from the Jordan River and other tributaries, as well as large-scale evaporation activities by the chemical industries on both banks, began to take their toll. In the last three decades it has dropped about 15 meters. Because of this, the water covering Lynch's Strait became ever more shallow and concentrated, creating salt reefs that eventually blocked the flow of water from north to south. Lynch's Strait is now dry.

During 1998, ACOR is celebrating the anniversary with a lecture, an exhibit, and publication of The 150th Anniversary of the United States' Expedition to Explore the Dead Sea and the River Jordan by Robert E. Rook.

The commemoration is being undertaken with assistance from the United States Information Agency, the Council of American Overseas Research Centers, the U.S. Embassy in Amman, the United States Navy, the Royal Geographic Center, the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature, and the Municipality of Greater Amman. Patricia M. Bikai, ACOR

(with materials supplied by Robert E. Rook and the Jordanian Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature)

News & Notices

ASOR Awards Committee Solicits Nominations for 1998 The first ASOR Awards annual presentation was one of the highlights of the ASOR Annual meeting in Napa last November. The ASOR Committee on Honors and Awards now invites all ASOR members to submit nominations for candidates who they believe would be deserving of one of the awards. The next presentation will take place at the 1998 ASOR Annual meeting in Orlando, Florida, in November. The Awards categories are the following:

The Richard Scheuer Medal - This is the most prestigious award which honors an individual who has provided truly outstanding, long term support and service contributions to ASOR. (given only as appropriate)

The Charles U. Harris Service Award - This award is given in recognition of long term and/or special service as an ASOR officer or Trustee. (one annual award)

The P. E. MacAllister Field Archaeology Award - This award honors an archaeologist who, during his/her career, has made outstanding contributions to ancient Near Eastern and Eastern Mediterranean archaeology. (one annual award)

The G. Ernest Wright Award - This award is given to the editor/author of the most substantial volume(s) dealing with archaeological material, excavation reports and material culture from the ancient Near East and eastern Mediterranean . This work must be the result of original research published within the past two years. (one annual award)

The Frank Moore Cross Award - This award is presented to the editor/author of the most substantial volume(s) related to ancient Near Eastern and eastern Mediterranean epigraphy, text and/ or tradition. This work must be the result of original research published during the past two years. (one annual award)

The W. F. Albright Award - This award honors an individual who has shown special support or made outstanding service contributions to one of the overseas centers ACOR, AIAR, CAARI, or to one of the overseas committees- the Baghdad committee and the Damascus committee. (given as appropriate)

ASOR Membership Service Award - This award recognizes individuals who have made special contributions on behalf of the ASOR membership through committee, editorial, or office services. (maximum three annual awards)

Nominations should made in writing, before October 1, 1998. Please send a letter in support of the candidate, specifying the award category. Include complete contact information such as postal address, phone, fax, and e-mail for both the sponsor and nominee. Send all completed nominations to Lydie Shufro, ASOR Honors & Awards Committee Chair, 885 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10021-0325; Fax 212 737-4984; e-mail

Tall Hisban 1997

Of the large number of archaeo logical mounds or "talls" located throughout Jordan, none have been investigated more thoroughly and published more widely than Tall Hisban. Located about half way between Naur and Madaba on the edge of the highland plateau where it overlooks the northern tip of the Dead Sea, Tall Hisban is Jordan's most widely known archaeological tall. Until recently, however, the site has been a disappointing place for people to visit, for although some of its most important ruins have been exposed by archaeologists, the story behind the ruins is not very evident except to scholars and professional archaeologists. To the uninitiated, the place is merely a mound with a good view and many deep holes in it!

Thanks to a joint initiative supported financially by Andrews University in the United States and by the Department of Antiquities of Jordan, this summer archaeologists have again returned to the site, this time to clean it up, restore some of its most important ruins, and construct pathways and viewing platforms to make getting around the place safer and easier for visitors. Signs have also been added that help explain some of the most important archaeological features on the tall. A grant from the U.S.-based National Geographic Society is helping to support the gathering of certain new data at the site and in the surrounding region that will be used in helping to tell the story of how people lived here in the past and how their daily life activities contributed to the changes that have occurred in the local landscape over time.

A deliberate effort has been made to enlist the support of the local inhabitants of the village of Hisban in this project. To this end, the work has been facilitated by the village mayor, who helped arrange for sixteen young men from the village to come and work with the team of twenty foreign archaeologists. The mayor also helped locate a local school teacher to assist with painting and lettering of the dozen or so signs that have gone up at the site. The sign posts themselves were made by an iron smith from Hisban. The mayor, the teacher, and the local workmen, have all been enlisted and trained to help educate the rest of the village about the significance of the site to Jordan's history and about the importance of their helping to protect it.

Why is this site so important to Jordan's history? What can one learn from visiting the place? What specifically should a visitor look for at the site?

The first thing to notice when visiting Tall Hisban is its profile against the horizon as seen from the road. Whether you are heading toward it from Naur or from Madaba, the summit of the site towers above its surroundings-a mound of ruins reaching high above the village houses that huddle around its lower slopes. What you are seeing is what archaeologists refer to as a tall-a stratified concentration of remains of ancient streets, terraces, courtyards, buildings, cisterns and artifacts of all kinds accumulated over centuries and millennia of human occupation and use.

Excavations at Tall Hisban in the late sixties and early seventies uncovered nineteen superimposed strata at the site.

The earliest and deepest of these go back over three thousand years, to the beginning of the Early Iron Age or the mid-thirteenth century B.C. From this period the remains of a four meter deep defensive moat can be seen which served to protect the southern approach of this possibly Reubenite village from attackers. A defensive wall likely also surrounded the small cluster of dwellings concentrated inside it, but all that remains of it and the village houses are rough hewn stones, many of them having tumbled into the moat. A probe aimed at intercepting the eastern portion of this moat was successfully completed this summer. The fledgling agricultural village appears to have gradually prospered and grown throughout the Early Iron Age (ca 1250 ç900 BC). This is evidenced by the addition, sometime during the tenth century B.C., of a massive water reservoir on the southern saddle of the mound. Its dimensions were 17.5 - 17.5 meters wide and 7 meters deep with an estimated water storage capacity of about 2,200,000 cubic liters. Visitors to the tall can still see the neatly plastered eastern wall of the reservoir.

The puzzling question about this reservoir is how it was filled, for it is located too high up on the tall to allow sufficient water to be collected to fill it all the way up-even under the best of rainfall conditions. This is perhaps one reason why it was not kept up for long, for soon after it was constructed, it appears to have gone out of use. In fact, throughout the following nineth and eighth centuries B.C., the entire tall appears to have undergone a period of sleepy inactivity as far as any new construction is concerned. While there were no doubt people who continued to utilize the site on a seasonal basis, direct evidence for this is limited.

The ascent of the powerful tribal kingdoms of Ammon and Moab in Jordan during the seventh and sixth centuries B.C. meant a new lease on life for Tall Hisban as well. A citadel of sorts likely existed on the summit and houses were clustered around it on the slopes of the tall. The large reservoir appears also to have been brought back into use. A probe conducted this summer along what appears to have been a defensive wall running along the western slope of the tall established its construction and use during this period. The site was probably controlled by the Ammonites, judging from the pottery and several ostraca from the period, and may have served as a way station or supply depot along the King's Highway.

The Late Iron Age town appears to have come to a sudden, violent end sometime during the fifth century B.C. and was thereafter left in a state of abandonment for nearly three centuries. The evidence for this is the absence of any significant quantities of Late Persian and Early Hellenistic remains and the large quantities of ash in the debris scraped from the abandoned Late Iron Age town into the reservoir by later rebuilders in the second century B.C. That the site continued to be used by semi-sedentary peoples who camped in its caves and ruins is very likely, but remains to be demonstrated.

The classical era begins at Tall Hisban during the Late Hellenistic period (second century B.C.) with the construction of a military fort on the summit and extensive re-use and construction in the caves surrounding the tall. Visitors to the site can still see the remains of its four corner towers and the massive wall that connected them. This summer one of these towers was cleared of debris, as was the south entrance into the complex.

During the Roman period Hisban-or Esbus as it was known then-benefitted from its location at the intersection of the Via Nova Trajana and Esbus/Livias roads. An inn with an enclosed courtyard was constructed on the south slope of the tall, and on the acropolis, earlier masonry was incorporated into what has been interpreted as a small temple-perhaps the one depicted on the Elagabalus coin minted for Esbus. This summer, the portico walls of the temple were cleaned in preparation for future reconstruction of a portion of the temple entrance.

The classical era at Hisban reached its climax during the Byzantine period. Not only the tall itself, but much of the region today making up the modern village of Hisban belonged to the Byzantine town of Esbus. The town had at least two Christian basilica, one on the acropolis, and another to the north of the tall. Two large reservoirs were constructed as well, one in the wadi to the west and another in the wadi to the east of the tall. The slopes leading down to these wadies were terraced and likely planted to grapes, olive and other fruit trees, and the wadis themselves were criss-crossed by diversion dams and terraces. The town appears to persist as such well into the Umayyad period. Thereafter it reverts to a state of sleepy inactivity.

After several centuries of low intensity use of the site, probably by semi-sedentary tribesmen, a new period of building and industry returns to Hisban. This happens during the Ayyubid, and especially the Mamluk period, when a caravansary was inserted into the classical ruins on the tall, complete with barrel-vaulted rooms and a bath complex featuring both hot and cold water. During this period Hisban replaced Amman as the capital of the Belqa region of central Transjordan. A much needed restoration of the Mamluk bath was undertaken this summer as part of the season's site enhancement efforts.

An important new source of information about the Ottoman period at Tall Hisban appears to be the numerous caves and sub-terranean barrel vaulted rooms located in clusters throughout the tall and elsewhere in the region. On the southern slope of the tall, adjacent to the large reservoir, such a cluster is discernable in the undulating surface of the ground. To learn more about this particular cluster, excavation was undertaken in one of its cave complexes. It turned out to be a multi-storied complex consisting of a barrel-vaulted room added on the top level of a large cave complex.

While the vaulted room produced pottery from the Ottoman and Mamluk periods, limited probes in one of the rooms of the cave below it yielded a Byzantine date. Throughout this lower subterranean dwelling complex arches and neatly hewn stones had been erected to help support the ceiling and divide the space into rooms. The complex also had a cistern and two storage silos inside it. The top of its westward-facing doorway from the same time period was located circa two meters below the present-day surface.

Preliminary excavations of this complex suggest that its occupational history dates back at least to the Iron Age, and perhaps even into the Bronze Age. The reason for this claim is that a pocket of Iron II pottery was unearthed from one of the storage silos. Also, a small hand-made juglet was found in an adjacent silo that on initial inspection appears to be from the Early Bronze I period. Due to the fact that it was found on top of layers containing Mamluk pottery, it could be Ottoman instead, however.

It is now very clear that much more work needs to be done to explore the history of human use of the large quantity of cave complexes around Tall Hisban. Very likely many of these were used more or less continuously throughout the entire history of human occupation of the site. During periods of prosperity and build-up of houses above the ground, a few of them were extensively enhanced to serve the needs of wealthier families. Many others were used by the poor. During so-called "gap periods" on the tall during which there is little evidence of permanent human settlement, these caves no doubt continued to be used as seasonal residences.

The seasonal use of caves in Hisban is well-known from the Late Ottoman and Early Modern period when the Ajarmeh families who today live in the cement houses in the village used to live in now abandoned caves throughout the village. A cluster of about thirty of these caves can be seen from the summit of Tall Hisban along the slopes of the wadi to the west. A sign and a platform have been prepared that direct visitors' attention to this Late Ottoman cave village at Hisban.

What sets Tall Hisban apart from other tourist attractions in Jordan is that it is not only a place to learn about the remarkable achievements of the Romans and Byzantines in Jordan, but a place to learn about the adaptation of the indigenous population of the country to the opening up and closing off of contact between Jordan and the rest of the world that accompanied each of the cycles of sedentarization and nomadization in the region. In particular, the caves provide a window on the sorts of practices that made the indigenous population such remarkably resilient survivors-such a hardy people.

How these cycles have been played out in the hinterland of Hisban is a question that has been investigated this summer by our hinterland survey team. Using the random square technique developed in previous seasons of work in the Umeiri region, the team succeeded in finishing survey of 100 randomly selected 200 - 200 m squares from within 5 km radius of Hisban. In addition, the team's botanist collected information on present-day trees that will be used to prepare a map of the present-day forest species in the region. Its geoarchaeologist studied patterns of soil erosion and efforts to control it in antiquity so as to be able to reconstruct the impact of each cycle of intensification of use of the land on the local landscape. These data, along with those collected on the tall, will be used to reconstruct the impact on the local landscape of successive episodes of pumping-up and slacking off in the intensity of human settlement and land use in this region over time.

Tell Qarqur 1997

Excavations continued at Tell Qarqur in the summer of 1997 in of our previously excavated areas.

Though our work concentrated again on the Iron Age gateway area, Area A (fig. 1), it also continued in Area B on the highest point of the tell, Area E on the southern slopes of the high tell and Area D on the low tell (fig. 2). The excavations this year convinced us that we have to shift our focus from Area A to Area E, if we hope to make progress in understanding the Iron Age citadel area of the site. More of the gateway plan was uncovered, but so far nothing more was preserved of the stairway leading up to the gateway. Portions of two earlier structures dating to the Middle Bronze Age II were encountered, and one of these was an earlier stairway underlying the one previously excavated. Iron II materials continued for over a meter beneath the main occupation floor of the west room of the gateway, and it seems that this gateway was used in one building phase. Gravel layers encountered beneath Ayyubid, Byzantine, Roman and Hellenistic remains are apparently all that are present east of the stone-paved street inside the gateway, indicating an open courtyard area, a feature not unexpected in Iron Age citadels. It is now quite clear that most of the structures that once existed in this area after the Early Bronze Age were removed when the gateway was cut into the side of the tell. The first well-preserved architectural phase that extends under the Iron Age gravels is clearly Early Bronze Age IV in date. The building(s) were heavily destroyed many times in a long sequence of tight rebuildings and we still have to link the building remains of several squares to know whether we have just one building or several.

The length of the Iron Age sequence is being demonstrated in Areas B and D. In Area D we have just cleared most of the later remains in several squares to get down to the Iron Age, which so far is indicated by more than one meter of stratified remains. We expect this sequence to parallel Area B where a long Iron Age sequence has been excavated for several seasons and this year reached transitional Iron I-II levels.

In Area E we encountered major stone foundations in our highest square but despite an interesting collection of Iron II artifacts can not yet date these walls accurately without more work. We have exposed a portion of a casemate wall or a portion of a structure with walls comparable to the gateway structure in Area A. Our most exciting finds come from the lower levels exposed in this area, where a badly destroyed building is being excavated. Walls of a room are in the north and south balks and the room extends farther to the east and west. Many objects, a good sampling of pottery, and good zoological and botanical samples dating to the end of the Early Bronze Age have been recovered. These clearly parallel the materials encountered in Area A. Among the objects found is the figurine shown in fig. 3 that is typical of the period but larger than usual and reconstructed from scattered pieces-with two more to come?!

Thanks are due again to the Catholic Biblical Association, ASOR and private donors, particularly P. E. and Rebecca MacAllister, for their continued support, and to the many members of the Syrian Directorate General of Antiquities who helped us this year, to Father Ibrahim Younis who provided our camp facilities in Ghassaniyah and Djisr Choghour, to the mukhtar of Qarqur village and about 36 residents of the village, to our guard at Qarqur and to the 15 members of the excavation staff

W. F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research, Jerusalem
Project Descriptions of Albright Appointees

W.F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research
P.O. Box 19096
91190 Jerusalem, Israel

The following is a report on the activities of the 1997-1998 Appointees of the W.F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research in Jerusalem. These are brief summaries of the Appointees' activities. There were fifty-one Appointees (one with a double appointment): 17 named Professorships of Fellowships; 31 Associate Senior, Post-Doctoral, and Research Fellowships; and three Honorary Fellowships (USIA/CAORC Multi-Country Research Fellows).

1. Philistine Cult in the Seventh Century B.C.E.: An Archaeological Perspective on the Impact of Multi-Cultural Influences

Seymour Gitin, Dorot Director and Professor of Archaeology, Albright Institute

This study analyzes Late Philistine religious practice in the seventh century B.C.E., based on the archaeological data excavated at Tel Miqne-Ekron by co-directors S. Gitin and T. Dothan. In the seventh century B.C.E., Ekron, one of the Philistine pentapolis, was a Neo-Assyrian vassal city-state and the largest olive-oil production center excavated to date. The primary goal is to assess, within the wider ancient Near Eastern cultural context, the impact of multi-cultural influences on the religious practices of the Philistines in the seventh century. Neo-Assyrian, Egyptian, Israelite, Judaean, Phoenician and Philistine pottery, votives, chalices, figurines, ivories, scarabs, altars, cultic installations, incense ladles, and inscriptions, as well as domestic, industrial and sanctuary architectural design concepts, will be examined in light of the biblical text, the Neo-Assyrian annals, and the Neo-Babylonian chronicles. Primary to this study is an evaluation of the methodologies employed to define what is sacred space and what structures and artifacts are cultic. In recent years, there has been a virtual explosion of archaeological data, much of it still unpublished, from Judah, the Northern Negev, Edom and Philistia. The incorporation of these data with the evidence from Ekron offers the possibility of a breakthrough in our understanding of the effect of multi-cultural contacts in the seventh century. The primary stimulus for these contacts was the imposition of aggressive imperial economic ideology by the Neo-Assyrian kings in the late 8th and seventh centuries B.C.E.. This control created a new international environment that greatly influenced religious practices in Philistia. Gitin's research currently focuses on altars and inscriptions. Based on the corpus of forty-five four-horned and un-horned altars from five sites in Israel, three in Judah, two in Philistia (18 from Ekron), and from Assyria, his study will show that there is sufficient evidence to suggest that the form of the four-horned altar transmitted a sacred quality over hundreds of years from the Late Bronze through the Iron Age. It is also highly likely that the four-horned altar maintained its functional association with the burning of incense. The 17 ink inscriptions from Tel Miqne-Ekron demonstrate three key attributes of Philistine cultic practice. These include worship of the goddess, Asherat; the presence of both central shrine worship and a decentralized worship system; and a priestly support system related to the shrine. In addition, the newly uncovered royal dedicatory stone inscription, found in situ in a sanctuary, will provide new data for analyzing central shrine worship.

2. Prophets and History: The Seventh Century B.C.E.

Robert D. Haak, Acting Director and Annual Professor; Augustana College, Rock Island, IL

The seventh century B.C.E. was a period of great turmoil in the ancient Near East. It witnessed the demise of one empire (the Assyrian), a brief period of renewed hope for independence among regional states such as Judah, and the subsequent re-establishment of domination by the superpowers represented by Egypt and Babylonia. Within these chaotic times, Judah struggled to implement policies that would best serve its interests and ensure its survival. Among the voices heard within the debates of the seventh century are those of figures that have been preserved in the Hebrew Bible as prophets. This project continues the study of the prophetic writings of the seventh century B.C.E., using the insights into the culture and history of the period provided by the archaeological and historical record, with special attention to the political agenda reflected in the texts.

3. Lamentations: A New Interpretation

F. W. Dobbs-Allsopp, National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow; Yale University

The goal of this project is the preparation of a study of Lamentations for the Interpretation series (Westminster/John Knox). The commentary will combine historical-critical and literary-critical interests and will feature a reading of Lamentations' constituent poems, both individually and as a coherent whole, which considers questions of genre, foregrounds the lyrical nature of the poetry, and accentuates the poems' tragic sensibilities. The preparation of the commentary will be undertaken in light of a re-analysis of all issues related to the interpretation of these poems (e.g., history of research, text criticism, philology, history and archaeology, etc.), including the compilation of a comprehensive set of critical notes, as well as a new and explicitly poetic translation. The ultimate goal is to present a fresh and comprehensive interpretation of Lamentations which moves dialectically between the ancient past of these poems' origin and the very different and variegated present in which they are now read and gain their significance.

4. Quantitative Analysis of Late Seventh Century B.C.E. Pottery from Ashkelon

David Schloen, National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow; Oriental Institute, University of Chicago

Schloen's project entails the sorting and measuring (i.e., weights, counts, rim percentages, etc.) of pottery sherds from the late seventh century B.C.E. destruction of Philistine Ashkelon. It is part of the larger project of preparing the final report of the Leon Levy Expedition to Ashkelon, directed by Lawrence Stager of Harvard University. The goal is to obtain accurate estimates of the relative proportions of each type and sub-type of both local and imported pottery and to use various computer-aided techniques to search for spatial and temporal patterns of distribution of the pottery, as well as patterns of association of different types of pottery with other types of remains. The results will be presented descriptively in tabular and graphic form, and an attempt will be made to interpret substantively any patterns that are uncovered in functional, chronological, or cultural-political terms.

5. Biocultural Reconstruction of Byzantine Monastic Life: A Synthesis of the Historical and Biological Records in an Assessment of Human Adaptability

Susan Guise Sheridan, National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow; Assistant Professor of Anthropology, University of Notre Dame

During the Byzantine period, the monastery of St. Stephen's played an important role in the early church and, therefore, appears in numerous writings from the era. When this cultural information is added to the biological data, recorded in the bones of the Byzantine inhabitants interred in St. Stephen's crypt complex under the modern Ecole Biblique et Archeologique Francaise, an intriguing picture of life for this ancient Jerusalem monastery emerges. The largely male composition (99%) of the collection, represented by 15,000 skeletal elements, is explained by the historical record of a very large monastery at this site during the fifth to sixth centuries C.E. The robust, healthy, well-muscled stature of these men, who lived on average into their early 1950s, accords with the historical accounts of an affluent community at this location. The historical record also aids in the diagnosis of pathological conditions, such as the arthritic response in over 90% of the knees of adults, suggesting its probable cause: sustained, repetitive kneeling for prayer. This finding demonstrates a link between behavior and skeletal response. In addition, prominent among the skeletal remains are numerous sub-adults (approximately 1/3 of the collection). The large number of children alludes to the possible role of the monastery as a hospital or orphanage. Descriptions of this role in urban monasteries abound for other regions, although no historical reference of this function at St. Etienne has been found to date. The synthesis of written and biological records presents an opportunity to expand beyond a purely textual approach in reconstructing early urban monasticism. The biocultural approach recognizes the importance of incorporating biological aspects of human adaptability with social and symbolic mechanisms of human interaction for a fuller understanding of life in the past.

6. A Social History of Highland Israel in the Twelfth and Eleventh Centuries B.C.E.

Robert D. Miller II, James A. Montgomery Fellow and Program Coordinator; University of Michigan

This project explores the society of the core Israelite settlement in the Iron I period: the hill country between Jerusalem and the Jezreel Valley. Many recent studies have grappled with this period, utilizing various methods of archaeological analysis and examination of the biblical text of Judges and 1 Samuel. The primary focus of these studies has usually been on the origin of the early Israelites or on the trajectory to statehood around 1000 B.C.E., without concentrating on twelfth and eleventh century society itself. The aim of Miller's research is to write a social history of this early Israel, beginning with an anthropological analysis of the archaeological material. A full database of Iron I occupations in the north-central highlands has been compiled and subjected to several locational-geographic manipulations that illustrate the economic and political interactions between the sites. This information is tied to the ethnographically-derived anthropological model of "complex chiefdom" in order to describe the social structure of the Iron I society. Ancient Near Eastern textual material from Egypt further enhances the reconstruction. The reconstruction and the archaeological realia upon which it is based are compared with the biblical accounts of the settlement period. Many broad backgrounds and several specific incidents in the biblical record prove to be consistent with the anthropological reconstruction of the society, while other features of the biblical stories seem to have no correlation at all to this historical reconstruction of the twelfth and eleventh centuries.

7. Jerusalem in Early Jewish-Christian Debate

Susan L. Graham, George A. Barton Fellow; Ph.D. Candidate, University of Notre Dame

The project examines the topography of sites in Jerusalem claimed as monuments of sacred history by Jews and Christians in the period between 135 and 634 C.E., in particular the physical relationships between commemorative sites that were subject to disagreement and even relocation. Topographical investigation of sacred sites offers a new line of inquiry in the attempt to reconstruct Jewish-Christian relations in late antiquity. This can be demonstrated by studies published over the past decade, such as that dealing with the polemic implicit in the position and location of the Holy Sepulchre complex and its various monuments, with reference to the Temple Mount and its former buildings. Much of the data for reconstructing early Jewish-Christian relations has come from Rabbinic and Christian biblical commentaries and anti-Jewish polemical treatises of the period, along with some historical works. Graham's study includes an examination of texts that describe the sites in late antiquity, especially travel accounts, which, when added to the data derived from the commentaries and polemical sources, make it possible to undertake a fresh reconstruction of the dynamics between Jews and Christians in late antiquity. The project will add to the existing studies an analysis of the remaining physical locations in Jerusalem that were part of early Christian and Jewish sacred traditions. Three classes of sites will be assessed: sites upon whose location early Christians and Jews agreed; sites whose locations were disputed by the two traditions; and sacred memorials that were subject to relocation by either community in late antiquity. The last will be a focus of the investigation. In addition to the resulting catalogue of sites, which will contribute to a fuller view of the role that sacred places played in early Jewish-Christian debate concerning Jerusalem, this analysis will shed light on the theological themes involved in disputes over the location of sacred sites. It will also further clarify our understanding of each community's direct knowledge of Jerusalem and its sacred monuments in late antiquity.

8. The Architectural Patronage of the Mamluk Governor Tankiz al-Nasiri in Jerusalem

Ellen Kenney, Samuel H. Kress Fellow and USIA/Council of American Overseas Research Centers Multi-Country Fellow; Ph.D. Candidate, New York University

The Mamluk amir Sayf al-Din Tankiz al-Nasiri was an active sponsor of buildings and urban projects in Syria and Palestine during the reign of Sultan al-Nasir Muhammad ibn Qalawun, one of the most productive and well documented periods for architecture in the Mamluk era. His unusually long tenure as governor of Damascus (1312-1340) allowed him to give sustained attention to the region at a time when the vicissitudes of political careers often interrupted patronage efforts. During his term, Tankiz expanded his control regionally, accumulated an enormous personal fortune and cultivated a close and influential relationship with the Sultan. With these resources, Tankiz sponsored an ambitious program of building and urban works in Damascus, Jerusalem and throughout the province.

The goal of this project is to examine the architectural and urban patronage of Tankiz al-Nasiri in Syria and Palestine. The extant constructions and restorations sponsored by Tankiz in Jerusalem will be investigated and considered within the wider context of his works throughout bilad al-sham. In Jerusalem, his madrasa complex is one of the masterpieces of Bahri Mamluk architecture. Other works include a women's ribat, or hostel, a khan and a bath. Moreover, Tankiz played a significant role in the Sultan's patronage in Jerusalem, including restorations to the sanctuary of the Dome of the Rock and the al-Aqsa Mosque and the construction of a new vaulted market street near the sanctuary. The project will also consider Tankiz's works within the broader context of Mamluk patronage and political history. Numerous chronicles, biographies and historical geographies dating from the Mamluk period provide information about Tankiz and his contemporaries. Based on this material, as well as archaeological and epigraphic sources, specific patronage issues will be addressed, including the relationship between the amir in Damascus and the sultan in Cairo, and its impact on architectural and urban development in Syria; the role of the patron in the inter-regional transfer of designs, artisans, workshops and materials; and the relationship between Tankiz's architectural commissions and his acquisitions, administrative measures and political goals.

9. The Origins of Aphrodite

Stephanie L. Budin, Samuel H. Kress Joint Athens/Jerusalem Fellow; Ph.D. Candidate, University of Pennsylvania

This study examines when, whence, how and why the goddess Aphrodite became incorporated into the Greek pantheon. As such, it is an inquiry into the intellectual and religious history of Greece, the trade and cultural contacts between the Aegean and the Near East, and the evolution of the Near Eastern goddesses of sex. Since the days of Herodotos, it has been assumed that Aphrodite was originally of Near Eastern derivation, the Hellenic equivalent of Ashtart or Ishtar. Since the 5th century B.C.E. numerous hypotheses have arisen to explain this goddess's presence in the Greek divine family. Various scholars argue for Aphrodite's Levantine/Mesopotamian, Cypriot or Indo-European origins.

Budin's project provides a multi-disciplinary approach to the problem. Making use of literature (Greek, Linear B, Ugaritic, Akkadian, Syllabo-Cypriot, the Indic Vedas and occasionally even the Norse Eddas), art history, archaeology, anthropology, comparative mythology and feminist theory, this study determines the role of Aphrodite in the Greek mentality, the chronology of her cult in the Aegean, the path by which her cult reached Greece, her ultimate ancestor(s), and how the goddess changed over time and space. Having used the ancient mythology to determine where and where not to look for cognates of Aphrodite in the ancient world (in the Near East, not in the Indo-Europeans), this study follows the path of Aphrodite's cult from the Near East through Cyprus into Crete and Greece. The Linear B tablets and the works of Hesiod and Homer show that the goddess's cult did not take hold in Greece until after the Bronze Age, but well before the other "Asiatic" cults emerged, such as those of Isis and Serapis. The Homeric Epics and Hymns point to a Cypriot origin of Aphrodite, which thus becomes the next step on her journey. Cyprus shows a complex and long-lived tradition of goddess worship, especially in those places later to be associated with Aphrodite, such as Paphos. Nevertheless, it is evident that Near Eastern iconography and ideology had a strong influence on Late Bronze Age Cypriot religion. As such, the Paphian goddess known to the Cypriots as Wanassa ("Queen") was simultaneously recognized by the Greeks as Aphrodite and to the Phoenicians as Ashtart. The presence of Ashtart as a Ugaritic goddess might be traced back in Cyprus to as early as the 13th century, while Near Eastern contacts and trade are documented from the 18th century. Ashtart, a sex goddess like Aphrodite, is herself a mixture of West Semitic and Mesopotamian elements, and thus one final aim of this work is to unravel the complex relationships between the Sumerian Inanna, the Akkadian Ishtar, and the Ugaritic/West Semitic goddesses Ashtart and Anat, who split between them the various attributes of their eastern neighbours.

For too long, all female divinities have been relegated to the category of "fertility" or "mother" goddesses, a generalizing tendency that is often incorrect and hampers analysis of the various goddesses with their distinctive attributes. As such, an important aspect of this study of Aphrodite and her cognates is to come to a fuller understanding of ancient concepts of sexuality and what role sex and sex goddesses played in ancient societies.

10. The Archaeological Sites of Jerusalem

Robert Schick, Islamic Studies Fellow and Annual Professor; Institute of Islamic Archaeology, Al-Quds University

Schick's project is a continuation of his long-term research project involving the study of the archaeological sites and architectural monuments in Jerusalem. The results of this work are being incorporated into an expanded English edition of Klaus Bieberstein and Hanswulf Bloedhorn, Jerusalem: GrundzÄge der Baugeschichte vom Chalkolithikum bis zur FrÄhzeit der osmanischen Herrschaft (Beihefte zum TÄbinger Atlas des vorderen Orients, Weisbaden: Dr. Ludwig Reichert Verlag, 1994, 3 volumes, 1249 pages). The first volume contains a summary of the history, archaeological sites and architectural monuments of Jerusalem, presented by period. The second and third volumes include a corpus of sites with a short description of each, followed by extensive bibliographic citations.

11. Archaeological Evidence of the Impact of Coinage on Palestine During the Persian Period

Gerald M. Bilkes, United States Information Agency Junior Research Fellow; Ph.D. Candidate, Princeton Theological Seminary

Achaemenid fiscal policies and Phoenician commerce introduced the use of minted exchange in Palestine during the course of the fifth century B.C.E. Although precious metals had previously functioned as unstandardized "money," political standardization and guarantee revolutionized economic relations and development. During this period in Palestine, Greek and Phoenician silver coins predominated, together with local Athenian tetradrachm imitations, produced and circulated by local mints, including those in Gaza, Samaria, Ashdod, Ashkelon, and Jerusalem. So far, studies of coinage in Persian period Palestine have usually focused on numismatics.

This project examines the economic impact of coinage in Palestine during the Persian period on the basis of material culture. The results of numismatic research are coordinated with the archaeological evidence of economic development. The latter involves the study of data relative to demography, settlement patterns, infrastructure, modes of production, and commerce. The material culture of coastal settlements such as Akhzib, Acco, Shiqmona, Dor, Jaffa, Yavneh, Ashdod, and Ashkelon clearly indicates economic build-up. The hinterland also appears to have benefited from the coastal economic gain. A comparison of the provenance and distribution of excavated coins with the archaeology and topography of economic development is crucial in tracing the effects of the implementation of coinage.

12. The Cultural Organization of Space: Architectural Variability and Spatial Patterning at Tel Miqne-Ekron in the Iron Age I

Laura B. Mazow, United States Information Agency Junior Research Fellow; University of Arizona

Tel Miqne-Ekron presents a unique opportunity to study, both synchronically and diachronically, the influence of culture on the social organization of space. A number of recent studies have suggested that architectural variability and the organization of space are strongly influenced by cultural determinants. Therefore, spatial distribution of ceramic types and other aspects of material culture in relation to the built environment may demonstrate patterns of activity areas and social organization that are culturally distinct. Excavations at Tel Miqne-Ekron have revealed a complex plan of Philistine urban development with distinctive functional zones: industrial, public, cultic and residential. The material culture of Ekron, exemplified by its distinct city plan, as well as unique architectural features, cultic installations, and the decorated ceramic assemblage, reflects the Aegean background of the inhabitants. The arrival of newcomers from the Aegean to Tel Miqne-Ekron at the beginning of the Iron I makes this 'foreign' urban settlement an excellent site to address the issue of cultural influences on architecture and the use of space, both domestic and public, in the initial stages of occupation and city-planning. A second issue to be addressed is the change over time in the organization of space as it relates to the acculturation of the Philistine culture to its new environment. The model proposed is that chronological changes in the make-up of the artifact assemblage can be used to discern changes in the functional use of architectural spaces. The marked changes in Philistine ceramics from the locally produced Mycenaean IIIC:1b to the culturally related Philistine Bichrome, and the contemporary changes in architectural layout observed at Ekron, suggest this site as an ideal place to address this issue.

13. Beth Shean in the Late Bronze Age

Robert A. Mullins, United States Information Agency Junior Research Fellow; Ph.D. Candidate and Research Assistant, Hebrew University

Egypt exercised control in Canaan during the Late Bronze Age, and historical texts and archaeological remains both testify to the role of Beth Shean in helping to administer this empire. In particular, the site's location in a fertile region at the strategic juncture of the Jezreel and Jordan Valleys endowed Beth Shean with an important military and economic advantage. This role, in addition to the site's biblical significance (cf. 1 Sam. 31), drew the attention of early archaeologists from the University of Pennsylvania who explored the tel (1921-1933 ) in one of the largest archaeological enterprises of its day.

The purpose of this project is to re-evaluate the stratigraphy, architecture and pottery of fifteenth-fourteenth century Beth Snother setting, or both? Are the "dramatic" elements of the judicial procedures indicated in the literary sources (oaths, warnings to the witnesses, declarations, punishments, etc.) reflected in the physical environment of these procedures? The project aims to evaluate the non-Talmudic and especially the non-literary sources pertaining to these questions. Extending the interaction between extra-Talmudic and Talmudic sources may prove to be fruitful for both fields. The relatively large amount of archaeological evidence from communal structures in Palestine enables a clearer evaluation of this material. This allows us to refine our knowledge of the Talmudic judicial procedure on the one hand, and to understand certain elements of the design and the architecture of the excavated communal buildings, on the other.

18. Anchor Bible Commentary on the Book of Jeremiah

Jack R. Lundbom, Senior Fellow (National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow); University of California-San Diego

The focus of this project is a study of the so-called "Foreign Nation Oracles" of Jeremiah 46-51 as part of a multi-volume commentary on Jeremiah (Anchor Bible). Specific archaeological sites on Judah's periphery which were occupied in the seventh and sixth centuries B.C.E., for example, Ashkelon, Ekron, Lachish and Arad, will be examined. Dead Sea Scrolls fragments of the text of Jeremiah will also be consulted.

19. A Scientific Commentary on Deutero-Isaiah

Shalom Paul, Senior Fellow; The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

The goal of this project is to write a scientific commentary on Deutero-Isaiah. This work combines textual, exegetical, literary and philological studies with the findings from the several scrolls of Isaiah from Qumran. It makes use of the best of the medieval and modern commentators. An added dimension is its extensive employment of the literary works from the ancient Near East to further elucidate many passages in the prophecies, focusing on Mesopotamian, Ugaritic, Phoenician and Aramaic sources. Another feature is attention to the influence on the shape of the oracles of various earlier Biblical literary genres. Second Isaiah was highly influenced by his predecessors, primarily from the Torah and prophetic literature. The unique theological features of his prophecies are stressed, and he is shown to be the pinnacle of prophecy, both ideationally as well as lyrically.

20. Stratigraphy and Pottery of Area A, Tel Hamid

Samuel Wolff, Senior Fellow; Israel Antiquities Authority

Tel Hamid is located on the outskirts of Ramla, ca. 6 km northwest of Tel Gezer. The site, approximately 60 dunams in size, has been surveyed several times, but never previously excavated. Scholars have identified the site with Gat/Gittaim and Gibbethon of the Old Testament. Excavations in Area A, co-directed by S. Wolff and Alon Shavit in 1996, revealed stratified Iron Age remains dating from the tenth/ninth until the seventh century B.C.E., in addition to a limited Byzantine occupation. The architectur territories. The archaeological data from sites such as Ekron, Hazor, Megiddo, Lachish and Gezer, and evidence from Assyrian palace reliefs and other artifacts, are examined. These data help to reconstruct the consequences of this imperial system in terms of the local development of the conquered territories and also make possible the reconstruction of the mechanism of Assyrian military expansion (first and foremost, of the Assyrian war machine).

15. EBI Megalithic Structures (Dolmens) in Palestine

Elzbieta Dubis, Andrew W. Mellon Fellow; Jagiellonian University, Poland

Two aspects of this project were completed. The first involved the compilation of a comprehensive bibliography from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries dealing with dolmens and other megalithic structures. Based on these reports and Dubis's own survey, 96 sites were identified and mapped using the Palestine Grid coordinates. A bibliography and description for each site was developed. These descriptions included comments on architecture and burial rituals that were in evidence. Settlement patterns near the dolmen fields were also noted. For example, 87% of the sites were located 1-3 km from EB I settlements.

The second phase entailed the study of EB I-II pottery from the excavation of dolmens at Tell el-Umeiri in Jordan as part of the Madaba Plains Project. All the pottery from the excavation was analyzed, described, drawn and pottery plates composed. Parallels from other well-stratified settlements and cemetery sites indicate that the Tell el-Umeiri dolmens probably date to the EB I and early EB II. Further study of materials in Israel and in Jordan is necessary to confirm this conclusion.

16. Living Conditions in Jerusalem and Caesarea in the First Century C.E. (until 70 C.E.)

Petr Melmuk, Andrew W. Mellon Fellow; Hussite Theological Faculty, Prague, Charles University, Czech Republic

The goal of the project is to investigate the value of archaeological excavations in evaluating living conditions of the populations of two exceptionally significant cities of Judea - Jerusalem and Caesarea. Several comparisons will be made, primary among them a comparison of literary sources with the material culture evidence. This study will examine to what extent living conditions in the two cities were similar and to what extent they differed, given that the external appearance and development of both cities were influenced by Herod the Great. In the second half of the first century C.E., the fate and living conditions of the two cities began to diverge. A comprehensive view of life in the two cities involves a complex set of conditions that includes natural environment, manufacturing, commerce, culture, religion, and every-day life. This project is limited, however, to studying the living conditions of the personally free population, and does not include the slave population. Also excluded are the highly privileged sections of society, whether of local origin or representatives of the Roman Empire. The study should serve both to illustrate the importance of archaeological evidence in establishing historical connections and as a basis for the further analysis of the environment in which Judaic, Early Christian and multi-level Roman culture developed.

17. Aspects of the Jewish Judicial System and Procedure in Late Antiquity

Tamas Turan, Andrew W. Mellon Fellow; Center for Jewish Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Hungary (Columbia University/Hebrew University)

Talmudic scholars and historians of Talmudic times have dealt extensively with the appointment of judges, the role and authority of the Patriarch, and other aspects of the judicial system in Talmudic Palestine and, to a much lesser degree, in Babylonia. Very little is known, however, about the historical setting in Palestine and Babylonia of several important elements of the administration of law and its procedures in late antiquity. In all the investigations, the Talmudic-midrashic literature has been the major source of historical information, without reference to the accumulated archeological evidence. In fact, in the case of Babylonia, it has been the only source, and will probably remain so for the foreseeable future.

Liturgy (Torah-reading, prayer, eulogies, sermons, etc.) and learning are two of the main forms of expression of the rabbinic society reflected in Talmudic literature. Retrojecting medieval circumstances, they have been traditionally associated with the synagogue as their natural environment. The dominant view seems to be that what are called in the Talmudic literature beth ha-knesseth and beth ha-midrash were usually separate institutions. There is no convincing theory, however, about the historical settings and the physical environment(s) of another important component of community life and rabbinic activities: the judicature. How did the various types of courts find their place in the Jewish institutional matrix? What was the Sitz im Leben of the numerous court cases reported in the Talmudic literature? Were trials and judicial deliberations held principally in "synagogues," in another setting, or both? Are the "dramatic" elements of the judicial procedures indicated in the literary sources (oaths, warnings to the witnesses, declarations, punishments, etc.) reflected in the physical environment of these procedures? The project aims to evaluate the non-Talmudic and especially the non-literary sources pertaining to these questions. Extending the interaction between extra-Talmudic and Talmudic sources may prove to be fruitful for both fields. The relatively large amount of archaeological evidence from communal structures in Palestine enables a clearer evaluation of this material. This allows us to refine our knowledge of the Talmudic judicial procedure on the one hand, and to understand certain elements of the design and the architecture of the excavated communal buildings, on the other.

18. Anchor Bible Commentary on the Book of Jeremiah

Jack R. Lundbom, Senior Fellow (National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow); University of California-San Diego

The focus of this project is a study of the so-called "Foreign Nation Oracles" of Jeremiah 46-51 as part of a multi-volume commentary on Jeremiah (Anchor Bible). Specific archaeological sites on Judah's periphery which were occupied in the seventh and sixth centuries B.C.E., for example, Ashkelon, Ekron, Lachish and Arad, will be examined. Dead Sea Scrolls fragments of the text of Jeremiah will also be consulted.

19. A Scientific Commentary on Deutero-Isaiah

Shalom Paul, Senior Fellow; The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

The goal of this project is to write a scientific commentary on Deutero-Isaiah. This work combines textual, exegetical, literary and philological studies with the findings from the several scrolls of Isaiah from Qumran. It makes use of the best of the medieval and modern commentators. An added dimension is its extensive employment of the literary works from the ancient Near East to further elucidate many passages in the prophecies, focusing on Mesopotamian, Ugaritic, Phoenician and Aramaic sources. Another feature is attention to the influence on the shape of the oracles of various earlier Biblical literary genres. Second Isaiah was highly influenced by his predecessors, primarily from the Torah and prophetic literature. The unique theological features of his prophecies are stressed, and he is shown to be the pinnacle of prophecy, both ideationally as well as lyrically.

20. Stratigraphy and Pottery of Area A, Tel Hamid

Samuel Wolff, Senior Fellow; Israel Antiquities Authority

Tel Hamid is located on the outskirts of Ramla, ca. 6 km northwest of Tel Gezer. The site, approximately 60 dunams in size, has been surveyed several times, but never previously excavated. Scholars have identified the site with Gat/Gittaim and Gibbethon of the Old Testament. Excavations in Area A, co-directed by S. Wolff and Alon Shavit in 1996, revealed stratified Iron Age remains dating from the tenth/ninth until the seventh century B.C.E., in addition to a limited Byzantine occupation. The architectural, stratigraphic and ceramic finds from Area A will be analyzed in preparation for publication. Particular challenges include distinguishing tenth from ninth century pottery; identifying ceramic affinities with contemporary coastal, Judean and/or northern assemblages, and contributing to the discussion of the identification of the site.

21. Tel Miqne-Ekron: The Stratigraphy and Architecture of Field IV Lower in Iron Age I: The Early Philistine Period

Yosef Garfinkel, Post-Doctoral Fellow; Hebrew University of Jerusalem

During ten seasons of excavations in Field IV Lower, comprising an area of ca. 1000 sq.m., three main periods of occupation were uncovered: Middle Bronze II (seventeenth to sixteenth centuries B.C.E.), Iron Age I (twelfth to tenth centuries B.C.E.) and Iron Age II (end of eighth to seventh centuries B.C.E.). The current research focuses on the Iron Age I settlement which is represented in Field IV by a well stratified sequence including four main strata (VII-IV) and nine distinct sub-phases. The first settlement, Stratum VIIB, is represented by a room and an adjacent open area. The remainder of the area was not in use. From Strata VI-IV, density of occupation increased from phase to phase, producing well defined monumental architecture and a significant number of cultic installations and ceramic assemblages. Thus, Tel Miqne-Ekron can be used as a model for Philistine urban development.

22. Telling a Story: The Interface of Syntax, Semantics, and Pragmatics in Biblical Hebrew Narrative

Gary A. Long, Post-Doctoral Fellow; Jerusalem University College, Jerusalem

Stories involve happenings and non-happenings. The former comprise plot, the dynamic and sequential element in narrative, while the latter comprise existents - characters and static elements. Fientive happenings can be put on a timeline and be represented punctively, as opposed to stative non-happenings. A chellenge before biblical Hebraists is to understand and illuminate how biblical Hebrew syntactically represents or discourses these two types of story elements. Long's research explores, from a linguistic Functionalist perspective, the interface of syntax, semantics, and pragmatics involved in telling a story in biblical Hebrew.

23. The Seaborne Migration of the Philistines

Tristan Barako, Research Fellow; Harvard University

The intrusive nature of the Philistines in southern coastal Canaan during the first half of the twelfth century B.C.E. is not in doubt; moreover, their material culture suggests that the Aegean/Mycenaean world was their homeland. How the Philistines and other Sea Peoples transported themselves and their culture overseas has never been adequately explained. By estimating the population size of the early Philistine settlements in Canaan through settlement and landscape archaeology, and comparing this with the state of maritime technology available to Late Bronze/Early Iron Age seafarers as known from contemporary texts, iconography and nautical archaeology, one can achieve a greater understanding of the possibility and likelihood of a major seaborne migration.

24. A Microarchaeological Study of Tel Miqne-Ekron

Azriel Gorski, Research Fellow; The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

The main focus of this project is to obtain information on the activities of the inhabitants of Tel Miqne-Ekron, primarily during the Iron Age (1200-600 B.C.E.). The forensic sciences use trace evidence such as fibers and microparticles to provide information on human activities. This project will utilize microbiological techniques to examine the small and microscopic material collected from the living surfaces of Tel Miqne. These microscopic examinations can provide insights into the ancient human activities at the site. During the 1996 summer excavation, samples were collected and documented and part of each sample was subjected to basic microscopic examinations on site, providing real time information and answers to questions posed by the field archaeologists. The preliminary analyses revealed that the soil samples were rich in microartifacts which varied from living surface to living surface. The laboratory-based examinations will concentrate on designing extraction schemes, looking at the finer particles, developing data bases, and modifying forensic guidelines for interpretation to suit the needs of archaeology. These examinations have already found that the microartifactual component of the different living areas varies.

25. Amphora Capacities and the Olive Oil Economy of Assyrian Ekron

Benjamin Porter, Research Fellow; University of Wyoming (Miqne Fellow)

During the seventh century B.C.E., Ekron underwent tremendous economic growth as a new vassal of the prospering Assyrian Empire. This economic prosperity is evident from the numerous excavated amphora from the city's 601 B.C.E. Babylonian destruction. Using computer technology, it is possible to calculate amphora size and capacities, providing estimated total capacities of the city's various storage facilities and factories. This information allows, among other things, an evaluation of Ekron's olive oil economy compared to other vassal economies, a discussion of capacity standardization in the Late Iron Age, and insight into trade strategies and growth within large economic systems.

26. The Quran Manuscripts of the Islamic Museum

Khader Salameh, Research Fellow; Islamic Museum, al-Haram al-Sharif, Jerusalem

Most of the Quran manuscripts in the Islamic Museum of the Haram al-Sharif were endowed to the Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock and range in date from the tenth and twentiethh centuries. These manuscripts, as most of the holdings of the Islamic Museum, have remained uncatalogued and unstudied. With the aid of UNESCO, this project will publish in both Arabic and English some 28 of the manuscripts that are of particular historical and aesthetic interest.


27. Islamic Jerusalem: Marwan Abu Khalaf, Senior Fellow; Institute of Islamic Archaeology, Al-Quds University

28. The Philistine Ceramic Corpus of the Iron Age I: Tel Miqne-Ekron: Trude Dothan, Senior Fellow; The Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Emerita)

29. Cereal-Grinding Equipment in Antiquity: The Levant and the Mediterranean Basin: Rafael Frankel, Senior Fellow; Haifa University

30. Commentary on the Torah: Richard E. Friedman, Senior Fellow; University of California-San Diego

31. The Roman to Islamic Pottery from the Nile House, Sepphoris: Barbara L. Johnson, Senior Fellow; Jerusalem

32. An Evaluation of the Philological Evidence for the Canaanites: Khaled Nashef, Senior Fellow; Birzeit University

33. * Khirbet Belameh: Exploration of the Water System: Hamdan Taha, Senior Fellow; Palestinian Department of Antiquities

34. * Tell el-Ful in the Middle Bronze Age: Shimon Gibson, Post-Doctoral Fellow; The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

35. ** Tel Yaqush Publication Project: SeJin Koh, Post-Doctoral Fellow; Jerusalem University College, Jerusalem

36. Palaces in Palestine of the Early Bronze through the Late Iron Age: Hani Nur-el-Din, Post-Doctoral Fellow; Department of History and Archaeology, Al-Quds University

37. The Analysis of the Egyptian Artifacts from Tel Miqne-Ekron: Baruch Brandl, Research Fellow; Israel Antiquities Authority

38. Late Bronze Age Trade Relations between Egypt, Cyprus and the Southern Levant: The Impact on Indigenous Cultures: Joanne Clark, Research Fellow; British School of Archaeology, Jerusalem

39. Ugaritic Prophylactic Magic: The Texts and Their Place in the Ancient Near Eastern Magical Tradition (KTU2 1.96): James N. Ford, Research Fellow; The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

40. *** Intercultural Exchange between Philistines and Judaeans at Tel Miqne-Ekron in the eighth-seventh Centuries B.C.E.: An Archaeometric Approach: Alison French, Research Fellow; James Madison University

41. Sa'di Quarter in Jerusalem in the Ottoman Period: Mohammad Ghosheh, Research Fellow; Institute of Islamic Archaeology, Jerusalem

42. * Iron Age Jewelry at Tel Miqne-Ekron: Amir Golani, Research Fellow; Israel Antiquities Authority

43. Canaanite and Philistine Ceramic Decorative Motifs of the Late Bronze II and Iron I Periods: An Art Historical Analysis of Design Composition and Symbolic Coding: Anne Killebrew, Research Fellow; Haifa University, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

44. * Zooarchaeology of the Philistine City of Ekron (Tel Miqne): Justin Lev-Tov, Research Fellow; University of Tennessee (Miqne Fellow)

45. Retributive Justice and the Wrath of God: A Comparative Study with Assyria/Babylon: Susan E. McGarry, Research Fellow; University of Michigan

46. The Late Bronze Age at Tel Batash-Timnah: Nava Panitz-Cohen, Research Fellow; The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

47. The Stratigraphy of the Site of Kh. Qumran: Its Evolution Compared with the History of Its People as Found in the Dead Sea Scrolls: Stephen J. Pfann, Research Fellow; The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

48. A New Suggestion to Interpret the Plan and Design of the Dome of the Rock: Haythem F. Ratrout, Research Fellow; An-Najah National University, Nablus

49. The Impact of Diaspora on Contemporary Arabic Literature: Stefan Meyer, USIA/Council of American Overseas Research Centers Multi-County Fellow; Henry Ford and Washtenaw Community Colleges, Michigan

50. 'Re-Orienting' the Post-Modern: Contemporary Trends in Arabic and Hebrew Literature: Deborah Starr, USIA/Council of American Overseas Research Centers Multi-Country Fellow; University of Michigan

* Continuation of 1996/97 projects; see reports in American Schools of Oriental Research Newsletter 47/3 (1997).
** Abstract published in BASOR 303 (1996).
*** Abstract published in BASOR 303 (1996) (No. 14, Vikesh Singh)



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