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Winter 2012 Lecture Series -
International Scholars Forum -
Lectures 75 and 76

California Museum of Ancient Art is proud to present its WINTER 2012 SERIES, "DISCOVERIES IN JORDAN AND ISRAEL," featuring two respected Biblical archaeologists, each a dynamic speaker: Dr. Thomas Levy and Dr. Robert Mullins. The lectures will be held at Piness Auditorium inside the Wilshire Boulevard Temple, 3663 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles on Mondays, March 5 and March 19 at 7:30pm.

On Monday, March 5, Professor Thomas Levy will share his latest research, "QUEST FOR KING SOLOMON'S MINES: CYBER-ARCHAEOLOGY IN JORDAN'S DESERT." Recent excavations in the Faynan copper ore district of Jordan document the first industrial revolution in the southern Levant dating to the 10th century BC — coinciding with the period of ancient Hebrew kings and Egyptian pharaohs. Results place this project at the center of the hotly contested Biblical archaeology debate about whether to follow the "low" or "high chronology."

The closest copper ore source to Jerusalem

This illustrated lecture will focus on discoveries at the largest Iron Age copper production site in the eastern Mediterranean, Khirbat en-Nahas ("Ruins of Copper"). Featured in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Science Journal and National Geographic Magazine, Dr. Levy's work provides new data in support of the historicity of David and Solomon. Khirbat en-Nahas, 30 miles south of the Dead Sea, had a massive copper-smelting operation, one of the largest desert fortresses and administrative buildings — dating to the time of the early Hebrew kings, the Egyptian Pharaoh Shoshenq I, and the Edomite kingdom. High precision radiocarbon dating and new digital archaeology technologies were used to achieve as objective an approach as possible.

Thomas E. Levy is Distinguished Professor and Norma Kershaw Chair in Archaeology of Ancient Israel and Neighboring Lands at UC San Diego. With a PhD from the University of Sheffield, his excavations have been funded by National Science Foundation, National Geographic Society and NEH. Featured in a NOVA television special, Quest for Solomon's Mines, in 2011, Dr. Levy is author of almost 200 research articles and 10 books.

Dr. Thomas Levy

Dr. Robert Mullins On Monday, March 19, Dr. Robert Mullins will present a illustrated talk, "THE MANY ANCIENT TEMPLES OF BETH SHEAN." Well-known from the Hebrew Bible, Beth Shean was first settled 6,000 years ago. An important Canaanite town located on a well-watered plain at the intersection of major roads, it was continually inhabited throughout antiquity.

Snakes, prominent symbols of Beth Shean's Canaanite cult

Dr. Mullins will focus on a series of temples, the earliest built during the Canaanite Period around 1550 BC. The tripartite plan of the Canaanite temple foreshadows the three-part division used to construct Solomon's Temple. After this, Beth Shean became an Egyptian garrison town. Not only did the next temple reflect Egyptian influence, but the finds included depictions of the fertility goddess Hathor and a statue of the falcon-headed god Horus. Last are twin temples contemporary with the Philistines, inside which were found a number of incense stands with snakes represented on them.

Robert A. Mullins is Associate Professor of Biblical Studies at Azusa Pacific University, with a PhD from Hebrew University. Recipient of both NEH and Montgomery Fellowships, he excavated at Beth Shean, Gezer, Rehov, Masada, Lachish and Dor, over a 20 year period. Dr. Mullins wrote and edited Excavations at Tel Beth-Shean, 1989-1996, Volume II, the Middle and Late Bronze Ages with site director Dr. Amihai Mazar.

We are honored to have two esteemed Biblical archaeologists at our International Scholars Forum. Join us this winter for a remarkable series. Mark these dates on your calendar and be sure to attend:

Snakes on Beth Shean Jar