EAJS Conference Grant Programme 2016/17
‘Letters in the Dust’ – The Epigraphy, Archaeology and Conservation of Medieval Jewish Cemeteries
Department of History and Art History, Utrecht University, Netherlands, 7 – 8 November 2016
Organisers: Leonard V. Rutgers and Ortal-Paz Saar
The idea for this workshop stemmed from research conducted by Ortal-Paz Saar on Jewish medieval funerary inscription from Southern Italy, as part of a larger project initiated and directed by Leonard V. Rutgers, and titled ‘Reconfiguring Diaspora: The Transformation of the Jewish Diaspora in Antiquity’. This work led us to realise that only little is known of the connection between the epigraphy and archaeology of Jewish cemeteries. Consequently, we sought to find a way for bringing together scholars from both these fields, in order to assemble a platform for interdisciplinary discussion. The European Association of Jewish Studies Grant Programme constituted an excellent opportunity for convening such a platform.
The workshop, titled “Letters in the Dust”, included thirteen speakers from nine different countries, whose papers covered an equally impressive scope, from the medieval Jewish cemetery in York, England to that in Jām, Afghanistan. In addition to reuniting two academic disciplines that, for a variety of reasons, are mostly studied as separate fields, we also sought to discuss with the participants a digital humanities initiative focusing on Jewish funerary culture throughout the ages. This initiative (on which see further below, ‘Future Collaborations’) aims to create a web portal titled PEACE: Portal of Epigraphy, Archaeology, Conservation and Education on Jewish Funerary Culture. The plan for the PEACE portal was delineated at the conclusion of the workshop, and we are currently paving the ground for its concrete implementation.
We envisaged the workshop as a round-table event in which the participants would truly be able to interact with one another, engage in insightful discussions and speak their minds openly (which, given the sensitivity of funerary archaeology, is not always simple). Now, three weeks after the event, we are proud to say these goals have been fully achieved.
Medieval Jewish cemeteries have received scholarly attention as early as the sixteenth century, when their inscribed tombstones, whose original context was often lost or unrecorded, were included into the work of Hebraists. Later, the nineteenth and especially the twentieth century saw the publication of Jewish epigraphic corpora, usually grouped by geographical criteria, in which these epitaphs received a more systematic treatment. Concomitantly, studies were and are being conducted also on the archaeological front, with the excavation of Jewish medieval cemeteries across Europe. These two lines of research, however, do not intersect easily. Much of the epigraphic evidence has long been decontextualized. Jewish medieval gravestones have been uprooted and reused as building material for centuries, sometimes shortly after being erected as ‘eternal’ memorials. Fortunately, many of them survive in non-original locations, and their inscriptions, still visible, can be read and studied. On the other hand, archaeological exploration of medieval Jewish cemeteries is usually the result of salvage excavations. For understandable religious sensitivities, excavations are not conducted in burial grounds whose headstones are still in situ, such as the famous Worms cemetery, with epitaphs dating to the eleventh century. The consequence of this gap is that data is being analysed separately, as two distinct sets: textual or material. That scholars on both sides of this divide have not typically engaged with each other´s records systematically is a missed opportunity. After all, the materials that were the focus of our workshop relate to, and are often the only evidence we have, of one of the great transformations in Jewish history—one whereby the often fully-integrated Jewish communities of the Roman-period Diaspora transformed into socially much more segregated rabbinic communities of the Middle Ages.
By bringing together various sorts of experts in this area from all over Europe we did not merely want to discuss past results and current problems. We specifically also wanted to develop a roadmap for future work and collaboration. To this end, this workshop brought together scholars with expertise in medieval epigraphy, funerary archaeology, digital humanities, and conservation and heritage management, thus assembling a platform for interdisciplinary discussion. The variety in disciplines and research foci was complemented by the wide distribution of the speakers’ institutional affiliation, ranging from Eastern European countries like the Czech Republic, through Western European ones (England, France, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands and Spain) and Canada. The topics considered combined questions from all fields, aiming to integrate the data resulting from epigraphical studies with data derived from archaeological surveys and excavations, with the aim of addressing the following questions:
Similarity and variance
1) What similarities and variations may be noted in medieval Jewish funerary practices and inscriptions along chronological and geographical axes, and why? A preliminary analysis of the data indicates that such a comparative approach provides us with a strong analytical tool to contextualize the various medieval European Jewish communities historically and culturally.
2) When examined synchronically, how does the archaeological and epigraphic evidence compare with that derived from non-Jewish sources? Are medieval Jewish cemeteries more ‘Jewish’ or more ‘local’, be that English, Spanish or Bohemian?
Matters of life and death
Many epitaphs mention the age of deceased person, and some even refer to the cause of death, particularly if the circumstances were violent. Similarly, the analysis of funerary remains often allows reconstructing the sex, age and causes of death. What information may be glimpsed from the two types of data concerning life expectancy, death causes and community size? How do these data-sets relate to one another and what patterns may be glimpsed from them?
The focus of the workshop was exploring the records jointly, and finding new ways of engaging with, and combining, the epigraphic and archaeological data with an eye to using them for the writing and rewriting of medieval Jewish history, while investigating avenues for future collaboration in conservation and heritage management. At the conclusion of the workshop we drafted a plan for constructing a portal of Jewish funerary culture that will unite corpora across Europe into a digital database. This initiative (preliminarily named PEACE: Portal of Epigraphy, Archaeology, Conservation and Education on Medieval Jewish Cemeteries) will involve the international cooperation of some or all the scholars present at the workshop. We also developed concrete plans for future pan-European collaboration in this area, to be developed within the framework of opportunities offered by the H2020 in the area of cultural heritage projects.
The event began with introductory remarks by the workshop organizer, Leonard V. Rutgers (Utrecht University), detailing the plan of the following two days and the visit to the Jewish cemetery in Ouderkerk aan de Amstel.
The first paper was presented by Ortal-Paz Saar (Utrecht University), the co-organizer of the workshop. In it, Ortal-Paz presented ‘The PEACE Portal Initiative: Background and Foundations’, referring to a new digital humanities initiative emerging in Utrecht. PEACE stands for ‘Portal of Epigraphy, Archaeology, Conservation and Education on Jewish Funerary Culture’, and it aims to bring together data from a variety of sources and websites, organized in a uniform way. Each participating website will maintain its own independent form, yet its data will be searchable according to uniform parameters. PEACE will not only link to existing digital resources, such as the Epidat database of Jewish epitaphs established by the Steinheim Institute in Germany, but it will also seeks to fully digitize numerous other resources on Jewish funerary culture (epigraphic corpora, archaeological field reports) that are currently available only in print form. Similar academic portals are available, e.g., for Jewish manuscripts, including the Cairo Genizah. Ortal-Paz stressed that it is an ambitious enterprise, but one which is bound to revolutionize the methodologies for researching funerary culture throughout history.
This presentation was directly followed by Leonard V. Rutgers’ paper, which proceeded to discuss ‘The PEACE Portal Initiative: The Future’, Leonard began by stressing the importance of a digital survey in the field of Jewish funerary culture, employing examples from the history of Italian Jews, particularly from the catacombs in Rome. When dealing with large amounts of data, statistical tools provide numerous benefits, a fact which Leonard demonstrated by comparing information on median age at death derived from Roman inscriptions with that supplied by present-day UN Life Tables. With the help of newly available digital tools, scholars may employ sophisticated statistical analyses that will shed new light on many academic queries, such as the integration of the Jewish population into a specific geographical location at a given time (i.e. by looking at differences between Jews and non-Jews), diasporic identity, migration patterns, onomastics, commemorative norms and semiotics, to name but a few.
The Q&A session was a joint one, covering the first two papers simultaneously. Most participants liked the idea of a central hub dedicated to Jewish funerary culture, and so their questions centred on the technical aspects of the portal and the scholarly opportunities it can convey. Others expressed reservations as to the academic credibility of large data analysis, e.g., whether the easily searchable format would not lead to data being decontextualized from a wider historical background. Some of the technical points were addressed by a person in the audience, Martijn van der Klis from the Utrecht University Digital Humanities Lab, who has been involved with the PEACE portal initiative since its start, whereas the historical qualms were confronted by Leonard and Ortal-Paz. The conclusion was that any limitations that may accompany research into large amounts of data are greatly outnumbered by the scholarly advantages provided by the portal. These continually surfaced throughout the following papers, and as the workshop proceeded the participants began to understand more and more the underlying rationale and applicability of the portal to their own research.
The next paper, by Jane McComish (York Archaeological Trust), was titled ‘A Comparison of Medieval Christian and Jewish Burial Practices in York, England’. For personal reasons, Jane could not travel to Utrecht, but she was very kind and offered to prepare a pre-recorded, full-scale paper, accompanied by a PowerPoint presentation. This proved to be a success, and the other speakers listened with great interest to Jane’s paper, in which she presented data from five medieval Christian cemeteries, associated with the churches of St Helen-on-the-Walls, St Andrew Fishergate, St Benet Swinegate, All Saints Peasholme and St Stephen Fishergate, as well as one Jewish cemetery, located in Jewbury. The images accompanying the paper demonstrated beautifully the great differences between the contemporaneous burial styles of the two religious groups. One major difference related to disturbing previous burials: while in the Christian cemeteries it was very common to find older inhumations being upset, with the bones moved to one side, great care was taken in the Jewish cemetery to prevent intercut burials. This difference obviously reflects the eschatological beliefs of each group at a particular time. Jane was kindly available for a Q&A session conducted via Skype, in which she discussed additional facts about the 482 burials at Jewbury, e.g., the possibility that some of the external burials may have been those of suicides or criminals, the traumas inflicted to some of the interred individuals and the historical situation these might reflect, and the fact that stable isotope analysis was not yet available at the time of the Jewbury excavation, thus precluding additional information about the lives of the men, women and children resting there.
The discussion moved from medieval England to Spain, with Arturo Ruiz Taboada (Complutense University, Madrid), who delivered a fascinating presentation titled ‘The Contemporary Interpretation of the Medieval Jewish Cemetery in Toledo: The Archaeology of a Forgotten Place’. It seems that despite the richly documented Jewish presence in the Iberian Peninsula, the cemeteries of these communities are less than thoroughly researched. Arturo focused on one excavation conducted in the north of the Toledo, in Cerro de la Horca. The place exemplifies the decontextualization of the stone grave markers, with their detailed epigraphic data, from the archaeological record. Stressing that often, these two sets of data are studied by scholars in unrelated approaches, Arturo proceeded to point out some connecting elements, for instance, the fact tombs of the half-barrel vault type (lucillo) were related in shape to the trapezoidal grave markers laid above them. It seems that many similarities could be observed in Toledo among burials of the three major co-existing religions, but also idiosyncrasies of the Jewish material, such as the surprising depth of the burial pits, reaching 2.5 meters (98,4 inches). The Q&A focused on the interreligious connections, e.g. an 11th century stone pole with an Arabic inscription that was reused by Jews in the 12th century as a grave marker bearing a Hebrew text, and whether the similarity in burial practices between Jews, Christians and Muslims could be indicative of the level of integration.
The third paper was a highly interesting overview of excavation data from the entire continent. Philippe Blanchard (Institut national de recherches archéologiques préventives–INRAP; UMR 5199 PACEA) spoke about ‘Places of Burial and Funeral Rituals from Medieval Jewish Communities in Europe: Comparison of Archaeological Data’. His intention is to employ archaeological, textual and iconographic sources in order to create a synthesis providing recognition tools for archaeologists, consequently enabling them to identify a medieval Jewish cemetery as such. Philippe showed the distribution of Jewish cemeteries excavated up to now throughout Europe, and placed a special focus on a few of them (Chateauroux, Ennezat). While this is still a work in progress, his survey demonstrated that despite regional and chronological differences, there were definitely specific Jewish characteristics that all these burial places had in common. In the Q&A session Philippe added details about specific features noted in some excavations, e.g. body orientation and distribution according to age or gender.
In the fourth paper, Max Polonovski (General Curator of Jewish Heritage for the French Ministry of Culture) discussed the sensitive and much debated topic of ‘Archaeology and Jewish Cemeteries: Political and Religious Issues’. Capturing a thread that ran through the preceding papers, Max spoke of the legal background of funerary archaeology (including modern aspects), and of the different ways in which legal provisions are exercised in different European countries, mentioning, e.g., the Geneva Convention rules on the respectful treatment of human remains. Additionally, the paper highlighted cases in which archaeological excavations of Jewish cemeteries have been halted following protest demonstrations from ultra-orthodox Jews, often coming from countries other than the one in which the cemetery was found. The ensuing discussion disclosed a dual attitude: frustration at the seemingly relentless attitude of some religious people, who wish to abolish any excavation or invasive research into Jewish burial grounds, and understanding (at least from some participants) of these people’s motives. One of the suggestions was that through education, the importance of respectful and careful research should be made evident to both the local, non-Jewish communities, and, if possible, to the leaders of the Jewish religious groups.
The second day of the workshop began with a session wholly settled in the Italian peninsula. The first paper, by Antonio Enrico Felle (Dipartimento di Studi Umanistici, Università degli Studi di Bari ‘Aldo Moro’), treated the fascinating topic of ‘Religious Identity in the Funerary Inscriptions by Jews (and Christians) between the 3rd and 9th centuries CE – Rome and Southern Italy’. Antonio began with an overarching survey of Jewish funerary inscriptions, from the earliest examples in the catacombs, where the text was inscribed in Greek or Latin, to the later, medieval tombstones from Southern Italy, displaying for the most part a Hebrew text. He identified a set of parameters (textual and iconographic) that identify an inscription as belonging to a Jew, and proceeded to discuss specific funerary inscriptions. Next, Antonio touched upon the theme of self-identity and how the social and political relations between different religious groups were reflected in this notion.
The following presentation, by Nicolo’ Bucaria (Independent scholar, Luxemburg), related to the many ‘Jewish Vestiges in Sicily’. Nicolo’ began his paper by focusing on the early forms of interment, in which Jews seemingly reused ‘pagan’ burial caves found on the island. The same caves have been subsequently used by shepherds as animal shelter, and, devoid of their contents, can still be visited today. Next, Nicolo’ moved to the medieval Jewish funerary inscriptions, most of which were inscribed on a very fragile type of material, shell rock. Many of these inscriptions are subjected to weather damage, since they lay exposed in some cases. The second part of the presentation no longer focused on cemeteries, but on the Jewish presence in Sicily as a whole, with colourful vestiges from the religious and everyday life, richly illustrated.
This session concluded with a thorough and thought-provoking paper by Linda Safran (Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, Toronto), titled ‘Remembering the Jewish Dead in Medieval Apulia (and Basilicata)’. Starting from a geographical survey of known Jewish burial grounds, some of which have not been excavated, or their precise location in relation to the city limits remains unknown, Linda moved to specific interesting cases, e.g., the Jewish cemetery in Bari that contained double-tombs (an infrequent occurrence), or the medieval cemetery in Trani that has been passed over to Dominican monks. Next, she demonstrated beautifully the local fashions in Jewish funerary culture, showing that each city had its own preferences of inscription style, formulae, and that even the stone size appears to vary between Apulia and Basilicata. The discussion moved to specific case studies, such as a decoration of upturned menorahs on one of the tombstones. Linda’s PowerPoint presentation comprised quite a few statistical graphs, showing the distribution of factors such as age, gender, chronological notation style and iconography across the different geographical locations and over time. The Q&As touched upon specific questions that Linda had raised in her paper, for instance the meaning of some decorations, or a comparison of early medieval inscriptions from Italy with later medieval ones from France.
The workshop continued in the afternoon session, with a presentation by Michaela Selmi Wallisowà (The Czech Society of Archaeology) on ‘The Jewish Settlement and Cemeteries in Mediaeval Prague’. In it, Michaela described the excavation she conducted in what is probably one of the largest Jewish burial grounds to be explored archaeologically, comprising over 400 graves (some of which were left unexcavated). The cemetery, which has been in use for over two centuries (1254–1478), displayed some typical Jewish features, such as a consistent orientation of the graves, the absence of intercut burials, and the absence of grave goods, but also some special features, for instance, slate plaques lined about one fourth of the excavated burials. Also of special interest was a group of human and animal remains buried together, and displaying burning marks. Michaela suggested that those could be the remains of an entire household who died in a fire. The graves probably had markers made of perishable materials, and/or most of the stone markers have been lost, since only a small fragment of a stone inscribed with Hebrew letters has been found. The Q&A session touched upon some of the artefacts uncovered in the excavation (including some textile fragments), as well as a comparison of the Prague cemetery to those found in other places in Europe. Once again, the discussion emphasised the vast amount of information about Jewish life that could be extracted from research of Jewish death.
The second paper in the session was by Michael Brocke (Salomon L. Steinheim-Institut für deutsch-jüdische Geschichte an der Universität Duisburg-Essen), who focused on the sad but fascinating topic of ‘Medieval Martyrdom Remembered and Reflected in Cemeteries and Spolia’. His paper discussed the presence of Hebrew expressions reflecting a martyr’s death, that is, by reason of a person’s Jewish faith, someone who died ‘al yihud / al qiddush Ha-Shem’, or who was described as a ‘qadosh/a’. Geographically, the paper concentrated on the celebrated Jewish communities of ShUM (Speyer, Worms, and Mainz): in Worms alone there are thirty inscriptions referring to martyrdom, mainly from the 13th century. Little is known of these individuals, other than the brief details inscribed on their tombstones, or on those of their descendants. In fact, a particularly captivating item presented by Michael did not pertain directly to the world of Jewish cemeteries, but was a document signed by a group of men, each of whom identified himself as ‘X son of the martyr Y’. The style of writing, sometimes abbreviated, makes it clear that this was the manner in which these men always signed their names, and it was not a one-time occurrence, indicating that, throughout their lives, they regarded themselves as children of people who died for their Jewish faith. Michael’s paper generated numerous questions, and an engaging discussion of Judaism, Crusaders, interfaith relations and unnatural causes of death ensued.
Sonia Fellous (Centre national de la recherche scientifique – CNRS; University of Paris 1 -Sorbonne) followed with an interesting paper on ‘Jewish Names and French Medieval Jewish Cemeteries’. The French epitaphs, ca. 300 in number, have been collected and edited a few decades ago by Gerard Nahon, and they still need to be subjected to analytical surveys. The information they provide is particularly remarkable, since it can be crossed with data from other sources, as Sonia proceeded to explained in detail. For example, municipal records reveal anecdotal information, such as the fact that one of the Jewish cemeteries of Paris was guarded by a Christian man named ‘Henri le serjant’. One can also compare the onomastic information on funerary inscriptions with that from tax rolls, indicating that sometimes, a Jewish person would also bear a non-Jewish name, which was to be used for everyday contact with the Christian authorities. Sonia provided a very useful table summarising the male and female names found in the French medieval cemeteries. While the former were usually biblical (Solomon, Judah), the female names sometimes sounded local, i.e. French (Belle, Floriah), however, it seems that these names were not used by the Christian contemporaries, reflecting an exclusive local preference of Jewish women.
The last paper was by Erica Hunter (SOAS University of London), and it was the only one to leave the European territory for a visit to medieval Asia. In ‘Men Only. The Medieval Cemetery at Jam, Afghanistan’, Erica recounted the story of the discovery and identification of a Jewish burial ground that contained over seventy inscribed stones. Their language is Hebrew, or a combination of Hebrew and Judaeo-Persian. The dated ones stretch over a period of two centuries, displaying dates between 1012 and 1220. Interestingly, all the preserved inscriptions belong to men, a fact that generated a rich discussion during the Q&A session. Some participants suggested that the Jewish men had been work immigrants, who had married local, non-Jewish women, and hence their wives were not buried next to them according to Jewish burial rites. Others proposed that women had more modest grave markers, made of perishable materials such as wood, and hence these have not been preserved. Another suggestion was that women were not supposed to be named, as a result of a practice common both in the Jewish and Islamic worlds, relating to modesty. In any event, the cemetery at Jam and its underlying mystery provided a captivating conclusion to the workshop papers.
The evening was brought to a close with a discussion of avenues for future collaboration, presided by Leonard Rutgers. By this point, the workshop demonstrated the myriad ways in which a main digital resource like the PEACE portal could benefit any scholar working on Jewish funerary culture. We were happy to see the enthusiastic responses from all the participants, who agreed to collaborate on this initiative, and even offered further thoughts on the best ways of implementing it. See further below, ‘Future collaborations’.
Summary of Discussions
The main idea underlying ‘Letters in the Dust’ was to provide a platform for discussion between epigraphists and archaeologists engaged with medieval Jewish funerary culture, with additional insights related to cultural heritage preservation. The Q&A sessions following each of the thirteen papers showed the necessity and importance of such a platform. On numerous occasions, the participants exclaimed ‘I did not know you had this phenomenon/ formula/ design as early/ as late as that!’ or ‘We have a similar occurrence in our French/ German/ Italian material!’, and, in some cases, ‘This is so much different than what I have in my files!’ Interestingly, this academic cross-pollination occurred not only between the two scholarly disciplines represented in the workshop, but also amongst each discipline.
Two principal threads emerged from ‘Letters in the Dust’:
- Despite the wide chronological and geographical spectrum represented in the workshop, it became clear that a distinct Jewish funerary culture existed in the Middle Ages. This culture was palpably different than those of non-Jewish contemporaries, be they Christians or Muslims. Its idiosyncrasies went beyond evident identity markers such as menorah designs, Biblical names or the use of Hebrew in the epitaphs. They were reflected also in the ‘silent’ data: cemetery location and structure, methods of interment, and, very conspicuously, in the care taken not to disturb the dead.
- The further the discussion advanced, participants commenced to fully grasp the importance of having the data of their colleagues available not only as print publications, but in a searchable form, which would allow them to compare archaeological features, epigraphical formulae, and iconographic designs across time and space.
Consequently, the workshop clearly indicated the need of a multi-disciplinary approach to the study of funerary culture (Jewish and non-Jewish), during the medieval period (and throughout history). Despite the fact that often, the tombstones and the graves they had once marked became irretrievably separated, we, as scholars, should do our best to reunite them, by piecing together epigraphic and archaeological data. Hence, the platform initiated in Utrecht is bound to extend beyond this first meeting, ensuring that these ‘Letters in the Dust’—be they epigraphic or archaeological—can still be read.
Workshop outputs and further collaborations
The first output generated by ‘Letters in the Dust’ is the workshop website, https://diaspora.sites.uu.nl/workshop/ , which includes, in addition to the list of speakers with affiliations, full paper abstracts accompanied by images or maps, as well as five PowerPoint presentations. More of the latter will be uploaded as they become available.
The second output consists in the publication of the workshop proceedings as a volume edited by the two organizers. The academic publishing house Peeters (Leuven) has provided a provisional editorial agreement. All speakers will contribute their papers to the volume.
As mentioned above, the workshop generated a great amount of interest in the digital humanities initiative of the PEACE portal. All the participants expressed their agreement to collaborate on the portal, the precise ways for implementing such collaborations remaining to be established. In some cases the avenues for collaboration are easy to define, for instance with Michael Brocke of the Steinheim Institute in Germany, who is willing to incorporate his database of 34,000 Jewish epitaphs into the PEACE portal; or with Sonia Fellous of the University of Paris 1–Sorbonne, who agrees to share the digitized and updated version of all the medieval Jewish inscriptions from France (currently they are only available as a print volume from 1986). The archaeologists, and particularly Philippe Blanchard, who is preparing an overview of all the excavations of Jewish cemeteries in Europe, are also willing to collaborate, yet the shape of the archaeological section of the PEACE portal is still a work in progress, and hence more effort is required to find the best way of incorporating their data in a uniform searchable format. Additionally, the portal will include a heritage management section that will also comprise educational tools available to the wide public, such as virtual exhibitions.
In addition to the above, ‘Letters in the Dust’ demonstrated the need for a thorough discussion on the cultural heritage aspects of Jewish funerary culture, beyond the medieval limits considered during the workshop. Consequently, Leonard V. Rutgers and Ortal-Paz Saar are currently planning a second international workshop, to be held at Utrecht University in early June 2017. The workshop, titled ‘All that Remains: Conservation and Education on Jewish Funerary Culture’, will serve as a round-table platform for exploring the following themes:
- Ongoing challenges: political and religious sensitivities, urban development, concrete conservation aspects.
- Newly available conservation avenues: 3D documentation and digital methods allowing the reconstruction of epitaphs or whole burial grounds.
- Genealogical projects merging data from funerary inscriptions with municipal or legal records, virtually recreating lost Jewish communities throughout Europe.
- funerary culture as an essential component of cultural heritage
- dialogues with religious authorities and policy makers
- the role of museology, including virtual exhibitions, in preserving cultural heritage of a funerary nature
We hope that this second workshop will follow in the steps of ‘Letters in the Dust’, and, bringing together a dedicated international group of academics and cultural heritage experts, it will advance the study and preservation of Jewish funerary culture.
‘Letters in the Dust’: Workshop Program
Day 1, Monday, November 7, 2016
09:30 Welcome and introductory remarks
09:45 Ortal-Paz Saar (Utrecht University)
‘The PEACE Portal Initiative: Background and Foundations’
10:15 Leonard V. Rutgers (Utrecht University)
‘The PEACE Portal Initiative: The Future’
11:30 Jane McComish (York Archaeological Trust)
‘A Comparison of Medieval Christian and Jewish Burial Practices in York, England’
14:00 Arturo Ruiz Taboada (Complutense University, Madrid)
‘The Contemporary Interpretation of the Medieval Jewish Cemetery in Toledo: The Archaeology of a Forgotten Place’
15:00 Philippe Blanchard (Institut national de recherches archéologiques préventives–INRAP; UMR 5199 PACEA)
‘Places of Burial and Funeral Rituals from Medieval Jewish Communities in Europe: Comparison of Archaeological Data’
16:00 Max Polonovski (General Curator of Jewish Heritage for the French Ministry of Culture)
‘Archaeology and Jewish Cemeteries: Political and Religious Issues’
Day 2, Tuesday, November 8, 2016
09:00 Antonio Enrico Felle (Dipartimento di Studi Umanistici, Università degli Studi di Bari ‘Aldo Moro’)
‘Religious Identity in the Funerary Inscriptions by Jews (and Christians) between the 3rd and 9th centuries CE – Rome and Southern Italy’
10:00 Nicolo’ Bucaria (Independent scholar, Luxemburg)
‘Jewish Vestiges in Sicily’
11:00 Linda Safran (Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, Toronto)
‘Remembering the Jewish Dead in Medieval Apulia (and Basilicata)’
13:00 Michaela Selmi Wallisowà (The Czech Society of Archaeology)
‘The Jewish Settlement and Cemeteries in Mediaeval Prague’
14:00 Michael Brocke (Salomon L. Steinheim-Institut für deutsch-jüdische Geschichte an der Universität Duisburg-Essen)
‘Medieval Martyrdom Remembered and Reflected in Cemeteries and Spolia’
15:00 Sonia Fellous (Centre national de la recherche scientifique – CNRS; University of Paris 1 -Sorbonne)
‘Jewish Names and French Medieval Jewish Cemeteries’
16:00 Erica Hunter (SOAS University of London)
‘Men Only. The Medieval Cemetery at Jam, Afghanistan’
17:00 Workshop conclusion and avenues for future collaboration
Day 3, Wednesday, November 9, 2016
09:15 Organized tour to the Beth Haim Jewish Cemetery in Ouderkerk aan de Amstel.