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ASOR

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ASOR
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About Us

The American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR) is a non-profit 501 (c)3 organization that supports and encourages the study of the cultures and history of the Near East, from the earliest times to the present. ASOR is apolitical and has no religious affiliation.We were founded in 1900 by twenty one institutions—including Harvard, Princeton, Yale, and Columbia. Over a century later, ASOR has more than 90 consortium institutions, including universities, seminaries, museums, foundations, and libraries. In addition, we have more than 1,550 individual members. ASOR communicates news of the latest research findings in our publications, through lectures at the Annual Meeting, and our overseas institutes host scholars working in the Middle East. ASOR's book series and journals, such as Near Eastern Archaeology and the Bulletin of ASOR, are intended for both a lay audience and specialist archaeologists, historians, and Biblical scholars. ASOR's Annual Meeting brings together scholars from around the world to present their latest findings and discuss their research. Our independent overseas institutes in Cyprus, Israel, and Jordan facilitate research in the field by students and scholars. Fellowship programs are available to provide funds for work at these institutes as well as for Mesopotamian studies and student travel to the Annual Meeting.

Latest Episodes

Gender in Ancient Egypt: Norms, Ambiguities, and Sensualities

This podcast interview with Uroš Matić looks at new trends in the study of sex and gender in ancient Egypt, especially as influenced by gender and queer theories. Considering notions of binary gender, third gender, and same sex relations, with a final look at the endurance of folk tradition in Egyptian fertility practices.

27 MIN2016 NOV 2
Comments
Gender in Ancient Egypt: Norms, Ambiguities, and Sensualities

Reduced to Her Bare Essentials: Bronze Age Piriform Pendants in the Levant

This article considers the symbolic meanings of the face, breasts, vulva, and branch images which typify the schematic piriform pendants which first emerged in Tell el-‘Ajjul in the Late Bronze Age and spread through the Levant. In contrast to the usual hypotheses regarding fertility, I suggest that each of these elements refer to the Egyptian goddess Hathor as aspects of her attributes and powers in the Levant under Egyptian domination.

34 MIN2016 OCT 20
Comments
Reduced to Her Bare Essentials: Bronze Age Piriform Pendants in the Levant

Engendering the Israelite Harvests with Jennie Ebeling

It is commonly believed that women were the preparers of food and drink in the Iron Age (ca. 1200–586 B.C.E.) Israelite household while men were primarily responsible for agricultural field activities. Various lines of evidence suggest, however, that this indoor female/outdoor male dichotomy as related to food production was not always the reality, especially during the crucial harvest seasons. The Hebrew Bible and other textual sources, iconography, and Middle Eastern ethnography suggest that women not only took part in the cereal grain, grape, and olive harvests, they were also valued for their participation in these seasonal field activities and the festivals that celebrated them. In this article, I shall examine the evidence for male and female participation in ancient Israelite harvests and challenge popular assumptions about how men and women contributed to the production of food and drink in ancient Israel. Music: http://www.bensound.com

21 MIN2016 OCT 10
Comments
Engendering the Israelite Harvests with Jennie Ebeling

Sex Crimes in the Laws of the Hebrew Bible

We intereviewed Dr. Bruce Wells on his recent Near Eastern Archaeology magazine article, "Sex Crimes in the Laws of the Hebrew Bible." Although biblical texts identify a range of sexual behavior as illicit, adultery is the only sexual act addressed in the law collections of the Hebrew Bible as a crime – i.e., as a serious harm against another person for which punishments beyond financial compensation are allowed. Some scholars have argued that the treatment of adultery in biblical law is better and more favorable toward women than that found in the cuneiform law collections; others have argued precisely the opposite. What is more likely is that biblical law is largely in keeping with how ancient Near Eastern societies other than Israel and Judah handled adultery and should not necessarily be evaluated as either better or worse from a modern perspective.

30 MIN2016 APR 6
Comments
Sex Crimes in the Laws of the Hebrew Bible

Crime and Sexual Offense in Hatti

This article offers an introductory overview of the topic of crime and punishment in the Hittite kingdom. I offer general background to the topic and focus on one case-study: crimes related to sexual behavior. Even within this narrower topic, the discussion is limited to one main example, incest prohibitions and the regulation of kin relations, which have not previously been studied as a distinct topic.

29 MIN2016 MAR 18
Comments
Crime and Sexual Offense in Hatti

An Early Islamic Homicide at Qasr Hallabat

We spoke with Dr. Megan Perry about a recent Near Eastern Archaeology article she co-authored. In the 8th to 10th century c.e., six adult individuals, five males and one female, were murdered in the northern Badia of Jordan amongst the ruins of Qasr Hallabat. The four males and one female show a combination of blunt force trauma to the head and sharp force trauma to the arms and legs. Who are these individuals, and what are the circumstances surrounding their deaths? Forensic and bioarchaeological analyses of the skeletal remains uncover evidence surrounding this crime and how these individuals may have ended up meeting their deaths at Hallabat.

23 MIN2016 MAR 10
Comments
An Early Islamic Homicide at Qasr Hallabat

Violence and the City: On the Yahwist's Leviathan

In this podcast, we interviewed Dr. Robert Kawashima on his recent Near Eastern Archaeology article, "Violence and the City: On the Yahwist's Leviathan." The story of Cain is ultimately an origin story of the city, i.e., a narrative representation of its nature and function. This being the case, there seems to be a constitutive relationship between violence and the city, for Cain builds the first city only after committing the first homicide. Reminiscent of Hobbes, the Yahwist sees the city as originating in the domestication of the violent impulses of its citizens. Hence the mark of Cain: it is the threat of reprisal that enables Cain to overcome his fear of, and thereby coexist with, the Other. But vengeance alone will not suffice to maintain civilized collective life, as we learn from the example of his descendant, Lamech. Rather, it is only through hospitality that men can hope to live together in peace. This is the lesson of the story of Sodom, in which the Yahwist juxtaposes t...

22 MIN2016 FEB 25
Comments
Violence and the City: On the Yahwist's Leviathan

Sacred Violence: When Ancient Egyptian Punishment was Dressed in Ritual Trappings

We spoke with Dr. Kerry Muhlestein about his recent Near Eastern Archaeology article, "Sacred Violence: When Ancient Egyptian Punishment was Dressed in Ritual Trappings."

28 MIN2016 FEB 20
Comments
Sacred Violence: When Ancient Egyptian Punishment was Dressed in Ritual Trappings

Virtual Bible Project

At the 2015 ASOR Annual Meeting in Atlanta, I met with Dr. James F. Strange and Dr. Daniel Warner to discuss their Virtual Bible Project.

15 MIN2016 JAN 28
Comments
Virtual Bible Project

King Tut - What We Do and Don't Know With Marianne Eaton-Krauss

On Halloween, I met with Egyptologist and author, Marianne Eaton-Krauss to discuss King Tut and her upcoming book, "The Unknown Tutankhamun."

28 MIN2015 NOV 6
Comments
King Tut - What We Do and Don't Know With Marianne Eaton-Krauss

Latest Episodes

Gender in Ancient Egypt: Norms, Ambiguities, and Sensualities

This podcast interview with Uroš Matić looks at new trends in the study of sex and gender in ancient Egypt, especially as influenced by gender and queer theories. Considering notions of binary gender, third gender, and same sex relations, with a final look at the endurance of folk tradition in Egyptian fertility practices.

27 MIN2016 NOV 2
Comments
Gender in Ancient Egypt: Norms, Ambiguities, and Sensualities

Reduced to Her Bare Essentials: Bronze Age Piriform Pendants in the Levant

This article considers the symbolic meanings of the face, breasts, vulva, and branch images which typify the schematic piriform pendants which first emerged in Tell el-‘Ajjul in the Late Bronze Age and spread through the Levant. In contrast to the usual hypotheses regarding fertility, I suggest that each of these elements refer to the Egyptian goddess Hathor as aspects of her attributes and powers in the Levant under Egyptian domination.

34 MIN2016 OCT 20
Comments
Reduced to Her Bare Essentials: Bronze Age Piriform Pendants in the Levant

Engendering the Israelite Harvests with Jennie Ebeling

It is commonly believed that women were the preparers of food and drink in the Iron Age (ca. 1200–586 B.C.E.) Israelite household while men were primarily responsible for agricultural field activities. Various lines of evidence suggest, however, that this indoor female/outdoor male dichotomy as related to food production was not always the reality, especially during the crucial harvest seasons. The Hebrew Bible and other textual sources, iconography, and Middle Eastern ethnography suggest that women not only took part in the cereal grain, grape, and olive harvests, they were also valued for their participation in these seasonal field activities and the festivals that celebrated them. In this article, I shall examine the evidence for male and female participation in ancient Israelite harvests and challenge popular assumptions about how men and women contributed to the production of food and drink in ancient Israel. Music: http://www.bensound.com

21 MIN2016 OCT 10
Comments
Engendering the Israelite Harvests with Jennie Ebeling

Sex Crimes in the Laws of the Hebrew Bible

We intereviewed Dr. Bruce Wells on his recent Near Eastern Archaeology magazine article, "Sex Crimes in the Laws of the Hebrew Bible." Although biblical texts identify a range of sexual behavior as illicit, adultery is the only sexual act addressed in the law collections of the Hebrew Bible as a crime – i.e., as a serious harm against another person for which punishments beyond financial compensation are allowed. Some scholars have argued that the treatment of adultery in biblical law is better and more favorable toward women than that found in the cuneiform law collections; others have argued precisely the opposite. What is more likely is that biblical law is largely in keeping with how ancient Near Eastern societies other than Israel and Judah handled adultery and should not necessarily be evaluated as either better or worse from a modern perspective.

30 MIN2016 APR 6
Comments
Sex Crimes in the Laws of the Hebrew Bible

Crime and Sexual Offense in Hatti

This article offers an introductory overview of the topic of crime and punishment in the Hittite kingdom. I offer general background to the topic and focus on one case-study: crimes related to sexual behavior. Even within this narrower topic, the discussion is limited to one main example, incest prohibitions and the regulation of kin relations, which have not previously been studied as a distinct topic.

29 MIN2016 MAR 18
Comments
Crime and Sexual Offense in Hatti

An Early Islamic Homicide at Qasr Hallabat

We spoke with Dr. Megan Perry about a recent Near Eastern Archaeology article she co-authored. In the 8th to 10th century c.e., six adult individuals, five males and one female, were murdered in the northern Badia of Jordan amongst the ruins of Qasr Hallabat. The four males and one female show a combination of blunt force trauma to the head and sharp force trauma to the arms and legs. Who are these individuals, and what are the circumstances surrounding their deaths? Forensic and bioarchaeological analyses of the skeletal remains uncover evidence surrounding this crime and how these individuals may have ended up meeting their deaths at Hallabat.

23 MIN2016 MAR 10
Comments
An Early Islamic Homicide at Qasr Hallabat

Violence and the City: On the Yahwist's Leviathan

In this podcast, we interviewed Dr. Robert Kawashima on his recent Near Eastern Archaeology article, "Violence and the City: On the Yahwist's Leviathan." The story of Cain is ultimately an origin story of the city, i.e., a narrative representation of its nature and function. This being the case, there seems to be a constitutive relationship between violence and the city, for Cain builds the first city only after committing the first homicide. Reminiscent of Hobbes, the Yahwist sees the city as originating in the domestication of the violent impulses of its citizens. Hence the mark of Cain: it is the threat of reprisal that enables Cain to overcome his fear of, and thereby coexist with, the Other. But vengeance alone will not suffice to maintain civilized collective life, as we learn from the example of his descendant, Lamech. Rather, it is only through hospitality that men can hope to live together in peace. This is the lesson of the story of Sodom, in which the Yahwist juxtaposes t...

22 MIN2016 FEB 25
Comments
Violence and the City: On the Yahwist's Leviathan

Sacred Violence: When Ancient Egyptian Punishment was Dressed in Ritual Trappings

We spoke with Dr. Kerry Muhlestein about his recent Near Eastern Archaeology article, "Sacred Violence: When Ancient Egyptian Punishment was Dressed in Ritual Trappings."

28 MIN2016 FEB 20
Comments
Sacred Violence: When Ancient Egyptian Punishment was Dressed in Ritual Trappings

Virtual Bible Project

At the 2015 ASOR Annual Meeting in Atlanta, I met with Dr. James F. Strange and Dr. Daniel Warner to discuss their Virtual Bible Project.

15 MIN2016 JAN 28
Comments
Virtual Bible Project

King Tut - What We Do and Don't Know With Marianne Eaton-Krauss

On Halloween, I met with Egyptologist and author, Marianne Eaton-Krauss to discuss King Tut and her upcoming book, "The Unknown Tutankhamun."

28 MIN2015 NOV 6
Comments
King Tut - What We Do and Don't Know With Marianne Eaton-Krauss
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