Following the Drawing by B. Seiss, From U. Börker-Klähn, Altvorderasiatische Bildstelen Und Vergleichbare Felsreliefs [Mainz: Verlag Philip Von Zabern, 1982], I: TAF. 268; Enhanced by Einat Tamir.

Encounters of Text and Material Culture in Ancient Judea is a three-evening lecture series that engages with Judean and later Jewish material culture during the first millennium BCE, mostly at the latter third of this millennium during the Hellenistic-Roman period. This is not an archeological study surveying pottery assemblages and architectural plans. Instead, Jonathan Ben-Dov focuses on particular types of material objects that lend themselves to interaction with texts. The surveyed materials are widely variegated: from monumental rock reliefs that straddle the borders of nature and culture to handheld devices for time measurement. Special attention is dedicated to scrolls, which posit the text-and-matter encounter in a particularly poignant way, and where new paths are trodden today, in the digital age.

Lecture 1 (June 4): Time Machines in Text and Matter
Lecture 3 (June 6): Scrolls as Material Artifacts

Bard Graduate Center is grateful for the generous support of the Leon Levy Foundation.

Jonathan Ben-Dov is professor at the Department of Biblical Studies, Tel Aviv University. His fields of interest are biblical literature and the Ancient Near East, Dead Sea Scrolls and apocalyptic literature, ancient astronomy and calendars, time and temporality, history of the biblical text, and more. He has been a member of the Israeli Young Academy, and a fellow at New York University, University of Zurich, Durham University, and the Israel Institute of Advanced Studies. He is codirector of the German-Israeli project Scripta Qumranica Electronica, which aims to enhance the study of Dead Sea Scrolls using digital humanities methods. His recent books are a coauthored monograph, Material and Digital Reconstruction of Fragmentary Dead Sea Scrolls (Brill, 2022), and a coedited book, Afterlives of Ancient Near Eastern Monuments (Brill, 2021). He serves as an editor and board member for various journals and book series.