Kevin Burrell is Assistant Professor of Old Testament at Burman University, Canada. His research interests focus on race and representation in the Hebrew Bible, with particular emphasis on the ancient Cushites. Kevin received his PhD in Old Testament in 2018 from Stellenbosch University. His monograph, Cushites in the Hebrew Bible: Negotiating Ethnic Identity in the Past and Present (Brill) was published in 2020. Kevin has participated in the Madaba Plains Archaeological Project and the Balua Regional Archaeological Project, both in the country of Jordan. His future goals involve participation in archaeological projects in North Sudan, the home of the ancient Cushites.
Bible & Archaeology Fest XXIV, October 16 – 17, 2021
Africans in the Holy Land: Kushite Political Influence in the Hebrew Bible and the Ancient Near East
Investigations of Ancient Near Eastern interactions have traditionally placed negligible emphasis on the role of Africans in the social milieu of the period. But a recent stream of scholarship has begun to re-evaluate the influence of African peoples (particularly the Kushites of ancient Nubia) on the history of the Levant. Drawing upon the Hebrew Bible, Egyptian, and other ANE sources, this paper expands upon this new scholarship to demonstrate that people of African origin were important — and at times decisive — participants in the social, economic, and political ecumene of the Ancient Near East. Their contribution to that history is what this paper aims to highlight.