Sponsored by: Archaeological Institute of America
Phoenicians are more popular than ever. They have assumed a starring role in ancient Mediterranean studies that could not have been anticipated even by the founder of the field, Sabatino Moscati. A recent boom in scholarship shows how the field has grown, even while it also reveals how much remains in question—including the ways that we attempt to define Phoenicians in the archaeological record from Lebanon to Spain. In this presentation, I use the excavations of Tel Dor (Israel), where I serve as a co-director, to ground the discussion of Phoenicians in the material evidence, paying special attention to religion in the Hellenistic and Roman eras. Dor has a rich record of religious activity in these periods, including two pairs of temples, figurines, dog burials, and coins bearing images of the city’s foundation hero and civic gods. The lecture will walk through these finds and what they can tell us about the ongoing role of archaeology in understanding Phoenicians.
Short bibliography and/or website on lecture topic (for lay reader):
Nitschke, J.; Martin, S. R.; and Y. Shalev. “Between Carmel and the Sea, Tel Dor: The Late Periods.” Near Eastern Archaeology 74.3 (2011): 132-54.