Yifat Thareani - Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion
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Yifat Thareani, Ph.D.

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Contact Information



Nelson Glueck School of Biblical Archaeology, Jerusalem
Administration Department: 
Academic Field: 
Bible and Cognate Studies; History
Research Interests: 
Ancient empires; anthropology; biblical archaeology; ethnicity

Dr. Thareani is currently a research archaeologist at the Nelson Glueck School of Biblical Archaeology at HUC-JIR's Taube Family Campus in Jerusalem and a graduate post-doctoral student at the École Pratique des Hautes Études (EPHE), Paris (research topic: Between Israel, Aram and Assyria: Tel Dan at the Iron Age II) and at the Leon-Recanati Institute for Maritime Studies, University of Haifa (research topic: The Empire and the Sea: The Case of the Assyrians and the Mediterranean). She completed her BA, MA and PhD in Archaeology at Tel-Aviv University (dissertation title: Towns in the Desert: Geographical, Economic and Sociopolitical Perspectives written under the direction of Prof. Israel Finkelstein and Prof. Nadav Naʼaman). Parallel to her doctoral studies she directed and executed the research and final publication of the archaeological site of Tel ʻAroer. This research resulted in a two-volume publication (Thareani 2011): Tel ʻAroer in the Negev: The Iron Age II Caravan Town and the Hellenistic-Early Roman Settlement. Over the past few years Thareani worked as a co-director at the Tel Dan excavations in the Hula Valley, together with Dr. David Ilan. Following the completion of the final publication of Tel ʻAroer, she was entrusted with the study and publication of the Iron II findings (first half of the first millennium BCE) from more than 50 years of excavation at Tel Dan. Exploration of imperial strategies in frontier zones led Dr. Thareani to initiate and execute a new archaeological mission at Tel Achziv with French co-directors (Dr. Philippe Abrahami of Lyon 2 University and Dr. Michael Jasmin).

Selected Publications and Edited Works


2011 Tel ‘Aroer: An Iron Age II Caravan Town and a Hellenistic and Early Roman Settlement in the Negev. Avraham Biran (1975-1982) and Rudolph Cohen (1975-1976) Excavations. (Annual of the Nelson Glueck School of Biblical Archaeology No. VIII). Jerusalem

Refereed Articles

The Empire in the Marshlands: In Search of the Structure of Assyrian Rule in the Hula Valley. Eretz-Israel 33: 141-152 (Hebrew, English Summary)

2018 Revenge of the Conquered: Paths of Resistance in the Assyrian City of Dan. Semitica 60: 473-492.

Imperializing the Province: A Residence of a Neo-Assyrian City Governor at Tel Dan. Levant 48: 254-283.

2016 (with M. Jasmin and P. Abrahami). A Rare Discovery at Tel Achziv. A Phoenician Clay Mask Mold from the Ninth Century B.C.E. Near Eastern Archaeology 79: 276-279

2016 The Empire and the ʽUpper Seaʼ: Assyrian Control Strategies along the Southern Levantine Coast. Bulletin of the American School of Oriental Research 375: 77-102 

2016 (with M. Jasmin and P. Abrahami). Rapport préliminaire sur les deux premières campagnes de fouilles à Tel Achziv (2014-2015 – Israël). Bulletin du Centre de recherche français à Jérusalem

2014 “The Self-Destruction of Diversity”: A Tale of the Last Days in Judah’s Negev Towns. Antiguo Oriente 12: 185-224

The Spirit of Clay: ʽEdomite Potteryʼ and Social Awareness in the Late Iron Age. Bulletin of the American School of Oriental Research 359: 35-55

2009 In the Service of the Empire: Local Elites and “Pax-Assyriaca” in the Negev. Eretz-Israel 29: 184-191 (Hebrew, English Summary)

2007 The “Archaeology of the Days of Manasseh” Reconsidered in Light of the Evidence from the Beersheba Valley. Palestine Exploration Quarterly 139: 69-77

2007 Ancient Caravanserai: An Archaeological View from ‘Aroer. Levant 39: 123-141

(with N. Na’aman). Dating the Appearance of Imitations of Assyrian Ware in Southern Palestine. Tel Aviv 33: 61-82

Chapters in Books

The Archaeological Character of an Imperial Frontier:
Assyrian Control Policy in the Hula Valley. In: Masetti-Rouault, M.G. and Rouault, O. (eds.). Archaeology and History of Empires: Models, Projects and Works in Progress in Northern Mesopotamia. New programs in Iraqi Kurdistan. (Etudes Mésopotamiennes – Mesopotamian Studies). Paris: 304-329. 

Empires and Allies: A longue durée View from the Negev Desert Frontier. In: Lipschits, O., Gadot, Y. and Adams, M.J. (eds.). Rethinking Israel: Studies in the History and Archaeology of Ancient Israel in Honor of Israel Finkelstein. Winona Lake: 409-428.

2015 Forces of Decline and Regeneration: A Socio-economic Account of the Iron Age II Negev Desert. In: Ben Zvi, E., Knoppers, G. and Miller, M. (eds.). The Economy of Ancient Judah in its Historical Context. Winona Lake: 207-236


The Judean Desert Frontier in the Seventh Century BCE: 
A View from ‘Aroer. In: Tebes, J. M. (ed.). Unearthing the Wilderness: Studies on the History and Archaeology of the Negev and Edom in the Iron Age. )Ancient Near Eastern Studies Supplement 45). Leuven: 227-266

2010 (with E. A. Knauf, A. Lemaire, E. Lipinski, E. van der Steen, A. Valdez and P. van der Veen). Arabian Trade in the Iron Age. In: Augusto, J., Davies, P. and Valdez, A. (eds.). From Antiquity to the Present. The 2008 European Association of Biblical Studies Lisbon Meeting. Lisbon: 39-54

2008 Desert Outsiders: Extra-Mural Neighborhoods in the Iron Age Negev. In: Fantalkin, A. and Yasur Landau, A. (eds.). Bene-Israel. Studies in the Archaeology of Israel and the Levant during the Bronze and Iron Ages in Honour of Israel Finkelstein. Leiden and Boston: 197-212

Current and Future Courses
The Geography, Chronology and Selected Polemics of Biblical History
Public Lecture Topics
Ancient imperial control strategies
Archaeology and history of the kingdoms of Israel and Judah
Aramaeans and Phoenicians
ancient multi-cultural societies
desert town