St. Olaf College Summer Seminar 2021

August 01 - 07, 2021
Northfield, Minnesota

Biblical Archaeology: Past and Present

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

The Biblical Archaeology Society invites you to join us this August 1-7, 2021 at our ever-popular St. Olaf Lecture Seminar program on the beautiful campus of St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota. Dr. Rachel Hallote, Purchase College, State University of New York, and Dr. Eric Cline of The George Washington University will be your scholars-in-residence for the week. Their 20-lecture program Biblical Archaeology: Past and Present is a sharing of amazingly insightful information from this fascinating, specialized field. You’ll hear about biblical mysteries; the real, violent Armageddon; the Exodus—real or myth, “bad” King Ahab, and more!

Join us in the beautiful and restorative setting of St. Olaf College. Its campus boasts award-winning architecture set on a hilltop overlooking historic, charming Northfield, Minnesota, near the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul.


Eric Cline

Eric Cline is Professor of Anthropology, Classics and History and Director of the Capitol Archaeological Institute at The George Washington University. A former Fulbright scholar, he is an award-winning author and teacher with degrees in Classical Archaeology, Near Eastern Archaeology and Ancient History. Author and editor of 16 books and almost 100 articles, Dr. Cline has three times won the Biblical Archaeology Society’s Publication Award for “Best Popular Book on Archaeology.” [More Bio]

Rachel Hallote

Rachel Hallote is an archaeologist and Professor of History at Purchase College SUNY. She is the author of several books and numerous articles about biblical archaeology, and the history of archaeology, including Bible, Map and Spade: The American Palestine Exploration Society, Frederick Jones Bliss and the Forgotten Story of Early American Biblical Archaeology (2006), and The Photographs of the American Palestine Exploration Society (2012). [More Bio]


Biblical Archaeology: Past and Present

Eric Cline

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.

Raiders of the Faux Ark: From Pseudoarchaeology to Biblical Archaeology
Discussions concerning so-called “mysteries” of the Bible can be overwhelming. Investigate what we know and don’t know about topics, such as the location of Noah’s Ark, Sodom and Gomorrah, the Ark of the Covenant, and the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel.

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.”

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.

The Battles of Armageddon: From Har Megiddo to Armageddon
Armageddon. Students of the Bible know it as the place where the cataclysmic battle between the forces of good and the forces of evil will unfold. But few know that Armageddon is a real place, Megiddo, one that has seen more fighting and bloodshed than any other spot on earth. Journey through 34 conflicts in 4,000 years at ancient Megiddo and the adjacent Jezreel Valley. Learn about ancient and modern warriors, while tying together battles fought at Megiddo and the Jezreel Valley from the Bronze Age to the Nuclear Age.

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.

Excavating Armageddon: New Discoveries and Old Debates at Megiddo (1994-2014)
Based on his ten excavation seasons at Megiddo, Dr. Cline will overview what the new excavations have revealed. He explores unresolved questions about the palace, stables, and other ruins initially attributed to King Solomon and about the extent of King David’s involvement.

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.

Canaan, Egypt, and the Evidence for Diplomacy during the Amarna Age
Discover the diplomatic and commercial networks developed during the reigns of the Egyptian pharaohs Amenhotep III and Akhenaten, known as the Amarna Age. These Pharaohs pursued diplomatic connections at the highest levels with the kings of Hittite Anatolia, Assyria, Babylonia, Mitanni, Arzawa, and the Aegean world, as well as numerous vassal kings in Canaan.

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

From Treasure Hunting to Excavation: Why Dig up the Land of the Bible?
With Professor Rachel Hallote as your guide, explore how the discipline of biblical archaeology evolved over time. It was born slowly and in a less-than-scholarly fashion, with gold seekers and incorrect ideas about archaeological finds. See the missteps that happened along the path from treasure-hunting to true archaeology.

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.

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.

Digging in Jerusalem: Why is it so Controversial?
Archaeology is something of a national pastime in Israel, and archaeological sites are among the most popular tourist attractions in the country. But archaeological discoveries—or lack thereof—can become contentious. Explore the problems stemming from excavating near holy sites and investigate how recent excavations in Jerusalem and throughout Israel shed light on the biblical kingdom of David and Solomon.

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 first of two talks refutes this view by showing that the core of the Exodus narrative reflects accurate history.

From Egypt to Israel (Location, Location, Location!)
Continue to explore the historicity of the Exodus narrative by reexamining issues either dismissed or neglected by modern scholarship. These include whether the “mixed multitude” of Hebrews actually exited Egypt as described in the Bible, Pharaoh Merneptah’s relationship to the peoples who lived in Canaan, and the origins and identity of the one God that the Israelites started to worship.

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 B.C.E. 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.

Women in the Biblical World
Learn about women’s pivotal role in ancient times by looking at the biblical texts and archaeological evidence of the Israelite household. Despite limitations placed on women in biblical narratives and laws, their participation in communal life helped shape Israelite and Judahite society.

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.

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.


St. Olaf College sits atop Manitou Hill at the edge of historic Northfield, Minnesota. Northfield is known for its historic downtown district along the scenic Cannon River.


All Residence hall rooms are AIR-CONDITIONED, DORMITORY-STYLE, equipped with ONE OR TWO beds, extra long twin mattresses, dressers, desks, desk chairs.


Bon Appetit is the exclusive caterer for St. Olaf College. Cafeteria style dining. They offer full meals that feature a variety of fresh, wholesome selections .


Metro Express Bus Line Schedule
Metro Express Reservations Link: Make your reservation here.

To board buses, From the Ground Transportation area, follow signs for the Gold Ramp. Go up two levels to the waiting area. Bus stop is located across the pedestrian crossing from the building (look for the bus shelter).

From Minneapolis/St. Paul Airport
Dept. 12:25pm – Arrive St. Olaf/Bruntrock Commons 1:10pm
Dept. 5:25pm – Arrive St. Olaf/Bruntrock Commons 6:10pm

From St. Olaf College – Bruntrock Commons
Dept. 10:13am – Arrive MSP 11:07am
Dept. 3:13pm – Arrive MSP 4:07pm

$15/one way – 45 minutes travel time


  • Deposit at time of registration: $200.00
  • Full payment based on Double Occupancy: $1595.00
  • Single Supplement payment per person: $70.00
  • Balance payment due July 19, 2021
  • Lectures Only (does not include meals or final night banquet): $850.00
  • Program begins Sunday August 1 and ends Saturday August 7.
  • Cancellation: If made up to two weeks prior to the start of the seminar, full refund less $100 per person for administrative costs. Less than two weeks prior to the start of the program, 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
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