Stamp seals from the Southern Levant: a multi-faceted prism for studying entangled histories in an interdisciplinary perspective

A SINERGIA research project funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation [CRSIIS_La6426]







This project addresses stamp seals, a common but highly valued and multi-functional artefact class, as a privileged media to study various aspects of ancient Levantine social, economic, cultural and religious history especially in pre-Hellenistic times. Its core aim is to develop an online open-access, collaborative and expandable database entitled Corpus of Stamp Seals from the Southern Levant (CSSL) as a sustainable reference tool for future research in several disciplines: archaeology, ancient history, biblical studies, history of religion\s, Mediterranean studies, and others including exact sciences. Another aim is to increase the value of the data by interdisciplinary cooperation involving the specialized expertise of an international network of scholars and institutions. The full and best currently available documentation will allow senior scholars, postdocs and PhD students of several disciplines (archaeology, biblical studies, history of religion\s) and three universities (Bern, Tel Aviv, Zurich) to conduct a series of in¬novative studies. The latter will, for example, explore seal designs and their iconography as a resource for religio-historical investigation; questions of social archaeology will be studied alongside matters of political and economic history; gender history, social archaeology and biblical studies will intersect in a study of seal use by women. We want to draw on the full potential of the glyptic material to develop new approaches both to the history of ancient Levantine society, culture, and religion, and to the study of biblical texts. Last but not least, a crucial aim is to bring the study of ancient glyptics into conversation with scientists.


An important overall concern of the project is to transmit established expertise and encourage a new generation of scholars to pursue, consolidate and renew the study of ancient glyptics as a key medium for understanding historical entanglements in the Southern Levant.


The project will establish its own website in due course.


Board of directors 

  • Prof. Dr. Christoph Uehlinger, University of Zurich, Department of Religious Studies (coordinator)
  • Prof. Dr. Silvia Schroer, University of Bern, Institute of Old Testament Studies
  • Prof. Dr. Stefan Münger, University of Bern, Institute of Jewish Studies
  • Dr. Ido Koch, Tel Aviv University, Department of Archaeology and Ancient Near Eastern Cultures

Staff members

  • Dr. Ben Greet (UZH): basic research on corpus and database
  • Dr. Tatjana Beuthe (UBE): basic research on corpus and database
  • Dr. Giulia Tucci (TAU): Political, social and economic history—stamp seals and interconnections
  • Dr. Nadia Ben-Marzouk (TAU/UZH): Local and regional profiles and traditions: assessment and comparison
  • Noa Rantzer (TAU): Social archaeology—context and functions of Southern Levantine stamp seals (PhD project)
  • Dr. Silas Klein Cardoso (UBE): Biblical studies—assessing "iconographic exegesis" (habilitation project)
  • Bruno Biermann (UBE/UZH): Gender history: seals and sealing in gender-historical perspective (PhD project)
  • Inbar Meyerson (TAU): ICT


Further information

See factsheet 2.1 (PDF, ca. 140 KB)


Job opening (2021)

  • UBE Postdoc position, project module C3: The distribution of stamp seal motifs in the Southern Levant (2022/2023; to be advertised in spring 2021)
  • UZH Postdoc position, project module D5: History of religion\s: new perspectives on the history of ancient Levantine religion\s in the second and first millennia BCE (2022/2023; to be advertised in spring 2021)






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