Joe Lauer has sent along notice of this conference which will be held in Tel Aviv on December 24, with lectures in Hebrew.

The Ingeborg Rennert Center The Martin (Szusz) Department of Land of Israel Studies and Archaeology The Faculty of Jewish Studies Bar-Ilan University
Invite you to
The 15th Annual Conference of
The Ingeborg Rennert Center for Jerusalem Studies

8:20 gathering

8:45 opening remarks:

Prof. Joshua Schwartz, Director of the Ingeborg Rennert Center for Jerusalem Studies

Prof. Avraham Faust & Dr. Eyal Baruch, conference organizers

Session 19:00-10:55

Chair: Eyal Baruch

09:00 Ronny Reich & Eli Shukron- Channel II in the City of David, Jerusalem: Technical Details, Date and Function

09:20 Avraham Faust- King David’s Palace, a Hellenistic Structure or a Jebusite Fort: A Reexamination of the Large Stone Structure Unearthed by Eilat Mazar in the City of David

09:40 Moshe Garsiel- The Book of Samuel: Compilation Stages and Historical Value for Describing David’s Kingdom and His Capital in Jerusalem

10:05 Ehud Netzer- An opus reticulatum Structure, West of the Old City, Jerusalem

10:25 Ram Bouchnick, Omri Larnow, Guy Bar-Oz & Ronny Reich- Jerusalem Fish Menu from
the Late Second Temple Period

10:45 Discussion

10:55 Break

Session 211:20-13:10

Chair: Joshua Schwartz

11:20 Michael Ben-Ari- Simchat Beit Sho’eva – The Origins of the Custom.

11:40 Varda Sussman- Shaving/paring of Herodian Oil Lamps

12:00 Ze’ev H. Erlich (Jabo) – What is the ‘Kotel ha-Katan?’

12:20 Amos Kloner- The Damascus Gate

12:40 Yoav Farhi & Oded Lifshitz– A Unique Bulla from the Ramat Rahel Excavations Bearing the Name of Hadrian

13:00 Discussion

13:10 Lunch Break

Session 3 14:20-16:30

Chair: Josef Drory

14:20 Yehoshua Peleg- Were the Temple Mount Gates Reconstructed in the Second Century CE?

14:40 Gabriel Barkay and Zachi Zweig- A Roman Period Centaur Relief from the Temple Mount

15:00 Perez Reuven- A Decorated Beam from the Roman Period in the Temple Mount

15:20 Bat-Sheva Garsiel- The Status of Jerusalem in Early Islamic Theological Writings

15:40 Michael Ehrlich- The Southern Quarters of Jerusalem during the Medieval Period: A Multi-
Periodical Overview

16:00 Oded Shay- The Contribution Made by the Jerusalem-based Monk Father Antonin, to Jewish
Studies and to the Research of the Material Culture of Palestine in the Final Years of the Ottoman

16:20 Discussion

16:30 Break

Session 4 17:00-18:30

Chair: Boaz Zissu

17:00 Amos Frumkin & Boaz Lengford- The Research of a Karstic Cave Used for Refuge in the
Jerusalem Hills

17:20 Boaz Zissu & Roi Porat- A Hoard of Coins and Other Finds from the Bar-Kokhba Period,
Recently Discovered in a Refuge Cave in the Jerusalem Hills

17:40 Guy Stiebel“On the Edge” – Military Equipment from a Refuge Cave in the Jerusalem Hills

18:00 Hanan Eshel- New Discoveries from a Refuge Cave in the Jerusalem Hills, and their
Contribution to the Study of the Bar-Kokhba War

18:20 Discussion

The conference proceedings (app. 300 pp. including 17 articles in Hebrew, with English abstracts)
will be on sale during the conference

For additional information, please contact the Ingeborg Rennert Center for Jerusalem Studies (see
email address at bottom of this page) or Avi Faust (email address here).

Previous conference proceedings are available for purchase here.


The headlines on the web this morning are a little more sensational:

The tomb was found nearly a decade ago, and all of the sensational results have been known for years.  Two of the excavators, Gibson and Tabor, have both written extensively on this discovery in books they have published.

What is new is the publication of an article in the US Public Library of Science Journal, with the finding that this was evidence of the first human known to have leprosy.  That’s good, but it’s not news.  Maybe the news is buried in the details, and the publication of this article provides an opportunity to review an important discovery.  That’s fine, but it should be noted that news outlets lead you to believe that there are more discoveries than they actually are because they report the same items time after time, particularly during the Christmas and Easter seasons.

If you read only one article, I’d suggest the one in the Jerusalem Post.  But the best photos are in the Daily Mail.  Here are the important facts:

  • A man was buried in this tomb between AD 1 and 50.
  • The rock-hewn tomb was located on the south side of the Hinnom Valley, in a cemetery used by the wealthy.
  • The man was wrapped in a burial shroud with a different weave from that of the Shroud of Turin.
  • The deceased suffered from tuberculosis and leprosy.  (Apparently even the rich got sick.)
  • A significant portion of the dead man’s hair was recovered and analyzed (it was clean, short, and lice-free).
  • The man did not receive a secondary burial in an ossuary, as was typical at the time.

Here’s an important statement in the JPost article:

Based on the assumption that this is representative of a typical burial shroud widely used at the time of Jesus, the researchers conclude that the Turin Shroud did not originate from Jesus-era Jerusalem.

That gives you the basis for the researchers’ conclusion that the Turin Shroud is fake.  As long as there was only one shroud maker in town in the first century, we can be absolutely sure that the Turin Shroud is from the medieval period.  (I have no interest in or knowledge about the Shroud, but I do care about assumptions necessary for conclusions.  The conclusions are in the headlines; the assumptions are always buried if not omitted.)

You can read the rest in the articles linked to above. The books that I alluded to by the archaeologists are these:

UPDATE (12/17): James Davila at Paleojudaica responds to the Jerusalem Post statement quoted above:

That’s not quite what it says in the Daily Mail article quoted in my post yesterday. The claim there is that “[i]t was made with a simple two-way weave – not the twill weave used on the Turin Shroud, which textile experts say was introduced more than 1,000 years after Christ lived.” That is a more general claim that ought to be verifiable or falsifiable based on the reasonably ample surviving textile evidence from antiquity. If it is true that this type of weave is only attested much later, that would severely weaken any case for the genuineness of the Shroud of Turin. Are there specialists in first-century textiles out there who would like to speak up?