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Junior Chronoi Talk: “Israel and Egypt during the Persian Period: Archaeological, Iconographic, and Epigraphic Sources from Israel/Palestine” (Hybrid)

Jonathan Jakob Böhm

January 11, 2024

3 - 4 pm (CET)

Jonathan Jakob Böhm

While cultural contacts between Israel and Egypt during the Late Bronze and Iron Ages are well researched, there are no comprehensive studies for the period from the 6th to the 4th century B.C.E. However, current research offers three possible perspectives on the issue: (1) Numerous works show that the cultural influence of Egypt on the southern Levant, after great intensity in the Bronze Age, decreased steadily during the Iron Age. Nevertheless, under the pharaohs of the 26th dynasty (7th/6th century), a minor revival of Egypt in the Levant – both politically and in the material culture – can be observed. (2) The Achaemenid penetration of the ancient Near East in the form of communication networks and administrative systems generally promoted cultural exchange within the Achaemenid Empire. Regions grew together, distances could be overcome more easily, and trade flourished, resulting in increasing processes of transculturation. (3) The findings from Elephantine Island are regarded as a test case in this context. For here not only the presence of Yahweh worshippers in Egypt is documented, but also the exchange with the respective cult centers in the Palestinian hill country.

The implications are obvious: At first glance, it seems evident that the increased cultural importance that Egypt regained for the Levant during the 26th Dynasty continued into the Persian period, especially since both were part of the same imperial structure for the better part of the Persian period. In my presentation, I will critically review these implications on the basis of archaeological, iconographic and epigraphic evidence from different regions with Israel/Palestine. In doing so, a much more nuanced picture of cultural interconnections between Egypt and the southern Levant from the 6th–4th century will emerge.

Participants can join the online Chronoi Talk by clicking on the following link:

The conference room can be accessed using the following methods:

  • Joining directly in your browser; simply click the link above, and look for a button with this option near the bottom of the webpage.

  • Downloading the program to your computer (instructions can be found by following the meeting link)

  • Using the smartphone app called “Cisco Webex Meetings."

You are welcome to enter the online conference room up to 15 minutes in advance of the start time.

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