UCLA Alan D. Leve Center for Jewish Studies
Archaeology of Ancient Israel Lecture Series

Abel Beth Ma’acah is a city of major biblical and historical importance on the northern border of present-day Israel. It is mentioned several times in the Hebrew Bible, most notably in the time of King David when a “wise woman” surrendered the severed head of Sheba ben Bichri to Joab who had been sent from Jerusalem to capture him (2 Sam 20:14-22). Though called “a city and a mother in Israel,” other verses suggest that the population was Aramean or perhaps another ethnic group (2 Sam 10:6-8; 1 Chron 19:6; Josh 13:11). Who were the people of Abel and how might we determine their ethnicity in the material record? The primary aim of this lecture will be to explore the intriguing yet elusive relationship between historical memory as recorded in the Bible and finds on the ground.

Robert Mullins received his Ph.D. in Archaeology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and is currently a professor and chair of the Department of Biblical and Religious Studies at Azusa Pacific University in Azusa, CA. He has participated in numerous archaeological digs in Israel (Jerusalem, Lachish, Tel Dor, Masada, Beth-Shean, Tel Rehov, and Gezer) and Turkey (Tell Atchana/Alalakh and Zincirli/Samal). Since 2012, Prof. Mullins has co-directed archaeological excavations at Tel Abel Beth Maacah with Dr. Naama Yahalom-Mack and Dr. Nava Panitz-Cohen of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In July 2017, the expedition was awarded an Israel Science Foundation (ISF) grant that will enable the team to conduct further scientific analyses and publications of the finds.

Moderator: Aaron A. Burke

Sponsored by the
UCLA Alan D. Leve Center for Jewish Studies

Funding provided by the
Viterbi Program in Mediterranean Jewish Studies

Cosponsored by the
UCLA Department of Near Eastern Languages & Cultures
UCLA Cotsen Institute of Archaeology