Dr. Nava Panitz-Cohen, a professor and alum of the Institute of Archaeology of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, co-directs the excavations at Tel Abel Beth Maacah in the north of Israel. She also supervised excavations at Tel Batash, Tel Beth-Shean, and Tel Rehov and worked as a research assistant with Prof. Amihai Mazar on the publication of these excavations. She is editor of the Institute of Archaeology’s Qedem Monograph Series. Her research interests are Late Bronze and Iron Age pottery, ceramic technology, household archaeology, and archaeological publication.
BAS Scholars Series, June 4, 2023
A Wise Woman and a Bearded Man: Ten Seasons of Excavation at Tel Abel Beth Maacah
The site of Tel Abel Beth Maacah in the Hula Valley on the modern border between Israel, Lebanon and Syria, reflects its geopolitical situation in the Iron Age, when it was at the crossroads of the ancient Israelites, Arameans and Phoenicians. Seven seasons of excavation at this large and prominent Biblical period site, led by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Azusa Pacific University of Los Angeles, have shown that it was a fortified city in the Middle Bronze Age (second millennium BCE) and served as the main urban hub, and possibly cultic center, in the valley during the Iron Age I and IIA (the 12th to 10th centuries BCE). This lecture will present the major finds from the excavations, and discuss the position of the city in relation to its prominent neighbors, Dan and Hazor, as well as to the Biblical text, particularly the so-called Wise Woman of Abel Beth Maacah (2 Samuel 20) and the Arameans (1 Kings 15). Among the significant finds to be presented is a unique, exquisite faience head of a bearded male that possibly represents a royal or elite figure of the Iron Age, currently on display at the Israel Museum.
Bible & Archaeology Fest XXII, November 22 – 24, 2019