Material Culture of the Southern Levant


The aim of this new unit is to foster in the field of Biblical studies the “material turn”, which has led to a new evaluation of the development of cultures through their material legacies and agency. Relevant topics for discussion are:

  • Exploring the heuristic value of the notion of “Materiality” applied to Biblical studies and to the Biblical text in particular;
  • Approaching Israelite and Judean religion in the broader context of the Levantine religious landscape through the perspective of “material religion”;
  • Moving beyond the disciplinary boundaries of approaches such as “Iconography” and “Iconographic exegesis” to address in a holistic way the “System of symbols and emblems” of the Southern Levant;
  • Presenting reports on new archaeological finds.


Material Culture, Levantine Archaeology, Iconography, Material Religion



Fabio Porzia

University of Zurich


Thomas Wagner

University of Wuppteral

Syracuse 2023 Call for Papers

The first meeting of the Research Unit is devoted to continue exploring the potential of the notion of “Materiality” applied to Biblical studies, and to bring colleagues from different research fields into conversation with each other. In an interdisciplinary perspective, papers of the following topics are invited:

  • Thematic contributions from all areas of material culture, including reports of new archaeological finds;
  • Methodological reflections on the interpretation of the active role of material culture;
  • Innovative practices articulating exegesis and material culture, seeking a new equilibrium between these fields;
  • Reflections on the role of material culture in the shift form “Biblical world(s)” to “Southern Levant”.