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Archaeology and History of Ancient Israel Examined at B’nai Sholom

What do we know about the archaeology and history of ancient Israel, and how do we know it?  A course at B’nai Sholom Reform Congregation in Albany will provide many of the answers.

“Archaeology and History of Ancient Israel” will be taught over eight Thursdays beginning April 17 from 7 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. at B’nai Sholom, 420 Whitehall Road, Albany, N.Y.

               Biblical archaeology is a field of inquiry about the flesh-and-blood world in which ancient Israelites lived along with their Canaanite, Egyptian, Moabite, Philistine and many other neighbors.  This course will examine the development of Biblical archaeology from the antiquarians of the 19th century to the maturing of the discipline in the 1970s, ’80s, and ’90s; the environmental, geographic, historical and prehistoric contexts of ancient Israel; and the archaeology of the Patriarchal Age, the descent into Egypt and the Exodus.  Later discussion will look at the wandering in the wilderness, the conquest and settlement of the land of Canaan, the emergence of Israel as a people, the united monarchy of David and Solomon, and its dissolution into the divided kingdoms of Israel and Judah.  The timeframe of this course concludes with the Babylonian Conquest and the destruction of the First Temple in 586 B.C.E.

Steven Stark-Riemer, the course instructor, has taught about the scientific study of the Biblical world since 2007.  He studied anthropology at City College of New York, where he specialized in archaeology, and received his degree in 1972.  He conducted field work at the Tel Gezer excavations in Israel under the direction of William G. Dever, director of the Hebrew Union College Biblical and Archaeological School at the time.  Stark-Riemer continues to pursue his interest in the archaeology, history and religion of the ancient Near East.

“Archaeology and History of Ancient Israel” is open to the public.  Fee for the eight-session course is $60 ($40 for B’nai Sholom members), and registration is required.

For more information, visit www.bnaisholomalbany.org  or contact the B’nai Sholom office at 518-482-5283 or office@bnaisholom.albany.ny.us.

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