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Culture

Lecture on Greeks and Philistines at University of Missouri-St. Louis

May 9, 2018

LOUIS, MO – The annual Catherine Pelican Memorial Lecture in Greek Culture was held at the University of Missouri-St.Louis with this year’s speaker Dr. Haskel J. Greenfield, University Distinguished Professor, Co-Director Near Eastern and Biblical Archaeology Laboratory, Professor, Anthropology; Associate Member, St. Paul’s College; Coordinator of Judaic Studies of the University of Manitoba.

Prof. Greenfield presented “Peoples of the Sea, Philistines, and the Greeks of the Bronze Age: view from the recent excavations at Tell es-Safi/Gath, Israel.” There was a large turnout for the annual event which honors and memorializes the late Catherine Pelican. The audience enjoyed the lecture presentation which included a vivid slide display for an extra level of understanding.

Prof. Greenfield’s studies and research delved into one of the most fascinating problems in ancient history and the possible connection between the Philistines and the Mycenaean Greeks. He discussed the origins and nature of Philistine culture and its connection with Greece, using evidence gathered recently at Tell es-Safi/Gath, Israel- the Canaanite precursor of the famous Philistine site of ancient Gath (home of Biblical Goliath).  

Prof. Greenfield is a distinguished anthropological archaeologist whose research focuses on the evolution of early agricultural and complex societies in the Old World (Europe, Africa and Asia) from the Neolithic through the Iron Age. Geographically, his research covers a large swath of Old World societies, from Europe (Bosnia, Greece, Hungary, Macedonia, Poland, Romania, and Serbia), to Africa (Morocco, South Africa), and Near East (Israel and Turkey).

In addition, he has conducted field work in various parts of North America (Manitoba, New York, New Jersey, and Mexico). He is currently the co-director (with Prof. Aren Maeir, Bar-Ilan University, Israel) of the excavations of the Early Bronze Age city at Tel es-Safi, Israel. He is also part of the team excavating the archaeological site of Huqoq.

Catherine Pelican, the daughter of Greek immigrants, was born and raised in St. Louis. She married James Pelican who came to America from Greece in 1906. The couple owned and operated Pelican’s Restaurant in south St. Louis from 1945-78. To honor Mrs. Pelican’s memory and her love of Hellenic culture, the annual lectureship was established at the University of Missouri- St. Louis. Recent Pelican lecturers include the distinguished professors Katherine Fleming, Amikam Nachmani, Vassilis Lambropoulos, and Margalit Fox.

Professor Michael Cosmopoulos, renowned for his archaeological work at Iklaina, Greece and other important sites, is the Hellenic Government-KarakasFoundation Professor of Greek Studies and Professor of Archaeology at the University of Missouri – St. Louis. The Greek Chair sponsors numerous programs during the University’s academic year as part of its outreach activities to the community in the St. Louis area.

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