Academic Curriculum 2022-23:

Introductory courses:


Introduction to the Archaeology and History of the Land of the Bible in the Late Bronze Age

Dr. Sabine Kleiman, 2 hours, 2 credits, 1673-4000-01


The Late Bronze Age (ca. 1500 – 1150 BCE) in known to be the first “international” period in the history of the Levant in ancient times: it is characterized by imperial kingdoms controlling vast territories, international trade and diplomacy but also with urban and demographic decline in Canaan. By the 12th century the international powers that shaped the social and political history of the region collapsed, bringing with them the collapse of the entire socio-political system. The regeneration after the collapse will bring with it new socio-political forms, which are also known to us from the Hebrew Bible

Course Requirements:

Written paper: 100%



Introduction to the Archaeology and History of the Land of the Bible in the Early Iron Age (Iron I-IIB)

Dr. Sabine Kleiman, 2 hours, 2 credits, 1673-4001-01


The Iron I-IIA (1150 – 800 BCE) is the period in which new socio-political formations emerged throughout the Levant, as the result of the collapse of the Late Bronze world order. Most notably is the formation of kin-based territorial polities throughout the Levant, among them the biblical kingdoms of Israel and Judah. In this class we shall study the main archaeological feature of the period in relations to historical developments as they can be inferred from the Hebrew Bible and epigraphic finds. We shall focus on the question of state formation in the Iron Age Levant and its archaeological expression.

Course Requirements:

Written paper: 100%



Introduction to the Archaeology and History of the Land of the Bible in the Early Iron Age (Iron IIB-Persian Period)

Dr. Sabine Kleiman 2 hours, 2 credits, 1673-4002-01


The end of the Iron Age (Iron IIB-C) is characterized by the rise of imperial forces – the Assyrian, Babylonian and Persian empires – who gradually took over the Levant, eliminated the territorial kingdoms and established direct imperial rule that change the Levantine socio-political structure forever. It was in this period the kingdoms of Israel and Judah reached their zenith in every aspect (territorially, economically, and culturally) before they were destroyed by the empires. In this class you will be introduced with the archaeological characteristics of this troubled period, in light of contemporaneous historical sources. We will discuss the history of the southern Levant under the empires and will try to understand how imperial rule might be reflected in archaeological finds.

Course Requirements:

Written paper: 100%



The Archaeology and History of the Southern Levant during the Persian and Hellenistic Periods

Dr. Meir Edry, 2 hours, 2 credits, 1673-4003-01


This course will introduce students to the archaeology and history of the southern Levant during the Persian and Hellenistic periods, from 539-332 BCE, with a focus on Phoenicia and Judah. We will cover a brief historical background for each period and discuss the relevant material culture, including architecture and city planning, religion and cult, funerary practices, pottery, coinage, and other everyday items. We will analyze changes, influences, and development patterns in the material culture and their possible significance to the various cultures of the southern Levant.



An Introduction to Field Archaeology: Theory and Method

Boaz Gross, 2 hours, 2 credits, 1673-4004-01


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.




Required courses:


Academic Workshop

Dr. Omer Sergi 2 hours, 2 credits, 1673-4005-01


The aim of the workshop is to familiarize students with the various forms and types of archaeological publications and to enhance and hone their academic writing. Throughout the workshop students will practice critical reading of academic publications, understand how to approach and decipher excavation reports, and train in the formulation of research questions and presentation.

Course Requirements:

There will be two class assignments and the final course task is a paper. The grade breakdown is based on 80% - final paper, 20% - attendance, participation, assignments.


Ancient Language: Biblical Hebrew for Beginners

Aure Ben-Zvi Goldblum and Renata Tamar, 8 hours, 8 credits, 1673-4012


Welcome to the world of the best-selling book of all times! Students in this class will learn the fundamentals of Biblical Hebrew, resulting in your ability to read the Hebrew Bible in its original language, in addition to analyzing and translating its prose parts on your own. We will begin by studying the fundamentals of the Hebrew alphabet and pronunciation and proceed to examining morphology and syntax with the aid of grammatical tools such as lexica and concordances. Combined with your fluent and independent reading, the grammatical knowledge and tools you will gain in this class will enable you to accurately translate biblical prose passages, so you can unearth their deep meaning. Taking this course should prove beneficial for the study of other Hebrew texts, giving you more competency and confidence when encountering rabbinic, medieval, and modern Hebrew.






Archaeology of Colonialism

Dr. Ido Koch, seminar, 4 hours, 0671-4152-01


Colonialism has shaped our worlds since time immemorial. There is hardly any region across the globe that was not affected by subjugation and domination of an intrusive power. It is a human practice. In this course, we will explore the material manifestations of colonialism, particularly in the Levant during the first and second millennia BCE, and test cases from other parts of the world, such as the Roman Empire and the Americas. By using an updated theoretical framework for the study of colonialism, we will deal with both the subjugators and the subjugated and the encounters that brought the two sides closer than one might think in the first place.



Between Egypt, Canaan, and Israel: The Northern Valleys in the LB II-Iron IIA

Dr. Omer Sergi, seminar 4 hours, 0671-4169-01


The Jezreel and the Beth-Shean Valleys encompass vast plains between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean, which enabled an important east-west crossroads in the southern Levant, but also provided fertile and rich lands for cultivation. As such, these valleys were inhabited throughout the Bronze and Iron Ages, and gave rise to important and prosperous urban centers like Megiddo, Beth-Shean and Tel Rehov. Throughout the long period that elapsed in the Late Bronze and early Iron Ages, the valleys came under Egyptian (Late Bronze) rule, local Canaanite rule (Iron I) before they were integrated in the rising kingdom of Israel (Iron IIA). In this seminar we shall explore the settlement patterns, material culture and textual sources related to the Jezreel and the Beth-Shean valleys in order to discuss how local communities, urban and rural, reacted in face of shifting political rules. We  will examine what were the economic mechanism enabling such rule and how it affected the overall socio-political structure of the valley: from the Canaanite urban culture and the Egyptian Imperial rule, to the Kingdom of Israel.



Judah: The Untold Story

Prof. Oded Lipschits, seminar 4 hours, 0671-4264-01


Judah: The Untold Story:
The Biblical story on the history of the Kingdom of Judah, as can be read in the Books of Samuel and Kings is describing the story as was told by the Jerusalemite elite: what they knew, what they wanted to tell and the story that served their religious, cultic, political and economic interests. A geographical-archaeological research of the land, together with other historical sources and a critical reading of the Biblical material can expose a different story that was not told by the Jerusalemite elite.
In this seminar we will mainly use archaeology as a historical tool to uncover the story that was not told in the Old Testament: the places, the people and the events that the Jerusalemite people didn't know about or in some cases they knew but didn't want to include in the history they wrote.



The Potters of Ancient Israel: Approaches to the Study of Ceramic Production  

Dr. Sabina Kleiman, seminar , 16734016/01


This course aims to show the varying approaches to ceramic studies and how these can enrich our understanding of the ancient past and even shed light on the historical landscape of the biblical world. After a general introduction to the history of ceramic studies and how to understand a ceramic report, we will dive into three main approaches: typology, petrography, and techno-stylistic analysis. The class will be hands-on, giving the students the opportunity to learn new skills and to get a deeper understanding of ceramics and their production.



The Archeology of Ritual

Dr. Karen Covello-Paran, seminar, 2 hours, 1673-4017-01


The identification and interpretation of sacred sites or contexts are often difficult to decipher, yet they enable us to illuminate ancient religious ideas, thoughts and beliefs. Moreover, rituals often provide evidence for social systems including political structure of a society, communal belief systems and cultic ritual organized on a community level. The class will focus on ritual from communal cultic structures (temples, open air sites), domestic or household cultic activity and funerary ritual. We will investigate rituals associated with death and burial and their connection to ancestor veneration and their role toward building the collective memory of ancient societies. This course will review theory and methodology toward examining ritual in ancient societies of the Southern Levant through the study of the material cultural remains.



Advanced Topics in Archaeometallurgy

Prof. Erez Ben-Yosef, seminar, 4 hours 0671-4307-01


The discovery of metallurgy - the production of metal from ore with the use of fire - opened the way for complex social processes that dramatically influenced the development of human societies. Metallurgy first appeared about 7000 years ago in the Ancient Near East. Throughout the millennia this region was a background for pyrotechnological developments and sophisticated human interactions with natural resources. Many of the key sites for understanding ancient metal production are located in this part of the world, including Timna in southern Israel, where the archaeometallurgical field of research was first conceived more than 50 years ago.

Since its establishment as a distinct research field within archaeology, archaeometallurgy has become a widely practiced discipline with flourishing research centers currently located in various universities and museums. The archaeometallurgical research involves the study of one of the unique components of ancient material culture and the archaeological record, ancient metals and related production debris. This research field is based on a tight collaboration between approaches and tools from natural, human and social sciences with research being conducted in the field, laboratory and current traditional societies (ethnorarchaeology).

The course surveys evidence and theory regarding the inception of metallurgy, major technological developments, and the role the industry played in Ancient Near East societies (Neolithic - Iron Age). In addition, the course reviews research methodologies, and tools, both in the laboratory and in the field, and the implications of the archaeometallurgical research on broad archaeological and anthropological questions. The course analyzes a wide variety of archaeological examples and presents current research trends.

In this graduate seminar we will also discuss the contribution of archaeometallurgy to the study of ancient Israel.




On the Edge - Themes From the Limits of the Roman Empire

Dr. Guy Steibel , seminar, 4 hours, 0671-4354-01


The course will be devoted to themes from the limits of the Roman Empire. Thus, aspects of daily life, ritual world and military activities and most notably new discoveries from both side of the Roman empire will be presented and discussed.
It will be jointly take place in English with Czech Republic students in Archaeology and Classical Studies from Masaryk University, Brnu. The course will be delivered in a frontal synchronous classroom and simultaneously with our Czech colleagues.



Cult in the Hebrew Bible and in Archaeology

Prof. Oded Lipschits, seminar, 2 hours, 0671-4306-01


This MA seminar - "Cult in the Hebrew Bible and in Archaeology", is part of the cooperation between the Universities of Tel Aviv, Tubingen, Heidelberg, Zurich and Prague. It will deal with the many faces of the cult in the Hebrew Bible and in Archaeology.
The seminar will be attended by senior professors from each university, in addition to several guest lecturers who are senior researchers in the field.
Due to the gaps in the schedules, there will be 9 joint sessions of two hours in each meeting (= 18 hours, which is equivalent to 12 sessions of 90 minutes), in addition to the opening session and a separate summary session that each university will hold with its students, bringing the total academic hours to 14 90-minute classes.




Workshop for research students 

Prof. Yuval Gadot, 16734006/01 


The class is intended primarily for master's degree students who have a subject for a master's thesis and are in the early stages of research formation.
The course deals with the preparation of various research proposals - among other things, we will discuss the differences between writing a research paper and other academic publications (articles, excavation reports) and the different parts of the research work: theoretical background, research goals and hypotheses, materials and methodology that will allow to build a valid academic argument, the investigative unit, the manner of writing and presenting the results (verbal descriptions, illustrations, tables, statistical tests used in the analysis of archaeological databases). We will learn about the discussion - the heart of the research work. We will focus on the importance of the work and its possible contribution to the research community. Let's look at the difference between the summary of the study and the summary of the work. During the course we will learn about the rules of writing practiced in academia and become familiar with advanced databases and how to locate theoretical background materials and archival materials. The course will also discuss possible ways of publishing the findings of the thesis in academic stages, and we will also discuss the manner in which research grants are submitted. During the course, a number of exercises (probably 4) will be submitted that will form the basis for the grade in the course.




UPDATED faculty List: (with links to their bio)

Prof. Oded Lipschits

Prof. Erez Ben Yosef

Dr. Deborah Sweeney

Dr. Yuval Gadot

Dr. Ido Koch

Dr. Meir Edrey

Boaz Gross

Dr. Lidar Sapir Hen

Dr. Guy Steibel

Dr. Omer Sergi

Prof. Yoram Cohen

Dr. Alexander Fantalkin

Dr. Ella Assaf- Shpayer

Dr. Sabine Kleiman

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