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Joseph Rife to Examine Caesarea Maritima and Excavations in September 27 AIA Lecture

Posted by on Friday, September 21, 2018 in Events, HART, Lectures, News, Vanderbilt University, VRC.

caesareamaritimaJoseph Rife, associate professor and director, Classical and Mediterranean Studies, will deliver the Archaeological Institute of America Lecture on Thursday, September 27, at 6 pm in Cohen Hall 203 on the Peabody campus. In his lecture, entitled “A City by the Sea: Caesarea Maritima in Israel and the New Vanderbilt Excavations,” Rife will explore the site’s historical development and modern exploration, highlighting the results of the first season of excavation in 2018 by the new Vanderbilt University campaign to uncover the heart of the Roman and Medieval city.

From the earliest years of the Roman Empire through the fall of the Crusader Kingdom in the Holy Land, Caesarea Maritima was a thriving hub of wealth and power. One of the largest ports on the eastern Mediterranean seaboard alongside Alexandria to the south and Antioch to the north, Caesarea was a booming harbor that received frequent traffic from throughout the Mediterranean world. Caesarea also emerged as a pivotal locale for the assertion and contestation of authority by the Abrahamic religions both new and old.

It is therefore not surprising that Caesarea is one of the richest archaeological sites along the eastern Mediterranean seaboard and one of the most popular tourist destinations in Israel. In short, the archaeological site offers a field laboratory of unparalleled abundance, complexity, and preservation for studying the evolution of a Mediterranean community during Antiquity and the Middle Ages.

Free and open to the public, the lecture is cosponsored by the Archaeological Institute of America, the Program in Classical and Mediterranean Studies, and the Department of History of Art. Parking is available, free of charge, anywhere in Lot 95 on the western edge of Peabody campus, accessible from 21st Avenue South.

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