The Land of Israel/Palestine Through the Ages is a University of Michigan undergraduate course designed as a 21st century multi-dimensional learning environment. Unlike a typical classroom, where most of the information is provided by a professor via lecture, here learning happens in numerous places – at the Kelsey Museum of Archeology and in video clips that transport you to actual sites in Israel/Palestine, all with the assistance of maps, slides, literary texts, and archaeological and artistic artifacts. This website is the hub of this learning experience. Here you can get to the various components of the course and access the various materials that you’ll need. You can also use the Resources and Glossary section that will assist in your learning and provide venues for further exploration.
Our website is structured around the twenty-six “Sessions” of this semester-long class. Each session has a topic, which will be the focus of the corresponding meeting of the class. The schedule can be found on the syllabus. Each session combines all the material that you will need for each class. Some of the material you will need to prepare before class, and other material will help you after class, in preparation for quizzes and exams. The material in each session includes:
a. Reference to the page numbers in the course Textbook (Avi-Yonah).
b. Readings (numbered from 1-105 throughout the course).
c. Links to Video Clips.
d. Links to the Image Database that gathers all slides shown in class.
Preparation for Class
In preparation for each class you need to:
1. Read the assigned pages in the textbook.
2. Go over the Readings and prepare the Yellow Questions that follow.
3. Watch the Video Clip, if that particular session has one (there are 6 video-clips to watch throughout the course and assigned yellow questions that go with them).
You do not need to go over the slides in the Image Database prior to class.
Readings and Yellow Questions
A Reading item can be a map, an archaeological artifact, an artistic depiction (painting, drawing, etc.), or a text, either an ancient one written by the people who we are studying, or a modern scholarly article. Each reading is preceded by a short paragraph providing the necessary background and information you will need in order to understand the material in that reading. Read the introductory paragraph carefully. After reading the introductory paragraph, engage the reading item itself. At the end of the reading item, you will find a Yellow Question prompting you to think about what you have just read. Copy the yellow question in a Microsoft Word document (or another word processor of your choice), followed by your written answer. You will need to submit your answers in writing as your weekly assignment. There are no right or wrong answers in these assignments; rather they will be graded based on the quality of your thought process. Answers need not be long; one or two sentences usually suffice, and at times a short paragraph is necessary.
Printing Material for Discussions (PDFs)
At times, the professor (Eliav) or the GSI in section will ask you to bring a hard copy of some of the readings to class to facilitate in-depth reading and discussion. When needed, click the “PDF” link at the bottom of the reading item and print.
At certain points during the course you will embark on a virtual tour of a site in Israel/Palestine. These six virtual visits are an integral part of the learning experience, a way to more deeply immerse yourself in the places we are studying. Pay attention to the details and information provided by these clips, but even more importantly, take in the scenery and atmosphere of the sites. After watching each clip, answer the yellow question that follows it.
During each lecture, the professor (Eliav) will show a variety of slides related to the sites and the topic of that specific class. A link to the slides shown in each class is provided in the corresponding session materials. Those slides and the information associated with them are an integral part of the learning material for this course. There will be weekly quizzes on these slides and you will also be asked about them in the mid-term and final. To assist you in learning these slides, all of them are gathered in the course’s Image Database. Here, each slide is accompanied by a short paragraph explaining its content as well as a Google Map feature that will locate the content within its region. Also, specific terms and names associated with each slide are explained.
Resources and Glossary
These two parts of the website contain aids to further assist you in the learning process. Resources include maps and timelines, as well as additional links about archaeological sites in the region. The glossary provides short explanations and definitions for the many terms that you will encounter through the course.
The Kelsey Experience
One especially exciting component of the course is our collaboration with the University’s Kelsey Museum of Archaeology. Over the course of the semester, you will visit the museum and work with the ancient artifacts in the museum’s lab; then you will do further research and write short essays about those artifacts. More about this component of the course can be found on the Kelsey Experience site.