The Biblical Archaeology Society is pleased to announce that the joint winners of the 2009 Hershel Shanks Prize are Uzi Leibner of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Gregg Gardner of Harvard University. The $10,000 prize was split between the two winners.
The Hershel Shanks Prize, supported by a contribution from Sami Rohr of Bal Harbour, Florida, was awarded for the best academic paper(s) on the Archaeology of Late Antique Judaism and the Talmudic Period presented at the 2008 Annual Meeting of the American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR).
Uzi Leibner’s paper was titled “The Galilean Synagogue of Khirbet Wadi Hamam” and dealt with the issue of dating the so-called “Galilean Synagogues” and the implications for Galilean Jewry in Late Antiquity.
Gregg Gardner’s paper, titled “Light to the Nations: The Menorah and the Candlestick Lamps in Byzantine Christian-Jewish Discourse,” discussed how the Byzantine Christian practice of inscribing their candlestick lamps with a menorah represented their efforts “to lay claim to both the triumph of Rome and the glory of Solomon.” Gardner earned a Ph.D. in religion at Princeton and is currently a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard’s Center for Jewish Studies.