The Washington, D.C.-area Biblical Archaeology Forum (BAF) and Biblical Archaeology Society of Northern Virginia (BASONOVA) will host the symposium “Saving the Cultural Heritage of Ancient Syria and Iraq” (October 26) and the lecture “The Maccabees at Kedesh? A Clash between Text and Archaeology” (October 30). Not in the D.C. area? The Biblical Archaeology Society offers a wide range of travel/study programs in the United States and across the globe.
On Wednesday, October 26, 2016, the Biblical Archaeology Forum will host the symposium “Saving the Cultural Heritage of Ancient Syria and Iraq.”
Expert Panel: Andrew Vaughn | Executive Director — American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR) and Administrative Director of ASOR’s Cultural Heritage Initiative; Jessica Johnson | Head of Conservation — Smithsonian Museum Conservation Institute and former director of academics, Iraqi Institute for the Conservation of Antiquities and Heritage; Salam Al Kuntar | Penn Museum and Co-Director — Safeguarding the Heritage of Syria Initiative; Katie Paul | Chief of Staff — Antiquities Coalition
The ancient Assyrian cities of Nineveh and Nimrud in Iraq, the Temples of Baalshamin and Bel in Palmyra, Syria, the mosaics of the rich Syrian city of Apamea—these ancient sites and many more have been looted or destroyed during the current conflicts raging in the Near East. The monuments destroyed are irreplaceable memorials to the ancient civilizations that created the first cities, earliest writing systems, and oldest known legal codes.
In addition to destroying cultural property, extremist groups like ISIL are looting archaeological sites and selling the artifacts to fund their operations. Thus, protecting cultural heritage can also mitigate the human impact of these geo-political struggles.
BAF has assembled four well-known experts in Near Eastern heritage conservation who will illustrate some of the most notable examples of looted artifacts and archaeological destruction, offer an in-depth look at the biggest issues and challenges in historic preservation, detail their organizations’ roles in saving cultural heritage of ancient Syria and Iraq, and suggest what the general public can do to help. Following their presentations, the panel will take questions from the audience.
From Babylon to Baghdad: Ancient Iraq and the Modern West examines the relationship between ancient Iraq and the origins of modern Western society. This free eBook details some of the ways in which ancient Near Eastern civilizations have impressed themselves on Western culture and chronicles the present-day fight to preserve Iraq’s cultural heritage.
On Sunday, October 30, 2016, Andrea Berlin, the James R. Wiseman Chair in Classical Archaeology at Boston University, will deliver the lecture “The Maccabees at Kedesh? A Clash between Text and Archaeology.”
Excavations at Tel Kedesh in the Upper Galilee have revealed an enormous imperial administrative compound built by the royal house of Tyre c. 500 B.C.E., which was used by the imperial successors to Alexander and abandoned in haste c. 140 B.C.E. The abandonment date conforms perfectly with a battle described in 1 Maccabees as taking place at Kedesh—but details revealed by archaeology suggest quite a different scenario.
In this illustrated lecture we’ll explore the possibility that the author of 1 Maccabees, writing one to two generations after the event, “borrowed” an episode that properly belonged to Tyrian history in order to create a heroic persona for Jonathan the Maccabee and thereby support Hasmonean imperial interests in the Upper Galilee. In overwriting an episode of Tyrian resistance as a heroic Judean victory, the author transformed felt geographic destiny into history.
Not in the D.C. area? The Biblical Archaeology Society offers a wide range of travel/study programs in the United States and across the globe.
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