Strangers at Home: The Give and Take of Life in the Borderlands of Judah

Public lecture by Prof. Ron Tappy, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary US, G. Albert Shoemaker Professor of Bible and Archaeology and the Director of the Kelso Museum of Near Eastern Archaeology.

Wednesday 6 May, 6:30-7:45

Theatre A-Room 106, Old Arts Building, University of Melbourne

The near-30-dunam site of Tel Zayit lies in the strategic Beth Guvrin Valley, roughly halfway between Lachish to the south and Tell es-Safi (Gath of the Philistines) to the north. Although this area generally belonged to the lowlands district of ancient Judah, it lay in an often-contested zone wherein cultural and certainly political associations might shift from time to time, primarily between the highlands to the east and the coastal plain to the west. This lecture will outline the enduring status of Tel Zayit’s strategic position as a borderland community. The presentation will draw on historical, textual, and archaeological evidence from three different periods in the 3,500-year depositional history of the tell that amply demonstrate the betwixt-and-between nature of daily life that the inhabitants surely understood. The collage includes: (1) Tel Zayit’s shifting allegiances during the tenth and ninth centuries BCE, (2) its fate in the wake of Sennacherib’s Third Campaign in 701 BCE, and (3) its service to the Romans as a fortified outpost following the reign of Hadrian.

Admission is free but bookings are required; seating is limited.
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