The relationship between archaeology and the biblical text is complex, reflecting the textual complexity of the biblical narrative and the scientific complexity of the archaeological record. In this program we will discuss the current state of debate about the Iron II period and what it tells us about the historical reality of King David and Solomon. We will also look at some recent discoveries that cast a new light on ritual practice during the First Temple period and raise questions about the diversity of ritual practice that is not always reflected in the Biblical text.

Michael Chazan is a Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Toronto and Director of the Archaeology Centre. His current research focus is on the early prehistory of South Africa but he retains a strong research interest in the archaeology of Israel. Among his other activities he currently acts as a scientific adviser to the excavations at the newly discovered synagogue at Huqoq where University of Toronto students participate in the excavations.