Course Descriptions

Master of Arts in Archaeology and Biblical Studies Course Descriptions PDF

Below is the entry from Southwestern's Online Academic Catalog on the course listings for a concentration in Biblical Archaeology:

Archaeology and Archaeological Method

3000s Archaeology

ARCHE 3003 Archaeology of the Ancient Near East
A survey of the historical, cultural, and archaeological evidence of the rise and development of the major cultures of the Ancient Near East from the Neolithic through the Persian Periods. Emphasis is placed upon the impact of these cultures on the pre-history and history of Israel. Focus is placed on Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia.

ARCHE 3103 (3104) Archaeology of Ancient Israel
A study of archaeological finds from the Levant which aid in the interpretation of the Old Testament in areas such as history, social contexts, religion, and material culture. Focus of the study is on the Bronze and Iron Ages (Patriarchal through early Post-Exilic). 

ARCHE 3203 (3204) Archaeology of the New Testament World
A study of archaeological finds from ancient Palestine and the larger Mediterranean basin which aid in the interpretation of the New Testament in areas such as history, social contexts, religion, and material culture. Focus of this course is on the Late Hellenistic through Early Roman periods.

ARCHE 3303 (3304) Archaeology and History of the Early Church
An introduction to the archaeology of the early church. Emphasis will be placed on Byzantine art, archeology, and architecture, especially within the Levant and North Africa.

ARCHE 3993 (3994) Special Topics in Archaeology
A topic based on contemporary archaeological and historical issues of the intersection between archaeology and biblical studies will be explored. Prerequisites may be required depending on topic.

4000s Field Excavation and Practicum

ARCHE 4203 Archaeological Field Excavation Methods
An on-site excavation or site survey in the Bible lands to provide field experience in current scientific archaeological methods. The course will include lectures on archaeological methods and theory, visits to sites of importance for biblical archaeology, field excavation, and a related research project.

ARCHE 4303 (4304) Advanced Archaeological Field Excavation Methods
This course is designed for students with previous archaeological field experience, and is taken in conjunction with a field staff position of a major archaeological excavation where the position involves the supervision of students and field responsibilities. Prerequisite ARCHE 4203.

ARCHE 4403 Archaeological Practicum-Material Studies
An introduction to methods for preparation and preservation of archaeological finds: conservation, cleaning, cataloguing, and classification. This will include analysis of lithics, ceramics, faunal and floral remains, metals, and glass.

ARCHE 4503 (4504) Advanced Archaeological Practicum
This course is designed for students with previous archaeological field experience and museum studies, and is taken in conjunction with a field staff position of a major archaeological excavation or working as an assistant curator in the Charles D. Tandy Museum. Prerequisite ARCHE 4403.

ARCHE 5103 (5104) Archaeological Method and Theory
An introduction to the methodological and theoretical issues involved in the interpretation of the archaeological record. A survey of various approaches and paradigms to archaeological interpretation are examined.

ARCHE 5203 (5204) Ceramic Analysis-Syro-Palestine
An introduction to principles of ceramic analysis--especially theoretical and methodological approaches to the use of ceramics in the interpretation and reconstruction of history. Emphasis will be placed on the classification and identification of pottery from the Levant from the Neolithic to the Byzantine Period, and the Bronze and Iron Age pottery of ancient Israel. Prerequisite ARCHE 3103.

ARCHE 5993 (5994) Special Topics in Archaeological Method and Theory
A topic based on a specific contemporary methodological and theoretical issue focusing on the interpretation of the archaeological record and current paradigms in archaeological theory. Prerequisites may be required depending on topic.

Biblical Backgrounds and History 

3000s General Backgrounds & History

BBHST 3313 Backgrounds to the Life and Times of Jesus
A study of the geography, history, and archaeology of the biblical world intended to provide a cultural and chronological framework of the life and times of Jesus Christ. Emphasis is placed on the background data that is crucial for proper hermeneutics – especially of the gospels. 

BBHST 3323 Biblical Backgrounds in the Bible Lands (formerly BIBCK 4443)
A study of biblical history, geography, and archaeology while touring the Bible lands. On-site study of key places and countries of the Bible.

BBHST 3333 Historical Geography of the Land of the Bible (formerly BIBCK 3313)
A study of the geography, history, and archaeology of the biblical world intended to provide a cultural and chronological framework for further study of both the Old and New Testaments. This course also introduces students to the discipline and issues of historical geography.

BBHST 3413 History of Ancient Israel
An introduction to the history of Israel in the patriarchal, pre-monarchial, monarchial, and post-monarchial periods. This course is a survey of the Old Testament from a historical framework. Students will be required to read through the Old Testament and interpret the text in light of its historical development.

BBHST 3423 History, Archaeology, and Geography of Ancient Israel
This course will acquaint students with the history and geography of ancient Israel and early Judaism as it is known from biblical texts, ancient historical sources, and archaeological finds. This will be accomplished through a study tours throughout the land of ancient Israel. 

BBHST 3433 History of the Ancient Near East
An introduction to the cultural and political history of the Ancient Near East, especially Egypt and Mesopotamia, with an emphasis on the intersection with biblical history.  

BBHST 3443 History of the Second Temple Period
A study of the historical, cultural, and religious development of the Jewish people in the land of the Bible during the Hellenistic and early Roman Periods, and the institutions and culture that influenced and shaped early Judaism and Christianity. 

BBHST 3503 (3504) Qumran and the Dead Sea Scrolls (formerly BIBCK 4413 The Dead Sea Scrolls)
A study of the archaeological excavations at Qumran and other sites in the Dead Sea region and the recovery of biblical and extra-biblical manuscripts and documents. The course will include a survey of the religious practices and communal life of the Qumran community and the environment that produced it. 

BBHST 3993 (3994) Special Topics in History and Biblical Backgrounds
A topic based on contemporary issues of the intersection between history and biblical studies will be explored. Prerequisites may be required depending on topic. 

4000s Anthropology

BBHST 4103 (4104) Social and Cultural Settings of Ancient Palestine
An investigation of various aspects of life in ancient times (society, social and personal identity, forms of subsistence, economy, art forms, religious expression and the like) to help understand biblical life and customs of the Old Testament more accurately. Students will be exposed to the various methods and issues of anthropological research related to the Old Testament. Prerequisite OLDTS 3313 or equivalent.

BBHST 4203 (4204) Social and Cultural Settings of Palestine during the Roman Period
The purpose of this course is to involve the student in an extensive anthropological approach to the study of daily life in the first century. Topics focus on the social, political, religious, and economic backgrounds that serve as aids for understanding the message of the New Testament. Prerequisite NEWTS 3313 or equivalent.

 

Biblical and Cognate Languages

ANELG 5023 (5024) Aramaic
An examination of the fundamentals of biblical Aramaic including vocabulary, pronunciation, grammar, and syntax for the purpose of translating and interpreting the Aramaic portions of the Old Testament. Prerequisite HEBRW 4313 & 4323.

ANELG 5033 (5034) Ugaritic
An examination of fundamentals of the Ugaritic language. The importance and influence of Ugaritic on Old Testament studies will be illustrated. Prerequisite HEBRW 4313 & 4323.

ANELG 5053 (5054) West Semitic Inscriptions
This course introduces the student to the extant literature of the Northwest Semitic language family (Hebrew, Ugaritic, Phoenician, Aramaic, Syriac, Moabite, Ammonite, and Edomite). The study includes a comparative analysis of Northwest Semitic grammar, syntax, and other linguistic issues. The student is exposed to the discipline of epigraphy. Prerequisite HEBRW 4313 & 4323. 

HEBRW 5043 (5044) The Texts of Qumran
Introduction to the historical and archaeological background and translation of selected texts from Qumran. The course focuses particularly on the contributions of the Qumran discoveries to the study of the Biblical text in the areas of translation, textual transmission, scribal practice, orthography and canon, with special emphasis on the relevance of the scrolls for text criticism. Prerequisite: HEBRW 4313.

Archaeology Thesis and Research

MAABS 5001 Thesis Research
Students begin thesis research and complete a thesis prospectus under faculty supervision. 

MAABS 5003 Thesis
Students write a thesis on the basis of an approved prospectus under faculty supervision.