About Nava Panitz-Cohen

Nava Panitz-Cohen

Nava Panitz-Cohen. B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. at the Institute of Archaeology of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Participated as supervisor in excavations at Tel Batash, Tel Beth-Shean and Tel Rehov and worked on the publication of these excavations together with Prof. Amihai Mazar. Currently co-directs the excavations at Tel Abel Beth Maacah in the north of Israel. Research assistant to Prof. Amihai Mazar since 1989 and editor of the Institute of Archaeology’s Qedem Monograph Series. Research interests: Late Bronze and Iron Age pottery, ceramic technology, household archaeology, and archaeological publication. Born in New York City and living in Israel since 1974. Married and the mother of three sons.


Presenter at

Bible & Archaeology Fest XXII, November 22 – 24, 2019
A Wise Woman and a Bearded Man: Excavations at Tel Abel Beth Maacah in Northern Israel

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.