Online ‘Office Hours’ on Archaeology in the Holy Land Sept. 1

In a live webcast Thursday at noon, professors Carol and Eric Meyers will respond to viewer questions about the charged combinatio

Professors Eric (right) and Carol (left) Meyers examine pottery shards | Photo from David Hendin's Sepphoris 2011 Excavation Blog
Professors Eric (right) and Carol (left) Meyers examine pottery shards | Photo from David Hendin's Sepphoris 2011 Excavation Blog

For more than three decades professors Carol and Eric Meyers have been leading and participating in archaeological digs near the Sea of Galilee in Israel. The husband-and-wife team has unearthed objects from the Bronze Age to the time of Jesus, including a tiled mosaic dubbed the "Mona Lisa of the Middle East."

During a live, interactive "Office Hours" webcast Thursday, Sept. 1, at noon Eastern Time on the Duke Ustream channel, the Meyerses will answer your questions about their archaeological work, Jewish history and controversies surrounding artifacts linked to biblical history.

To ask the Meyerses a question -- in advance or during the show -- send an email to live@duke.edu, tweet with the tag #dukelive or post to the Duke University Facebook page. 

Ariel view of the Sepphoris site
An ariel view of the Sepphoris archaeological site. Photo: BiblePlaces.com

The Meyerses have weighed in on media reports on the life of Moses, the City of David and a supposed burial container for Jesus' brother. People Magazine once playfully compared them to the "Raiders of the Lost Ark" characters Indiana Jones and Marion Ravenwood.

The two are editors of the forthcoming book, "Archaeology, Bible, Politics and the Media," in which they write:

"Archaeological discoveries relating to biblical narratives have been covered in newspaper and magazine articles, online reports and forums, radio broadcasts, and television news and documentaries. Yet the academic world, it seems, is not well prepared to respond to public discussions in their field that draw so much attention."

This summer, they worked again on an ongoing excavation of the ancient city of Sepphoris. They have led educational tours of the Holy Land and are teaching a course this spring that will include a class trip to Israel over Christmas break.

Carol Meyers is the Mary Grace Wilson Professor of Religion at Duke and director of undergraduate studies for the department of religion. She has written extensively on the lives of women in ancient Israel in "Discovering Eve" and "Women in Scripture." 

Eric Meyers is the Bernice and Morton Lerner Professor of Judaic Studies at Duke and director of the university's Center for Jewish Studies. Among his publications are two Anchor Bible commentaries on the Hebrew Bible, written with Carol, and the edited volume, "Oxford Encyclopedia of Archaeology in the Near East."

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Duke's weekly "Office Hours" webcast series aims to bring the insights of Duke faculty members to anyone with an Internet connection and an interest in ideas emerging on campus and around the world. Topics have included brain-machine interfaces, the power of retail brands, the legacy of Michael Jackson and the ecology of Antarctica. 

Find a schedule of upcoming broadcasts, as well as archives of previous conversations, on the Office Hours website.