Jezreel has a long and interesting history covering some 7,000 years. However, its fame is due to it being a key strategic site during the period of the Israelite monarchy, mentioned over 30 times in the Hebrew Bible. It comprises an upper site, Tel Jezreel, and a lower site, Tel Ein Jezreel, which overlooks the spring of Jezreel. Unfortunately, the excavations conducted from 1990 to 1996 only excavated part of the upper Tel, and didn’t examine the lower Tel or the surrounding area. So now, over twenty years later, Norma has returned to Jezreel to co-direct renewed excavations on behalf of the University of Haifa, together with co-director Jennie Ebeling on behalf of the University of Evansville. They were the first excavation team in Israel to use aerial LiDAR to map the site, and now following a survey season and 6 seasons of excavation Jezreel has began to reveal its secrets. The fascinating history and the archaeology of this famous site will be revealed in Norma’s lecture …… “A View from Jezebel’s Window”
Franklin studied archaeology at Tel Aviv University and received her PhD. from there in 2006. She has excavated at a number of sites in Israel but her interest has nearly always focused on the Northern Kingdom of Israel in the 9th and 8th c. BCE. In particular, the three great Biblical cities; Samaria, the capital of ancient Israel, Megiddo, a city famous for its “Stables,” Jezreel, the site of Naboth’s vineyard and the death of Queen Jezebel. She has researched and written extensively on all three sites, and physically excavated two of them.
In 1992 she was one of the founder members of Tel Aviv University’s Megiddo Expedition directed by Israel Finkelstein, David Ussishkin, and Baruch Halpern (and later Eric Cline). Over a period of 19 years she successively supervised the excavation of four areas on Tel Megiddo. In the summer of 2011 Norma turned her attention to Jezreel. In 1990, while a student at Tel Aviv University she had participated in the first excavations conducted there, now over twenty years later she returned, co-directing renewed excavations there, on behalf of the University of Haifa, together with co-director Jennie Ebeling of the University of Evansville.