As I had mentioned about a week ago, this last Thursday (December 16th, 2010)the 16th Annual Conference of the Ingeborg Rennert Center for Jerusalem Studies was held at Bar-Ilan University.
The conference was very well attended, with a crowd of several hundred scholars and interested lay people. As in previous years, the conference organizers prepared the conference proceedings volume, in almost all of the papers that were presented in the meeting appeared in extended form in press (mostly in Hebrew, but with English summaries of most of the Hebrew papers).
I had the pleasure and honor of chairing the first session and unfortunately, had other commitments for the rest of the day that did not allow me to hear additional lectures. In the session that I chaired there were several interesting papers, including a paper by Z. Tsuck in which he suggested to identify a certain water cistern on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem as a cistern built in relation to the First Temple; and a paper by Gershon Galil in which he presented his reading of the Qeiyafa inscription. In fact, his paper in the conference proceedings is the first place where the full explanation of the reading has appeared in press (an English version will appear soon in Ugarit-forschungen). I must say, that by and large, I’m quite convinced by his reading – and he seems to very nicely answer the questions raised by various scholars after the preliminary reports on the details of his new reading.