Tag Archives: Jodi Magness

Jodi Magness on the Siege of Masada

With thanks to this guy for the tip.

Jerusalem: The Movie

Eerdword writes

I’ll have to see it. Have to (when it’s out on DVD apparently because it isn’t showing anywhere near me- dang it).

The Huqoq Mosaics

huqoq-mosaic-female-face-lgA group of researchers led by University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Religion Professor Jodi Magness has unearthed a group of significant mosaics at an ancient synagogue in Galilee. The mosaics, which consist of hundreds of tiny stone cubes, depict scenes from in the Bible and have been dated to the fifth century.

Magness is co-directing the excavation of the late Roman/Byzantine synagogue with Shua Kisilevitz of the Israel Antiquities Authority. They began the dig in 2011 with a crew of students and staff from UNC and other schools.  Last summer, the crew found a mosaic of Samson putting torches between the tails of foxes, a story that relates to the Judges 15:4 in the Bible. This year, a mosaic that references references Judges 16:3 was unearthed, depicting Samson shouldering the gate of Gaza.

Magness_JodiHuquoqmosaicwithUNCstudentsMagness says the findings are rare and hold clues about the wealth of the village during that time.

“Only a small number of ancient (Late Roman) synagogue buildings are decorated with mosaics showing biblical scenes, and only two others have scenes with Samson,” she said in a statement released by UNC at Chapel Hill. “Our mosaics are also important because of their high artistic quality and the tiny size of the mosaic cubes. This, together with the monumental size of the stones used to construct the synagogue’s walls, suggest a high level of prosperity in this village, as the building clearly was very costly.”

The ancient synagogue is located in Huqoq, a Jewish village in Israel’s Lower Galilee.

SamsonMosaicMagness is the Kenan Distinguished Professor for Teaching Excellence in Early Judaism at UNC at Chapel Hill and has spent her career excavating in and around Israel.  She has published widely about her work and is recognized in the IMAX movie “Jerusalem,” slated to debut this year.

Via.  And congrats to Jodi and her team.  She does great work and her results are completely trustworthy.

Another Colloquium to Add to the List

I’ve already announced that Jodi Magness has agreed to join us on the Biblical Studies List for a colloquium (discussion) on her just published volume, The Archaeology of the Holy Land: From the Destruction of Solomon’s Temple to the Muslim Conquest. Our discussion will take place November 1-10.

And that Avraham Faust has also agreed to join us on the List for a colloquium scheduled for December 2-10. His book, also just published, Judah in the Neo-Babylonian Period, is available from SBL.

And as well that Eric Meyers of Duke University will join us January 13-20, 2013 to discuss his new volume, Alexander to Constantine.

Well, now we’re adding another to the list so the upcoming months should really be amazing in terms of our opportunities to discuss new publications with their authors:  February 11-17 Carol and Eric Meyers will be with us on the Biblical Studies List discussing their volume, Archaeology, Bible, Politics, and the Media: Proceedings of the Duke University Conference, April 23-24, 2009.

These discussions are aimed at giving us the chance to ask questions and receive answers of leading scholars in the fields of biblical studies and archaeology.  Join us.  But be sure to read the book first!

Colloquia Reminder

Jodi Magness has agreed to join us on the Biblical Studies List for a colloquium (discussion) on her just published volume, The Archaeology of the Holy Land: From the Destruction of Solomon’s Temple to the Muslim Conquest. Our discussion will take place November 1-10.

I’m also pleased to announce that Avraham Faust has also agreed to join us on the List for a colloquium scheduled forDecember 2-10. His book, also just published, Judah in the Neo-Babylonian Period, is available from SBL.

And Eric Meyers of Duke University will join us January 13-20, 2013 to discuss his new volume, Alexander to Constantine.

We are thrilled to have them all as our guests.

Colloquia Reminder

For new readers, and forgetful old ones-

I’m happy to announce that Jodi Magness has agreed to join us on the Biblical Studies List for a colloquium (discussion) on her just published volume, The Archaeology of the Holy Land: From the Destruction of Solomon’s Temple to the Muslim Conquest. It’s available in paperback from Amazon for $28. A bargain.  Our discussion will take place November 1-10 and if you would like to take part, – Get the book, and read it. Then, when the time comes, you’ll have the opportunity to interact with Prof. Magness and other leading scholars on the contents.

I’m also pleased to announce that Avraham Faust has also agreed to join us on the List for a colloquium scheduled for December 2-10. His book, also just published, Judah in the Neo-Babylonian Period, is available from SBL.

And Eric Meyers of Duke University will join us January 13-20, 2013 to discuss his new volume, Alexander to Constantine.

We are thrilled to have them all as our guests.

  • Colloquia (zwingliusredivivus.wordpress.com)

Colloquium Announcement

I am exceedingly pleased to announce that, following our colloquia with Jodi Magness and Avraham Faust, Eric Meyers of Duke University will be our guest on the biblical studies list to discuss his new volume, ‘Alexander to Constantine‘.

Drawing on the most recent, groundbreaking archaeological research, Eric M. Meyers and Mark A. Chancey re-narrate the history of ancient Palestine in this richly illustrated and expertly integrated book.  Spanning from the conquest of Alexander the Great in the fourth century BCE until the reign of the Roman emperor Constantine in the fourth century CE, they synthesize archaeological evidence with ancient literary sources (including the Bible) to offer a sustained overview of the tumultuous intellectual and religious changes that impacted world history during the Greco-Roman period.

Professor Meyers will be joining us January 13-20, 2013.  This will surely give those interested in taking part opportunity to get a copy of the book and fully digest it.

We’re very, very grateful to Eric, and Jodi, and Avi, for coming along with us in our journey of intellectual exploration together.  If you’d like to take part in any of the discussions coming up, just join the discussion group.

Colloquia

In case you’ve missed it-

I’m happy to announce that Jodi Magness has agreed to join us on the Biblical Studies List  (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/biblical-studies/) for a colloquium (discussion) on her just published volume, The Archaeology of the Holy Land: From the Destruction of Solomon’s Temple to the Muslim Conquest. It’s available in paperback from Amazon for $28. A bargain.

Our discussion will take place November 1-10 and if you would like to take part,  get the book, and read it. Then, when the time comes, you’ll have the opportunity to interact with Prof. Magness and other leading scholars on the contents.

I’m also pleased to announce that Avraham Faust has agreed to join us on the List for a colloquium scheduled for December 2-10. His book, also just published, Judah in the Neo-Babylonian Period, is available from SBL.

Exciting News: An Upcoming Colloquium With Jodi Magness on the Biblical Studies List

I’m happy to announce that Jodi Magness has agreed to join us on the Biblical Studies List for a colloquium (discussion) on her just published volume, The Archaeology of the Holy Land: From the Destruction of Solomon’s Temple to the Muslim Conquest.  It’s available in paperback from Amazon for $28.  A bargain.

Our discussion will take place November 1-10 and if you would like to take part,

1- Sign into the Discussion list.  It is a closed, tightly moderated list which allows only persons taking part in the list to read or post (so as to avoid the lunacy which befouls so many internet discussions).

2- Get the book, and read it.  Then, when the time comes, you’ll have the opportunity to interact with Prof. Magness and other leading scholars on the contents.

These colloquia have, in the past, been very fruitful and given Jodi’s learning we know that this one will be as well.

Feel free to spread the word.

Jodi’s Terrific Piece at the ASOR Blog on Qumran, and Her New Book

You can read her ASOR post here.

Speaking of Jodi, her new book by Cambridge University Press titled The Archaeology of the Holy Land: From the Destruction of Solomon’s Temple to the Muslim Conquest has just shipped. So, yeah!  I’ve been waiting for this one for a long time so I’m keen to get it.

Something else to digest.  Fantastic.

The Samson Synagogue

Live Science reports

A glittering mosaic of colored stones once decorated an ancient synagogue floor with scenes of the Biblical hero Samson getting revenge on the Philistines.

This newly excavated discovery in the ancient Jewish village of Huqoq not only depicts an unusual scene — Samson tying torches to foxes’ tails in order to burn his enemies’ crops — it’s also remarkably high-quality, said dig archaeologist Jodi Magness of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

In a mosaic, “the smaller the cubes, the finer the work,” Magness told LiveScience. “Our cubes are very small and fine.”

Read the whole thing.   Now that’s how archaeology is done!  I love Jodi’s work.

A Forthcoming Volume by Jodi Magness: The Archaeology of the Holy Land

Jodi’s a fantastic writer and brilliant archaeologist and she has a new volume coming out soon titled The Archaeology of the Holy Land: From the Destruction of Solomon’s Temple to the Muslim Conquest.  Here’s the table of contents-

1. Introduction
2. The topography and early history of Jerusalem (to 586 BCE)
3. The Babylonian (586–539 BCE) and Persian (539–332 BCE) periods
4. The early Hellenistic period (332–167 BCE)
5. The late Hellenistic (Hasmonean) period (167–40 BCE)
6. The archaeology of Qumran and the Dead Sea Scrolls
7. The early Roman (Herodian) period (40 BCE–70 CE): Jerusalem
8. The early Roman (Herodian) period (40 BCE–70 CE): Caesarea Maritima, Samaria-Sebaste, Herodian Jericho, and Herodium
9. The early Roman (Herodian) period (40 BCE–70 CE): Jesus’ birth and Galilean setting
10. The early Roman (Herodian) period (40 BCE–70 CE): Masada
11. Ancient Jewish tombs and burial customs (to 70 CE)
12. From 70 CE to the Bar Kokhba Revolt (135/136 CE) (the Second Jewish Revolt against the Romans)
13. Aelia Capitolina (Hadrianic Jerusalem) (135 to ca. 500 CE)
14. Roman and the late antique period synagogues in Palestine
15. The Byzantine (early Christian) period (313–640 CE): Jerusalem
16. The Byzantine (early Christian) period (313–640 CE): Palestine under Christian rule
17. Epilogue: early Islamic Jerusalem (638–750 CE).

Now that’s one comprehensive volume!  Looking forward to laying hands on it.  With thanks to Jack Sasson for mentioning it.

The Fishy Ossuary As Reported by the Washington Post

It’s a good article featuring our own Bob Cargill and Jodi Magness.  Be sure to give it a read.  I especially liked the closing lines…

As to the residential neighborhood of East Talpiot becoming a hot spot for Christian pilgrims, there seems to be some more convincing to do. Five years after the movie was broadcast worldwide, the alleged tomb of Jesus remains an unmarked concrete slab in an overgrown grassy area.

The thing is- when the film maker visited the neighborhood he reportedly told the residents of the apartment building that once news of this ‘discovery’ broke the site would become a tourist attraction.  It doesn’t look like that’s what happened at all.  Nor will it.  People aren’t THAT gullible.

Can You Help Support Real Archaeology?

A lot of people don’t have a lot of disposable income these days but some fortunate folk can spare $5 or $10 or $20 or even more to fund excavation fellowships sponsored by ASOR.

Help us raise the money to fund 53 of our 179 applicants. We already have 33 fellowships, so we need to raise funds for 20 more, or$20,000 in the next 3 weeks. Our goal during the next month is an ambitious one, some might even say mad, which is why we are calling this campaign “March Fellowship Madness!”

Your money won’t be used to ‘discover’ fishy finds but it will be used at responsible and respectable scientific excavations.  Your money won’t help ‘find’ Noah’s Ark or the Ark of the Covenant but it may help find an important ostracon or a piece of art long buried under dirt and rock.

You might not be able to fund a dig, but you can buy a trowel.  Please, help if you can.  The more real archaeology can do, the better off our field is.

Jodi Magness Too Guts The Claims of Simcha and Tabor

Here, writing among other things

As a professional archaeologist, it pains me to see archaeology hijacked in the service of non-scientific interests, whether they are religious, financial, or other. The comparison to Indiana Jones mentioned in the media reports is unfortunate, as those films misrepresented archaeology as much as they popularized it. Archaeologists are scientists; whatever we find is not our personal property but belongs to (and usually must remain in) the host country. Archaeologists seek to understand the past by studying human material remains (that is, whatever humans manufactured and left behind) through the process of excavation and publication. For this reason, professional archaeologists do not search for objects or treasures such as Noah’s Ark, the Ark of the Covenant, or the Holy Grail. Usually these sorts of expeditions are led by amateurs (nonspecialists) or academics who are not archaeologists. Archaeology is a scientific process.

Thank God for real scholars.  Were it not for them we would be left to the misadventures of the money-seekers.

Jodi Magness: The Interview

Via Joseph Lauer

The Book and the Spade recently posted two 13-minute audio interviews of Dr. Jodi Magness by Gordon Govier. The first is about her recently published book Stone and Dung, Oil and Spit: Jewish Daily Life in the Time of Jesus (which, as explained in the interview, is a title chosen by the publisher). The second is about the excavation being directed by her at Huqoq, including a partial excavation of a synagogue at the site. …

The first interview may be accessed at http://www.radioscribe.com/1315tbts.mp3.

The second interview may be accessed at http://www.radioscribe.com/1316tbts.mp3.

New in Bible and Interpretation: Regarding Magness and Talpiot

Kilty and Elliott remark

Jodi Magness has written an important work titled Stone and Dung, Oil and Spit: Jewish Daily Life in the Time of Jesus, which combines the study of texts and archaeology. It is a work that makes important contributions to understanding Jewish life during first-century Palestine. In this paper, we examine her comments, though brief they are, on the alleged Jesus family tomb at Talpiot and the James Ossuary.

And they argue their case very meticulously. Indeed, it’s the sort of essay that has to marinate in the mind before a response can be offered. Nevertheless, it’s worth observing that Oded Golan’s essay on the subject of the ossuary (it’s one of the sources which K and E cite) can’t be received without a more than generous dose of suspicion.

I’d be very keen to see what Jodi has to say in response to this piece. If she isn’t buried in work, I – for one – hope she will respond (and she’s the one who best can, since it’s her work that’s the focus of interest).

K. and E. conclude (I think brilliantly) –

We state plainly, biblical scholars must seek out argument and disputation based on the evidence at hand because the issue of Talpiot will not be settled by focusing on the behavior of Simcha Jacobovici.

This is true enough.  Evidence- good, solid evidence, outweighs personality.  At any rate, read the piece and see what you think.

The Presentation of the Eshel Memorial Festschrift at SBL San Francisco

Aren Maeir sends along word of this fantastic event-

On Sunday, November 20th, from 6:30-6:45 pm, Aren Maeir, Jodi Magness, and Lawrence Schiffman will present a festschrift volume that they co-edited in honor of Professor Hanan Eshel z”l to Dr. Esti Eshel. The presentation will take place in Room 2018 at the San Francisco Convention Center (at the end of the SBL Qumran session that afternoon).  All are welcome to attend.
I’ll certainly be there.  You should be there too.

Stone and Dung, Oil and Spit: Jewish Daily Life in the Time of Jesus

I saw a prepub copy of this Jodi Magness volume at ASOR in November and instantly filled out the order form.  It looked absolutely fantastic and this nicely done review whets my appetite even more.

As I recently traveled the length and breadth of Jodi Magness’s forthcoming Stone and Dung, Oil and Spit: Jewish Daily Life in the Time of Jesus, I noticed something interesting (and perhaps a little annoying) about my day-to-day conversations with friends and family. I became a fountain of “Did you knows?”

“Did you know that only the very wealthy buried their dead in rock-cut family tombs — and that everyone else was buried in pit or trench graves?”

“Did you know that Jews in Jesus’ day used pots made of stone, clay, glass — and animal dung? And did you know, too, that although glass vessels were considered ‘susceptible to impurity,’ dung vessels were considered ‘insusceptible’?”

“Did you know that when the Gospels describe sick people touching the ‘hem’ of Jesus’ robe, those folks were likely touching only the fringe, or ‘tzitzit,’ sewn to the edges — a polite nod to purity concerns, since touching the tzitzit would not defile him with ritual impurity the way other physical contact would?”

Read the rest of the review.  Or rather, preview.