College of Arts and Sciences

Ancient Studies

2010 Ancient Studies Conference

Jerusalem in Babylonia: New Discoveries from the Exilic Period
Saint Joseph’s University
March 21-22, 2010

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This conference takes a special look at a collection of documents from Mesopotamia that has recently come to light. Scholars have dubbed these documents the “Al-Yahudu texts,” since many of them were written at a place by that name. The name “Al-Yahudu” means “city of the Judeans” or perhaps just “city of Judah.” One cannot help but ask the question: what was the “city of Judah” doing in Mesopotamia?

Six leading scholars on the study of ancient Israel and Mesopotamia will give presentations on these documents and on the exilic and post-exilic periods (the sixth and fifth centuries BCE) from which they come. Among those presenting are the two scholars (Dr. Laurie Pearce and Dr. Cornelia Wunsch) who are currently working on the decipherment and publication of the majority of these texts. The discovery of this cache of documents is an amazing find that promises to shed new light on the Hebrew Bible, on Mesopotamian history, and on early Jewish history.

The conference is free and open to the public. Registration is not required. If possible, though, we would like to know if you plan to attend. Please use the Registration link at the left or send a brief e-mail message to Dr. Bruce Wells (, director of SJU's Ancient Studies Program.

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