Visiting archaeologist to present evidence of Solomon’s kingdom

Published 16 April 2012

A public lecture at the University of New England on Thursday 26 April will examine archaeological findings at Jerusalem, Hazor, Megiddo and Gezer in Israel that correspond with the biblical description of King Solomon’s monumental architecture.

It will be presented by William Dever, Distinguished Professor of Near Eastern Archaeology at Lycoming College, Pennsylvania, who has conducted numerous excavations in Israel, Jordan and Cyprus.

The free lecture, at 5.30 pm in the Gallery at UNE’s Earle Page College, will be the first in the University’s Aspects of Antiquity series for 2012. Everyone is welcome.

A group of scholars calling themselves “revisionists” has recently claimed that the Bible’s Solomon was no more historical than King Arthur. Professor Dever’s illustrated lecture, titled “The Golden Age of Solomon: Fact or Fiction”, will show, however, that archaeological findings reflect the description of Solomon’s architecture in I Kings 9: 15-17. While King Solomon’s kingdom may have been reasonably modest, Professor Dever says, and not the vast empire portrayed in the Bible, it did exist, and has left archaeological evidence.

Professor Dever was Director of the Albright Institute in Jerusalem in the early 1970s, and held the Chair of Near Eastern Archaeology and Anthropology at the University of Arizona from 1975 to 2002. He is coming to UNE as the 2012 Australian Institute of Archaeology Visiting Lecturer – a position he holds jointly with his wife Pamela Gaber, who will present a free public seminar in UNE’s School of Humanities the morning after her husband’s lecture.


New light on religion on ancient Cyprus

Pamela Gaber, Professor of Archaeology and Religion at Lycoming College, is the director of archaeological excavations at Idalion on the island of Cyprus and an authority on ancient sculpture from Cyprus.  Her seminar paper on Friday 27 April, titled “Recent excavations at Idalion, Cyprus: new light on Levantine Cult in the First Millennium BCE”, will be at 9.30 am in Lecture Theatre 3 in the UNE Arts Building. Everyone is welcome.

The seminar will focus on two intact sanctuaries found at Idalion: an open-air sacred grove and a sanctuary of “paired deities”. According to Professor Gaber, who has dug at various places in Israel, there are startling similarities between the cult practices evident at Idalion and those of first-millennium BC Israel.

UNE’s Museum of Antiquities, also in the Arts Building, holds an internationally significant collection of Cypriot pottery and other material that would be of interest to people attending the seminar.

For more information on either of these events, phone Professor Greg Horsley on (02) 6773 2390 or (02) 6773 2555.

THE PHOTOGRAPHS displayed here show archaeological remains at Megiddo in Israel, and (courtesy of Professor Pamela Gaber) a limestone statuette of Artemis found at Idalion