Bar-Ilan University is now offering a new Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) in archaeology. Entitled Biblical Archaeology: The Archaeology of Ancient Israel and Judah, the course is taught entirely in English. It is an introductory course in biblical archaeology of ancient Israel and Judah during the Iron Age (ca. 1200-586 BCE).
Cutting-edge, interdisciplinary archaeological research will be used to explore the field of archaeology, the history of this era, and it’s “players” (e.g., Israel, Judah, Philistine, Mesopotamia, Phoenicia, Aram, Moab, Edom, ancient Egypt, etc.). Special focus is given to the complex relationship between archaeology, history and the bible, and how modern research interfaces between these different, and at times conflicting, sources, in particular, how archaeology can be used to understand biblical text – and vice versa.
The course combines short video lectures with extensive illustrative materials, on-site discussions at relevant archaeological locations, display 3D images and discuss relevant archaeological finds. It includes interviews with leading researchers in the field, both to discuss specific aspects, finds and sites, as well as to present different sides of debated issues.
The course is taught by Prof. Aren Maeir, of the Martin (Szusz) Department of Land of Israel Studies and Archaeology, who has directed archaeological excavations at Tell es-Safi/Gath, the biblical Gath of the Philistines and home of Goliath, for nearly a quarter century.
Bar-Ilan students can take this course for academic credit. Students will need to register via the regular BIU course signup procedure and again through the EDX website. The course is also available for those who wish to learn for fun (free) or for an official EDX certificate ($99) through EDX.