Sunday, December 23, 2007

ASOR & SBL Stats & Awards

Here's a summary highlights I experienced at the San Diego conferences in November:

Number of ASOR & SBL lectures scheduled:
  • 52 & 673

Number of ASOR & SBL lectures I attended in their entirety:
  • 14 & 14

Number of ASOR & SBL lectures I attended portions of:
  • 8 & 5

Percentage of available ASOR & SBL lectures I attended (fractional lectures counted as 0.5 each):
  • 35% & 2%

Prices I paid for ASOR & SBL lectures:
  • $125 (1 day) & $135 (3 days)

Gas + parking expenditures for ASOR & SBL:
  • $53 ($33+$20) & $165 ($99+$66)

Prices-I-ended-up-paying for each ASOR & SBL lecture (fractional lectures counted as 0.5 each):
  • $10 ($178/18) & $18 ($300/16.5)

Intangible value received for attending ASOR & SBL lectures:
  • Priceless!

Autographs I Obtained:

  • Anson Rainey

  • Aren Maeir

  • Bruce Zuckerman

  • David Noel Freedman

  • Hershel Shanks

  • Jodi Magness

  • Lester Grabbe

  • Marilyn Lundberg

  • Nili Fox

  • P. Kyle McCarter

  • Robert Deutsch

  • Ron Tappy

  • Shlomo Bunimovitz

  • Steven Feldman

  • Zvi Lederman

Other Friendly Scholars I Met (*=LMLK VIPs whose autographs I already had):

  • Ann Killebrew

  • Beth Alpert Nakhai

  • Carolina Aznar

  • David Vanderhooft

  • Jane Cahill (*)

  • Jim Davila

  • Jonathan Lawrence

  • Lisbeth Fried

  • Oded Borowski (*)

  • Oded Lipschits

  • Robin DeWitt Knauth

  • Steven Collins

  • William Schniedewind

  • Yosef Garfinkel (*)

Other Scholars I Saw But Didn't Have an Opportunity to Speak with:

  • Chris Heard

  • James Charlesworth

  • Jeff Zorn

  • John Hobbins

  • Larry Stager

  • William Dever

  • Yuval Goren

Scholars I Hoped Might Be There, But Weren't (or if they were there, our paths never crossed):

  • Alan Millard

  • Andre Lemaire

  • David Ussishkin

  • Eilat Mazar

  • Ephraim Stern

  • Frank Moore Cross, Jr.

  • Melody Knowles

Scholars Who Were There That I Wanted to Meet, But Our Paths Never Crossed:

  • Andy Vaughn

  • Bryant Wood

  • Jeff Chadwick

  • Joe Cathey

  • Larry Herr

  • Ruth Ohm

  • Todd Bolen

[Note: I'm abbreviating my blog reports as "A" for ASOR or "S" for SBL in brackets below; so "A5" means "ASOR p. 5".]

Best "Biblical Archeology" Lecture:
  • "Come, Let Us Meet Face to Face" by Zvi Lederman [A5]

Best Paper Toss:
  • Zvi Lederman, into the lap of Hershel Shanks [A5]

People Who Believe ASOR & SBL Should Record Conference Lectures & Sell Them to Raise Funds:
  • G.M. Grena [A3]

People Who Had Thought I Was Older Before Meeting Me:
  • Hershel Shanks [A1]

  • Steven Feldman [A13]

People Who Disagree with Lenny Wolfe's "Lame Bet" Argument Against Forged Seals:
  • Robert Deutsch [A8]

  • G.M. Grena [A8]

People Not Afraid to Be Seen in Public with Robert Deutsch:
  • G.M. Grena [A1]

Most Interesting Disputes
  • P.M. Daviau vs. Beth Alpert Nakhai [A2]

  • Larry Stager vs. Aren Maeir [A9]

  • P. Kyle McCarter vs. Christopher Rollston [A16]

  • Aren Maeir vs. all the Zayit-session lecturers! [A16]

Scholars Who Read "David" in the Mesha Stela:
  • Anson Rainey [S11]

  • Chang-Ho Ji [A2]

Scholars Who Write For, But Don't Read, BAR Magazine:
  • William Dever [A2]

Scholars Who Think the American Public Is Dreadfully Ignorant (unlike the public in, say, Copenhagen or Timbuktu):
  • William Dever [A5]

Scholars Accused of Not Knowing a Canaanite Dialect If It Were to Bite Them:
  • William Dever [S11]

Scholars Who Don't Believe Any Ancient Records of Horse Quantities:
  • Anson Rainey [A3]

Scholars Not Proud of Most Tel Aviv University Excavation Reports:
  • Anson Rainey [A5]

Scholars Who Believe "Everyone Knew Everyone" in Iron-Age Israel:
  • Deborah Cantrell [A3]

Most Controversial Lecture:
  • "Khirbet Kiafa: Biblical Azekah?" by Saar Ganor & Yosef Garfinkel [A6]

Best Opportunity Given to Excavate a Monumental Iron-Age Gate:
  • Yosef Garfinkel [A6]

Most Passionate Objection to a Lecture:
  • Shlomo Bunimovitz, in response to "Khirbet Kiafa: Biblical Azekah?" [A6]

Harshest Criticism Delivered in a Lecture:
  • Jodi Magness, to Itzhak Magen & Yuval Peleg's published interpretation of Qumran [S3]

Most Embarrassed Scholar:
  • Jodi Magness (after being asked by me for an autograph) [S3]

Best Compliment Given to a Lecturer:
  • Anson Rainey to Uzi Leibner--"an awesome presentation" [A3]

Best Use of a Valley-Girl Adjective by a Scholar:

Lecturer Who Used "Not" the Most in the Shortest Span:
  • Christopher Rollston (9x in < 2 minutes) [A14]

Funniest Comment During a Lecture:
  • Seth Sanders reacting to Ron Tappy's 5-minute-warning card [A15]

Unintentionally Funniest Moment During a Lecture:
  • P. Kyle McCarter losing his place after mentioning "Hebrew national" (along with an intentionally funny recovery!) [A16]

Weakest Use of "Millions of Years":
  • P. Kyle McCarter [A16]

People Who Know Radiometric Analyses Count Atoms, Not Years:
  • Elisabetta Boaretto [A3]

  • G.M. Grena [A3]

Best San Diego Museum Exhibit Related to the Bible:

Dumbest Bible-Related Museum-Exhibit Admission Policy in San Diego:

Most Uncomfortable Conference Chairs in San Diego:

Best Hyperbole during the Conferences:
  • Bruce Zuckerman, "elephant in the living room" (i.e., non-abecedary inscriptions on the Zayit Stone) [S5]

Worst Acting Performance:
  • Nili Fox, "ouch" (stoic reaction to surgical removal of tattoos) [S7]

Most Annoying Remarks During a Lecture:
  • Nili Fox (2; "literary nature" of Genesis, & "Deutero-Isaiah") [S7]

Lecture with the Most Attractive Ladies:
  • "Daniel: Sage, Seer... and Prophet?" by Lester Grabbe (3--I had plenty of time to "see" them while waiting to get his autograph) [S8]

Most Unusual Sentence in a Lecture:
  • "She's a really fine man!" by David Stein [S9]

Most Surprisingly Friendly VIP:
  • Niels Peter Lemche (a really fine man) [S2]

Overall Nicest Person at the Conferences (no big surprise):
  • Robin DeWitt Knauth [A13 & S10]

Scholar Who Used the Most English Words I Was Unfamiliar with:
  • Anson Rainey (4: "preterite", "lexeme", "prothetic", & "syntagma") [S11]

Lecture with Best LMLK Content:
  • "Storage Jar Transportation and Exchange Types in the Iron Age II Southern Levant" by Carolina Aznar [A7]

Total # of Unsolicited/Surprising Compliments I Received on My LMLK Research:
  • 4 (Collins, DeWitt Knauth, Lipschits, Noel Freedman)

Things I Regret the Most (in order of occurrence):
  • Not skipping out of part of the ASOR Zayit session to hear Steven Collins lecture on Tall el-Hammam

  • Not reviewing my unpublished 2004 analysis of King Hezekiah's bullae before meeting Robert Deutsch

  • Not scheduling an appointment to meet Andy Vaughn

  • Not taking the time to stop by the AiG resources-booth (at ETS) while wearing one of my Creation Museum shirts

  • Not inviting Jodi Magness to dinner (I had already embarrassed her once; why not shoot for 2?)

  • Not being brave enough to ask James Charlesworth if he's James Charlesworth

  • Not bringing a granola bar to Anson Rainey's lecture

Thanks to these scholars for posting comments during this blog series:
  • Andrew Compton [S11]

  • Kevin P. Edgecomb [S9]

  • Owen Chesnut [A6]

  • Peter van der Veen [A6]

  • Scott Needham [S11]

Song of the week: "Friends With You" by John Denver (click the song title to visit Amazon; click here for a 24-second sample; 328kb).
G.M. Grena


Anonymous said...

Since you noticed Jodi Magness' harsh (and unanswered) criticism of Magen and Peleg, you will probably want to read this:

It's also being discussed on ANE, see, e.g.,

G.M. Grena said...

Yes, a nice color version of that PDF was brought to ANE-2's attention back in February (message #4000). It seemed like old news when the B&W version was mentioned again recently. I'm sure Dr. Magness was aware of it during her November lectures, & was completely unimpressed.