IWU Chaplain Lectures in Memory of Archaeologist, Historian, and Professor Dan Urman

March 30, 2005

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. - In memory of Dan Urman, a historian of the Roman and Byzantine periods, a public lecture, Maccabeans, Nabateans, & Byzantines: Excavations at Tel Nessana, Northern Negev, Israel, will be presented on Thursday, March 31, at 3 p.m. at the Joyce Eichhorn Ames School of Art, Room 218 (6 Ames Plaza West, Bloomington).

Illinois Wesleyan University Chaplain and Professor of Humanities and Archaeology Dr. Dennis E. Groh will give the lecture, which is sponsored by the Illinois Wesleyan University Chaplain's Office, the Evelyn Chapel Advisory Board, and the Sociology/Anthropology Department.

At the time of his death on March 14, 2004, Urman was a senior lecturer in Jewish history at Ben-Gurion University in Israel. Urman had been the youngest person ever to be licensed for excavation by the State of Israel when he was issued a license to excavate for Crusader Period remains in Akko at age 16. He then went on to earn his bachelor's and master's degrees from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

Urman was the first to identify and excavate the Byzantine monastery at Kursi on the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee, the traditional site of Jesus' healing of the Gadarene demoniac. He also contributed important materials on the synagogue in Israel in a two-volume work which he co-edited, Ancient Synagogues: Historical Analysis & Archaeological Discovery, now considered a “standard” for synagogue research.

Groh worked with Urman for over a quarter of a century, both in Israel and the United States, and served as his consultant on ceramics for several years. Later, Groh became Urman's co-director for the Tel Nessana Archaeological Expedition of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.

Contact: Leslie Boelter (309) 556-3181