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Tel Aviv Archaeologist to Discuss Biblical Sites on Nov. 14

November 9, 2011
Tel Megiddo

Aerial view of Tel Megiddo, Israel

Norma Franklin, Ph.D., a field archaeologist from the Institute of Archaeology at Tel Aviv University, visits Chapman University on Monday, Nov. 14 at 6 p.m. to discuss her work as coordinator of the Megiddo expedition.  “Meggido,” a tel or ancient mound-hill in northern Israel, is perhaps better known by its Greek name, “Armageddon” – it is the site of an ancient city known for its historical, geographical and theological importance.   Dr. Franklin’s lecture, “A Tale of Two Cities and a Military Outpost: Megiddo, Samaria and Jezreel,” held in Argyros Forum 209C, is free and open to the campus community and the public.   A reception with light refreshments will follow the talk.

The Megiddo excavations were begun early in the 20th century by the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago with funding from John D. Rockefeller, Jr.  The present excavation team, headed by Dr. Israel Finkelstein of the Institute of Archaeology of Tel Aviv, continues with the collaboration of several American universities, including Chapman University. Julye Bidmead, Ph.D., assistant professor of religious studies at Chapman, has been an integral part of the Megiddo staff since 1996.

 The talk is presented by the Department of Religious Studies in Wilkinson College of Humanities and Social Sciences, and G.O.A.T. (Society for the Global Observation and Appreciation of the Transcendent), a Chapman student organization.

The geography and archaeology of these three great Biblical sites so crucial to an understanding of ancient Israel will be discussed by Dr. Franklin.  Samaria was the hilltop capital of the northern Kingdom of Israel. It was the site of the royal palace; the official residence of the kings of Israel and the place of their burial. Yet the city of Megiddo was strategically more important, surrounded on three sides by alternating hills and deep valleys; it sat astride the great north-south “Way of the Sea” and overlooked the fertile Jezreel Valley that stretched to the east. The compound of Jezreel, perched on the foothills of the Gilboa range, stood sentry as a small but crucial military outpost.

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