“Since , O Mazda from the beginning, Thou didst create soul and body, mental power and knowledge , and since Thou didst bestow to mankind the power to act , speak and guide , you wished that everyone should chose their own faith and path freely.”

Zaratostra - Yasna 31, Verse 11

One who always thinks of his own safety and profit, how can he love the joy-bringing Mother Earth? The righteous man that follows Asha's Law shall dwell in regions radiant with Thy Sun, the abode where wise ones dwell.”

Zaratostra Yasna, Verse 2

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Abstract for the Symposium by Professor Aren Maeir

Title: "The Other, the Neighbor, or the Relative: Negotiating proximity in
the biblical world - the Israelites and Philistines as a case study"

The ongoing interaction between the neighboring cultures of the
Philistines and the Israelites during the Iron Age is portrayed through
various lenses. In the multi-layered biblical texts, a complex set of
relationships is seen, ranging from outright hostility (e.g. David and
Goliath), collaboration (David and Achish) to intermarriage (Samson and
Delilah). While the dominant motif in the biblical text is a negative image
of the Philistines (carried in to modern perspectives), it is clear that a
much more complicated interaction is indicated. Archaeological evidence from
the last decades, and in particular from the recent excavations at Tell
es-Safi/Gath (biblical Gath of the Philistines), have revealed evidence of
bi-directional and multi-faceted character of the interaction(s) between the
Philistine and Israelite cultures, adding depth, and deeper understanding,
to the "on the ground" reality hiding behind the biblical texts.

Aren M. Maeir is an associate professor of archaeology at the Martiz (Szusz) Department of Land of Israel Studies and Archaeology, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan, Israel. He directs the Tell es-Safi/Gath Archaeological Project and co-directs the joint Bar-Ilan University/Weizmann Institute of Science Program in Archaeological Science.

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