Noted Archaeologist to Discuss Jezreel Expedition on November 5

Norma Franklin, noted field archaeologist, Zinman Institute of Archaeology, University of Haifa, who recently launched the Jezreel Expedition in what was an ancient Israelite city and fortress, will lecture at the Parthenon on Monday, November 5. Her talk, Jezreel: The View from Jezebel’s Window, will begin at 7 p.m.

The fertile Jezreel and Harod valleys, with their copious springs, provided ideal conditions for both agriculture and grazing in the northern kingdom of Israel. It was these ideal conditions that ensured that Jezreel was continously occupied from the earliest times until the present day.

The Book of Kings tells a dramatic story about Jezreel. The prophet Elijah is pitted against King Ahab of Israel and his wife Jezebel for acquiring a coveted vineyard by plotting the murder of its owner, Naboth. In addition, King Jehu brings retribution to Jezreel by killing Jezebel and 60 sons of Ahab.

Excavations at Jezreel are now being aided by airborne laser technology to enhance understanding of the site and its surroundings. Franklin, a founding member of Tel Aviv University’s Megiddo Expedition, will provide perspective on Jezreel’s importance by highlighting the key economic and military roles that it played not only during the biblical period but also in more recent times.

“Dr. Franklin made enormous contributions to the excavation of Megiddo, and she is now bringing her considerable skills to the dig at the famous site of Jezreel,” said Doug Knight, Drucilla Moore Buffington Professor of Hebrew Bible and Professor of Jewish Studies at Vanderbilt. “Her lecture will be fascinating and inspiring.”

Franklin, who has taught field techniques to many Vanderbilt archaeology students, is a frequent lecturer at archaeological and biblical conferences. She has appeared in numerous documentaries for the History Channel, National Geographic and the BBC. She is co-directing the Jezreel Expedition with University of Evansville Professor Jennie Ebeling.

Franklin’s lecture, free and open to the public, is sponsored by the Nashville Society of the Archaeological Institute of America, Vanderbilt’s Jewish Studies Program, the Divinity School, and the departments of anthropology, classical studies, history, history of art (Goldberg Lecture Series) and religious studies, as well as the Conservancy for the Parthenon and Centennial Park.

Call the Nashville Parthenon at 615.862.8431 to reserve a seat. For more information, email Knight at or call 615.322.2776.

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