Saturday, November 18, 2006

From SBL Meetings: Saturday Afternoon

Okay, I'm on a brief coffee break from all the excitement. The day started out with room service at 6:30am---coffee and French Toast, which Catherine & I shared. Catherine was then off to hear Karen Armstrong speak to a huge crowd, while I went off to give my paper on death and afterlife in the Social Sciences Section on the Family in Ancient Israel (a joint session with ASOR). Attendance at my talk was pretty good for early Saturday morning, about 55 people all told. All of this was in the DC convention center: cc_dusk

I would say my talk received a very fine response. Lots of good questions and notes, not one negative critique. The two archaeologists on the panel, Drs. Holladay and Routledge, had some great notes to add about burials and tombs, and I'm going to be contacting them to get the exact references.

John Holladay's own talk had a lot to do with international trade and economics. Ever wonder from whence came the gold and silver that Judah had to hand over in tribute to empires like Assyria? Holladay thinks the gold and silver came in to Judah's possession as a 20% tax on caravan trade that passed through the country. In the eighth century, camel caravans from the Phoenician cities and from South Arabia passed through the country, in the latter case connecting Judah up with places as far afield as India and Africa. All very interesting, even if the 20% figure is perhaps too high.

Got to run. More soon...


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