Robert (Bob) Mullins is Professor and Chair of the Department of Biblical and Religious Studies at Azusa Pacific University where he has taught for the past twelve years. He joined the faculty of APU after earning his Ph.D. in Archaeology from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem where he also served as a research assistant to Professor Amihai Mazar and the Beth-Shean Valley Archaeological Project. In addition to Beth-Shean, Rehov, and Gezer, Bob has also excavated at Tell Atchana (Alalakh) and Zincirli (Samal) in southeastern Turkey. He currently co-directs the Joint Expedition to Abel Beth Maacah with Dr. Naama Yahalom-Mack and Dr. Nava Panitz-Cohen of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His upcoming publications include the Old Testament portion of the Fortress Atlas of the Biblical World. His research interests include Egypt and Canaan during the Late Bronze Age, early state formation during the Iron Age, and the history of Israelite religion.
Bible & Archaeology Fest XXI, November 16 – 18, 2018
Abel Beth Maacah: Uncovering the Secrets of a Biblical City
Abel Beth Maacah is a city of major biblical and historical importance on the northern border of modern-day Israel. It is mentioned several times in the Hebrew Bible, most notably in the context of two military campaigns (1 Kings 15:20; 2 Kings 15:29) and in the story of a “wise woman” who surrendered the severed head of Sheba ben Bichri to Joab who had been sent by David to capture him (2 Sam 20:14-22). Though called “a city and a mother in Israel,” other verses suggest that the people were Aramean or another ethnic group (2 Sam 10:6-8; 1 Chron 19:6; Josh 13:11). Can the newly discovered figurine head of a bearded male tell us anything about the ethnicity of the inhabitants? What was life like in the city during the period of the Judges and the time of King David? Does the discovery of ritual objects and installations at the site shed any light on the identity and role of the “wise woman” mentioned in 2 Samuel? Is there archaeological evidence for the conquest of the city by Tiglath-pileser III in 733/32 BCE? The primary goal of this lecture will be to explore the intriguing yet elusive relationship between events recorded in the Bible and finds on the ground.