• דר' דוד גלעד

מאמרים בכתבי עת

1. Glatt-Gilad, D. A. (2017). The Voluntary Nature of the Nehemiah Covenant in Rabbinic Literature. Review of Rabbinic Judaism 20. pp. 3–20.

Much scholarly attention has been devoted to the central covenant text in Nehemiah, namely, chapters 8–10, in terms of its sources, literary structure, and theology. An important aspect of the discussion is the consensual spirit with which the Nehemiah covenant was undertaken, even more so than the Sinai covenant, which is referenced in the Nehemiah material (Neh. 9:13). Rabbinic sources, from the Jerusalem Talmud through the various midrashic collections, also put a marked emphasis on the spirit of voluntarism and religious initiative that characterizes the post-exilic covenant experience. Thus the rabbinic sources anticipate certain conclusions of modern scholarship, at least on the ideational level. This paper suggests that the rabbis' attraction to the theme of voluntary acceptance of the covenant stipulations on the part of the postexilic community stems from the view of that theme as a conceptual forerunner for the popular acceptance of rabbinic authority.


פרקים בספרים

2. Glatt-Gilad, D. A. (2017). Genealogy Lists as a Window to Historiographic Periodization in the Book of Chronicles. In Y. Levin and B. Kotlerman (eds.), “And Inscribe the Name of Aaron": Studies in Bible, Epigraphy, Literacy and History Presented to Aaron Demsky (= Maarav 21). Western Academic Press. pp. 71–79.

In sum, I have noted three aspects of historiographic periodization that permeate the genealogy lists in Chronicles. The first is the tendency of the lists to compress past and present – a phenomenon that corresponds well with the Chronicler's desire to emphasize the timeless dimension of certain ideals, among them his view of Israelite identity as encompassing all of its ancient constituent elements. The second is the mention of particular kings in the genealogy lists (Saul, David, Solomon, Jotham, and Hezekiah) in connection with events or actions that suit the positive tenor of their reigns, as reported in or alluded to later on in the Chronicler's continuous historical narrative. The third is the chronological centrality of the Davidic period in the genealogical lists of priests and Levites—a phenomenon that implicitly underscores David's key role in the history of the cult, as spelled out on numerous occasions throughout the Chronicler's historiography. When taken together, the above three points demonstrate the value of probing the Chronicler's genealogical lists in terms of how they can contribute to appreciating the Chronicler's unique historical outlook.


1. Forti, T. and Glatt-Gilad, D.A.  2017. “At the Intersection of Intellect and Insolence: The Historiographic Significance of Solomon's and Jehoshaphat's “Tarshish Ships" in the Light of a Wisdom Motif," in: A. Baruchi-Unna et al. (ed.) “Now It Happened in Those Days" Studies in Biblical, Assyrian, and Other Ancient Near Eastern Historiography Presented to Mordechai Cogan on His 75th Birthday; Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns . Pp. 59-70.

The term “Tarshish ships," which most likely refers to a particularly sturdy type of vessel capable of traversing long distances at sea, appears in seven contexts in the Hebrew Bible. Two of these contexts are in historiographical material, another four are in the prophetic literature, and one more is in Psalm 48. Although none of these appearances is located within the wisdom literature per se, it is the contention of this paper that the wisdom tradition's nuanced evaluation of the worthiness and pitfalls of human knowledge helps to illuminate the deeper message of nearly all of the “Tarshish ship" passages.

Specifically, we shall attempt to demonstrate that sea travel can be viewed through a wisdom perspective as illustrating the principle that human wisdom is beneficial so long as it is regarded as a gift from God but doomed to failure when appropriated by man as a means for self-exaltation.



  • דר' ערן ויזל

מאמרים בכתבי עת

1. Viezel E.PI, 2016, 'ר' דוד קמחי על ההתגלות האלוהית למחברי ספרי המקרא' , 'God's Revelation to the Biblical Authors in the Writings of R. David Kimhi', SHNATON: An Annual for Biblical and Ancient Near Eastern Studies XXIV, pp. 267–284

The article deals with Radak's opinion on the nature of God's revelation to the biblical authors and the Holy Spirit sanction of which enabled them to write their books. It appears that Radak's opinion on these issues is based on the compositions of Maimonides'––Guide to the Perplexed and Mishneh Torah for the authors of Prophets and Hagiographa, and the Eight's Principle for Moses.


2. Viezel E.PI, 2016, 'Radical Jewish Study of the Masoretic Text during the Enlightenment Period: Joshua Heschel Schorr, Abraham Krochmal, and Elimelech Bezredḳi', European Journal of Jewish Studies 10, pp. 50–78

During the enlightenment period, Jewish scholars began addressing the issue of textual criticism. Few of these took a radical approach to this question, the most prominent being Joshua Heschel Schorr, Abraham Krochmal, and Elimelech Bezredki, whose writings are replete with thousands of textual emendations. This article seeks to examine this fascinating but neglected chapter in the history of the textual criticism of the Hebrew Bible. It discusses the work of these three scholars, analyzing their outlook, principles, and methodology and adducing cultural, intellectual, and personality factors as contributing to their special status as a group within a broader phenomenon.


3. Viezel E.PI, 2016, 'דעתם של פרשני המקרא בימי הביניים בשאלת חיבור ספרי המקרא: היבטים מחקריים ומתודולוגיים', 'Medieval Bible Commentators on the Question of the Composition of the Bible: Research and Methodological Aspects', Tarbiz 84, pp. 103–158

Academics who study Medieval Bible commentary take great interest in the views of the commentators on the question of the composition of the books of the Bible. This interest started with the beginnings of the study of medieval commentaries during the Haskalah period, and has become decidedly more pronounced in later generations. This intensive activity is in itself indirect evidence that the academic world views this topic as one of utmost importance. However, a further examination of the sum of all the commentators' statements cited in the literature clearly shows that the attention devoted to this subject is well out of proportion to both the number of statements the commentators left us and their content as well. Moreover, this reexamination will also reveal that many of the aforementioned studies are characterized by basic methodological errors and even suffer from incorrect readings of source material, which has inevitably resulted in flawed conclusions.

The main methodological errors are as follows:

  • Scholars do not always take into account the tendency of the commentators to vary their language and use anonymous names to attribute authorship.
  • They ascribe erroneous meanings to verbs which describe literary activity.
  • They do not differentiate between questions of authorship and comments which are devoted to literary characteristics.
  • They make unnecessary connections between non-verbal revelation (i.e. writing that is not divine dictation) and between editorial techniques.
  • They assume that the question of authorship of the biblical books stands at the center of the commentator's concerns much as it stands at the center of their concerns.
  • They do not always take into consideration the essential starting assumptions that distinguish medieval commentary from critical Bible research.

These mistakes are interrelated and complementary, and they convey the tenor of the research and to a large extent, shape it as well.


4. Viezel E.PI, 2016, 'Isaac Abravanel's Question and Joseph Hayyun's Answer: A New Stage in the Issue of Moses' Role in the Composition of the Torah', Religious Studies and Theology 35, pp. 53–72

In the second half of the 15th century, Isaac Abravanel addressed a question to Rabbi Joseph Hayyun, the spiritual leader of the Lisbon Jewish Community: Did God dictate the book of Devarim (Deuteronomy) to Moses word by word as he did in the case of the other four books of the Torah, or was this book created independently by Moses? According to the author, Abravanel's question and Joseph Hayyun's answer mark a new chapter in the history of examining the level of creative freedom Moses had in writing the Torah.


5. Viezel E.PI, 2016, '“The Anxiety of Influence": The Approach of Rashbam to Rashi's Commentary on the Torah', The Journal of the Association for Jewish Studies [AJS Review], 40, pp. 279–303

The approach of Rashbam to Rashi's commentary on the Torah is characterized by contrasts: originality and continuity, independence and dependence, open admiration and flagrant aggression. Scholars have clarified various aspects of this complex approach, yet their analyses do not provide a comprehensive explanation for it. The author of this article argues that the reason for this is that the approach of Rashbam to the commentary of Rashi is not based upon methodological principles alone, but also includes an emotional element which is in part unconscious. In this case, it is appropriate to make use of a theoretical model which demonstrates that the complexity revealed in the textual data is not unusual and can be found in relationships between other writers. As it will become clear, the approach of Rashbam to the commentary of Rashi on the Torah conforms to the model of “the anxiety of influence" formulated by Harold Bloom. This conclusion sheds new light on the commentary of Rashbam, including several of its more famous and well known passages.


6. Viezel E.PI, 2017, 'The Rise and Fall of Jewish Philological Exegesis on the Bible in the Middle Ages: Causes and Effects', Review of Rabbinic Judaism, 20, pp. 48–88

In the course of the ninth century Jewish intellectuals in the Babylonian cultural sphere began to interpret the Bible literally on the basis of language, syntax and context. This hermeneutic method, called "peshat" exegesis spread from the East to the West and reached its apex in the twelfth century in northern France. However, the peshat method of interpretation flourished for a short time only and then declined, first in lands under the rule of Islam and afterwards also in Christian Europe. The question of the causes that led to the development of this hermeneutical method, its waxing and its waning, is one of the most basic questions in the study of medieval biblical exegesis. Nonetheless, no study devoted to a comprehensive explanation of the factors leading to the rise and fall of the peshat method has been undertaken and most academic attention to the subject has focused on particular aspects, specifically the question of the factors that led to the flourishing of the peshat method in northern France. In this study, I will attempt to fill this gap. As will be made clear, my opinion differs in various points from the opinions presented in previous research.


7. Viezel E.PI, 2017, 'Textual Criticism of the Bible in the Writings of Jacob Reifmann: A Reevaluation', Journal of Jewish Studies, 68, pp. 97–115

Jacob Reifmann (Poland 1818–1895), one of the most fascinating figures of the Enlightenment in Eastern Europe, was a prolific scholar and intellectual whose books and articles cover a variety of subjects in Jewish intellectual history. Most of the scholars—scholars of Reifmann's work and scholars of Jewish biblical research during the Enlightenment—usually present him as someone who worked extensively on the biblical text and proposed hundreds of emendations to the traditional (Masoretic) text. As I will endeavor to show in this article, the place of the critical study of the biblical text within Reifmann's scholarly oeuvre needs to be reevaluated. The conclusion reached in the course of our discussion is that Reifmann in fact made only a few suggestions for emending the biblical text, while the hundreds of comments that scholars have understood as proposals for textual emendation should be understood in a different way.


8. Viezel E.PI, 2017, 'The Order of the Tribes in 1 Chron 2–8 according to the Commentary on Chronicles Attributed to Sa'adia Gaon's Student', Biblische Notizen, 174, pp. 91–105

While the list of the Israelite tribes is mentioned a few times in the Bible, the order of the tribes, as they appear in I Chronicles 2–8, is unique. Modern scholars, who have tried to explain this unusual arrangement, have suggested that the author placed those tribes that he perceived as being the most important at the list's top, middle, and bottom while other tribes were placed according to their geographic locations (this suggestion requires further clarification and conjectural emendations). Among the entire corpus of medieval Bible commentators, only the author of the anonymous commentary on Chronicles attributed to Sa'adia Gaon's student (early 11th, Provence?) offers a systematic rationale for the arrangement of the genealogic lists. He presumed that the author composed the lists according to a number of structural principles: topical, geographic and chronological. This appears to be the earliest attempt in the history of the study of the Book of Chronicles to offer a solution to the question of the arrangement of the tribes.


  • פרופ' שמיר יונה

מאמרים בכתבי עת

1. Yogev JS, and Yona SPI, 2016, "Visual Poetry in KTU 1.2", Ugarit Forschungen 46, pp. 447-453.

Tablet KTU 1.2 holds one of the most famous passages in the Baʿalu cycle. It gained its popularity from stylistic and mythological elements that resemble the Hebrew Bible, but also because of its content: the battle between the god Yammu and Baʿalu. A certain line was visually separated from other lines and so it is prominent on the tablet's surface. The purpose of this paper is to show that this line is actually the climax of this literary unit from two perspectives: the content of the story and the epigraphic perspective.


2. Yogev JS, and Yona SPI,2016, "Third and Last: Epigraphic Notes on Tablet KTU² 1.19 in the Aqhat Legend"' Journal of the American Oriental Society 136.4, pp. 851-859 

One of the most famous stories in Ugaritic literature is the legend of Aqht that was found at Ras Shamra, Syria, during the early 1930s. Written in Ugaritic script and spread over three worn and broken tablets, this text has been thoroughly studied for the past eighty years. More than a few studies have dealt with the following questions: Is the end of the known text in the third tablet really the end of the story? Or is there perhaps a missing tablet, or tablets, that continue the plot from the third tablet (KTU 1.19)? These questions have been answered on the base of storyline and plot, and many believe that there must be more contents that complete this story and that it cannot end where the text ends. In this paper we have tried to answer this question based on epigraphic evidence found in the third tablet of the Aqht legend. After carefully examining four unique features of this tablet, we conclude that KTU 1.19 is, in fact, the last one of this specific sequence. We support this evidence by an analysis of contents, showing that there is indeed enough text to suggest a proper closure for this legend.


3. Yona SPI,2016, חזרות מעודנות בפתגמים אחדים בספר משלי ובכפיליהם "Ḥazarot me'udanot be-Pitgamim ʼaḥadim be-Sefer Mishle ubi-khfilehem" MO'ED 22, pp. 17-26

העיסוק בטקסטים חוזרים במקרא הן בשירה הן בפרוזה, בין קצרים בין ארוכים, ובחילופים שחלים בהם, אינו חדש במחקר. החילופים העיקריים שצוינו על-ידי חוקרים ומפרשים רבים הם אלה: א) שׂיכול סדר האיברים בדרך כלשהי היוצר מבנה כיאסטי; ב) החלפת מילים או ביטויים בין טקסט אחד לרעהו; ג) הרחבה או צמצום של טקסט אחד בהשוואה לטקסט המקביל לו.

       את פשר החילופים ניסו להסביר בדרכים שונות. יש שראו זאת כנטייה של סופרים מעתיקים אחרים תלו זאת בגיוון סגנוני. אף הועלתה הצעה המשלבת את השתיים הקודמות. להסברים חשובים אלה על טיב החילופים ברצוני להוסיף כאן דרך חדשה ששימשה לגיוון, דרך שאינה נופלת בחשיבותה מהם ומצויה פעמים רבות בספרות המקרא. כוונתי לחילוף שנשען על אחד מדגמי החזרה שאני מכנה אותו "החזרה המורחבת". עניינו של דגם זה הוא חזרה של שורש פעמיים או יותר בתקבולת המקראית, ובמקרים לא מעטים גם בתוך יחידה ספרותית רחבה יותר. אפשר לחשוף דגם חזרה זה גם בטקסטים שבפרוזה, בעיקר באלה שניכר בהם ריתמוס המתקרב לזה של השירה, שבהם יש נטייה לחזרה מטעמים מנמוטכניים. אלא שדגם זה מצוי גם בספרות שמחוץ למקרא. הוא מתגלה בספרות האכדית, אם כי אין הוא מצוי בה הרבה. בשירה האוגריתית הוא נפוץ יותר, ודוגמות בודדות מצויות גם בכתובות הפיניקיות. במשלים ובפתגמים בספר בן סירא נעשה שימוש רב בדגם זה, ופעמים אחדות הוא מתגלה גם בטקסטים הפיוטיים מקומראן. בדגם זה מילה הבאה באחד מאיברי היחידה הספרותית, אם כצורתה אם בגיוון מורפולוגי, חוזרת באיבר אחר, כנסמך או כסומך של צירוף סמיכות. יש שהמילה הבודדת עומדת לפני הצירוף והיא משמשת בו כנסמך או כסומך, אולם במקרים רבים מתהפך הסדר כך שצירוף הסמיכות קודם למילה הבודדת.

תופעה זו משתקפת גם בקטעים מקבילים רבים שבהם באה בטקסט כלשהו מילה בודדת, אם היא שם ואם היא פועל, ובטקסט המקביל לו היא מופיעה בצירוף סמיכות –  כנסמך או כסומך. לעתים היא באה כצורתה ולעתים חל בה שינוי מורפולוגי כלשהו. השימוש הרב שנעשה בדרך זו יש בו להוכיח מעל לכל ספק, כי דגם זה היה מוכר היטב לסופרים, והם ניצלו אותו עד תום. הגיוון הסגנוני מלמדנו על נטייה למתן את החזרה המדויקת, נטייה שאימצו לעצמם סופרים החוזרים על נוסחה כמה פעמים בתוך יחידה ספרותית אחת או כאשר הם עושים שימוש בדברי סופרים אחרים, על ידי שינוי של פרט כזה או אחר בסגנונו של הטקסט מבלי לפגוע בדרך כלל בגופו.

במאמר זה נייחד את הדיון רק לגיוונים בכמה פתגמים חוזרים בספר משלי, ובתוך כך נבליט את החילופים הנשענים על דגם החזרה המורחבת.


4. Amzallag, NPI. and Yona SPI,2016, "What does maskil in the heading of a psalm mean?". Ancient Near Eastern Studies 53, pp. 41-57

This study suggests that the word maśkîl, in the heading of a psalm is a musical instruction that denotes a specific responsive mode of performance defined as complex antiphony because it involves the gathering of distant segments of the text through a dialogue between choirs, each singing a different section of the edited song. This premise is supported by the use of piʿel śkl to express an unusual (crossed) bonding (Gen. 48:14), testimonies in Chronicles about difficulties in the execution of this mode of performance, the mention of śekel/maśkîl in psalms specifically designed for complex antiphony, and the intellectual effort required to apprehend the meaning that emerges from such a dialogic mixing of claims, itself echoed by other uses of the Semitic root śkl.


5. Amzallag, NPI. and Yona SPI,2016, "The meaning of ophan in Prov 20:26". The Bible Translator 67, pp. 292-302

Prov 20.26 allegorizes the optimal method of scattering of the wicked by likening it to the wind-driven separation of chaff from grain. Since the word ʾȏphan denotes the tool used for this process, it is deduced here that this term evokes a tuyère, a nozzle through which air is forced in a furnace, rather than a cartwheel, used for the threshing of grain. Functional affinities between ʾȏphan and ʾaph (= nose), the organ of blowing, together with the lack of a satisfying etymology for ʾȏphan as a wheel, suggest that tuyère is the primarily meaning of this noun in ancient Canaanite languages. Moreover, the similarity of ancient furnace nozzles to spokeless wheels suggests that the use of ʾȏphan to denote a wheel is derived from the primary denotation of the word, a tuyère.


6. Yona SPI, and Pasternak, A.RS,2016, "Numerical Sayings in the Literatures of the Ancient Near East, in the Bible, in the Book of Ben-Sira and in Rabbinic Literature", Review of Rabbinic Judaism 19, pp. 202-244

This paper follows the use of numbers from the Bible and Ancient Near Eastern literature, through the book of Ben-Sira, and ultimately to the Rabbinic literature. We show that the Rabbis were familiar with the Biblical use of numbers as rhetorical devices and used numbers in the same ways that the Bible did.


8. Amzallag, NPI. and Yona SPI, 2017,"Differentiation of the Qayin Family of Roots in Biblical Hebrew. Semitica 59, pp. 297-332

The roots qny, qnʾ and qyn are generally considered as being of distinct origin. However, the gathering of all the meanings issued from these three roots, in biblical Hebrew, reveals a metallurgical dimension of meaning in all of them. Further examinations indicate that all the other meanings expressed by these roots (such as trade, creation, begetting, singing, jealousy and reed) may be derived from the metallurgical reality and its cultural dimension in Southern Levant. Etymological considerations, together with the symbolic affinities between nest and furnace in the Ancient Near East suggest that qayn was the proto-Semitic designation of the furnace consecutive to its homology with a nest. It is concluded that the semitic roots, qyn, qnʾ and qny emerged first as a differentiation of the metallurgical terminology (to smelt, to re-melt and to cast/to forge, respectively) from which later superimposed a series of secondary meanings (to sing, to be jealous, to purchase). These findings cast light on the cultural dimension of metallurgy, at its earliest stages of development, on the nature of language spoken in this area at the fifth millennium BCE, and on the influence of a new reality (metallurgy) in its evolution, and on the process of differentiation of roots in archaic Semitic languages.



10. Yona SPI, and Pasternak, A.RS, 2017 " The use of numbers as an editing device in Rabbinic literature", Review of Rabbinic Judaism 22(2)

In the first part of this paper (Review of Rabbinic Literature 19:2, pp. 202-244) we followed the use of numbers from the Bible and Ancient Near Eastern literatures through the book of Ben-Sira and ultimately into Rabbinic literature. We showed that the Rabbis were familiar with the Biblical use of numbers as a rhetoric device and used numbers in similar ways. In this conclusion of our paper we will show how the Rabbis used numbers as an editing device in the Mishnah, Tosefta and Babylonian Talmud. This use of the rhetorical device in question is only rarely attested in the Hebrew Bible.


11. Amzallag, NPI. and Yona SPI, 2017, "The Kenite Origin of the Sotah Prescription (Numbers 5.11-31)". Journal for the Study of the Old Testament 41(4), pp. 383-412

The prescription administered to the woman suspected of adultery (Num. 5.11–31) remains an enigma as long as רפע, the essential component of the potion, is understood as dust or earth. The whole procedure is clarified, however, once רפע is identified as copper ore, given that the symptoms of copper intoxication fit the main and side effects of the potion precisely as evoked in this text. The Sotah prescription therefore has nothing to do with ordeal, magic practices or psychosomatic effects. It is a set of instructions administered during the early stages of pregnancy when doubts arise around paternity. The presence of copper ore in the sanctuary, together with the discrepancy between this practice and the Israelite laws and ethics addressing adultery, suggests that the Sotah prescription was borrowed from the Kenite metalworking religious context. Furthermore, its incongruence with the Israelite way of life reveals that this prescription was inserted 'as is' in the book of Numbers.


פרקים בספרים

1.   Goldfus H. Gruber M. Yona S. Fabian P. (in press), ויצא יצחק לשוח בשדה – מחקרים בארכיאולוגיה ובתרבויות עתיקות, ספר היובל ליצחק גלעד Isaac went out…to the field (Genesis 24:63): Studies in Archaeology and Ancient Cultures in Honor of Isaac Gilead, Oxford: ARCHAEOPRESS, (Hebrew & English)

הספר הנושא את השם: ויצא יצחק לשוח בשדה – מחקרים בארכיאולוגיה ובתרבויות עתיקות, הוא אסופת מאמרים לכבודו של פרופסור יצחק גלעד, פרופסור אמריטוס במחלקה למקרא, ארכיאולוגיה והמזרח הקדום. בספר, שנמסר לדפוס, נכללו עשרות מאמרים שנכתבו הן על ידי עמיתיו במחלקה ובמוסדות אחרים והן על ידי תלמידיו הרבים. מגוון הנושאים בספר הוא רחב מאוד כיאה לבעל היובל שתחומי ידיעתו רחבים מאוד אף הם.


2. Yona SPI, and Gruber MPI 2016," A Male Speaker's Obsession with the Feminine: The Strange Case of Lamentations 3" in: B. Embry (editor), Megilot Studies (Hebrew Bible Monographs 78), Sheffield Phoenix Press, pp.72-79

The author of Lamentations 3, who self-consciously proclaims 'I am the man' and whose dirge appears after the dirges composed by two women seems to have anticipated Westermann's discomfort with masculine, gender-specific language in 3.1. After all, lamentations were, according to Jeremiah 9, liketextile production in Barber's monumental book and in the Mishnah and like bread-baking in Iron Age Israel according to Carol L. Meyers, quintessentially women's work. Thus it happens that our unnamed male author of Lamentations 3, anticipating the discomfort of post-modern biblical scholars with male oriented language in Bible translations, appears to compensate for the male-specific language in his self-introduction in Lam. 3.1 by going out of the way to employ feminine, gender-specific language in vv. 25, 37, and 51. In so doing, our author here provides a reading that might resonate with modern, feminist reading

  • ​​דר' עתר לבנה

מאמרים בכתבי עת

  1. Livneh, A. (2016). Jewish Traditions and Roman Familial Values in Philo's De Abrahamo 245–254. Harvard Theological Review 109: 536-549

The paper focuses on Philo's interpretation of the account of Sarah's search for a child through Hagar in Genesis 16 as an act of wifely love and self-sacrifice that exemplify the matriarch's spousal virtues adduced at her burial. This encomium reflects contemporary Roman conceptions regarding the ideal wife, demonstrating striking resemblances with Latin literature and epitaphs—particularly with the so-called Laudatio Turiae. At the same time, the passage also evinces Philo's familiar with Jewish exegetical traditions—as, for example, in his presentation of Sarah as seeking to realize the divine promise that Abraham would have many descendants by ensuring that he begot an heir from his own loins.


  1. Livneh A. (2016). Two Sons, Four Curses: The Parallels between Canaan and Esau in Jubilees. Meghillot 11: 281–291 (Hebrew).

Jubilees pairs the figures of Canaan and Esau in apparent reflection of the fact that the biblical narrative treats them similarly, both being cursed by their forbearers to be slaves. Jubilees presents this condemnation as falling on their immediate descendants, whom Jacob subjugates in military combat. It also understands them to be subject to a further curse—that their descendants will be annihilated in the “day of judgment." Unlike the biblical curses against Esau and Canaan, this is attributed to their making of a vain oath. The curse upon Esau and Canaan and their descendants thus stems from their failure to observe God's ordinances—their wickedness and lawlessness also constituting a paradigm for their descendants and relations with Israel. Jubilees therefore suggests that since the “lessons of the past" demonstrate that Esau and Canaan cannot keep their oaths, the Israelites should not enter into any alliance with their neighbours.


  1. Livneh A. (2017). Deborah's New Song: The Historical Resume in LAB 32:1–11. Journal for the Study of Judaism in the Persian, Hellenistic, and Roman Periods 48:203–245

This paper examines the representation of Abraham in historical resumes written between the third century BCE and first century CE that did not find their way into the Hebrew canon. While some open with Abraham, most regard Israel's origins as commencing at an earlier point. Although some of the late biblical reviews take the same approach, this method is much more characteristic of the extra-biblical historical resumes. In addition to demonstrating the influence of the biblical models and/or the conventions, the latter thus also incorporate traits drawn from Genesis. Several adduce the first generations of humanity, structure the unit about the patriarchs as a genealogy, and/or insert chronological data into their retellings of the patriarchal narratives, for example. While the development of these traits is also indebted to Hellenistic historiographical models, chronological data are particularly common in resumes from the Qumran library, reflecting the Qumran community's special interest in the temporal axis of history.


  1. Livneh A. (2017). Abraham in Second Temple Historical Reviews. Meghillot 13:119–58 (Hebrew).

An extra-biblical historical résumé, Deborah's “new" song in LAB 32:1-11 demonstrates both the continued use of the conventions of its biblical antecedents and the development of this literary form during the Second Temple period. While its incorporation of episodes into its retelling of Israelite history that do not appear in any of the biblical summaries and use of the scenaric style of the biblical story rather than the third-person brief report typical of biblical historical summaries are typical of Second Temple résumés, the full sequence of LAB 32:1-11 has no parallel in Second Temple Jewish or Christian writings, thereby revealing the author's guiding tenet—namely, that God fulfils the covenant by aiding His people throughout history.


  • דר' טובה פורטי

מאמרים בכתבי עת

1. Forti, T. and K. J. Dell. 2016. “Janus Sayings: A Linking Device in

Qoheleth's Discourse," Zeitschrift für die Alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 128/1:115-128.

Qoheleth's apparent lack of internal coherence was not lost on the ancient rabbis, and is still a recurring issue in modern scholarship. Attempts at both structural and thematic reconstructions of the shape of the Ecclesiastes text are popular amongst modern scholars, but no real agreement has been reached. Scholars are divided: there are those who assume a self-contained intellectual work with a progressive inner structure, and those who believe that Qoheleth is a loose collection of separate units. The main concern of this paper is to discern a rhetorical phenomenon labelled a Janus saying, i.e. an aphorism that looks forward and backward, both structurally and thematically, and to evaluate its syntactical and thematic setting within Qoheleth's teaching as a linking device.


פרקים בספרים

1. Forti T. “Like a Lone Bird on a Roof": Animal Imagery and the Structure of Psalms. Critical Studies in the Hebrew Bible (CSHB). Edited by A. Hagedorn, N. MacDonald, and S.Weeks; Winona Lake, Indiana: Eisenbrauns [In Print]

Investigation of the poetics of the animal kingdom aids in elucidating the effect metaphors exerted on psalmodic theology. In this volume, I hope to demonstrate the role faunal imagery plays in two rhetorical features, both of which help set the literary stage—refrains and secondary interpolations. The first chapter discusses refrains in which the animal's (repeated) configuration and its symbolic role serve to intensify the discourse via figurative concretization. Acting as a framing and organizing device, the refrain itself forms part of the process whereby the initial poem was adapted to and assimilated into the ancient Israelite liturgical tradition.

The second chapter discusses a more elusive feature—namely, secondary interpolations. Syntactic and thematic analyses reveal that in these instances the faunal imagery has been inserted at a later stage, its removal not affecting the flow of the psalm's discourse or the conceptual smoothness and integrity of the literary unit. The choice of this specific form of rhetoric reflects the symbolic function of the imagery and the cultural values it represents within the rhetoric of the prayer.


2. Forti, T. 2017. “12.3.1 Proverbs: Septuagint," in Textual History of the Bible,

vol. 1C: Ketuvim (Writings) (eds. A. Lange and E. Tov; Leiden: Brill, 2017) 253-259. 

Much attention has been drawn to the “literal" vs. “free" distinction in the text-critical process of isolating deviations or equivalents. LXX-Prov exhibits a free and even paraphrastic nature, frequently diverging significantly from the literal sense of MT and recasting Hebrew sentences by taking liberties with grammatical forms/syntax or attributing new meanings to Hebrew expressions. With the exception of some essential terms, recurrent Hebrew words are customarily translated by a variety of Greek equivalents. This suggests that the translator was largely unconcerned with providing an idiomatic Greek rendering of the Hebrew.

The literary style and diction of the text and its familiarity with Greek poetical tradition and metrical arrangement is exemplified by the use of assonance, repetition of roots, rhymes, and anaphora. The translator's predilection is evident in his accentuation of the correspondence between semantic or morphological components in sayings governed by parallelism.


3. Forti, T. and Glatt-Gilad, D.A.  2017. “At the Intersection of Intellect and Insolence: The Historiographic Significance of Solomon's and Jehoshaphat's “Tarshish Ships" in the Light of a Wisdom Motif," in: A. Baruchi-Unna et al. (ed.) “Now It Happened in Those Days" Studies in Biblical, Assyrian, and Other Ancient Near Eastern Historiography Presented to Mordechai Cogan on His 75th Birthday; Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns . Pp. 59-70.

The term “Tarshish ships," which most likely refers to a particularly sturdy type of vessel capable of traversing long distances at sea, appears in seven contexts in the Hebrew Bible. Two of these contexts are in historiographical material, another four are in the prophetic literature, and one more is in Psalm 48. Although none of these appearances is located within the wisdom literature per se, it is the contention of this paper that the wisdom tradition's nuanced evaluation of the worthiness and pitfalls of human knowledge helps to illuminate the deeper message of nearly all of the “Tarshish ship" passages.

Specifically, we shall attempt to demonstrate that sea travel can be viewed through a wisdom perspective as illustrating the principle that human wisdom is beneficial so long as it is regarded as a gift from God but doomed to failure when appropriated by man as a means for self-exaltation.



  • פרופ' יובל גורן

מאמרים בכתבי עת

1.      D. Boness, N. Scheftelowitz, P.Fabian, I. Gilead and Y. Goren. 2016. Petrographic Study of the Pottery Assemblages from Ḥorvat Qarqar South, a Ghassulian Chalcolithic Cemetery in the Southern Levant. Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 375: 185-213.

A petrographic study has been conducted on 181 identifiable, mostly complete vessels originating at Ḥorvat Qarqar South in the southern Shephelah, Israel. This is one of the largest Ghassulian Chalcolithic cemeteries in the southern Levant known to-date. The results of this study demonstrate that 49% of the examined vessels were non-locally made, an unusual percentage for ceramic assemblages originating at a Ghassulian Chalcolithic mortuary site. Identification of raw material provenance, for example, points to an affiliation with communities living further east in the Shephelah and in the Judean Mountains. The 'catchment area' of ceramic vessels found the cemetery at Ḥorvat Qarqar South may suggest a regional use by communities within distances of a few tens of kilometers from the site.  In addition, a clear distinction in technology is apparent: while the ossuaries were made of coarse ware, the accompanying vessels were made of fine ware.


2.      Y. Asscher, Y. Goren. 2016. A Rapid On-site Method for Micromorphological Block Impregnation and Thin Section Preparation. Geoarchaeology 31: 234-331.

Rapid micromorphological sample preparation method is presented here to enable on-site production and examination of polished thin sections. Contexts, containing radiocarbon datable material, were characterized by micromorphological thin sections to understand their reliability to represent the time of deposition.  The new preparation apparatus was applied to an archaeological site, Qubur El-Walaydah, Israel. The results demonstrate how information on bioturbation in sediments, can be used during an excavation to more effectively select good contexts and determine a sampling strategy for collecting datable material.


3.      D. Boness, Y. Goren. 2016. Site Formation Processes at the Late Middle Palaeolithic Site of 'Ein Qashish: A Micromorphological Study. Journal of the Israel Prehistoric Society 46: 5-19.

A micromorphological investigation was conducted at the Late Mousterian site of 'Ein Qashish in the western art of the Jezre'el Valley, northern Israel. Various archaeological and geomorphological features were studied during the 2011 excavation season, using micromorphological methods, aiming at identifying human activities at the site, and understanding the depositional environment and the post-depositional processes the site had gone through. The results of this study indicate two depositional environments at the site: a wet-land environment in a standing body of water, perhaps a marsh, and a dry-land environment on its shore. The sediment reflecting the first type is particularly rich in clay, but relatively poor in coarse fraction. On the other hand, sediment reflecting the second type is poor in clay content and more calcareous, consisting of tightly-packed coarse fraction inclusions of clastic and anthropogenic origins, the former reflecting the Mount Carmel geological environment. Rounded sand originating in coastal sand dunes are also observed here. This study demonstrates that the ancient body of water had gone through several cycles of expansion and regression. During at least one of these regression cycles, Late Mousterian groups occupied its fringes. However, no in situ activities were identified. This study also sheds light on the environmental conditions prevailing at this site ~64,000 years BP.


4.      D. Boness, Y. Goren. 2017. Early Minoan mortuary practices as evident by microarchaeological studies at Koumasa, Crete, applying new sampling procedures. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports 11: 507–522.

Here we present the results of a micromorphological study conducted on the recently excavated layers in a tholos tomb - Tholos Beta - at the Minoan site at Koumasa, Crete, during the 2013-2014 excavation seasons. This was also a unique opportunity to conduct a detailed research on in situ unexcavated archaeological layers in a Minoan tholos tomb, applying new and innovative sampling methods in order to enable such research in remote locations. This is the first time a micromorphological study has ever been conducted at a Minoan tholos tomb. The micromorphological analysis of the archaeological layers demonstrates that a single and massive burning event of hundreds of disturbed burials took place throughout the structure. This was followed by sprinkling of burnt lime on top of the burnt bone layer. Later cycles of similar burning events are also implied. These results have significant implications on our understanding of Early Minoan mortuary practices and symbolic world.


5.      D. Boness, D. Panagiotopoulos, Y. Goren. 2017. Minoan Plaster Technology as Evident from the 'Precinct' Structure at Koumasa, Crete: A Microarchaeological Study. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports 14: 392-408.

Twelve plaster units and two sediment blocks from the 'precinct' structure at the Minoan site of Koumasa, Crete, were sampled for a microarchaeological study, with the aim of examining the technology of their production and pigment production and application techniques employing micromorphology, pXRF and ESEM/EDS. The results demonstrate that plaster and pigment technologies at the site followed common procedures in contemporaneous regional centers, and in the Aegean and eastern Mediterranean cultural sphere. However, certain flexibility and local adaptations of these technologies are also apparent, varying with the plasters' structural function, availability of raw materials and local cultural conventions. In addition, the high utility in preparing thin sections on-site is demonstrated, allowing for the use of thin sections for further study by ESEM/EDS. This, together with the employment of portable equipment at the site allow for a thorough study of ancient archaeological materials and technologies.



  • דר' יובל יקותיאלי


1. Cialowicz, K. M., Yekutieli, Y., and Czarnowicz, M. (eds.) (2016). Tel Erani I: A Preliminary Report of the 2013-2015 Excavations. Kraków: Wydawnictwo Alter.

The volume describes the collaborative excavations of the Department of Bible, Archaeology and the Ancient Near East of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and the Institute of Archaeology, Jagiellonian University in Kraków, at the Early Bronze Age site of Tel Erani (near Kiryat Gat). The book includes 16 chapters dealing with the history of research at the site and discussing the newly excavated Early Bronze Age I layers in the so-called "area D-3". It also includes specialists' reports on faunal and floral remains, chipped stone industries and evidence of metallurgy (copper artifacts). The book is supplemented with reports of rescue excavations conducted by the Israel Antiquities Authority in 2013 and 2015-16 at the southern and western fringes of the tel. This volume also discusses aspects of earlier excavations at the site, and elaborates on the evidence Tel Erani has yielded about the nature of Egyptian - Southern Levantine relations during the 4th millennium BC.


פרקים בספרים

1. Shalev, O., Pasternak, M. Atkins, S. and Yekutieli, Y. (2016). "Chapter 2: History of Research at Tel Erani." In Cialowicz, K. M., Yekutieli, Y., and Czarnowicz, M. (eds.) Tel Erani I: A Preliminary Report of the 2013-2015 Excavations. Kraków: Wydawnictwo Alter. Pp. 7-14.

This chapter describes the history of research at Tel Erani from the late Ottoman Period to the 1990s. It discusses the changes in the site's identification and names and the link between these and recent socio-political transformations in the region. The chapter also describes the Shmuel Yeivin, and the Kempinski & Gilead expeditions to the site and their discoveries and conclusions. Finally the chapter surveys and discusses the rich body of research that was based on the results from Tel Erani, and its significance for the history and historiography of southern Levantine Early Bronze Age.


2. Yekutieli, Y. (2016). "Chapter 3: Analysis of Previous Excavations at Area D." In Cialowicz, K. M., Yekutieli, Y., and Czarnowicz, M. (eds.) Tel Erani I: A Preliminary Report of the 2013-2015 Excavations. Kraków: Wydawnictwo Alter. Pp. 15-26.

The chapter focuses on Shmuel Yeivin's excavations at Tel Erani's area D, and on its later expansion eastwards by Kempinski and Gilead to a new area labeled DII. The study reassesses the areas' combined stratigraphy on the basis of reports published in the past. The chapter asserts that five chrono-stratigraphic "blocks" are attested to in area D, covering a chronological range between the Early Bronze Ia to the Early Bronze III. The proposed relationships between the various strata are discussed, and new interpretations are suggested concerning the early urban character of the site, the Egyptian episode in its history, the occurrence of a cult site at the place, and the through rearrangement of the area during the Early Bronze Age II which affected the topography of the site up to the present.


3. Czarnowicz, M., Yekutieli, Y., Ochał-Czarnowicz, A. and Pasternak, M., (2016). "Chapter 4: The Excavation of Area D3." In Cialowicz, K. M., Yekutieli, Y., and Czarnowicz, M. (eds.) Tel Erani I: A Preliminary Report of the 2013-2015 Excavations. Kraków: Wydawnictwo Alter. Pp. 27-44.

This chapter summarizes the results of three excavation seasons at area D3, divided between two sub-areas, set ca. 30 meters apart: Lower Area D3 (D3L) and Higher Area D3 (D3H). The discussion centres on understanding the complex stratigraphy of each sub-area (4 layers in D3L, and 9 layers in D3H), which all together encompasses the second half of the 4th millennium BC (EBIb1 to the beginning of EBII). The study aims at synchronizing the new stratigraphy with the older one suggested by Shmuel Yeivin. A main discussion deals with the history of the Egyptian presence in this area as understood from the new findings.


4. Pasternak, M., Shalev, O., Yekutieli, Y., Cohen-Sasson, E. and Atkins, S. (2016). "Chapter 6: Beyond the Wall of Tel Erani." In Cialowicz, K. M., Yekutieli, Y., and Czarnowicz, M. (eds.) Tel Erani I: A Preliminary Report of the 2013-2015 Excavations. Kraków: Wydawnictwo Alter. Pp. 59-64.

The chapter describes probes conducted by the Israel Antiquities Authority, and analyzed in collaboration with the Erani team members. These probes discovered testimonies for human activity outside the site's city-walls, dated to the EBIb2, the period when Tel Erani was presumably under Egyptian control. Beyond describing the ceramic finds from the probes the chapter offers a few scenarios which might explain these extra-mural activities.



  • פרופ' עפר מרדר

מאמרים בכתבי עת

1.Alex, B., Barzilai, O., Abulafia, T.,  Ayalon, A., Bar-Matthews, M., Bar-Yosef Mayer, D.,  Berna, F., Caracuta, V., Davis, L., Frumkin, A., Goder-Goldberger, M.,  Hans, M.G., Hershkovitz, I.,  Latimer, B., Lavi, R., Marder, O., Matthews, A., Tejero, J-M., Weiner, S., Yas'ur, G., Yeshurun , R.,  and Boaretto, E. (2017). Radiocarbon chronology of Manot Cave, Israel and Upper Paleolithic dispersals. Science Advances 3 (11):1-9.

The timing of archeological industries in the Levant is central for understanding the spread of modern humans with Upper Paleolithic traditions. We report a high-resolution radiocarbon chronology for Early Upper Paleolithic industries (Early Ahmarian and Levantine Aurignacian) from the newly excavated site of Manot Cave, Israel. The dates confirm that the Early Ahmarian industry was present by 46,000 calibrated years before the present (cal BP), and the Levantine Aurignacian occurred at least between 38,000 and 34,000 cal BP. This timing is consistent with proposed migrations or technological diffusions between the Near East and Europe. Specifically, the Ahmarian could have led to the development of the Protoaurignacian in Europe, and the Aurignacian in Europe could have spread back to the Near East as the Levantine Aurignacian.


2. Faust, A.,    Katz, H., Sapir, Y.,  Avraham, A., Marder, O., Bar-Oz, G.,  Weiss, E.,  Auman-Chazan,  H.,  Hartmann- Shenkman, A.,   Sadiel, T.,  Vilnay, O., Tsesarsky,  M.,  Pariente, S., Ackerman,  O.,  Timmer, T., Katz, O., Langgut, D. and Benzaquen, M. (2017). The birth, life and death of an Iron Age house at Tel 'Eton, Israel. Levant 49 (2): 136-173.

Using a biographic-like approach, this article presents the initial results of the study of an elite Iron Age house at Tel 'Eton, from its conception, through its birth and life, to its death and decomposition. Massive preparations preceded the construction of the house, and the latter incorporated continuous foundations, and quality building materials, including ashlar stones. The building was pre-planned, and some of the original rooms had two doorways leading to them, in order to enable easy future sub-division, without endangering the structure's physical integrity. The house evolved over the years, and its inner division changed overtime, reflecting the changes in the life-cycle of the extended family that lived in it. The house was destroyed in heavy conflagration in the late 8th century BC; hundreds of artifacts and complete vessels were unearthed below and within the debris, allowing for a detailed reconstruction of the use of space within the building on the eve of its destruction and the processes that accompanied its destruction (perhaps even 'execution'), and subsequent collapse.


3. Herskovitz , I., Latimer, B., Barzilai, O. and Marder, O. (2017).  Manot 1 calvaria and recent modern human evolution: an anthropological perspective. Journal Bulletins et Mémoires de la Société d'Anthropologie de Paris 29:119-130.

The time range between 60 ka and 50 ka is one of the most dramatic phases in human biological evolution. In this period, the western part of Eurasia (Europe and the Near East) was populated by Neanderthals, whereas the eastern part (Central Asia and Siberia) was populated by Denisovans. However, by 30 ka, these two populations were replaced by anatomically modern humans (AMH). When did these newcomers arrive and from where? There is accumulating archaeological and genetic evidence suggesting that this demographic shift occurred at the end of MIS 4 [1–3]. Moreover, it is quite clear that a major dispersal of among Neanderthals. We will show that although the terminology is similar, the traits in each hominin group are of different entities. We also show that Manot 1 and Early Upper Palaeolithic skulls of Europe have many traits in common (e.g., suprainiac fossa, bunning), although Manot 1 is much more gracile. Finally, some of the archaic traits (e.g., suprainiac fossa) seen in Manot 1 can be traced to the Late Pleistocene Aduma skull (~79–105 ka) from Ethiopia or even Eyasi 1 (~200–400 ka) from Tanzania.


4. Vardi, J., Marder, O., Bookman, R., Friesem, D. E., Groman-Yeroslavski, I.,  Edeltin, L., Porat, N.,  Boaretto, E. and Roskin, J. 2017. Middle to Late Epipaleolithic hunter-gatherer encampments at the Ashalim site, on a linear dune-like morphology, along dunefield margin water bodies Quaternary International.  

This study presents distinct and small task-specific sites associated with the Middle to Late Epipalaeolithic period exposed during a salvage project at the site of Ashalim at the fringe of the northwestern Negev desert dunefield (Israel). Six areas spanning the Geometric-Kebaran to Harifian periods were systematically collected upon a unique 4 m high and 100 mwide linear dune-like morphology. This morphology was a vegetated linear dune that blocked the underlying drainage system and led to the

development of standing bodies of water which, together with the exposed wet bottom provided fauna and flora resources during the winter and spring. The relatively large number of sickle blades and lunates uncovered during the excavations suggest cereal consumption combined with hunting activities. Ten optically-stimulated luminescence (OSL) measurements conducted for the dune-like morphology indicate that the occupations of the site post-date ~15.5 ± 3.1 ka BP, while bodies of water were present intermittently until at least ~11 ka BP, possibly even after the Harifian occupation. Two radiocarbon dates, taken from ostrich eggshell fragments that were found upon the flat surface of the dune-like morphology, further support this time range. The current study demonstrates how aeolian-fluvial interactions, and not necessarily a wetter climate, are important for forming conditions conducive for

occupation by prehistoric groups in arid zones.




1. Marder, O., Yegorov, D. and Smithline, H.( 2017). Renewed excavations at 'En Ruweihina ('En Hashomer): A new look at Kaplan's excavation. The Jacob Kaplan Protohistoric Excavations in Israel. In Gopher, A., Gophna, R., Paz, I. and Eyal, R. (eds.). Pp. 417-454, Tel Aviv University Press, Tel Aviv.


  • פרופ' סטיב רוזן

מאמרים בכתבי עת

1. Clarke, J., Brooks, N., Banning, E.B., Bar-Matthews, M., Campbell, S., Clare, L., Cremaschi, M., di Lerniah, S., Drake, N.,Gallinaroj, M., Manning, S., Nicolll, K., Philip, G., Rosen, S., Schoopo, U.-D., Tafurip, M.A., Weninger, B., Zerboni, A. 2016.  Climatic changes and social transformations in the Near East and North Africa during the 'long' 4th millennium BC: A comparative study of environmental and archaeological evidence. Quaternary Science Reviews 136:96-121.

This paper explores the possible links between rapid climate change (RCC) and social change in the Near East and surrounding regions (Anatolia, central Syria, southern Israel, Mesopotamia, Cyprus and eastern and central Sahara) during the 'long' 4th millennium (~4500e3000) BC. Twenty terrestrial and 20 marine climate proxies are used to identify long-term trends in humidity involving transitions from humid to

arid conditions and vice versa. The frequency distribution of episodes of relative aridity across these records is calculated for the period 6300e2000 BC, so that the results may be interpreted in the context of the established arid episodes associated with RCC around 6200 and 2200 BC (the 8.2 and 4.2 kyr events). We identify two distinct episodes of heightened aridity in the early-mid 4th, and late 4th millennium BC. These episodes cluster strongly at 3600e3700 and 3100e3300 BC. There is also evidence

of localised aridity spikes in the 5th and 6th millennia BC. These results are used as context for the interpretation of regional and local archaeological records with a particular focus on case studies from western Syria, the middle Euphrates, southern Israel and Cyprus. Interpretation of the records involves the construction of plausible narratives of humaneclimate interaction informed by concepts of adaptation and resilience from the literature on contemporary (i.e. 21st century) climate change and adaptation. The results are presented alongside well-documented examples of climatically-influenced societal change in the central and eastern Sahara, where detailed geomorphological studies of ancient environments have been undertaken in tandem with archaeological research. While the narratives for the Near East and Eastern Mediterranean remain somewhat speculative, the use of resilience and adaptation frameworks allows for a more nuanced treatment of humaneclimate interactions and recognises the diversity and context-specificity of human responses to climatic and environmental change. Our results demonstrate that there is a need for more local environmental data to be collected 'at source' during archaeological excavations.

2. Rosen, S.A. 2017. Basic Instabilities: Climate and Culture in the Negev over the Long Term. Geoarchaeology 32:6-22.

Settlement systems in the Negev, Israel's southern desert, over the past 15,000 years show cycles of demographic rise and decline. Examining site frequency graphs based on systematic survey of 100 km2 grids in different areas and at different geographic scales, these demographic cycles should be tied to patterns of geographic expansions and contractions deriving from different culturegeographic sources. Together this variability suggests instabilities in basic social geographic structures, undoubtedly to be tied at some fundamental level to the difficulties of subsistence in the environmentally harsh desert. On the other  hand, if the general pattern of cycles or fluctuations should be tied to some essential property of desert adaptation, the specific incidents of expansion and florescence followed by contraction and decline should be tied to historically particularistic episodes of climatic fluctuation, cumulative technological change, internal social and demographic trends, and inputs from societies on the desert periphery, ostensibly the sedentary core zones. Finally, if these

patterns are examined at larger chronological and geographical scales, clear patterns of long-term continuity emerge, belying the idea of essential cultural instability. C _ 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


3. Manclossi, F., Rosen, S.A. and Miroschedji, P. de. 2016. The Canaanean Blades from Tel Yarmuth: A Technological Analysis. Paléorient 42:53-79.

Technological analyses of material recovered from the excavations at Tel Yarmuth offer new insights into the nature of Canaanean blade technology, the structure of manufacture, and the place of this sophisticated production system in Early Bronze

Age society. Detailed study of the entire range of Canaanean production waste, debitage, and tools shows clearly the use of the lever pressure technique for blade removals. The presence of evidence for all stages of reduction on the site, including collection and reduction of nodules, production of blades, and conversion of blades into tools, indicates on-site production. Nevertheless, the absence of any evidence for a proper workshop suggests that blades were both brought in as trade items from off-site workshops, most likely by the knappers themselves, and manufactured specially on demand, by those same knappers. Reconstructing the specialized production and exchange system, considering the skills required for the manufacture of these blades, the number of blades that can be produced by a specialist, and the general distribution of waste both at Tel Yarmuth and in general, it is likely that only a relatively few specialists were actually required for the Canaanean production system any time.

4. Knabb, K.A., Rosen, S.A., Hermon, S., Vardi, J., Horwitz, L.K., and Goren, Y.  n.d. A Middle Timnian Nomadic Encampment on the Faynan-Beersheva Road: Excavations and Survey at Nahal Tsafit (Late 5th/Early 4th Millennium BCE). Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research in press.

Excavations at Nahal Tsafit, on the Rotem Plain in the northeastern Negev, have uncovered a Middle Timnian encampment, dated to the late 5th/early 4th millennia BCE. A large tumulus field, comprising 115 large cairns and three open air shrines, was surveyed on the ridge above the site. Although contemporary with the Ghassulian/Beersheva Chalcolithic culture of the settled zone, the architecture revealed and the material culture recovered place the site clearly in the Middle Timnian culture, the desert complement to the Ghassulian. The location of the site on the road between Beersheva and Faynan, and the presence of potsherds originating in Faynan, suggest Timnian involvement in the early copper trade.


פרקים בספרים

1. Rosen, A.M. and Rosen, S.A. 2017. Environmental Change and Society in Holocene Prehistory. In Quaternary of the Levant: Environments, Climate Change and Humans. Editors: Yehouda Enzel and Ofer Bar-Yosef. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. Pp. 1405-1422.

The Holocene Epoch, roughly the last 11,500 years since the retreat of the last glaciers, saw both a significant reduction in the scale of climatic and environmental change relative to the Pleistocene, as well as major technological and social developments enhancing human adaptations. In this period human groups increasingly managed and engineered their environments, ultimately resulting in greater reliance on food production rather than collection, with the effect of both enhancing food security in times of climatic stability and increasing vulnerability in times of unpredictable climate change. Demographic growth during this period increased risk from such changes. Holocene prehistory comprises the period from the development of early village foragers using low-level cultivation of cereals through more complex village societies more dependent upon food production. Understanding the culture-environment dynamic in this period requires fine resolution reconstructions of both the environmental and the historical circumstances, chronological and geographical; global perspectives will not suffice. Similarly, the ability of human groups to adapt to changing environments and buffer themselves against risk by actively constructing their environments is embedded in their specific social structures and technologies.



1. Rosen, Steven A and Golan, Karni. 2016. Archaeological Survey of Israel Map of Makhtesh Ramon 201. Israel Antiquities Authority, Jerusalem.

2. Rosen, Steven A 2017. Revolutions in the Desert: the Rise of Mobile Pastoralism in the Negev and the Arid Zones of the Southern Levant. Routledge, New York and London.

Rosen offers the first archaeological analysis of the rise of herding in the desert, from the first introduction ofdomestic goats and sheep into the arid zones, more than eight millennia ago, to the evolution of more recent Bedouin societies. Inviting comparisons to the agricultural revolution and the secondary spread of domestication beyond the Near East, this volume examines the archaeological record outlines these societies ecological, economic and social adaptations to the deserts of the Southern Levant. With maps and illustrations from the author's collection, Revolutions in the Desert is a thoughtful and engaging approach to the archaeology of desert nomadic societies.