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Many scholars agree on the odd symbols found over the years: they represent the human imprint left by Jewish Christians. But some others like Biblical minimalists question whether the unusual strokes of a seemingly Latin cross aren’t merely remnants from a painter cleaning his brush. Professor Strange will enlighten you with stories and images from many sites in and around Jerusalem, stressing the importance of archaeological methodology to come to a reasonable conclusion of what has been found.
Ancient Israel’s Exodus from Egypt, rather than being a single, momentous event that can be confirmed through archaeology, should be viewed as a deep-seated cultural memory that allowed disparate groups of highland villagers and escaped Canaanite slaves to coalesce into a single people. How this story arose and why the early Israelites adopted this memory are key questions, which find coherent answers in the relationship between Canaan and the Egyptian empire of the Late Bronze Age. By fusing historical and fictional memories, the story created the necessary social context for the birth of Israel as a people.