Gefördert durch die Gerda Henkel Stiftung (https://www.gerda-henkel-stiftung.de)

Projektleitung/Project director

Professor Dr. Benedikt Hensel

University of Oldenburg 



Dr. Igor Kreimerman

Institute of Archaeology – Department of Archaeology and Ancient Near Eastern Studies, Hebrew University of Jerusalem/Israel


Dr. Erik Eynikel

University of Regensburg, Germany

Project office / Project coordinator

Maryam Matta – University of Oldenburg 



Resettlement of Ruins and Memories in the Making

A Case Study on Hazor and the Shaping of Early Israelite Identities during the Iron Age

Forschungsprojekt 2024-2027 im Förderschwerpunkt “Lost-Cities” der Gerda Henkel Stiftung



  • Prof. Dr. Benedikt Hensel - Chair of Hebrew Bible – University of Oldenburg/Germany


  • Dr. Erik Eynikel – Faculty of Catholic Theology – University of Regensburg/Germany
  • Dr. Igor Kreimerman – Department of Archaeology and Ancient Near Eastern Studies- The Hebrew University of Jerusalem/Israel

Project coordinator – Project office

Two Doctoral Students (Archeology and Hebrew Bible)

Staff members of the Hazor excavation project

The Task of the Project

Within this recent and crucial discussion, the “Resettlement of Ruins and Memories in the Making”-project strives to understand the resettlement processes of the lost city of Hazor in their interaction with the memory shaping and identity construction of the early origins of Israel and in its significant literary traditions, which later become the Hebrew Bible. This task will be met

  1. through the lens of the megapolis of Hazor, whose complex settlement history of de- and re-urbanization as one of the largest former megacities of the Southern Levant in antiquity covers the entire period targeted in this project.
  2. by bringing these detailed observations into a general and much needed overall picture of cultural and ethnic continuities, discontinuities, and LBA/Iron I-II transitions in the Southern Levant.

This task can only be met through the unique multidisciplinary approach chosen for this project, which will combine the perspectives from the disciplines of archaeology, social/cultural history, anthropology, and Hebrew Bible studies. The project has two primary objectives, leading to the two areas of research described in the following section:

  1. “Resettlement of Ruins and Remembering the Past” (Archaeology): Hazor presents a unique case of acknowledgement, treatment and manipulation of Bronze Age remains during the Iron Age. The project plans on advancing the identification of more cases of this kind through new excavations. Did the new settlers have prior knowledge of the destroyed buildings? Did they choose specific spaces to rebuild/leave in ruins? What can be said about the (cultural or ethnic) identity of these new settlers in Hazor?
  2. “Memories in the Making and the Origins of Israel” (Hebrew Bible Studies and Cultural History): The project pursues the task of a historical, literary-historical, and cultural historical reconstruction of the imagination of Hazor and the Canaanites within the biblical traditions and how these memories are linked to the transitional processes of the origins of Israel, or rather the “memories of Israel” as an early tribal culture.

Each area of research will by necessity be accompanied by the archaeological excavations at Hazor where the PI and the research team are involved.

Publications (TBA)

  1. Hensel, Benedikt/Kreimerman, Igor, Neue Ausgrabungen in der Megapolis Hazor: In die Siedlungsschichten des alten Israel hinabsteigen,” in: Welt und Umwelt der Bibel 1 (2024), 62-65.

16. November 2023

Internationales Forschungsprojekt am alttestamentlichen Lehrstuhl

Gerda Henkel Stiftung fördert Großprojekt zur Erinnerungskultur im antiken Orient und Identitätsbildungsprozessen im frühen Israel

Die Gerda Henkel Stiftung fördert das von Professor Dr. Benedikt Hensel geleitete Großprojekt „Resettlement of Ruins and Memories in the Making. A Case Study on Hazor and the Shaping of Early Israelite Identities during the Iron Age“. Das Projekt ist damit auch aufgenommen in den renommierten Förderschwerpunkt “Lost-Cities” der Stiftung, welcher schwerpunktmäßig die  Wahrnehmung von und Leben mit verlassenen Städten in den Kulturen der Welt erforscht.

Forschungsbeginn des auf zunächst drei Jahre ausgerichteten Projektes ist das Frühjahr 2024. Zwei im Rahmen der Förderung bewilligte Promotionsstipdendien werden das Projektteam um Hensel und seine Projektpartner Dr. Igor Kreimerman (The Hebrew Unviersity of Jerusalem) und Dr. Erik Eynikel (Universität Regensburg) unterstützen.

Zur Projektseite geht es hier entlang.


(Stand: 27.11.2023)  | 
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