Israel Museum Searches for Stones to Match Kissufim Mosaic
Two major sections of the extensive church floor mosaic uncovered at Kibbutz Kissufim, east of Gaza, presently on display at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, will be replaced by replicas, and the originals returned to the excavation site. (For a complete description and color photographs of this mosaic floor, see “The Marvelous Mosaics of Kissufim,” BAR 06:01). The replicas will be almost exact copies because the stones for the tessarae are to be matched as closely as possible in color and cut. The gradations of color in the different areas of this magnificent mosaic floor are extremely varied: there are at least six shades of yellow, eight of red and five of gray. Staff from the Museum and from the Israel Institute of Geology expect to spend a year searching sites around Jerusalem and in the Negev for the needed colors.
Discovered in 1977 by a kibbutz tractor driver who was plowing a new field, this sixth-century Byzantine church floor included many delicately worked scenes: for example, sheep grazing, a lion attacking a bull, men hunting, and women bringing gifts to the church.
Colloquium on America-Holy Land Studies in Washington, D.C.
Hebrew University’s Institute of Contemporary Jewry and the American Jewish Historical Society will host the second International Scholars Colloquium on their joint project, America-Holy Land Studies, from August 30 to September 1 in Washington, D.C. The Colloquium at the United States National Archives Building will present “Themes and Sources in the Archives of the United States, Great Britain, Turkey and Israel.” Designed for use by scholars, the America-Holy Land Studies project locates and describes original and secondary source materials dealing with the varied relationships between America and the Holy Land from 1620 to 1948. For further information, write to the Colloquium Coordinator: Bernard Wax, Director, American Jewish Historical Society, 2 Thornton Road, Waltham, MA 02154. (Tel.) 617–891-8110.
Borowski Joins BAR Board
BAR is pleased to announce that Oded Borowski, one of our frequent contributors, has joined the Editorial Advisory Board. Borowski is director of the Semitic languages division in the department of Modern Languages and Classics at Emory University in Atlanta. Born in Israel, he was a member for six years of Kibbutz Lahav, where he met his American wife, Marcia, who had come to work as a volunteer. Borowski excavated at Tell Gezer, Tel Dan, and eventually returned to Lahav as senior staff member of the Lahav Research Project (Tell Halif). In 1981, he was an enthusiastically received faculty member of the Biblical Archaeology Vacation Seminar in Chautauqua, New York. Borowski is president of the Biblical Archaeology Study Group of Greater Atlanta and in his free time enjoys hiking and camping with his family and programming his home computer. Some of his recent articles in BAR are “Five Ways to Defend an Ancient City,” BAR 09:02; “Sherds, Sherds, Sherds,” BAR 08:04; and “Digging, Dug, Gone,” BAR 08:01.
“Sign, Symbol, Script”—Traveling Exhibit Opens in Madison, Wisconsin
The origins of writing and the alphabet in the ancient Mediterranean world are the subjects of an interdisciplinary exhibition that will open in August at the State Historical Society of Wisconsin, in Madison. After a three-month show, the exhibit, “Sign, Symbol, Script,” will travel to other universities and museums across the country.
The exhibit will cover the evolution of writing from pictographs to the modern alphabet, using comparative materials from the non-alphabetic scripts in the ancient Near East and a selection of important writing systems from Old and New World cultures, including pre-Columbian American Indian, African and Asian. One of the displays focuses on landmark decipherments of ancient scripts; another shows writing tools and materials—papyrus, clay, paper, stone, vellum, and silk and the effects these had on the development of various scripts. Significant items include fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls, Mesopotamian and Ugaritic clay tablets, papyri, and facsimiles of the Rosetta Stone and the Pontius Pilate inscription found in the excavations at Caesarea in Israel.
ASOR/SBL Branch Issues Call for Papers
Indiana University in Bloomington will host the annual meeting of the Middle West Branch of ASOR and the Society of Biblical Literature, from February 19 to 21, 1984. A formal call for papers will go out in September, but members, scholars, and advanced graduate students (with a professor’s permission) can take advantage of this BAR notice and get an early summer start. The public is cordially invited to attend the program.
Record Number of Registrants Flock to BAS Tours, Vacation Seminars and Israel Seminar
The BAS Tour Director has announced that the Fall Tour to Egypt and Israel (including a Nile Cruise) is now filled. Names of additional registrants are being added to a waiting list in the event of cancellations.
The six-week Israel Seminar experienced a record registration, almost twice as many participants as in previous years. This group, based in Jerusalem, will spend two weeks at the City of David excavation in Jerusalem as well as a week in Galilee and in Sinai.
Reflecting this year’s surge in travel and study, the one-week Vacation Seminars at Santa Cruz, California, Alfred, New York, and Georgetown University, Washington D.C., showed large turnouts. The Alfred session exceeded capacity in May; additional 005faculty members were invited to Alfred to teach the large number of participants. James Brashler and Siegfried Horn—faculty for the Santa Cruz Vacation Seminar—joined Dewey Beegle and Kyle McCarter at Alfred so that all applicants could be accepted.
Plans are afoot for a possible Vacation Seminar next summer in Europe.
Corrections and Addendum
In the May/June 1983 BAR, David Rosenfeld’s date of death should have read July 3, 1982.
Additional details concerning Ehud Netzer’s excavation at Herodium (featured in the May/June issue) may be found in “Greater Herodium,” QEDEM 13, (The Institute of Archaeology, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 1981). This volume is available by writing to the Israel Exploration Society, P.O. Box 7041, Jerusalem, Israel.
In the same issue, the word “Masada” on Siegfried Horn’s map should have read “Madaba,” an error that occurred when the map was copied for publication.
In the March/April 1983 BAR, the angle labeled “6.2° south of east-west line” in the upper right of the plan was improperly drawn and appears larger than 6.2°. Further study by Asher Kaufman, author “Where the Ancient Temple of Jerusalem Stood,” leads him to believe that the orientation of the First Temple, and hence the angle in the plan, should be 6.0° south of the east-west line.
Middle East Studies Guide Published
A Directory of Graduate and Undergraduate Programs and Courses in Middle East Studies in the United States, Canada and Abroad has been published by the Middle East Studies Association of North America (MESA). The directory is the most comprehensive collection of information available on institutions, courses and faculty members in Middle East Studies in all parts of the world.
The directory sells for $5 to MESA members ($10 to nonmembers) and may be obtained by writing to Middle East Studies Association of North America, Department of Oriental Studies, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona 85721.
Israel Museum Searches for Stones to Match Kissufim Mosaic