Curriculum 2019-20

 

 

​​​Over the course of the first two semesters of theoretical practicum, students will explore the periods between the late-second millennium BCE through the Roman Period. This will be done through the study of archaeological finds, biblical text and Ancient Near Eastern texts that illuminate the economic and social structures, diplomatic and political relations and religious practices of the inhabitants of ancient Israel, as well as tours of archaeological sites.

During the third (summer) semester, students will actively participate in four weeks of fieldwork at one of our excavation sites.

To reach the 36 academic hours needed for the Master’s degree (in the regular track), each student will participate in:

  • 10 mandatory courses (20 credit points in total)
  • 3 Seminars (12 credit points in total)
  • Ancient language course (4 credit points in total)
  • Academic writing workshop
  • 6 Field trips
  • 4 Weeks of excavation
  • 2 Excavation courses

Please note, that the following information is subject to change.
 


 

ACADEMIC CURRICULUM 2019-20

 

Announcing the curriculum for the upcoming academic year of 2018-2019:

► Mandatory courses (2 credit points per course):

► Seminars (4 credit points per seminar):

► Ancient Language: Egyptian

 

 


 

Course Listing:

An Introduction to Field Archaeology: Theory and Method 
1671-4075-01   Boaz Gross 

The course will introduce the disciplinary foundations of archaeology: the essence of archaeology as a scientific discipline, the nature of archaeological data, archaeological field methods and approaches to archaeological interpretation. We will also explore how archaeology attempts to reconstruct the social and economic organization of ancient societies, as well as their cognitive world.

The focus of the course will be on field excavation methods, terminology, documentation and scientific methodology and approaches, all of which comprise the multi-disciplinary toolkit that every modern archaeologist must be acquainted with and utilize. The course will also discuss the role of archaeology in modern society and its intricate relationship with different areas of life, such as religion, politics, environment and development.

     

The archaeology and history of the land of Israel throughout the periods:
Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age I
1671-4043-01  Dr. Omer Sergi
The rise of Early Israel is currently viewed as a process within the wider framework of the history of the Land of Israel. A meaningful understanding of Iron Age Israel requires, therefore, familiarity with the history of the land in earlier periods. The course will deal with the archaeology of Canaan during the Late Bronze Age and the early Iron I period (ca (1550 BCE until 1100 BCE). This period saw the flourishing and decline of Canaanite culture as well as the growth and collapse of the Egyptian empire that ruled the country. It is also the time in which both Philistine and Israelite cultures were formed.
     

The archaeology and history of the land of Israel throughout the periods: Iron Age I – Iron Age II
1671-4044-01  Dr. Omer Sergi

The main goal of the class is to discuss and to reconstruct the rise and fall of the southern Levantine territorial kingdoms in the land of Israel, by focusing on the archaeology and history of Israel and Judah. In order to do that, we shall review the archaeological record from excavations and surveys throughout Israel, trying to clarify the settlement trends, urbanization process and material remains indicating social complexity. Consequently, we shall study the important ancient Near Eastern historical documents that may shed light on the historical events.

     

The archaeology and history of the land of Israel throughout the periods:
Iron Age I - Persian period
1671-4045-01  Dr. Omer Sergi

Historically speaking, the Iron Age II (ca. 980–586 BCE) was the period that saw the rise and fall of the territorial kingdoms in the Levant. As early as the Iron Age IIa (ca. 980–800 BCE) territorial-political entities ruled by local dynasts were formed throughout the Levant, among them also the Biblical kingdoms of Judah and Israel. By the Iron Age IIb-c (ca. 800–586 BCE), these kingdoms dissolved and integrated into a larger imperial system of different successive imperial powers: Assyria, Egypt, and Babylonia. By the time, the Persian Empire took over the Levant (ca. 539 – 330 BCE) the territorial kingdoms no longer existed, and the imperial provinces formed the political – territorial organization of the region.

The main goal of the class is to discuss and to reconstruct the rise and fall of the southern Levantine territorial kingdoms in the land of Israel, by focusing on the archaeology and history of Israel and Judah. In order to do that, we shall review the archaeological record from excavations and surveys throughout Israel, trying to clarify the settlement trends, urbanization process and material culture indicating centralization of political power. Consequently, we shall study the important ancient Near Eastern historical documents that may shed light on the historical circumstances for the rise and fall of the local kingdoms. On this ground, we will be able to examine also some Biblical texts in order to assess their date, their historical point of view and accordingly, their contribution to the historical reconstruction of the period.

   

The archaeology and history of the land of Israel throughout the periods: Persian and Hellenistic Periods
1671-4046   Dr. Meir Edrey
This part of the course will introduce you to the archaeology of the Southern Levant during the classical periods. Throughout the course, we will learn basic concepts of classical archaeology and examine the material culture of the Persian and Hellenistic periods through a survey of notable sites in the southern Levant.
   

Archaeology Research Workshop for First Year Students
1671-4076-01 Shua Kisilevitz
The workshop aims to introduce the students to work with different types of archaeological publications and practice academic writing. The students will practice critical reading of academic articles, work with excavation reports, formulation of research questions and presentation in class. Attendance is mandatory. A written assignment will be handed in at the end of the semester.
   

Introduction to Field Archaeology
1671-4040-01 
The course focuses on theoretical and methodological archaeology. The course includes: archaeological field methods, processing, and analysis of material excavated, and post-excavation skills such as managing site archives and writing stratigraphic reports, Microarchaeology, landscape archaeology, mathematics and archaeology, filed workshop, methods of stratigraphic excavation, recording and documentation, study of ceramic and other finds.
   
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Zooarchaeology
1671-4087-01 Mrs. Abra Spiciarich
This course offers an introduction to the zooarchaeology sub-field—the study of animal remains (bones, teeth, and horns), which allows us to reconstruct ancient human-animal-environmental interactions. The course provides students with a comprehensive background of zooarchaeological methods, and other archaeological sciences related to the study of animals, from its early stages to the newest trends in the sub-field. Students will explore a range of topics and analytical techniques including hands-on sessions for the identification and quantification of faunal remains. Additional topics will include ancient DNA in zooarchaeology, bone stable isotope analyses, animal domestication, bone artifact production, and animal sacrifice.
   
 
Ancient Typology
0671-4184-01 Dr. Alexander Fantalkin
It is intended to provide background and a preliminary familiarity with the ceramic repertoire popular in the ancient Israel and neighboring lands (including the imported pottery) during the Bronze and Iron Age periods. In addition to studying ceramic typology, we shall deal with the questions related to establishing chronology for ceramic assemblages; their possible significance for identifying a variety of ethnic groups, and their certain significance for identifying the trade networks.
   

The So-Called ‘Israelite Religion’ – An Archaeological Perspective
1671401301 Shua Kisilevich
Traditionally, the study of early 'Israelite religion' has primarily centered on the biblical accounts, which are laced with later additions and religious agenda and remain heavily debated among scholars. This eventuality is a combination of the everlasting popularity of religious studies, and the paucity of contextualized cultic finds unearthed in the region. However, with the growing corpus of Iron Age cultic finds throughout the southern Levant in recent years, the time has come for a reassessment of the so-called 'Israelite Religion’.  
In this course we will utilize archaeological and social criteria for the definition of cultic remains and places throughout the southern Levant, traversing the period spanning the Late Bronze Age through the Iron Age. The Iron Age cultic finds will be examined considering the cultural influences they reflect and against the backdrop of the ancient Near East. Emphasis will be given to the impact the biblical narrative has had on the perception and study of Iron Age cult and religion, predominately pertaining finds attributed to the Kingdoms of Judah and Israel. 
   
 

 
Seminar Listing:

Seminar: Selected Chapters in the Archaeology of Ancient Jerusalem 
1671-4055-01 Prof Ronny Reich
Jerusalem is a site which in certain periods was the most important in the country. It is the city which had a tremendous influence on the western civilization, as it is directly related to historical persons as King David, Jesus of Nazareth and Mohamed. Hence it left behind a vast amount of literary sources as well as archaeological remains. The seminary can focus on selected chapters. The students will have to write a short paper on one of the subjects discussed in class (a list of subjects to choose from will be given in the first meeting).
   
 
 
Seminar: Borders, Land ownership, and Memories
0671-4187-01 Dr. Yuval Gadot & Prof. Oded Lipschits 
The aim of this series of lectures is to describe the history of Land of Israel between during the 400 years when it was under the rule of the great Mesopotamian Empires. We will begin at the end of the 8th century BCE, when the Assyrian Empire conquered the Kingdom of Israel and destroyed it, and when Judah became an Assyrian Vassal Kingdom, continue with the 7th century BCE, when it was an Assyrian and later Babylonian Vassal Kingdom, and until its destruction at the beginning of the 6th century BCE. We will further discuss the history of Judah during the 6th century BCE (the "Exilic Period") and its history under Persian rule (the period of the "Return"). During the lectures we will discuss the methodology of historical reconstructions of the Biblical periods, using the Biblical and other historical sources, as well as the way to combine archaeological material in the historical discussion.
 
 
Seminar: Archaeology, Society, and Economy: Test Cases from the Bronze and Iron Age in the Southern Levant
1671-4012-01 Dr. Karen Covello-Paran & Dr. Omer Sergi

Archaeology, as a study of material culture, opens a door toward understanding human societies and human behavior through the objects they have used – from drinking vessels to palaces. Such a study is directed from the macro-level (regional settlement pattern, site’s layout) to the micro-level (household archaeology, object in its context). This is done in the attempt to reconstruct the social and political structures and hierarchies, economic strategies, social practices, and social interaction and complexity. The seminar will focus on the social interpretation of material remains in light of up to date theoretical frameworks. In order to do so, we shall examine test cases from the Intermediate and Middle Bronze Ages, as periods from which we hardly have any textual sources vis-à-vis test cases from the Iron Age, a period in which we have an abundance of textual sources which allow us to historically reconstruct political changes. Accordingly, we shall emphasize the role of archaeology as a tool to ponder human behavior vis-à-vis broader political historical reconstructions. 

 
 
Seminar: Borders, Land-ownership, and Memories
0671-4187-01  Dr. Yuval Gadot & Prof. Oded Lipschits
The aim of this series of lectures is to describe the history of Land of Israel between during the 400 years when it was under the rule of the great Mesopotamian Empires. We will begin at the end of the 8th century BCE, when the Assyrian Empire conquered the Kingdom of Israel and destroyed it, and when Judah became an Assyrian Vassal Kingdom, continue with the 7th century BCE, when it was an Assyrian and later Babylonian Vassal Kingdom, and until its destruction at the beginning of the 6th century BCE. We will further discuss the history of Judah during the 6th century BCE (the "Exilic Period") and its history under Persian rule (the period of the "Return"). During the lectures we will discuss the methodology of historical reconstructions of the Biblical periods, using the Biblical and other historical sources, as well as the way to combine archaeological material in the historical discussion.
 
 
Ancient Language: Egyptian
1671-4078-01 Dr. Deborah Sweeny, Galit Tal (practice)
During the first term and the first part of the second term, students in the course will learn the basic principles of Classical Egyptian and read some simple common Egyptian texts, such as offering formulae, which are found on Egyptian objects in museum collections worldwide. In the second term, the students will read a more complex text, such as ״King Cheops and the Magicians, or the ״Shipwrecked Sailor.״.
8 credit points
 
Ancient Language: Egyptian (Practice)
0671252301 Galit Tal
This course is an accompanying practice to the course Ancient Egyptian for Beginners taught by Dr. Deborah Sweeney.
Participants in this course will learn to read, translate and understand hieroglyphic texts from Ancient Egypt.
During the weekly 1 hour practice lesson we will review the material taught during the week's lessons, with specific attention given to topics the students have found harder to understand or need strengthening. We will also go over the homework assignments and quizzes, as well as working on simple Egyptian texts. During the second semester we will practice the use of the different dictionaries while translating simple texts, and review passages of the chosen long text that the students have found more challenging. This course will be taught in English: students who take it will fulfil the university
requirement to take one course in English. The lecturer has often taught this course in Hebrew, and the teaching assistant speaks fluent Hebrew and studied the course in Hebrew some years ago. We will do our best to ensure Hebrew speakers keep up with the course.
Teaching material from the Hebrew version of the course is available and can be modified to fit the current course if there is enough interest.
 
 
 
Ancient Language: Egyptian
1671-4078-01 Dr. Deborah Sweeny, Galit Tal (practice)
During the first term and the first part of the second term, students in the course will learn the basic principles of Classical Egyptian and read some simple common Egyptian texts, such as offering formulae, which are found on Egyptian objects in museum collections worldwide. In the second term, the students will read a more complex text, such as ״King Cheops and the Magicians, or the ״Shipwrecked Sailor.״.
8 credit points
Ancient Typology
0671-4184-01 Dr. Alexander Fantalkin
It is intended to provide background and a preliminary familiarity with the ceramic repertoire popular in the ancient Israel and neighboring lands (including the imported pottery) during the Bronze and Iron Age periods. In addition to studying ceramic typology, we shall deal with the questions related to establishing chronology for ceramic assemblages; their possible significance for identifying a variety of ethnic groups, and their certain significance for identifying the trade networks.
   
Ancient Typology
0671-4184-01 Dr. Alexander Fantalkin
It is intended to provide background and a preliminary familiarity with the ceramic repertoire popular in the ancient Israel and neighboring lands (including the imported pottery) during the Bronze and Iron Age periods. In addition to studying ceramic typology, we shall deal with the questions related to establishing chronology for ceramic assemblages; their possible significance for identifying a variety of ethnic groups, and their certain significance for identifying the trade networks.
   
 
 
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