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Live Zoom Pesentation: Holier than Thou? The Temples at Tel Moza and Their Implication for the Understanding of the Development of Cult and Religion in Judah during the First Temple Period with Shua Kisilevitz

The recent discovery of a series of temples from the First Temple Period at Tel Moza near Jerusalem has rejuvenated the debate on the formation of religion in ancient Judah and Israel. The new findings include a monumental temple complex strikingly similar to the Solomonic Temple in Jerusalem mentioned in the biblical texts. These findings, which include an altar, the remains of sacrificial offerings, and cultic artifacts, afford us an unparalleled opportunity to examine the development of cultic traditions in Judah based on tangible finds. They indicate that the temple in Jerusalem was neither the only temple in Judah, nor was it necessarily the first.

Speaker: Shua Kisilevitz studied archaeology at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem (B.A., M.A.), and is currently a PhD candidate and adjunct lecturer at the Institute of Archaeology at Tel Aviv University and an archaeologist in the Jerusalem Region of the Israel Antiquities Authority. Shua was co-director of the 2012-2013 salvage excavations at Tel Moza, during which the temple was identified, and initiated the Tel Moẓa Expedition Project together with professor Oded Lipschits in 2019, on behalf of Tel Aviv University. Her work on the Moẓa temples in recent years has led her to focus primarily on the study of iconography and the development of cult/religion in the region of Judah during the Iron Age, with particular interest in their correlation with industry/economy and the rise of structured social and political communities and elites in the southern Levant during this period.

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