Yaron Eliav

Yaron Eliav


  • Email: yzeliav@umich.edu
  • Phone: 734.647.4638
  • Office: 4151 Thayer Academic Building, 202 South Thayer St., Ann Arbor, MI 48104-1608
  • Ph.D. 1999, Hebrew University, Jerusalem
  • Website

Research Interests


  • Jewish History of Late Antiquity
  • Material culture of the Roman Mediterranean
  • Archaeology and daily life
  • Roman Palestine
  • Aelia Capitolina
  • Roman bathhouses


  • Mediterranean
  • Near East

Research Projects

Teaching Project

During the past 14 years, Yaron Eliav has been teaching a large enrollment survey on the history, archaeology, cultures, religions, and conflicts of the Land of Israel/Palestine. The course is titled – The Land of Israel/Palestine through the Ages. This course was used as a laboratory to experiment with new pedagogies and teaching methods on how to engage students with the ancient world and with the far away regions of the Mediterranean. At its full extent the project involved a team of 11 members from different units at the University of Michigan – professors, scientists, a post graduate, graduate students, media and IT specialists, as well as museum staff. The team produced and tested a series of teaching tools – video clips shot in various sites in the Middle East, slides, hands-on museum exercises with archaeological artifacts, and various ways to explore maps, art, and literary sources for the study of this region and its people. See article and video clip about this project

Research Description

Yaron Eliav combines archaeology and talmudic, early Christian, and classic literatures in order to study the multi-faceted cultural environment of the Roman Mediterranean with emphasis on the encounter between Jews and Graeco-Roman culture. His book, God's Mountain: The Temple Mount in Time, Space, and Memory (Johns Hopkins University Press 2005; soft-cover 2008) won two national awards: The 2005 American Association of Publishers (AAP) award for best scholarly book on religion, and the 2006 Salo Baron prize for best first book in Judaic Studies from the American Academy for Jewish Studies. Currently, Eliav is working on his new book, A Jew in the Roman Bathhouse: The Poetics of Cultural Interaction in the Roman Mediterranean. Utilizing methodologies that have been developed among cultural historians, in particular in the sub-field known as Material Culture, as well as the theoretical models of cultural critics such as Michel Foucault, Helene Cixous, Judith Butler, Leo Bersani, and Laura Mulvey, the book treats the institution of the Roman public bathhouse as a laboratory that enables us to reexamine the cultural dynamics of the Roman world. Eliav is also preparing the chapter on "Judaea, the Phoenician, Coast, Samaria, and Galilee" for the Blackwell Companion to the Hellenistic and Roman Near East.