Were the women depicted in the Old Testament of the Holy Bible more than mothers of the children of Israel? Did they contribute to Israelite tribal survival by experimenting with food plants and seeds, shearing wool and weaving cloth, making pots and devising ways to cook, preserve, and store food? And what about their religious lives?
The second talk in the First Presbyterian–First United Methodist Church Faith-and-Science Lecture Series will be on “The Archaeology of Women in Ancient Israel.” The lecture will be presented by Erin Darby, associate professor of religious studies and co-director of the ‘Ayn Gharandal Archaeological Project at the University of Tennessee.
Darby will deliver her lecture at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 2, in the fellowship hall of the sanctuary building of First Presbyterian Church of Oak Ridge at 1051 Oak Ridge Turnpike. Refreshments will be served, a press release said.
An archaeologist, Darby takes UT students to Jordan every other summer to learn about human history and prehistory through the excavation of sites and the analysis of artifacts and other physical remains.
In her presentation in Oak Ridge, she said she “will summarize what archaeology tells us about the lives of Israelite women and will compare and contrast that picture with the descriptions of women in the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible and in other ancient Near Eastern documents.”
Darby’s research and teaching interests include topics in biblical studies (especially Hebrew Bible and Second Temple Judaism), ancient Near Eastern studies, archaeology, anthropology, art history, Judaic studies, ritual studies, and gender studies.
As co-director of the ‘Ayn Gharandal Archaeological Project in southern Jordan, she and her husband run an archaeological field school during the summer months, the press release said. Upcoming projects include further work on figurines from Israel, Jordan, and Syria and the publication of the excavations at ‘En Hatsevah, Israel.
Darby earned a master’s degree in religious studies from Missouri State University and a doctorate from Duke University. Her dissertation focused on small female figurines from southern Israel, using various modes of inquiry to ascertain the function and role of the figurines in Judean ritual life.
Her latest book is entitled “Interpreting Judean Pillar Figurines: Gender and Empire in Judean Apotropaic Ritual” (Forschungen Zum Alten Testament 2.Reihe, 2014).
This story was submitted by Carolyn Krause.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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