2014 Petrie Oration
Holy Land Archaeology: Where the Past Meets the Present
Professor Carol L. Meyers, Mary Grace Wilson Professor in Religion, Duke University
Archaeology is commonly understood as the study of human life in the past by analyzing the material
remains of the past. But it is not usually recognised that the archaeological quest for the past is inevitably
shaped by the excavators’ present.
Professor C. Meyers will use four case studies to illustrate the intersection between the discoveries at
ancient sites and the pressures of the modern world. She will present the stunning mosaics of the
Beth Alpha synagogue in the context of the early Jewish settlement of the “Promised Land”, the
excavations of Hazor will be discussed against the background of the early days of the State of Israel, Masada near the Dead Sea will be considered in light of the nationalist loyalties of the excavators, and finally, the discoveries at Sepphoris, a major Galilean city in the Roman and Byzantine periods, are viewed in relation to the turmoil in the Holy Land since the first intifada.
Carol Meyers: A specialist in biblical studies and archaeology, she is a prominent scholar in the study of women in the biblical world. She has authored or co-authored eleven books and commentaries and has edited or co-edited five others. In collaboration with Dr Eric Meyers, she has published three major archaeological reports. Her book Discovering Eve is a landmark study of women in ancient Israel; and her reference book, Women in Scripture, is the most comprehensive study ever made of women in Jewish and Christian scriptures. She is a trustee of the American Schools of Oriental Research and of the Albright Institute of Archaeological Research. She also serves on the board of directors of the Dead Sea Scrolls Foundation and has for the last two years been President of the Society of Biblical Literature.
Sponsored by the Australian Institute of Archaeology
Friday 28 March 2014
Australian Institute of Archaeology,
Building EC 11,
La Trobe University
Terrace Way, MacLeod, (Melways 873-4)
2014 Public Seminars and Lectures
Professors Carol and Eric Meyers
The Christian Library from Turfan: new discoveries and new dimensions
Dr. Erica C.D. Hunter, Senior Lecturer in Eastern Christianity SOAS, University of London Principal Investigator,
The Transmission of Christian texts at Turfan Chair, Centre of Eastern and Orthodox Christianity.
Between 1904 and 1907, the German Turfan Expedition found more than 1000 manuscript fragments, written in
Syriac-script and encompassing a wide range of languages and genres, ranging from liturgical and biblical material
to hagiographies and economic documents. Collectively the manuscripts show the ethnic and linguistic diversity of
the Christian population at Turfan, between the 9th – 12th centuries, yet also uphold the strong link that was maintained
with the ‘mother church’ in Mesopotamia.
Bamboula, Bellows and Tuyeres: Late Bronze Age metalworking on Cyprus
Dr. Christopher Davey, Director Australian Institute of Archaeology
Copper was mined and processed on Cyprus from at least the Early Bronze Age, however the Late Bronze Age
saw a dramatic escalation in copper production from the Island. This paper describes the metallurgical production
artefacts from Bamboula, Bronze Age Kourion, and discusses them in conjunction with other sites such as
Enkomi and Phorades in an attempt to understand the development of the industry during the last half of the
second millennium BC. Possible implications of these technological changes for Eastern Mediterranean societies will be suggested.