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Israel Before Israel
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Israel Before Israel

New Research on the Early Bronze Age in the central Jordan Valley

February 22 2018, 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Archaeology in Israel has mostly emphasized the Biblical Periods.  Yet to understand the particular nature of societies  in Biblical Periods requires us to look at Israel over a longer period of its evolution and in a broader geographical framework.  Of particular importance in this regard is the Early Bronze Age I to III (3500 to 2500 B.C.E.), when key elements of Biblical society took form as part of a larger evolution of the modern world throughout the Middle East.

Professor Mitchell Rothman and Dr. Yael Rotem from the Penn Museum will discuss understanding the Israel of the Bible by looking at what led to it, and how a new project at Early Bronze Age Tel Yaqush will add to our understanding of these evolutionary processes.

There will be a light dessert reception after the lecture.

Dr. Mitchell Rothman is a recently retired professor of Anthropology and Archaeology at Widener University and a long-term Consulting Scholar at the Penn Museum.  Over his quarter century at Widener, he founded and chaired the Anthropology Department and taught thousands of students.  His research focus has been the evolution of what we know of as the modern world.  The evolutionary transition from a pre-modern world occurred in from 3500 to 2500 B.C.E. in the broader Middle East.  In five books and many articles Dr. Rothman has explored these topics.  He has participated in fieldwork in Iran, Turkey, Armenia, and hopefully now in Israel.

Dr. Yael Rotem is currently a post-doctorate scholar at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Anthropology and Archaeology, where she is working on the museum collection of finds from Israel and Jordan. She completed her doctorate studies in Archaeology at Tel Aviv University in 2016, which followed her B.A and M.A studies in archaeology and near-eastern cultures at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Dr. Rotem has participated in several excavations in Israel and Turkey, but in recent years her main interest is in the archaeology of the Jordan Valley in the proto-historic periods. Her Ph.D. dissertation dealt with the emergence of urbanism in the Southern Levant, and the development of complex societies in the region during the fourth millennium B.C.E. Born and raised in Israel, Dr. Rotem is motivated to take active part in Israeli archaeology, and to illuminate anthropological aspects of past societies, which are currently being understudied with regard to this region.

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