Research Group

Human Paleoecology in the Levantine Corridor

[RG #87] Human Paleoecology in the Levantine Corridor

March 1, 2002 – August 31, 2002


Naama Goren-Inbar (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem)

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Few areas of the world have played as prominent a role in human evolution as the Levantine Corridor, a comparatively narrow strip of land sandwiched between the Mediterranean Sea on the west and the expanse of inhospitable desert to the east. The first hominids to leave Africa, over 1.5 million years ago, first entered the Levant before spreading into what is now Europe and Asia. About 100,000 years ago another African exodus, this time of anatomically modern humans, colonized the Levant before expanding into Eurasia. Toward the end of the Pleistocene, this Corridor also witnessed some of the earliest steps toward economic and social intensification, perhaps the most radical change in hominid lifestyle that ultimately paved the way for sedentary communities wholly dependent on domestic animals and cultivated plants.



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Biblical Hebrew in its Northwest Semitic Setting: Typological and Historical Perspectives

[RG #86] Biblical Hebrew in its Northwest Semitic Setting: Typological and Historical Perspectives

October 1, 2001 – September 30, 2002


Steven Fassberg (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem)
Avi Hurvitz (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem)

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In 1961 William L. Moran published “The Hebrew Language in Its Northwest Semitic Background” (The Bible and the Ancient Near East: Essays in Honor of William Foxwell Albright, ed. G. Ernest Wright). In it, Moran presented a state-of-the-art description of the linguistic milieu out of which Biblical Hebrew developed. He stressed the features found in earlier Northwest Semitic languages that are similar to Hebrew, and he demonstrated how the study of those languages sheds light on Biblical Hebrew. More than forty years have passed since the publication of William L. Moran’s now classic description of Hebrew in the light of its Northwest Semitic background. Since the late 1950’s, when the article was written, our knowledge of both Northwest Semitic and the Hebrew of the biblical period has increased considerably.

Our research group will convene to undertake research in the light of the significant advances in the study of Biblical Hebrew and Northwest Semitic in the past four decades.



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Menahem Kister

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Menahem is a professor in the Departments of Bible and Talmud at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His research interests are the Jewish literature of the …

Gary Anderson

University of Notre Dame
Gary is a professor in the Department of Biblical Studies/Christianity and Judaism in Antiquity at the University of Notre Dame. His research interests are the …