Team 1. Society and Religion in the Ancient Near East

About   |   Members

ABOUT
Changes in biblical texts and traditions never took place in a socioreligious vacuum. To understand them, it is necessary to explore the cultural, religious, and demographic developments in the Near Eastern world preceding and accompanying the emergence of biblical texts and traditions. Team 1 contextualizes these changes by focusing on nonbiblical sources, that is, archaeological records and ancient Near Eastern texts. It investigates (1) changes in religious concepts and practices, for instance, the nature of ancient Near Eastern prophecy and its textualization and literarization in Judah; (2) continuity and change in the settlement patterns, material culture, and religion in Galilee in Iron Age, relying mainly on archaeological sources; and (3) changes in demographic conditions as well as the social location and identity of ethnic minorities, for instance, the Judeans in Babylonia and other ethnic groups in the multicultural setting of Mesopotamian empires.

MEMBERS

Team Leader
Martti Nissinen Martti Nissinen, Professor in Old Testament Studies, Director of the Centre of Excellence
martti.nissinen@helsinki.fi

Project: Prophecy in the Ancient Eastern Mediterranean,
Gender and Religion in the Ancient Eastern Mediterranean, Westerners in Assyria
Expertise: Galilee in the Iron Age, Prophecy in Ancient Eastern Mediterranean, Gender Issues in the Ancient World
Profiles: University of Helsinki
Interviews: (1) Tutkimustyöhön intohimoa ja yhdessä temekisen meininkiä: Haastattelussa Martti Nissinen | (2) Research through passion and collaboration: An interview with Martti Nissinen

Researchers
Izaak de Hulster, Senior member; Vice-Team Leader
izaak.dehulster@helsinki.fi

Project: Images of the Sacred Bridge. Two case studies in comparative iconography: the Aram—Israel border zone and the iconography of Yehud
Expertise: Iconographic exegesis, aniconism, figurines, Achaemenid period, Aram-Israel border zone (Iron Age), metaphor, translation, angels, ANE cosmography (incl. mountains and islands), (biblical) hermeneutics, Israelite religion, (early) monotheism(s), weather deities, Gospel of John
Profiles: University of Helsinki

Raz Kletter Raz Kletter, Senior Member
raz.kletter@helsinki.fi 

Project: Weights, Economy, History of Archaeology, Archaeology and Politics, Figurines, Cult
Expertise: Archaeology of Ancient Near East
Profiles: University of Helsinki   |   Academia.edu

mattila-r

Raija Mattila, Senior Member
raija.mattila@fime.fi

Project: Egyptians in Assyria,
Change and continuity in the administration of the Neo-Assyrian Empire,
Eponyms of the Neo-Assyrian Empire
Expertise: Assyriology
Profiles: University of Helsinki

Helen Dixon, Post-Doctoral Researcher
helen.dixon@helsinki.fi

Project: Rethinking Levantine Phoenicia in the Neo-Babylonian Period
Expertise: Iron Age Phoenicia, Levantine Archaeology, Mortuary Ritual
Profiles: University of Helsinki

Self_Portrait_Ito Sanae Ito, Post-Doctoral Researcher
Sophia University, Tokyo
sanae-ito@sophia.ac.jp

Project: Scribes and Scribal Cultures in the Assyrian, Babylonian, and Persian Empires
Expertise: Assyriology
Profiles: University of Helsinki

Jason Silverman Jason Silverman, Post-Doctoral Researcher
jason.silverman@helsinki.fi

Project: The King’s Acolytes: Early Achaemenid Ideology and Yehud Temple Building
Expertise: Iranian influence on STJ, Apocalypses, Prophecy, media theory, sociology of religion
Profiles: University of Helsinki   |   Academia.edu

Saana Svärd Saana Svärd, Post-Doctoral Researcher
saana.svard@helsinki.fi 

Project: Construction of gender in Mesopotamia from 934 to 330 BCE
Expertise: Assyriology
Profile: University of Helsinki

Kirsi Valkama Kirsi Valkama, Post-Doctoral Researcher
kirsi.valkama@helsinki.fi

Project: Ground Stone Objects from Tel Kinrot     
Expertise:
Profiles: University of Helsinki

Tuula Tynjä Tuula Tynjä, Post-Doctoral Researcher
tuula.tynja@helsinki.fi

Project: From the Field to the Publication: the Retrieval and Presentation of Pottery – a case from Early Iron Age Tel Kinrot, Israel
Expertise: Early Iron Age Pottery in Israel, Archaeological Fieldwork and Artifact Study
Profiles: University of Helsinki

Joanna Töyräänvuori Joanna Töyräänvuori, Post-Doctoral Researcher
joanna.toyraanvuori@helsinki.fi

Project: The vestiges of the political mythologies of ancient Semitic kingdoms in the Hebrew Bible
Expertise: Ugarit, Baal Cycle, Ancient languages, Bronze Age, Chaoskampf
Profiles: University of Helsinki   |   Academia.edu

Tero Alstola Tero Alstola, Doctoral Student
tero.alstola@helsinki.fi

Project: Foreign Minorities in Babylonia in the Seventh-Fifth Centuries BCE
Expertise: Assyriology, Social and economic history, Exile, Migration, Neo-Babylonian period
Profiles: University of Helsinki   |   Academia.edu
Interview: Maahanmuutosta maahanmuuttajan näkökulmasta: Haastattelussa Tero Alstola

Katri Saarelainen Katri Saarelainen, Doctoral Student
katri.saarelainen@helsinki.fi

Project: Society and Religion in the Ancient Near East Galilee in the Iron Age: Archaeology, Texts and History
Expertise: Figurines, Iron Age, Israel/Palestine
Profiles: University of Helsinki   |   Academia.edu

Sanna Saari Sanna Saari, Doctoral Student
sanna.saari@helsinki.fi

Project: The Image of a Lion: A Literary-Iconographic Approach to Hebrew Bible Narratives
Expertise: Iconographic exegesis, literary studies, narratives, lion imagery, ancient images
Profiles: University of Helsinki

Emilia Tapiola Emilia Tapiola, Doctoral Student
emilia.tapiola@helsinki.fi

Project: The Late Bronze Age Urban Culture in the Early Iron Age Northern Israel
Expertise:
Profiles: University of Helsinki

 

The Academy of Finland's Centre of Excellence, Faculty of Theology, University of Helsinki