The research group „Israel in the ancient Near East“ was founded by Carly Crouch (now University of Nottingham, 2010-2014), Jonathan Stökl (now King’s College, London, 2010-2015) and Anna Elise Zernecke and met for the first time in Tartu in 2010. In 2014, Noga Ayali-Darshan joined the team. Since 2015 Noga Ayali-Darshan and Anna Zernecke are co-organisers of the research group.
In 2015, the renewal of the research group for a three-year period was granted, allowing us to meet in Leuven, Berlin, and Helsinki.
In the online meeting 2021 Wuppertal we had two sessions, one titled “To the Netherworld and Back and Other Myths” and a general session
“To the Netherworld and Back” and Other Myths
Noga Ayali-Darshan, Bar-Ilan University: The Cosmogony and the Anthropogony in Enūma Eliš
Reinhard G. Lehmann, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz: ATTENTION. Doorway to Underground (Byblos tomb V)
Shirly Natan-Yulzary, Gordon College of Education, Haifa & Beit Berl College: The Purpose and Meaning of Non-Combatant List in The Kirta Epic: KTU 1.14 ii 43-50 Reconsidered
Meike Röhrig, Humboldt Universität Berlin: Lying Down with the Uncircumcised (Ez 32:17–32) – An Akkadian Loan Word as Key to a Crux Interpretum
Marcel Krusche, Universität Hamburg: The Descent into the Netherworld as a Result of Hubris in the Biblical Prophetic Literature
Eckart David Schmidt, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz: Highway to Hell. What on Earth are We to Make of Christ’s ‘Descensus ad Inferos’?
Israel in the Ancient Near East
Anna Zernecke, Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel: Who is Elyon in Dtn 32?
Raanan Eichler, Bar-Ilan University: An Egyptian Parallel to the Tabernacle
Isabel Cranz, University of Pennsylvania: The Sprinkling of Water in the Priestly Source and Ancient Near Eastern Texts
Itamar Kislev, University of Haifa: The Core of the Sacrificial Calendar in Num 28–29 and Its Compositional History
Benedikt Hensel, Universität Zürich: Deporting God(s) and Demonstrating Power: The Ark Narrative(s) 1 Sam 4-6*/ 2 Sam 6* as an Answer to the Assyrian Practice of Godnapping
Karoline Totsche, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz: Advantages and Limitations of 3D-Scanning Delicate Objects. The Case of the Mesha-Squeeze
The research unit did not meet in 2019, the meeting in 2020 did not take place.
For 2018, the topic of our call for papers "The Syro-Anatolian Legacy" led to one session with 5 papers. The open call for papers made it possible to have two other (shorter) sessions, one dedicated to goddesses (Asherah and Anat) and one to textual and oral traditions.
Gods and the Divine
Shirly Natan-Yulzary, Gordon Academic Colleges, Israel: Asherah, Lady of the Sea: A New Look at KTU 1.4 ii
Amitai Baruchi Unna, Hebrew University of Jerusalem: From Physical Cultic Object to Goddess: Asherah in Canaanite and Israelite Religion
Adrianne Spunaugle, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor: Continuations of 'Anat in the First Millennium
Textual and Oral Traditions
Itamar Kislev, University of Haifa: The Vow to Kill Elisha: Function and Meaning in 2 Kgs 6:31-33
Shira Golani, Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Gordon Academic: Lists, Location and Creation: Enuma Eliš’ List of Marduk’s Names and Biblical Lists
Reinhard G. Lehmann, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz: Arma Virumque Cano: A Hidden Oral–Aural Agenda in the Karatepe Inscriptions?
Anatolia and the Levant
Ian Rutherford, University of Reading: From Dagan to Kronos: Hesiod's Theogony and Syrian Geo-politics
Amir Gilan, Tel Aviv University: A Genre in Decline? The Late Hittite Cuneiform Historiography
Ilya Yakubovich, University of Marburg: Lexical Contacts between Anatolian and Hebrew: Historical and Sociolinguistic Interpretation
Noga Ayali-Darshan, Bar-Ilan University: “The Good, the Bad, and the Beautiful”: The Diffusion of a Mythologeme in Egyptian and Anatolian literature
Anna Elise Zernecke, Universität Bern - Université de Berne: Beyond the National Gods
In 2017, the call for papers on "Shared Mythologems in the Ancient Near East" resulted in a very long session with speakers both invited and answering the call for papers, followed by a very animated discussion. The envisaged joint session with "Judaens in the Persian Empire" did not take place.
Shared Mythologems in the Ancient Near East
Joanna Töyräänvuori, Helsingin Yliopisto - Helsingfors Universitet: How to Study Strategies Used by Minority Cultures in Dealing with Oppressive Ideological Messages in the Ancient World: The Mythologeme of the Flood
Inbal Ma'ayan Baum, Bar-Ilan University: Paths to the Netherworld in Hittite Sources
Takayoshi Oshima, Universität Leipzig: A Possible Mesopotamian Link of Amon in Prov 8:30
Reettakaisa Sofia Salo, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster: Royal Ideology and the Fertility of the Land
Robert Kerr, Universität Saarbrücken: Recycling the gods
Noga Ayali-Darshan, Bar-Ilan University: The Background of the Cedar Forest Tradition in the Egyptian Tale of the Two Brothers in Light of West-Asian Literature
The call for papers for the 2016 conference in Leuven was titled "The Diaspora in Pre-Hellenistic Times". The subject met with much interest, but most invited scholars declined to come for a variety of reasons, and practically no papers relating to the subject were presented. We met nevertheless in two short sessions (5 papers) by several scholars who were partly invited and partly answered the open call for papers.
Israel in the Ancient Near East 2
Adrianne Spunaugle, University of Michigan: Alterity at Nippur: Ethnicity and Empire in the NB Period
Noga Ayali-Darshan, Bar-Ilan University: The Neo-Babylonian Background of the Early Jewish Liturgy Asking for the Fear of God
Tova Ganzel, Bar-Ilan University / Kathleen Abraham, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven: The Language of the Babylonian Exiles in Light of the Book of Ezekiel
Israel in the Ancient Near East 1
Mordechai Cogan, Hebrew University of Jerusale: “To be or not to be” – Recovering the Empire: Sargon’s Campaign to the West in 720/19 BCE
Benedikt Hensel, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz: Religious Culture in Persian Times Samaria: An “Israelite”, Non-Judean Form of Post- Exilic Yahwism