Paper on Philistine names at upcoming “Names Conference” at BIU

Dr. Yigal Levin has sent out the program for the forthcoming 12th International Conference on Jewish Names which will be held at Bar-Ilan University on March 18th, 2015 (which by the way is my birthday…)

Among other papers to be presented at this interesting meeting, I will be giving a paper (along with Louise Hitchcock and Brent Davis in absentia) on a fresh look at Philistine names and terms, and what they can and cannot tell us about Philistine origins, language(s), social structure and other issues.

Here is the complete program of the meeting:

Bar-Ilan University

The Faculty of Jewish Studies

The Israel and Golda Koschitzky Department of Jewish History and Contemporary Judaism

The Project for the Study of Jewish Names

The Twelfth International Conference on Jewish Names

Wednesday, March 18, 2015, Feldman Hall, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan, Israel

Session A, 9:00-10:30: Names in Bible and Epigraphy

Chair: Dr. Michael Avioz, Bar-Ilan University

Mitka R. Golub, The Hebrew University in Jerusalem: Personal Names from the First Temple Period: Archaeological and Biblical Sources (Heb)

David Shneor, Shaanan College: Criteria for the Identification of Biblical Toponyms in the Writings of Ishtori Happarhi (Heb)

Asher Ovadiah, Tel Aviv University: Hebrew Inscriptions with Jewish Names in Elijah’s Cave at the Foot of Mount Carmel (Heb)

Yigal Bloch, The Hebrew University in Jerusalem: A Jewish Name in a Babylonian Toponym of 425 B.C.E. (Eng)

Session B: 10:45-12:15: Names in Eastern Jewish Communities

Chair: Prof. Yaron Harel, Head of the Department of Jewish History and the Dahan Center, Bar-Ilan University

Victor Hayoun, The Association for the Heritage of Tunisian Jewry: First Names in the Jewish Community of Tunisia (Heb)

Leah Bornstein-Makovetsky, Ariel University: Surnames of Izmir Jews in the 18th and 19th Centuries: Social and Historical Aspects (Heb)

Dov Cohen, Bar-Ilan University: Family Names of Cohanim in Izmir – the Cohen-Arias Family (1670-1970) as a Test Case (Heb)

Esther Shkalim, Tel-Aviv University: Family Names of Iranian Jews: Their Sources and Meanings (Heb)

Session C: 10:45-12:15 (room 102): 10:45-12:15: Names in the Ancient and Medieval Periods:

Chair: Dr. Itzhak Shai, Ariel University

Aren M. Maeir, Bar-Ilan University; Brent Davis and Louise A. Hitchcock, University of Melbourne: Philistine Names and Terms Once Again: A Recent Perspective (Eng)

Elody di Vito, EPHE Paris, Hebrew Names in Phoenician Inscriptions (Eng)

Phillip I. Ackerman-Lieberman, Vanderbilt University: Jewish Onomastics, the Cairo Geniza, and Westward Migration in the Medieval Period (Eng)

Ricardo Muñoz Solla, Universidad de Salamanca: On Hispano-Jewish Medieval Anthroponomy: The Case Study of Medina de Pomar (Burgos, XVth century) (Eng)

Lunch Break

Session D: 13:30-15:30: Names in Different Jewish Communities:

Chair: Dr. Orly C. Meron, Bar-Ilan University

Yosef Rivlin, Bar-Ilan University: The Meaning of Fictitious Names in the Responsa Literature (Heb)

Chanan Rapaport, The International Institute for Jewish Genealogy and Paul Jacobi Center: Jewish Family Names Composed of Acronyms – Notaricons (Heb)

Aharon Gaimani, Bar-Ilan University: The Influence of Rabbi Yehudah Heḥasid’s Ethical Will on Names in Jewish Communities (Heb)

Reuven Enoch, Ariel University: Last Names of Georgian Jews Based on Word-Combinations (Heb)

Reut Green: Name Giving as a Major Component of the Development of Hebrew Identity (1882-1914) (Heb)

Session E: 13:30-15:30 (room 102): 13:30-15:30: Jewish Names East and West:

Chair: Dr. Debra Kaplan, Bar-Ilan University

Johannes Czakai, Freie Universität Berlin: The Galician Konskription of 1785: The First Jewish Name Regulation (Eng)

Felicia Waldman, University of Bucharest: Sephardic Names in Late 19th and Early 20th Century Bucharest (Eng)

Grant Smith, Eastern Washington University: The Semiotics of Antonio and Shylock (Eng)

Alexandre Beider, Paris: Etymology of Jewish Surnames from the Maghreb (Eng)

Session F: 15:45-17:45: Names in Modern Hebrew Literature and Linguistics:

Chair: Prof. Aaron Demsky, Head of the Project for the Study of Jewish Names, Bar-Ilan University

Greetings: Rabbi Prof. Daniel Hershkowitz, President, Bar-Ilan University

       Prof. Elie Assis, Dean, Faculty of Jewish Studies, Bar-Ilan University

       Prof. Yaron Harel, Head of the Department of Jewish History and the Dahan Center, Bar-Ilan University

Erez Biton, Poet, Bialik Prize Laureate for 2015: Names in My Literary Ouvrage (Heb)

Ofra Matzov-Cohen, Ariel University: Names and their Contribution to the Text: A Comparative Study of the Novel Ahavah Shel Saltanat (Saltanat’s Love) and the Biography Zion Ezri, Beoz Ubehahavat Zion(With Courage and the Love of Zion) (Heb)

Ziva Feldman, Ariel University: The Poetics of Hanoch Levin and the Names of the Characters in his Works (Heb)

Tsvi Sadan, Bar-Ilan University: Toward the Onomastic Lexicography of Modern Hebrew (Heb)

Session G: 18:00-19:30: Names in the Land and State of Israel:

Chair: Dr. Dotan Arad, Bar-Ilan University

Shlomit Landman, Achva Academic College: The Cultural Perspective of Given Names in Israel, Based on Qualitative Interviews with Parents (Heb)

Sapir Omer Osias, Bar-Ilan University: Hebraization of Names in the Yishuv Period from the Second Half of the 19th Century: Perception, Progression and Effects (Heb)

Matanya Weynberger, Ariel University: The Hebraization of Family Names: Knesset Discussions from the 1950s (Heb)

Adel Shakour, Al-Qasemi Academy: Giving Children Hebrew Names in Druze Society in Israel (Heb)

The organizing committee: A. Demsky, Y. Levin, B. Kotlerman, I. Breier, T. Sadan

41st Archaeological Conference in Israel schedule

The schedule of the 41st Archaeological Conference in Israel, which will be held at Bar-Ilan University on April 1st, 2015.

There will be some very interesting lectures at the meeting, including one by me on archaeological insights from Papua New Guinea and by Amit Dagan on the Iron Age cultic finds from Area D at Tell es-Safi/Gath.

Here’s the schedule – hope to see you there!

41st archaeological conference plan_April 2015


And yet another article – on Bliss and Macalister’s excavations at Tell es-Safi/Gath

Just received the PDF of another just-appeared article :-)
Avissar Lewis, R. A. and Maeir, A. M. 2015. Bliss and Macalister’s Work at Tell es-Safi/Gath: A reappraisal in light of recent excavations. In Wolff, S. (ed.), Villain or Vissionary? R.A.S. Macalister and the archaeology of Palestine. PEF Annual XII. Maney: London.
In this study, Rona and I present an overview and assessment of the results of Bliss and Macalister’s excavations at Tell es-Safi/Gath in 1899, particularly in light of the finds from the current excavations at the site.
Once again, it can be found on my website.

Two new articles on feasting have appeared! One on the Philistines – the other on Papua New Guinea.

Today I got the final, published PDFs of two new articles:

1) Hitchcock, L. A., Horwitz, L. K., Boaretto, E., and Maeir, A. M. 2015. One Philistine’s Trash is an Archaeologist’s Treasure: Feasting at Iron Age I, Tell es-Safi/Gath. Near Eastern Archaeology 78(1): 12–25.
In this study, my colleagues and I discuss archaeological remains from late Iron I Tell es-Safi/Gath which we interpret as evidence of feasting activities, and discuss this within the broader framework of Late Bronze and early Iron Age cultures of the eastern Mediterranean.
2) Maeir, A. M. 2015. A Feast in Papua New Guinea. Near Eastern Archaeology 78(1): 26–34.
During a recent trip to Papua New Guinea, I participated in a traditional feast, in the remote village of Teptep. In this article, I note some of my observations on the feast and some possible insights relevant to the archaeology of the ancient near east.
For those interested, the articles can be found on my webpage (along with many other publications of mine).

Event marking the publication of the new Jewish Study Bible – March 20th, 2015

Please note that on the evening of March 20th, 2015, at the Pardes Institute in Jerusalem, there will be an event to mark the publication of the 2nd edition of the Jewish Study Bible (which I noted previously).

During the evening, one of the editors (Mark Brettler), and several of the contributors (including yours truly), will present on issues relating to the volume.

See below for the full program. Do try and make it – it should be very interesting!


Jewish Study Bible event

My lecture at the College de France

As I wrote about earlier, today I gave a lecture at the College de France, at the invitation of Prof. Thomas Romer. The lecture dealt with new perspectives on the Philistines, primarily based on the finds from Tell es-Safi/Gath.

At some time in the future the lecture will be online on the website of the College de France. I’ll update when it will be online.

The lecture went very well – and I got an official medallion (!) for giving the lecture! That’s a first for me… :-)