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an announcement from Israel Finkelstein

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  • Jim West
    Israel asked me to pass this along, so I m happy to do so: /*Reconstructing Ancient (Biblical) Israel: The Exact and Life Sciences Perspective*/ A project
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 24, 2008
      Israel asked me to pass this along, so I'm happy to do so:

      /*Reconstructing Ancient (Biblical) Israel: The Exact and Life Sciences

      A project titled ‘Reconstructing Ancient (Biblical) Israel: The Exact
      and Life Sciences Perspective’ has been approved for funding by the
      European Research Council. The Advance Grant of ca. three million Euros
      was given to Israel Finkelstein of the Institute of Archaeology at Tel
      Aviv University (Principal Investigator) and Steve Weiner of the Kimmel
      Center for Archaeological Science at the Weizmann Institute of Science,
      Rehovot (Co Investigator).

      Following is the abstract of the proposal which was submitted to the
      European Research Council in March 2008:

      The study of Ancient Israel’s texts (the Hebrew Bible), material culture
      and history has been a keystone of European scholarship since the
      Enlightenment. Biblical exegesis and archaeology contributed
      impressively to our understanding of Ancient Israel. Yet, in certain
      areas conventional research has reached a stalemate. With very few
      real-time historical records, with the biblical testimony written a long
      time after the events described (if not mythical) took place, and with
      the strong theological agenda of both the original authors and some
      modern scholars, reconstructing the world of Ancient Israel is a complex
      The exact and life sciences are not restricted by these preconceptions
      and are able to reveal data that is not visible to the naked eye.
      Advances made in the last decade in archaeological science show that
      this is the wave of the future. The novelty in this proposal is to
      deploy an arsenal of 10 research tracks from the exact and life sciences
      in order to better understand Ancient Israel:
      A. The time of Ancient Israel: A1. Radiocarbon: correlating the
      chronology of Ancient Israel with neighboring lands.
      B. The genesis of Ancient Israel: B1. Human genetics and paleodiet. B2.
      Geo-archaeology: tracking the subsistence economy of Ancient Israel. B3.
      Palynology: relating paleoclimate to settlement oscillations.
      C. The life of Ancient Israel: C1. Ceramic petrography: reconstructing
      trade patterns. C2. Metallurgy: tracking technological advances.
      D. The mind of Ancient Israel: D1. Daily mathematics of dimensions:
      pottery and architecture. D2. Epigraphy: the use of advanced
      computational methodologies (e.g., artificial intelligence algorithms)
      in the study of writing in Israel and Judah.
      E. The identity of Ancient Israel: E1. Residue analysis of pottery
      vessels, and- E2. Archaeo-zoology; both aim at elucidating diet,
      foodways and possibly identity boundaries.
      This project has the potential to revolutionize the study of Ancient
      Israel. Such a broad research plan in the realm of archaeology and the
      sciences, focused on a single period/theme, has never been conducted

      The project will be directed by Israel Finkelstein and Steve Weiner,
      with the help of Shirly Ben Dor and Yuval Gadot. The different tracks of
      the project will be carried out by Elisabetta Boaretto, Alexander
      Fantalkin and Eliezer Piasetzky (radiocarbon); Ruth Shahack-Gross
      (geoarchaeology); Thomas Litt, Frank Neumann and Mordechai Stein
      (palynology); Yuval Goren (ceramic petrography); Naama Yahalom and Adi
      Eliyahu (mettalurgy); Yitzhak Benenson and Elena Zapassky (daily
      mathematics); Nathan Intrator, Eli Piasetzky, Benjamin Sass and Arie
      Shaus (epigraphy); Dvora Namdar (residue analysis). The project will
      support additional post-doctoral researchers and Ph.D. students.

      Communication with the project should be directed to Shirly Ben Dor:


      Jim West, ThD

      http://jwest.wordpress.com - Blog
      http://sites.google.com/site/biblicalstudiesresources/ - Biblical Studies Resources
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