Carol Meyers, the Mary Grace Wilson Professor Emerita of Religious Studies at Duke University, specializes in biblical studies, archaeology, and gender in the biblical world. A prolific scholar, she is the author of more than 450 articles, reports, reference-book entries, and reviews; and she has authored, co-authored, or edited twenty-three books, including Rediscovering Eve: Ancient Israelite Women in Context. She has co-directed several of Duke’s archaeological projects in Galilee and has been a frequent consultant for media productions dealing with the biblical world. She recently served as President of the Society of Biblical Literature and Vice-President of the Albright Institute of Archaeological Research in Jerusalem; and she is a trustee of the Albright Institute, the American Society of Overseas Research, and the Dead Sea Scrolls Foundation.
Bible & Archaeology Fest XXV, October 8 & 9, 2022
The Ancient “Gender Gap”: The Bible, Archaeology, and Israelite Women
The study of women in several disciplines reveals a difference between the images in normative texts and information from other sources. Is this true for ancient Israel? What can we learn about Israelite women if we use information from the Bible and archaeology? Using both these sources provides a glimpse into two important aspects of the lives of ordinary Israelite women—their role in the household economy, and their role in household religion— and offers some surprising conclusions about women’s power.
Bible & Archaeology Fest XXIII, October 24 – 25, 2020
Holy Land Archaeology: Where the Past Meets the Present with Eric Meyers
The archaeological quest for the past is inevitably shaped by the excavators’ present. This lecture will use several case studies to illustrate the intersection between the discoveries at ancient sites and the pressures of the modern world.
ASOR/BAS Seminar on Biblical Archaeology, October 5 – 7, 2012
Holy Land Archaeology: Where the Past Meets the Present
Archaeology is commonly understood as the study of human life in the past by analyzing the material remains of the past. But it is not usually recognized that the archaeological quest for the past is inevitably shaped by the excavators’ present. This presentation will examine four case studies that illustrate the intersection between the discoveries at ancient sites and the pressures of the modern world. She will first present the stunning mosaics of the Beth Alpha synagogue in the context of the early Jewish settlement of the “Promised Land.” Then the excavations of Hazor, the largest biblical-era site in Israel, will be set against the background of the early days of the State of Israel. Next, the ruins atop the towering plateau of Masada near the Dead Sea, perhaps the best-known of all the archaeological sites in Israel, will be considered in light of the nationalist loyalties of the excavators. Finally, the discoveries at Sepphoris, a major Galilean city in the Roman and Byzantine periods, are viewed in relation to the turmoil in the Holy Land since the first intifada.
Archaeology and the Hidden Religious Culture of Israelite Women
Who were the most important religious figures in ancient Israel? Most people would say that the priests were. But they would be wrong. The major arena of religious life for most people in the period of the Hebrew Bible was the household, and the major figures in household religious activities were women. Drawing on material from her soon-to-be-released book, Rediscovering Eve: Ancient Israelite Women in Context (Oxford University Press, 2012), Professor Meyers will take you into the Israelite household, largely invisible in the pages of the Bible. She will present an array of archaeological materials—special objects as well as mundane ones—that are the evidence for household religious culture. She will also use fascinating ethnographic data from the reports of travelers in the Ottoman Empire and of anthropologists studying pre-modern Middle Eastern peoples to offer glimpses of the dynamics of women’s household religious activities.