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Harvard Graduate Student Wins Dever Prize

July 2008

The William F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research in Jerusalem recently announced that James F. Osborne of Harvard University is the winner of the seventh annual Sean W. Dever Memorial Prize. The award is given for the best published article or paper (in English) presented at a conference by a Ph.D. candidate in Syro-Palestinian and Biblical Archaeology.

Osborne’s winning paper, which he presented at the 2007 annual meeting of the American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR), was titled “The Bench Tomb of Iron Age Judah: Secondary Mortuary Practice and Social Values.” In it he discusses the use of bone repositories and secondary burial in Iron Age bench tombs. Osborne argues that not only did the repositories serve the practical function of making room for future burials in the same family tomb, but they were also an important aspect of a kin-based society that is indicative of the ritual veneration of deceased ancestors.

The Sean W. Dever Memorial Prize was established in 2001 by Professor William G. Dever and Mrs. Norma Dever in memory of their son Sean.

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