March 10, 2015

Tel Aviv University

Lecture by Andrea Berlin (Boston University), with follow-up Q&A and discussion

In this lecture Professor Berlin details the results of eight seasons of excavations at Tel Kedesh, in northern Israel, where an enormous commercial and administrative compound was in use from c. 500 BCE until c. 140 BCE under three successive imperial regimes: the Achaemenid Persians; the Ptolemies of Egypt; and the Seleucids of Syria. Discoveries include glass and stone seals; store rooms with jars containing an experimental strain of wheat; reception rooms and dishes reflecting cosmopolitan lifestyles; and an archive with over 2000 clay bullae depicting Greek and Phoenician deities. These discoveries offer quite a different picture of this region than that presented in the biblical books of Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, and 1 and 2 Maccabees. Does it change their story?