The International Program at the ASOR Conference

Posted by on Jan 8, 2015

The International Program at the ASOR Conference

Each year around the third week in November the world of Near Eastern archaeology packs its bags and heads to a designated city in the United States to convene, present, consume, discuss, and celebrate research happening worldwide at the annual ASOR (The American Schools of Oriental Research) Conference. It is an international affair.

This year the ASOR conference was held in sunny San Diego, California, a desirable place to be in late November. Students from the international program, as well as professors and lecturers from the department, presented their research among a multitude of reserchers and preseneters from various universities worldwide.

The Hottest Topics

The conference consisted of nearly 100 sessions focused on a wide scope of topics: Archaeology of the Southern Levant, Seals and Seal Use in the Near East, Experiencing Mesopotamian Landscapes, Archaeologies of Cyprus, Jordan, Anatolia, GIS and Remote Sensing in Archaeology. The list goes on and on covering prehistoric to modern topics; early flint scatters to how we approach archaeological questions with recently developed technology.

Safeguarding the heritage of warring and politically tumultuous countries was a hot topic at this year’s event given the growing number of archaeological and cultural heritage sites being lost to political and religious conflicts around the world.

International MA students Vanessa Linares and Mark Cavanagh investigate drone technology at the UCSD/Qualcomm Institute reception. Photo credit: the ASOR Photo Gallery.


Academic Facets

The conference provided for my classmates and I the opportunity to be exposed  to the many facets of the academic world. Publishing houses displayed recent books; the scholars who wrote said book gave talks on their findings and interpretations; meetings between professionals and students provided sanctuaries for new ideas and projects – mingling and coffee drinking were no small matters here.

International MA Alumni, Zach Dunseth, questions the poster presenters. Photo credit: ASOR photo gallery.

This year’s conference also saw the inaugural meeting of the ASOR Junior Scholars Committee. The group is dedicated to the students and new professionals in academia, anyone who is not a tenured faculty member. It provides resources, discussion, and, most importantly, camaraderie for all those out there who are traversing the world of academia. And no one should have to do that alone!


Presenting at the ASOR conference 

As mentioned, this year, my cohort of international MA students and I traveled from Israel to the annual meeting to present our diverse set of thesis topics. Nine of us presented our original research, a particularly proud moment.

Interational MA student Vanessa Linares presents at the ASOR Conference. Photo courtesy of Sanna Miller.

The conference featured sessions on the recent excavations of the Lautenschläger Azekah Expedition and the Central Timna Valley project, two TAU run excavations, on which many of us, international students, work. It provided a great platform for us to present our research with the support of our advising professors and the excavation teams. The other half of us presented in sessions on the topics of the Levantine Early Bronze Age IV, Archaeology of the Natural Environment: Archaeobotany and Zooarchaeology in the Near East, and the Archaeology of the Near East: Bronze and Iron Ages.

International MA students Sabine Metzer watches as the head of our program, Prof. Oded Lipschits, introduces the Azekah excavation. Photo courtesy of Sanna Miller.

To learn more about the ASOR organization, publications and annual meeting, you can visit the ASOR website: 

To view a list of the session titles from the 2014 annual ASOR meeting: http://www.asor.org/am/2014/documents/am14-Program-at-a-glance.pdf

The ASOR Photo gallery and summary: http://www.asor.org/news/2014/12/am-summary.html

Introduction of the Junior Scholars Committee: http://www.asor.org/news/2014/04/jr-scholars.html


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