Skip to ContentSkip to Navigation
About us Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies Calendar

Ancient World Seminar: Bert Nijboer (RUG) – "King Hiram I of Tyre, the Tarshish fleet and the introduction of iron in the western Mediterranean during the 10th century BC"

When:Mo 21-11-2016 16:15 - 17:30
Where:Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies (Oude Boteringestraat 38), room 130
Click to view a larger version. Poster design by Caroline van Toor.
Click to view a larger version. Poster design by Caroline van Toor.

Recent excavations at Huelva (SW-Spain) and at Utica (Tunisia) indicate that Phoenicians crossed the whole Mediterranean from at least the 10th century BC onwards. At both settlements this 10th century BC date has been independently confirmed by radiocarbon research. This high chronology coincides with stories in the Bible. According to I Kings 10, 22 and II Chron. 9, 21, King Hiram I of Tyre and Solomon (both ca. 970/960 - 930 BC) built merchant ships called the 'Tarshish fleet', which sailed every three years and returned with precious cargo. So far, the excavations at Huelva (Tartessos) and Utica (in Phoenician meaning 'Old [town]' as opposed to Carthage meaning 'New town'), document the early Phoenician interest in travels to the far West but not the participation of Salomon. The 10th century BC date also coincides with the emergence of the Iron Age in Italy and the Iberian peninsula. At this stage iron was still a novel metal in the western Mediterranean while in the Near East it had become relatively common and lost already much of its value.

For almost 30 years, Dr. A.J. (Bert) Nijboer has been a lecturer at the Groningen Institute of Archaeology and the Coordinator of the Laboratory for Conservation and Material Studies (LCM). His interests range from conservation, artefact studies, trade, chronology and fieldwork within the archaeology of Italy (1200-400 BCE), to the orientalizing period of the Mediterranean in the Iron Age and medieval archaeology. Apart from publishing on these and related topics, he has participated in a number of excavations, among others in Lazio (Borgo le Ferriere/ancient Satricum, Nettuno, and Crustumerium), Francavilla Marittima (Calabria), and Kavousi (Crete).