National Lecture Program

AIA Lecturer: Ann E. Killebrew

Affiliation: Pennsylvania State University

Ann E. Killebrew is Associate Professor of Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies, Jewish Studies, and Anthropology at Pennsylvania State University.  She holds her degrees from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Ph.D. and M.A.), and the University of California, Irvine.  Her research interests include the Bronze and Iron Ages in the eastern Mediterranean, ancient ceramic studies, Roman and Byzantine Palestine, new technologies and 3D documentation in archaeology, and heritage studies/community outreach.  Professor Killebrew is currently the co-director of the Tel Akko “Total Archaeology” project, located at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Akko.  Awards that she has received for her work include a 2018 NEH Fellowship at the American Research Institute in Turkey, and a 2019 Frerichs Annual Professorship at the Albright Institute of Archaeological Research, Israel. Professor Killebrew is an AIA Kershaw Lecturer for 2019/2020.


As one of the few safe anchorages along the southern Levantine coast, Akko has served as a major maritime center and cross-roads between east and west for over five millennia. First excavated by Moshe Dothan (1973 – 1989), the renewed excavations at Tel Akko (2010 – present) under the direction of Ann E. Killebrew (Pennsylvania State University) and Michal Artzy (University of Haifa) incorporate an integrated, “total archaeology” approach to exploring and preserving the site’s past, present, and future. This lecture will present the results of our excavations at Canaanite and Phoenician Akko including the discovery of a Phoenician iron smithing industrial center, our development of cutting-edge technologies to document and reconstruct the site’s past, and the role of the city’s diverse local communities in the protection of Akko’s shared cultural heritage.


Short bibliography and/or website on lecture topic:

Killebrew, A.E., D. DePietro, R. Pangarkar, S-A. Peleg, S. Scham, and E. Taylor 2017. Archaeology, Shared Heritage, and Community at Akko, Israel, Journal of Eastern Mediterranean Archaeology and Heritage Studies 5: 365–392.

The search for the Philistines, best known as one of ancient Israel’s most storied enemies, has long intrigued both scholars and the public. Recent archaeological and textual evidence, examined in its broader eastern Mediterranean context, reveals that the Philistines, together with other related groups of “Sea Peoples” best known from Egyptian New Kingdom texts, played a transformative role in the development of new ethnic groups and polities that emerged from the ruins of the Late Bronze Age empires. This lecture reassesses the origins, identity, material culture, and the impact of the Philistines and other “Sea Peoples” on the Iron Age cultures and peoples of the eastern Mediterranean.


Short bibliography and/or website on lecture topic:

Killebrew, A.E. and G. Lehmann (eds.). 2013. The Philistines and Other “Sea Peoples” in Text and Archaeology. Archaeology and Biblical Studies 15. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature.

Killebrew, A.E. 2016. The World of the Philistines and Other “Sea Peoples”, pp. 30–39 in: Assyria and Iberia: Art and Culture in the Iron Age (edited by J. Aruz and M. Seymour. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Symposia. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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