Seminar at Sea 2020

March 08 - 15, 2020
Caribbean Cruise

- Dr. Jodi Magness, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The Holy Land in the Time of Herod

Although King Herod the Great became infamous due to the Gospel account of the Massacre of the Innocents (Matt 2:13-23), among archaeologists he is known as the single greatest builder in the history of the Holy Land. In this lecture series, we explore some of the major archaeological sites dating to the reign of Herod, including his rebuilding of the Second Temple in Jerusalem; his fortified palace at Masada; and Jewish tombs and burial customs (including the tomb of Jesus).


Jodi Magness, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Dr. Jodi Magness holds the endowed chair of the Kenan Distinguished Professor for Teaching Excellence in Early Judaism in the Religious Studies department at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and is currently the sitting president of the Archaeological Institute of America. She received her B.A. in archaeology and history from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (1977) and her Ph.D. in classical archaeology from the University of Pennsylvania (1989). [More Bio]

Cruise/Lecture Itinerary

Holland America’s Nieuw Statendam

The Holy Land in the Time of Herod

Sunday, March 8 Ship Sails from Ft. Lauderdale 5:00p

Monday, March 9 Half Moon Cay, Bahamas 8:00a - 5:00p

Lecture 1: The Holy Land before the Time of Herod 4:00p - 5:15p
In this lecture, we survey the development of early Judaism and the history of Judea during the Second Temple period.

Tuesday, March 10 At SEA

Lecture 2: Jerusalem in the Time of Herod and Jesus: Part 1 10:00a - 11:15p
This lecture surveys the history of Judea in the time of Herod and provides an introduction to ancient Jerusalem.

Lecture 3: Jerusalem in the Time of Herod and Jesus: Part 2 2:00p - 3:15p
This lecture focuses on Herod's reconstruction of the Second Temple; the Antonia fortress; and archaeological remains associated with the passion of Jesus.

Wednesday, March 11 Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos 8:00a - 5:00p

Lecture 4: Caesarea, Samaria, and Jericho 4:00p - 5:15p
In this lecture we survey Herod’s palaces and other buildings at Caesarea (including the largest artificial harbor of its time), Samaria-Sebaste, and Jericho (the site of Herod’s main winter palace).

Thursday, March 12 Amber Cove, Dominican Republic 8:00a - 5:00p

Lecture 5: Synagogues in the Time of Herod 4:00p - 5:15p
According to the New Testament, Jesus and Paul preached in synagogues. What did these synagogues look like? Where and when did synagogues originate? In this lecture we review the evidence for the origins of the institution of the synagogue as well as the remains of synagogue buildings that antedate 70 C.E.

Friday, March 13 At SEA

Lecture 6: Masada: Last Stronghold of the Jewish Revolt against Rome 10:00a - 11:15a
In this lecture we survey Herod's palaces on Masada, and explore archaeological remains associated with the Roman siege of the mountain in 73-74 C.E. (which were excavated by Magness in 1995), including a discussion of Josephus' account of the mass Jewish suicide.

Lecture 7: Ossuaries and the Burials of Jesus and James 2:00p - 3:15p
A survey of ancient Jewish tombs and burial customs in Jerusalem sets the stage for considering the evidence for the deaths and burials of Jesus and his brother James, including a discussion of recent claims about the "James ossuary" and the discovery of Jesus' family tomb.

Saturday, March 14 Key West, Florida 8:00a - 5:00p

Lecture 8: Herod’s Tomb at Herodium 4:00p - 5:15p
Josephus reports that when Herod died in 4 B.C.E., his body was brought for burial to Herodium – the only site he named after himself because he planned it as his final resting place and everlasting memorial. In 2007, the late Israeli archaeologist Ehud Netzer discovered Herod’s tomb at Herodium. In this lecture we consider what the tomb tell us about how Herod wished to be remembered for posterity.

Sunday, March 15 Ft. Lauderdale 7:00a

Lecture Rooms: Days at Sea: Encounters Room Deck 12; Days at Port: Hudson Room Deck 1


  • Cabin Categories
  • Inside Stateroom:
    Per person, based on double occupancy. Includes taxes.$2,339
    Single supplement: $799
  • Oceanview Stateroom:
    Per person, based on double occupancy. Includes taxes.$2,629
    Single supplement: $1,089
  • Verandah Stateroom:
    Per person, based on double occupancy. Includes taxes.$2,839
    Single supplement: $1,299
  • Balance due date: December 9, 2019
  • Cancellation Policy:
  • Until December 19, 2019: Full refund of payment less $100 administrative fee
  • December 19, 2019 - January 8, 2020: Refund of payment less $350 deposit and $100 administrative
  • After Jan 8, 2020: No Refund



If you are unable to fill out the electronic registration form, please contact the Travel/Study department at 1-800-221-4644 ext. 216.

To pay off your balance, click here.


For more information contact:

Alicia Bregon
202-364-3300 ext 216
Email: [email protected]
Biblical Archaeology Society
4710 41st Street, NW
Washington, DC 20016