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2008.10.17 > For Immediate Release
contact: Wendy Townley - University Relations
phone: 402.554.2762 - email: wtownley@unomaha.edu

Biblical Archaeology Conference Nov. 13-15 at UNO

Omaha - Scholars from around the world will present the latest research on excavations at Bethsaida, an ancient city located near the north coast of the Sea of Galilee in Israel, next month at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO).

The 10th annual Batchelder Biblical Archaeology Conference is Nov. 13-15 at the Thompson Alumni Center on the UNO campus. Biblical scholars from the U.S. and around the world will host presentations about their research.

Simcha Jacobovici is one of two keynote speakers and will present “The Making of the Naked Archaeologist and the Popular Media.” Jacobovici is a filmmaker and director of two James Cameron films: “The Lost Tomb of Jesus” and “The Exodus Decoded.” Jacobovici is an award-winning, controversial documentary film director and producer.

An Israeli-born Canadian, Jacobovici holds a B.A. in Philosophy from McGill University and an M.A. in International Relations from the University of Toronto. He currently hosts the “The Naked Archaeologist” on VisionTV in Canada and The History Channel International in the U.S.

The other keynote presenter is Dr. Dan Bahat. Dr. Bahat will host the first public screening of the documentary “The Coffin of Herod the Great Discovered,” which will debut in December on the National Geographic Channel. After earning his Ph.D. in medieval history from Hebrew University, Dr. Bahat served as a Research Fellow at the Albright Institute in Jerusalem, received several prestigious awards and addressed Pope John Paul II on the topic of Jerusalem archaeology.

Dr. Bahat served the Israel Antiquities Authority as the Chief Archaeologist of Jerusalem for 35 years, then as a scholar at Bar-Ilan University, and is currently affiliated with the University of Toronto.

The daytime presentations are free and open to the public. The evening keynote events featuring Jacobovici and Dr. Bahat costs $10 each. Students who present a student I.D. can attend the keynote addresses for free.

In 1991, the Consortium of the Bethsaida Excavations Project (CBEP) was formed and has been housed at UNO since its inception. Its mission is to excavate the ancient city of Bethsaida, research the data discernible from the remains and disseminate the conclusions to both academic and popular audiences.

To register or for more information and a complete schedule of events, contact Steve Reynolds, Bethsaida Excavations Project Coordinator, at streynolds@unomaha.edu or (402) 554-3108.

* *

UNO will celebrate its 100th anniversary beginning October 8, 2008. This celebration will recognize the partnership among the City of Omaha, its citizens and UNO to build a vibrant and dynamic community. The centennial theme is “UNO: Central To Our City Since 1908.” This theme acknowledges the past contributions of UNO to the community and sets the stage for great things to come.

UNO, inaugurated in 1968, emerged from the Municipal University of Omaha, established in 1931, which grew out of the University of Omaha founded in 1908. For Centennial information, go to http://www.unomaha.edu/100/.

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