Mapping the Cultural and Social Diversity of the Southern Levant in the Hellenistic Period

Sun, 13/06/2021 to Thu, 17/06/2021





The establishment of the Hellenistic kingdoms at the beginning of the third century BCE ushered in a new era in the Southern Levant. Although ties with the Mediterranean region are evident much earlier, the growing dominance of the Greek language and culture in the region is remarkable. Coele Syria and Phoenicia were inhabited by a mixed composition of peoples— various pagan groups, Jews, and Samaritans—each interacting with each other and with the local and foreign Hellenistic regimes.

Scholars often describe the interaction of the region with the Hellenistic culture as polarized, debating the degree to which it became integrated in the Hellenistic koine instead of viewing it as an integral part of it. The study of the Hellenistic Levant was generally applied to one region only or to the area as a whole without offering a comparative analysis of the different groups therein. Our conference aims at an integrative study of the different regions and peoples by mapping the cross-cultural encounters of the local traditions and the koine in each of these groups and in the region as a whole, while comparing it to the complexities in other regions in the Hellenistic East. The vast amount of new data, found in recent years, provides unique opportunities for tackling these questions and for taking a fresh look at the historical sources. We welcome an interdisciplinary dialogue, employing archaeological, historical, epigraphic, numismatic and artistic perspectives.


Adi Erlich, University of Haifa
Uzi Leibner, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Research Assistant
Roi Sabar

Donald Ariel, Israel Antiquities Authority
Kevin Butcher, University of Warwick
Avner Ecker, Bar-Ilan University
Benedikt Eckhardt, University of Edinburgh
Tali Erickson-Gini, Israel Antiquities Authority
Gerald Finkielstejn, Israel Antiquities Authority
Jennifer Gates-Foster, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Winfried Held, Philipps-University Marburg
Noah Kaye, Michigan State University
Paul Kosmin, Harvard University
Stephanie Langin-Hooper, Southern Methodist University
John Ma, Columbia University
Becky Martin, Boston University
Gabi Mazor, Israel Antiquities Authority
Giorgos Papantoniou, Trinity College Dublin
Orit Peleg-Barkat, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Dvir Raviv, Bar-Ilan University
Renate Rosenthal Heginbottom, Independent Scholar
Debora Sandhaus, Israel Antiquities Authority
Yiftah Shalev, Israel Antiquities Authority
Ian Stern, Hebrew Union College