31 March 2020 - 6 Nisan 5780 - ו' ניסן ה' אלפים תש"פ
Arab and Muslim students share archeology online E-mail

Israel has no diplomatic relations with most Arab and Muslim countries, but this minor detail didn’t stop students from Oman, Pakistan, Malaysia, Indonesia and the United Arab Emirates from signing up for an online course being offered by an Israeli university.

The eight-week course, “Biblical Archaeology: The Archaeology of Ancient Israel and Judah”, which ended in January, was taught by an Israeli professor from Israel’s Bar-Ilan University. It included short video lectures, virtual “handling” of archaeological finds and on-site discussions at archaeological locations.

More than 1,000 students learned about the complex relationship between archaeology, history and the Bible, how modern research can connect these often-conflicting sources, and how archaeology can be used to understand biblical texts – and vice versa.

Prof. Aren Maeir, the teacher of the English-language course, has directed excavations at Tel es-Safi/Gath, the biblical Gath of the Philistines and home of Goliath, for almost 30 years.

“The format of the course is very different from most standard teaching methods around the world. Today, courses such as this one demonstrate the reform that is taking place in teaching and in learning at universities in Israel and around the world,” he said.

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