Category Archives: Archaeology

NYU rolls out free course on Ancient Israel

New York University recently began rolling out a new addition to its free open education courses on its YouTube channel. The new arrival is Ancient Israel (YouTube) taught by Daniel Fleming. So far NYU has posted only six lectures from … Continue reading

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Ready, set, decipher

Now’s your chance to help scholars decipher a treasure trove of ancient texts and maybe take part in the discovery of the next lost Greek play or unknown gospel. No knowledge of ancient languages required — just a computer, a … Continue reading

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Of skeletons, pottery and Indiana Jones

I once spent a year studying at Israel’s Hebrew University, where I took a spectacularly boring course in archaeology. Indeed it took some effort to make archaeology boring in that setting, surrounded as we were by monuments and ruins going … Continue reading

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Why the West Rules – For Now

Ian Morris is nothing if not ambitious. A professor of history and archaeology at Stanford University, Morris has written a new book, Why the West Rules – For Now in which he attempts an audacious unified field theory of history … Continue reading

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Does God have a physical body?

Brace yourself for this one: the God of the Hebrew Bible has a real physical body. That’s what biblical scholar Benjamin Sommer argues in his lecture The Bodies of God and the World of Ancient Israel: Part I (website, iTunes) … Continue reading

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Readers’ picks

Here are some recent suggestions from readers. Reading Marx’s Capital (website) David Harvey, City University of New York (CUNY) A close reading of the text of Karl Marx’s Capital Volume I in 13 video lectures. Recommended by Theages. Foreign Language … Continue reading

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A History of Jerusalem

How did a provincial hill-town, with no significant natural resources and far from major trade routes, become a holy city for millions of people? That’s the question archaeologist and biblical scholar Robert Cargill seeks to answer in his fascinating new … Continue reading

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Reading Homer as an anthropologist

What happens when you stop thinking of the Iliad as a work of fiction but instead see it as a primary text to help explain an ancient society? That’s what archaeologist Tara Carter does in lecture 21 and lecture 22 … Continue reading

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Why we stopped foraging and started farming

The invention of agriculture was probably the most important change in human history but scholars argue about why it happened, and propose three main conflicting theories. These theories, and the difficulties in domesticating plants and animals are the subjects of … Continue reading

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Archaeologist Isabelle Pafford teaches new course

University of Santa Clara archaeologist Isabelle Pafford is back with a new course about heroic narratives, Heroes & Heroism (iTunes). The course covers heroic figures in ancient works like the Iliad, the Gilgamesh epic, and the Bhagavad Gita, and explores … Continue reading

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