Stager will emphasize and demonstrate the importance of the osteology, both human and animal, found in the urns for deepening our interpretation and understanding of the Tophet. Stager offers the proposal that there was a great spring festival in Phoenicia (Canaan) and Syria that, like Hebrew Passover, coincided with spring lambs and included them in the offerings of First Fruits, which celebrated the early shoots of barley in March-April.

Layout 1About the Speaker: Lawrence E. Stager is Dorot Professor emeritus and Director emeritus of the Archaeology of Israel in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at Harvard University and is Director of the Harvard Semitic Museum. Since 1985 he has overseen the excavations of the Leon Levy Expedition to Ashkelon, the Philistine port city. Among his popular works are the award-winning Life in Biblical Israel (co-authored with Philip King) and Ashkelon Discovered (from the Bronze Age through the Medieval Period). Ashkelon 3: The Seventh Century B.C. won the Levi-Sala Book Prize, for best final excavation report on a site in Israel.

Sponsored by the
UCLA Alan D. Leve Center for Jewish Studies
Funding provided by the
Michael & Irene Ross Endowment
Kershaw Chair of Ancient Near Eastern Mediterranean Studies
Cosponsored by the
UCLA Department of Near Eastern Languages & Cultures
UCLA Department of History