Free lectures featuring some of today's most prominent archaeologists are held throughout the year. The Museum is open before and after the lectures.
Feb. 4, 2016 , 7:30 p.m. / Professor Ron Tappy, G. Albert Shoemaker Professor of Bible and Archaeology, Director of the Kelso Museum of Near Eastern Archaeology, PTS / "The Samaria Ostraca: Shipping Dockets Discovered on Ancient Israel’s Capital Hill" / Please note: This lecture will be held at Rodef Shalom Synagogue, Pittsburgh, Pa. / Cosponsored with The Biblical Archaeology Society of Pittsburgh
Exceptional sites yield exceptional finds. And the Samaria of Ahab, Jezebel, and Jeroboam II was no exception. The field seasons of 1908-1909 provided a challenging, sometimes even disheartening period for members of the Harvard Excavations at Samaria, the capital city of the Northern Kingdom of Israel.
But the atmosphere in camp surely crackled with electricity during the 1910 Season as the team unearthed the so-called Ostraca House, where inscription after inscription came to light. George Andrew Reisner counted the Israelite ostraca among the most important finds ever recovered by the Harvard Expedition. But the precise provenance of these historic inscriptions has remained murky at best. To date, the most incisive and intuitive statement on their archaeological context comes from an unpublished dissertation written at Harvard University in 1966.
This lecture will examine the depositional history of the Ostraca House and its immediate surroundings in an attempt to clarify the date of the contexts from which excavators recovered these famous writings. The discussion will draw on materials contained in Reisner’s unpublished field diaries and the private journal of architect Clarence S. Fisher. Information drawn from these hand-written accounts not only provides supplementary data crucial to a study of the ostraca, it also enlivens the story behind their discovery and reveals the archaeological and administrative trials persistently faced by excavators—whether pioneers in pith helmets or today’s tech-savvy explorers.
Interested in learning more about future lectures and events? Send your name and address to Karen Bowden Cooper at email@example.com to be added to the mailing list.
During one such recent lecture, Richard Talbert, William Rand Kenan professor of history at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, discussed "The Magnificent Peutinger Map: Roman Cartography at its Most Creative." Listen to the lecture.
When space is available, archaeology courses at PTS may be audited through the Registrar's Office. Because PTS courses are graduate level, a four year college degree is normally a prerequisite. Check the list of upcoming available courses.