< Back to Scholars

Beth Alpert Nakhai

Beth Alpert Nakhai
Beth Alpert Nakhai is an Associate Professor in the Arizona Center for Judaic Studies and an affiliated member of the School of Middle Eastern and North African Studies at The University of Arizona in Tucson. She teaches courses in archaeology, Hebrew Bible, Near Eastern history and the lives of women in ancient Israel. She received her M.T.S. from Harvard Divinity School, and her M.A. and Ph.D. from The University of Arizona. Her publications focus on the lives of women in antiquity, and on Canaanite and Israelite religion and culture. Her books include Archeology and the Religions of Canaan and Israel and two edited volumes, The Near East in the Southwest: Essays in Honor of William G. Dever and The World of Women in the Ancient and Classical Near East. In addition, she lectures widely and is the author of numerous articles. She co-directed the Tell el-Wawiyat (Israel) Excavation Project. Professor Nakhai also serves on the Board of Directors of the American Schools of Oriental Research as well as on the editorial boards of several professional journals. She chairs a session on gender for the annual meeting of the American Schools of Oriental Research and on religion for the Society of Biblical Literature.

Presenter at

  • Bible & Archaeology Fest XVI, November 22 - 24, 2013
    Daily Life in Biblical Israel
    Even with its focus on matters of religion, the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament offers us glimpses into the everyday lives of ancient Israelites. We read about shepherds and farmers, weavers and potters, builders and bakers, all working in the stunning landscape of the Promised Land. Archaeology, too, gives us insights into daily life in the Iron Age and these are essential for “fleshing out” the Biblical stories. In this presentation, we will look at “Daily Life in Biblical Israel” and in doing so, gain important information about the real life of the people who are at the heart of the Bible.
  • Bible & Archaeology Fest XV, November 16-18, 2012
    Everyday Religion: How Ancient Israelites Really Worshipped
    The Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) is a top-down text—and a rather idealized one, at that. It tells us how Israel’s elite worshipped—or at least offers an idealized vision of how they should have worshipped. But, one wonders, what about the common people? What did they believe? How did they practice their religion? Where did they go to celebrate community festivals and more personal joys and sorrows? The Bible contains tantalizing clues, but it is archaeological evidence that truly helps us understand these ancient people, whose lives comprised the heart and soul of the Israelite experience.
  • Bible & Archaeology Fest XIV, November 18-20, 2011
    Rethinking Israelite Women: What Does Archaeology Teach Us?
    The Hebrew Bible is filled with stories about women, but no single story provides a complete picture of women’s lives, nor is any Biblical woman meant to be typical of all Israelite women. Archaeology provides an alternate resource—one that allows us to go beyond the Bible and examine day-to-day life in Iron Age Israel. It brings us into villages and homes, and shows us the dishes and tools, shrines and figurines, workplaces and tombs—all evidence of the sphere of the daily life. This presentation uses archaeological resources to explore the lives of Israelite women, helping us place to the Biblical narratives into their ancient setting.

Selected Articles by Beth Alpert Nakhai

The Religions of Ancient Israel: A Synthesis of Parallactic Approaches
Reviewed by Beth Alpert Nakhai
BR 19:01, Feb 2003

Selected Books by Beth Alpert Nakhai