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Archaeology of the Biblical World


Admission requirements

In addition to the general rules set out for admission to the master program students are required to be familiar with Biblical literature and history or classical or Near Eastern archaeology or history. Minimum number of participants 3.


Archaeology has become an indispensable source for the reconstruction of past cultures and therefore is of direct importance for Biblical studies. The course aims at giving students insight into the material culture of societies in the ancient Levant from the Bronze and Iron ages down to the material context of Early Christianity in the Hellenistic and Roman periods. Special attention will be given to the archaeology of cult (domestic cult, sanctuaries, synagogues, earliest churches), but also of regions and periods that feature in Biblical literature. But how can literary and material sources be brought into a methodologically reflected dialogue? What is the impact of archaeology on Biblical studies?

Course objectives

The student will be introduced to basic methods of archaeological work and its role in reconstructing the life and beliefs of past societies. They will be introduced to important archaeological periods and types of material culture relevant to the biblical world.


1st semester, Wednesday 9-11 hr. Timetable

Mode of instruction

Seminar style (lecture elements, discussion, presentations, self-study). Participation in archaeological foeldwork is optional.
2 hours class plus 3 hours reading and preparation per week.
Weekly meetings (12 × 2 hrs): 24 hrs
Weekly reading assignments (12 × 3 hrs): 56 hrs
Presentation: 20 hrs
Paper: 40 hrs
Total: 140 hrs

Assessment method

Criteria for assessment are active and critical participation during class and quality of papers. Each student has to prepare 2 short presentations and submit one in writing.


As repository for course material.

Reading list

To be announced in class.


Via uSis.


Prof.dr.J.K. Zangenberg