Noted archaeologist to discuss Jezreel expedition

Norma Franklin has taught Vanderbilt archaeological students

Norma Franklin Vanderbilt Divinity
Norma Franklin

Norma Franklin, a noted field archaeologist who recently launched the Jezreel Expedition in what was an ancient Israelite city and fortress, will lecture Nov. 5 at Centennial Park.

Franklin’s talk, “Jezreel: The View from Jezebel’s Window,” will begin at 7 p.m. in the Parthenon.

The Book of Kings in the Hebrew Bible tells a dramatic story about Jezreel. It pits the prophet Elijah against King Ahab of Israel and his wife Jezebel for acquiring a coveted vineyard by plotting the murder of its owner, Naboth. In addition, King Jehu brings retribution in Jezreel by killing Jezebel and 60 sons of Ahab.

Excavations at Jezreel are now being aided by airborne laser technology to enhance understanding of the site and its surroundings. Franklin, a founding member of Tel Aviv University’s Megiddo Expedition, will provide perspective on Jezreel’s importance by highlighting the key economic and military roles that it played not just during the biblical period but also in more recent times.

[rquote]”Dr. Franklin made enormous contributions to the excavation of Megiddo, and she is now bringing her considerable skills to the dig at the famous site of Jezreel,”[/rquote] said Douglas A. Knight, the Drucilla Moore Buffington Professor of Hebrew Bible and professor of Jewish Studies at Vanderbilt. “Her lecture will be fascinating and inspiring.”

Franklin, who has taught field techniques to many Vanderbilt archaeological students, is a frequent lecturer at archaeological and biblical conferences. She has appeared in numerous documentaries for the History Channel, National Geographic and the BBC. She is co-directing the Jezreel Expedition with University of Evansville Professor Jennie Ebeling.

Franklin’s lecture, which is free and open to the public, is co-sponsored by Vanderbilt University’s Jewish Studies Program, Divinity School, departments of Anthropology, Classical Studies, History of Art (Goldberg Lecture Series) and Religious Studies, as well as the Nashville Society of the Archaeological Institute of America.

For more information, email Knight at or call 615- 322-2776.