Steven Ortiz is the director of the Tandy Institute for Archaeology at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he is also an associate professor of archaeology and Biblical backgrounds. He was instrumental in establishing a new academic program in Archaeology and Biblical Studies where SWBTS currently has over 20 M.A. and Ph.D. students in archaeology. He is the principal investigator and co-director, along with Sam Wolff, of the Tel Gezer Excavation Project. He received his doctorate from the University of Arizona where he studied under William Dever. He received an M.A. in near Eastern Archaeology from the University of Arizona, an M.A. in Bible History from Jerusalem University College, and a B.A. in Anthropology and Sociology from California State University, Los Angeles. He has over 25 years of archaeological experience in Israel as he has been a senior staff member at Tel Zeitah, Ekron, Jerusalem-Ketef Hinnom, Tell el-Hamma, and Lachish. Ortiz’s research and publications focus on the archaeology of David and Solomon, Iron Age I and II transition, and the border relations between Judah and Philistia.
Bible & Archaeology Fest XIV, November 18-20, 2011
Gezer-Gateway to Jerusalem: The Search for the City of Solomon
Tel Gezer sits at an important crossroads, guarding the pass from the coast up to Jerusalem. Throughout history this has been a site of major battles from the second millennium B.C. up to the modern period. Gezer has become infamous with the reference to Solomon rebuilding Gezer along with Hazor and Megiddo (1 Kings 9:15) and receiving this city as a dowry upon his marriage to Pharaoh's daughter. Recent trends in Biblical archaeology have questioned the historicity of the United Monarchy as reflected in the Biblical text and a polemical debate has developed. A recent archaeological project headed by Steven Ortiz and Sam Wolff under the sponsorship of the Tandy Institute for Archaeology at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary is investigating the history of Gezer in light of these recent developments. This presentation will provide an overview of the results of the past five seasons of excavations.