Dan Schowalter is a professor of classics and religion at Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin. He is co-Director of the Omrit Archaeological Excavations in Israel, and serves on the editorial board for the Oxford Biblical Studies Onlineand the Oxford Encyclopedia of the Bible. He is a member of the steering committee for the "Archaeology of Religion in the Greco-Roman World" section for the Society of Biblical Literature, and an organizer for the colloquium on Material Culture and Ancient Religion. His research interests include Archaeology, Roman Religions and honors offered to the Roman emperors. Along with Steve Friesen, he is co-editor of Urban Religion in Roman Corinth: Interdisciplinary Approaches, from Harvard University Press, and with Friesen and James Walters is coeditor of Corinth in Context: Comparative Perspectives on Religion & Society, forthcoming from Brill. In 2009, Professor Schowalter was a speaker for the Roman Discussion Forum at Oxford University. He leads study tours throughout the Mediterranean world.
Bible & Archaeology Fest XXI, November 16 – 18, 2018
From East to West: a Trans-regional View of Religion in the Roman Empire
This talk is based on archaeological experience in both the eastern Roman province of Syria and the western province of Gaul. While there are many similarities found in the evidence for religious practice in each place, there are also significant differences. Consideration of these alternative approaches helps to gain a more complete view of Roman religious practice and a more complete picture of the religious world in which Rabbinic Judaism and Christianity developed.
Bible & Archaeology Fest XVI, November 22 – 24, 2013
Imperial Architecture on Steroids: The ‘Flavian Temple’ and ‘The Domitian Plaza’ in Ephesus
In the last quarter of the first century C.E., the civic space of Ephesus was rearranged in a monumental and radical way. Several city blocks were buried by an enormous platform, built to support a temple dedicated to the Flavian Imperial Dynasty (Vespasian, Titus, and Domitian). Both in scope and detail, this construction project changed the sight lines, road patterns, and ritual space of the city. Given the eventful reigns of the Flavians, it is instructive to see how extravagantly Ephesus and the Province of Asia invested in order to honor and gain favor from these emperors.
Bible & Archaeology Fest XV, November 16-18, 2012
In the Middle of Somewhere: The Magnificent Early Shrine Complex at Omrit in Northern Israel
In the mid-first century B.C.E. someone spent a great deal of time and money to build an ornate shrine on a hilltop overlooking the Hulah Valley. Although small, this monument features ground-breaking architectural details, and elaborate decoration, including gold leaf on some of the elements. Within 40 years, this complex had been remodeled (at least twice), then destroyed and buried within the foundations of another building. Although clues survive about both the builder and the destroyer, the identity of these powerful figures remains a mystery.
Bible & Archaeology Fest XIII, November 19-21, 2010
Who Wants to be a Millionaire?: Herodes Atticus and the Roman World in the Late Second Century
Outside the imperial family, Herodes Atticus was one of the richest people in all the Roman Empire. When he died in the late 170’s CE, he left behind a legacy of buildings and philanthropic support that enriched the Roman world from Rome to Ephesus and probably beyond. Not even Herodes’ benefactions, however, could prevent the pagan Roman world from gradually declining in influence and ultimately yielding to the new Christian realities of the fourth century. In the midst of the development of this Christian Roman Empire, however, there were some who still remembered Herodes and his contributions as a symbol of the world that was passing away.
Bible & Archaeology Fest XII, November 20-22, 2009
Architecture and Power: Excavations of a Roman Temple Site at Omrit in Northern Israel
Recent excavations at Omrit in northern Israel have revealed more details about the beginnings of monumental development at the site in the mid-first century B.C.E. In addition, analysis of the beautiful fresco remains from all stages of the temple has helped to confirm the importance of the site during the Herodian period. This makes it possible to trace connections between the Omrit monuments and Caesarea Phillipi. Finally, work in regions north of the temple complex has shown evidence for other major Roman construction as well as for a very developed town in the Byzantine period.