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BARD'S INSTITUTE OF ADVANCED THEOLOGY PRESENTS A LECTURE ON BIBLICAL ARCHAEOLOGY ON FEBRUARY 19 Award-winning author Jodi Magness will discuss the Archaeology of Qumran and the Dead Sea Scrolls

Emily M. Darrow

Award-winning author Jodi Magness will discuss
the Archaeology of Qumran and the Dead Sea Scrolls

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—Jodi Magness, the Kenan Distinguished Professor for Teaching Excellence in Early Judaism at the University of North Carolina, will speak on "The Archaeology of Qumran and the Dead Sea Scrolls," at Bard on Thursday, February 19. Her eponymous book was awarded the 2003 Biblical Archaeology Society Award for best popular book on archaeology. The illustrated slide lecture is presented by the Institute of Advanced Theology at Bard. The program begins at 4:30 p.m. in the Weis Cinema of the Bertelsmann Campus Center and is free and open to the public.

Magness will focus on the archaeology of the Qumran site, using the Dead Sea Scrolls found in nearby caves and ancient historical sources such as Josephus to understand the nature of the settlement.

Her research interests, which focus on Palestine in the Roman, Byzantine, and early Islamic periods, include ancient pottery, synagogues, Qumran, and the Roman army in the East. She has participated in 20 excavations in Israel and Greece, including codirecting the 1995 excavations in the Roman siege works at Masada. Since 2003, she has codirected excavations at the Roman fort at Yotvata, Israel.

Magness's book The Archaeology of Qumran and the Dead Sea was also selected as an Outstanding Academic Book for 2003 by Choice magazine. Her other books include a monograph, The Archaeology of the Early Islamic Settlement in Palestine; a collection of papers entitled Debating Qumran: Collected Essays on Its Archaeology; a coedited volume, Hesed ve-Emet: Studies in Honor of Ernest S. Frerichs; and a monograph, Jerusalem Ceramic Chronology circa 200–800 C.E. Magness has also edited volumes and published numerous articles in journals.

From 1992–2002, Magness was associate/assistant professor of classical and Near Eastern archaeology in the Departments of Classics and Art History at Tufts University. She received a B.A. in archaeology and history from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and a Ph.D. in classical archaeology from the University of Pennsylvania. From 1990–92, Magness was Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Syro-Palestinian Archaeology at the Center for Old World Archaeology and Art at Brown University. She is a member of the Governing Board of the Archaeological Institute of America, the Board of Trustees of the American Schools of Oriental Research, the Board of Trustees of the W. F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research in Jerusalem (and vice president of that board), and the Managing Committee of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens. She is now president of the North Carolina Society of the Archaeological Institute of America and has served as president of the Boston Society.

This lecture is presented in conjunction with the Institute of Advanced Theology's annual consultation of scholars. The topic of this year's consultation is Jerusalem between Jesus' death and the Jewish war, with particular emphasis on the interactions among religious communities. While the consultation itself is closed to the public, the Institute offers a lecture by one of the visiting scholars for members and friends who support its programs.

Other upcoming lectures sponsored by the Institute include the Lenten Luncheon Series with the Rev. Dr. Bruce Chilton, which will focus this year on "James, the Brother of Jesus." This series will meet weekly at noon on Fridays, from March 5 through April 2. Reservations and a $12 donation per lecture ($8 for members) are requested. The lecture series "Religious Foundations of Western Civilization" continues on Thursday, April 8, with a lecture "The Modernization of Christianity: Renaissance and Reformation," by Professor Chilton. John Pruitt, associate professor of film at Bard, will screen a film on Thursday, April 22, which he will then discuss on Tuesday, April 27, in the lecture "Media of Culture: The Moving Image." Professor Jacob Neusner will discuss "The Modernization of Judaism" on Thursday, April 29. The series will conclude with a lecture by Leon Botstein, president of Bard College, "The Secularization of Culture: The Case of Music," on Thursday, May 6.

The Institute of Advanced Theology was established to foster critical understanding based on scholarship, which aims to make true religious pluralism possible. Since its inception in 1996, the Institute’s work has focused on how religions influence history, society, and other religions, and are in turn influenced by them. The Institute gratefully acknowledges support from members of the Institute, the Crohn Family Trust, and Tisch Family Foundation, as well as grants from The Levy Economics Institute and Bard College.

For further information, call the Institute at 845-758-7598, e-mail, or visit

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This event was last updated on 02-16-2004