Dr Garth Hugh Gilmour, Executive Director, CMJ Israel and Fellow, W. F. Albright Institute for Archaeological Research, Jerusalem

The archaeology of the Bible is a fascinating subject yet has been much maligned and open to abuse. Can archaeology be used to ‘prove’ the Bible? How reliable is the biblical text? Can the Bible and archaeology ever be compared? This course will cover several important subjects from the Old Testament period, in ancient Israel and Judah. These include the Philistines, the twin states of Israel and Judah, the Assyrian siege during King Hezekiah’s reign, and ancient Israelite and Judahite religion.

The course will provide the archaeological background to selected historical events of the Iron Age, equip participants to assess some current controversies in archaeology, and discuss basic elements of archaeology, including the role of excavation, the limits of time and space, basic terminology, important sites and personalities, significant finds and the relevance to the biblical account.



1. The early Philistines: boorish louts or cultured sophisticates?

2. A seal of King Hezekiah from Jerusalem

3. ‘Like a wolf on the fold’ – the Assyrian attack on Jerusalem

4. One God or two? Official and popular religion in Israel and Judah

5. The later Philistines: back with a vengeance


Recommended reading

Dever, W.G.  2008. Did God Have A Wife? Archaeology and Folk Religion in Ancient Israel. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans.

Dever, W.G. 2012. The Lives of Ordinary People in Ancient Israel: When Archaeology and the Bible Intersect. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans.

Dothan, T. & Dothan, M. 1992. People of the Sea. New York: Macmillan. 

Mazar, A. 2007. Archaeology of the Land of the Bible 10,000–586 BCE, v.1. Anchor Bible Reference Library. Yale University Press.

Zevit, Z.  2001. The Religions of Ancient Israel: A Synthesis of Parallactic Approaches. London: Continuum.



Date: 14 – 18 January 
Time: 6.45 pm
COURSE FEES Full: R550,00  Staff and Students R275,00
Venue: LT1 Kramer Law Building UCT