BAS Virtual Summer Seminar

July 26 - 31, 2021
6-Day Online Seminar

Biblical Archaeology: Past and Present

- Dr. Eric Cline, The George Washington University & Dr. Rachel Hallote, Purchase College, SUNY

This summer, BAS is proud to offer the special virtual seminar, “Biblical Archaeology: Past and Present.” Led by esteemed scholars and archaeologists Eric Cline (The George Washington University) and Rachel Hallote (Purchase College, State University of New York), this six-session seminar features 12 thought-provoking lectures that will both highlight the latest archaeological discoveries related to our understanding of ancient Israel, and trace the fascinating and often contentious history of archaeological work in the Holy Land. Participants will also be engaged in interactive discussions of famous events, personalities, and cities from the Hebrew Bible, including the Exodus, King Solomon, ancient Jerusalem, and more!

The Summer 2021 Virtual Seminar will be held Monday, July 26 to Saturday, July 31 via Zoom beginning at 1 pm Eastern/Noon Central. The seminar’s daily, three-hour sessions will feature two stimulating lectures—one from each scholar—as well as ample time for questions and informal discussion. At the seminar’s conclusion, attendees will also be invited to join in a virtual reception where they can get to know a little more about the speakers, each other, and the fascinating topics covered during the lectures.


Eric Cline

The George Washington University

Rachel Hallote

Purchase College, SUNY


Eric Cline Lectures

1. Biblical Archaeology: A Very Short Introduction
Public interest in biblical archaeology is at an all-time high. Television documentaries pull in millions of viewers to watch shows on the Exodus, the Ark of the Covenant, and Jesus’s tomb. Professor Eric Cline will provide an overview of the exciting field of biblical archaeology—introducing well-known archaeologists and exploring key sites. Relive important discoveries, such as the Dead Sea Scrolls.

2. Jerusalem Besieged: 4,000 Years of Conflict in the City of Peace
Jerusalem, whose name to some means the “City of Peace,” has been anything but peaceful during the past four millennia. Since 2000 B.C.E., there have been at least 118 separate conflicts in and for this city. Examine how archaeological evidence and recent discoveries shed new light on conflict in Jerusalem. See how archaeology, politics, and nationalism are frequently linked in the troubled environment of the Middle East today.

3. Of Canaanites and Kings: The Ongoing Excavation of a Middle Bronze Age Palace at Tel Kabri, Israel (2005-2019)
Delve into excavations at Tel Kabri in the western Galilee. Among the famous finds on the site is a large Canaanite palace (established c. 2000 B.C.E.) with Minoan-style frescoes and the oldest and largest wine cellar known from the ancient Near East—nearly 20,000 bottles in today’s terms.

4. 1177 BC: The Collapse of Civilizations and the Rise of Israel
Just after 1200 B.C.E., the civilized world of the Mediterranean came to a dramatic halt in a vast area stretching from Greece and Italy in the west to Egypt, Canaan, and Mesopotamia in the east. With Dr. Cline as your guide, walk through one of the watershed eras of world history—the world’s first recorded Dark Ages. The Israelites and other peoples may have taken advantage of the power vacuum to establish themselves in the region.

5. Digging Up Armageddon: Chicago’s Search for the Lost City of Solomon (1925-1939)
Intrigue, infighting, romance. Step behind the scenes of the University of Chicago’s excavations at Tel Megiddo (biblical Armageddon) from 1925–1939. Learn details from their letters, cablegrams, and diaries, situated against the backdrop of the Great Depression and the growing troubles and tensions in British Mandate Palestine between the two world wars. Gain insight into the stories behind their discoveries, including “Solomon’s Stables.”

6. What You Always Wanted to Know About Archaeology, But Were Afraid to Ask
Get answers to questions frequently asked of archaeologists, such as: “How do you know where to dig?”; “How do you know how old something is?”; and “Do you get to keep what you find?” See improvements in technology that allow archaeologists to find new sites and examine current problems, such as looting.

Rachel Hallote Lectures

1. The Not-So-Innocents Abroad: How American Scholars Shaped the Discipline of Biblical Archaeology
Delve into the reasons for American interest in the land of the Bible and learn about the influence of American explorers and scholars on early biblical archaeology. By the early 20th century, the American archaeological presence in Ottoman Palestine via expeditions and the establishment of organizations rivaled that of France and England.

2. Politics and Archaeology: An Introduction
Trace the use of archaeology to promote political agendas through both correct and incorrect interpretations of archaeological remains. This started with Napoleon’s conquest of Egypt in the late 18th century and continues to modern times, such as the case of Masada in Israel.

3. Between Israel and Mesopotamia: Archaeology, Art, and Myth
Discuss the similarities and differences between ancient Mesopotamia and the biblical world of ancient Israel, drawing on the story of Noah and other flood accounts. After 200 years of scholarship, learn why biblical Israel can take its rightful place of importance within the ancient Near East.

4. Did the Exodus Really Happen?
The Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt is one of the most contested narratives of the Bible. For a century, scholarship has endeavored to show that there is no evidence for this event in Egyptian historical texts or in the archaeology of Egypt or Canaan. This talk refutes this view by showing that the core of the Exodus narrative reflects accurate history.

5. Was King Ahab Really So Bad? The 9th Century in History and Archaeology
Discover whether archaeological materials and non-biblical inscriptions from the Ninth Century BCE confirm the biblical narrative or tell a different story. Look at three ninth-century inscriptions—the Kurkh Stele, the Mesha Stele, and the Tel Dan Stele. Compare the history they describe to the biblical accounts of the reigns of kings Omri and Ahab and to the archaeology of ninth-century Israel.

6. Where’d That Artifact Come From?
Uncover how museums acquire their artifacts and the impact of repatriating them. Perhaps the best-known repatriation request is Greece’s petition for the British Museum to return the Parthenon Marbles (sometimes called the Elgin Marbles). Learn about five significant artifacts, which have not been repatriated, but which might be in the future.


  • BAS Virtual Summer Seminar $299.00
  • Student pricing is available
  • Full payment due at the time of registration.
  • The Summer 2021 Virtual Seminar will be held Monday, July 26 to Saturday, July 31 via Zoom
  • Cancellation: If made up to two weeks prior to the start of the seminar, full refund less $40 per person for administrative costs. Less than two weeks prior to the start of the program, no refund.



For more information contact:

Alicia Bregon
Biblical Archaeology Society
Email: [email protected]
800-221-4644, ext. 216 (Toll-free)
202-364-3300, ext. 216
5614 Connecticut Ave. NW #343
Washington, DC 20015