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David Schloen is Associate Professor of Syro-Palestinian Archaeology in the Oriental Institute and Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations. He specializes in the archaeology and history of the ancient Levant (Syria and Palestine) from ca. 3000 to 300 BCE.  Over the past two decades he has conducted archaeological excavations in both Israel and Turkey. In Israel, he has directed excavations at the Early Bronze Age site of Yaqush in the Jordan Valley, and from 1994 to 2002 he was the associate director of the Leon Levy Expedition to Ashkelon on the Mediterranean coast, for which he remains the co-editor and joint author of a series of excavation report volumes. Since 2006 he has been the director of the University of Chicago’s Neubauer Expedition to Zincirli (pronounced “Zin-jeer-lee”), a site in southern Turkey near the border with Syria, where he leads a large multinational team to excavate the Iron Age walled city of Sam’al (see As a historian of ancient culture, his longstanding ambition has been to understand the structure and operation of the small kingdoms that flourished in the eastern Mediterranean region during the Bronze and Iron Ages, and especially to explicate the interaction between day-to-day social practices and the shared metaphors and narratives that sustained, and were sustained by, those practices. His book on The House of the Father As Fact and Symbol (2001) focuses on the Bronze Age (3000 to 1200 BCE) and he is working on a companion volume that examines the transformations that occurred during the Iron Age (1200 to 500 BCE), when new political identities and economic structures emerged. Concerning ancient Israel, in particular, he is currently completing a book entitled The Bible and Archaeology: Exploring the History and Mythology of Ancient Israel (to be published by Yale University Press), which explains how ancient artifacts, inscriptions, and other archaeological discoveries shed light on biblical narratives.


Past Courses

JWSC 20001. Jewish History and Society I: Ancient Israel from the Iron Age to the Roman Era. Autumn 2007, Autumn 2008, Autumn 2012.

JWSC 20005. Jewish Thought and Literature II. Winter 2011, Winter 2014.

NEAA 20003/30003. Introduction to the Archaeology of the Ancient Levant (Syria-Palestine)

NEAA 20301. Art and Archaeology of the Near East: Syria and Palestine. Autumn 2001, Winter 2004, Autumn 2004, Spring 2007, Spring 2009, Winter 2014

NEAA 30050. Method and Theory in Near Eastern Archaeology. Winter 2009, Spring 2011.

NEAA 30321-30323. Syro-Palestinian Archaeology I, II, & III. Winter 2000, Winter 2002, Winter 2004, Spring 2007, Autumn 2007, Winter 2008, Winter 2011, Spring 2011.

NEAA 30331. Ancient Near Eastern Households, Kinship, and Demography. Spring 2008, Winter 2009

NEAA 30335. Problems in Syrian Archaeology. Taught with Tony Wilkinson. Spring 2002, Winter 2006

NEAA 30341. Syro-Palestinian Pottery. Autumn 2002, Spring 2006

NECV 212. Bronze Age/Eastern Mediterranean. Winter 2001

NECV 355-356. Ancient Israelite Religion I & II. Winter 2001, Spring 2001

NEHC 20003. History of the Ancient Near East III. Taught with Theo Van Den Hout. Spring 2002, Spring 2004

NEHC 30010. Social Theory and Ancient Near Eastern Studies. Winter 2006, Spring 2013