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LECTURE RE-SCHEDULED FROM 14TH DECEMBER 2017 TO 1ST FEBRUARY 2018: Armageddon and the Roman VIth Ferrata Legion: New Excavations at Legio, Israel, and Early Jewish-Christian-Roman Relations

Matthew J. Adams, Albright Institute of Archaeological Research, Jerusalem



4pm, 1st February 2018, BP Lecture Theatre, British Museum


Tickets are available through the British Museum 1 month - 2 weeks before the lecture. To book, contact the British Museum Box Office:  020 7323 8181 or  and go to the 'What's On' option at the top of the BM homepage. Choose the 'Events Calendar' and scroll down the page to see events listed by date and time. If the event is not yet listed, please try again at a later date.                                              

Poster Lecture 1st February 2018.pdf


Legio%2C Megiddo

Photo: View of the site of Legio, Megiddo, in the Jezreel Valley. Courtesy of M. J. Adams

In the late 1st and early 2nd Centuries CE, dangerous Jewish (and incipient Christian) rebels were causing problems for the Roman Empire in Palestine. Though the First Revolt resulted in the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem in 70 CE and in the establishment of a permanent base of the Xth Legion there, these groups continued to harass their overlords. Historical sources indicate that the Roman VIth Ferrata Legion was deployed to Palestine in the early 2nd Century CE to provide support for the Xth, a sure sign that the rebels were acting up again. The VIth Legion established their base somewhere near Megiddo, but its exact location has been a long-standing question in the archaeology of the period. Using historical and geographical sources, aerial photography, and remote sensing, the Jezreel Valley Regional Project searched for potential locations of the elusive fortress. In 2013 and 2015, one of these locations was examined by excavation, providing the first glimpse of a 2nd Century Roman military base yyet uncovered in the entire eastern Empire. Together with the early Christian Prayer hall discovered by Yotam Tepper of the Israel Antiquities authority in 2005 in the adjacent Jewish village of Caparcotani, the new excavations have new implications for Jewish-Christian-Roman relations and for the composition of the Book of Revelation.


Aerial view of excavations at Legio%2C Megiddo

Image: Aerial view of excavations in Area B 1 - 50 at Legio. Courtesy of M.J. Adams

Matthew J. Adams is a graduate of the University of Southern California, the University of California, Los Angeles and Penn State University, receiving his doctorate in Egyptian and Ancient Near Eastern Archaeology and History from Penn State in 2007.
Since 2009, he has been Director of the Jezreel Valley Regional Project, and is co-Director since 2015 of the Megiddo excavations alongside Israel Finkelstein and Mario Martin. He is also President of American Archaeology Abroad, and is an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Since 2014, he has been the Dorot Director of the Albright Institute of Archaeological Research in Jerusalem.

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