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Cooley Lecture Fall 2013

Date: September 24, 2013

August 12, 2013

Lecturer:  Dr. Gabriel Barkay

Date:  Tuesday, September 24, 2013 

Time:  7:00 p.m.

Topic:  TBA

Location:  Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, 14542 Choate Circle, Charlotte, NC

For some background on our speaker, Dr. Barkay was born in Hungary in 1944, and immigrated to Israel in 1950. After graduating from Hebrew University (summa cum laude) where he studied archaeology, comparative religion and geography, he graduated (summa cum laude) from Tel Aviv University with a Ph.D. in archaeology in 1985.

Dr. Barkay has participated on various levels in numerous digs, one of which led to the discovery of the Silver Scrolls. The Silver Scrolls are two silver amulets that contain the Priestly Benediction (Numbers 6:24-26), and are the earliest recorded biblical verses (dated to the late-7th century B.C. First Temple period) that mention the name "YHWH." This makes the amulets the oldest Biblical inscriptions ever found, predating the Dead Sea Scrolls by at least 400 years, and the first mentioning the name of the LORD.

More recently, a 2,700 year-old clay seal was unearthed within the ancient City of David. Under Dr. Barkay's direction, an archaeological team at the Israel Excavation Society Sifting Project sifted through the dig site's debris and discovered the now-famous "Bethlehem Seal", which has been dated to the 7th century B.C. Dr. Barkay was the first to translate the seal's significant three line inscription which reads, "In the 7th year, Bethlehem, for the king". Dr. Barkay has been the director of the Israel Excavation Society Sifting Project since 2004, sifting soil from the Temple Mount area. Tens of thousands of finds have revealed human activity on the site of the Temple Mount covering fifteen thousand years.

Dr. Barkay's previous excavations include Megiddo, Lachish, Momshit and Susa in Iran. He has concentrated on sites in Jerusalem since the 1970s, participating in and directing on various levels. He has also worked on the Siloam village cemeteries of nobility, which included Ketef Hinnom, from which he discovered an early church, possibly St. George’s, which contained the cremation burials of members of the Roman army in burial caves.

Dr. Barkay is the recipient of the 1996 Jerusalem Prize for Archaeological Research, and is a professor at Bar Ilan University in Tel Aviv. He has spent more than 30 years teaching at the American Institute of Holy Land Studies.