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The Raphael Patai Memorial Lectureship Series with guest Prof. Andrea Berlin, Ph.D.
A Tale of Two Peoples: Phoenicians and Jews at Kedesh

Recently completed excavations at Tel Kedesh, the largest mound in Israel's Upper Galilee, have brought to light a huge administrative compound. Its discovery was wholly unexpected and the finds have changed our understanding of the region’s history during the Second Temple Period. Under the rule of, respectively, the Achaemenid Persians, the Ptolemies of Egypt, and the Seleucids of Syria, the large compound was the setting for interactions between imperial powers and local elites. Discoveries such as glass and stone seals show the embrace of Persian styles; store rooms with jars filled with an experimental strain of wheat show Ptolemaic agricultural exploitation in action; an archive with over 2000 clay bullae depicting Greek and Phoenician deities, along with the largest and earliest gold coin ever found in Israel, reflect power diplomacy between Phoenician elites and Seleucid officials. The compound's life ends in the wake of a battle between the Hasmonean leader Jonathan and a Seleucid faction, an event which the author of 1 Maccabees incorporates and re-frames as a key event in the birth of the independent Jewish Hasmonean kingdom.

Apr 26, 2021 03:00 PM in Arizona

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