The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947


The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947


The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947


“Find Your Voice” Speaker Series off to a strong start with Dr. Rachel Hallote

September 15, 2023/12am 


Erie Pa, –Gannon University started their Fall Speaker by hosting Dr. Rachel Hallote and had the privilege of learning more about her studious and explorative work.  

When digs get political, Dr. Hallote is ready to dive in. Her work and career are admirable and deeply rooted in the happenings of the Middle East in relation to the archaeologists of the 19th century.  

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Dr. Rachel Hallote began her career growing up in the Orthodox community in New Rochelle. She attended Jewish day schools which gave her a background in Judaism and an interest in Israel. She is an archaeologist and Professor of History at Purchase College SUNY.  

The professor has authored several books and articles that all pertain to biblical archaeology such as her book, ‘The Forgotten Story of Early American Biblical Archaeology,’ which Dr. Hallote highlights in her lecture for Gannon’s Fall Speaker Series “Find Your Voice.”  

Her upbringing led to her career in which she questions and combats the abuse of archaeology and how it is misinterpreted to justify modern political agendas, particularly in Jerusalem and Masada.  

She has worked at numerous sites in Israel, including Megiddo. She is particularly interested in the history of archaeology during the last two centuries, also discussed in her book.  

A fun fact about Dr. Hallote is that she has a podcast, This Week in the Ancient Near East, which can be found on Spotify with a 5-star rating. In the podcast,  Hallote and her co-hosts talk about different up and coming information about different historical relics.  

Some of the topics include the discovery of cheese in a 25th Dynasty Egyptian tomb, or new information following the idea that those born in Southern Mesopotamia were often islands in the stream divided by canals. The group questions if kids had been forced to learn to swim to travel from place to place as a means for survival. 

Her work is beneficial to not only history majors but also holds relevance in the political world where the foundations of history determine the path into the future.   

Dr. Hallote in her line of work has mainly focused on the history of the discipline of archaeology in the Middle East, especially focusing on the British and American archaeologists of the 19th century who excavated in Ottoman-controlled Palestine.  

Follow up next week for a review of Dr. Hallote’s lecture, “Divergent Voices: Politics and Archaeology in Israel” with an interview with the professor herself and thoughts on the lecture from both students. 

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