Faculty Research Activities

Dennis Hickey Speaks in China

HickeyDuring the summer of 2006, Dr. Dennis Hickey (PLS) participated in two international conferences in China. The Association of Chinese Political Studies co-sponsored an international conference with The School of International Studies, Remin University of Beijing, China on June 9-11, 2006. The broad theme of the conference was "China in the 21st Century: Challenges and Opportunities." Topics covered by the papers presented at the meeting included international and domestic challenges and opportunities in Chinese domestic politics and foreign policy, China’s foreign relations, China’s reform and transition in political, economic, cultural, social, legal aspects of China, etc. Dr. Hickey presented a paper entitled, “A Shrimp Between Whales: The International System and Taiwan's Foreign Policy.” It focused on issues that concern the United States, China and Taiwan. Discussions were frank and far-reaching. During his stay in Beijing, Dr. Hickey also interviewed academics, government specialists and military officers from the National Defense University about China’s perceptions of Japan’s military buildup. After Beijing, Dr. Hickey moved on to Taiwan where he met with a wide variety of government officials, academics and scholars and delivered several lectures.

Excavation at Gezer (Israel)

Gezer2

“New Archaeological Excavations Reveal the Life of Ancient Gezer”

John T. Strong, Religious Studies

“In the days of King Pekah of Israel, King Tiglath-pileser of Assyria came and … carried the people captive to Assyria” (2 Kings 15:29).

Simple and sanitary to read, this brief notice takes on another depth of significance when one of the Assyrian king’s infantrymen’s sling stones that were hurled at the head of his Israelite opponent.

And it was just such a sling stone that I found in the dirt of Tel Gezer this past summer, and which was then marked, catalogued, and stored by the Israel Antiquities Authority. This June’s excavation opened a new archaeological project seeking to understand better this ancient administrative center. Gezer sits at the strategic intersection of the Coastal Plain and the Aiyalon Valley leading to Jerusalem. Occupation of Gezer began over 5,000 years ago and continued on with only brief breaks, caused by various destruction such as Tiglath-pileser’s of Assyria. Its importance is marked by its mention not only in the Biblical text, but also in the literature and palace reliefs of the Ancient Near East, such as the Amarna letters and Merneptah Stele (both from Egypt), and the palace walls of Khorsabad (northern Syria). Today Gezer’s importance is being announced, by Israel, which after the conclusion of this first excavation season, dedicated Tel Gezer as one of Israel’s National Parks, and by the United Nations, which has recognized Gezer as a World Heritage city.

Though Biblical and modern announcements underscore the importance of Gezer to the modern bystander, it is the sling stones, the grinding bowls, the broken city walls, and the layers of ashen destruction in the soil that bring life to the story of this ancient city. These material artifacts reveal the human experience of its citizen, who once were born and died, but hoped and loved in between, and all the while defended this ancient Israelite city as their home.

Dr. Strong hopes to be able to take students next summer to continue the excavation at the site of ancient Gezer.