Smithsonian Journeys Experts
Jodi Magness (JodiMagness.org) holds a senior endowed chair in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill: the Kenan Distinguished Professor for Teaching Excellence in Early Judaism (since 2002). She is an archaeologist and President of the Archaeological Institute of America. She has published 11 books, including Masada: From Jewish Revolt to Modern Myth (Princeton University Press, 2019), and dozens of articles. From 1992-2002, Professor Magness was Associate/Assistant Professor of Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology in the Departments of Classics and Art History at Tufts University, Medford, MA. Professor Magness received her B.A. in Archaeology and History from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (1977), and her Ph.D. in Classical Archaeology from the University of Pennsylvania (1989). Professor Magness specializes in the archaeology of ancient Palestine (modern Israel, Jordan, and the Palestinian territories) in the Roman, Byzantine, and early Islamic periods. Her research interests include Jerusalem, Qumran and the Dead Sea Scrolls, ancient synagogues, Masada, the Roman army in the East, ancient pottery, and ancient Diaspora Judaism. Since 2011, Professor Magness’ excavations at Huqoq in Israel’s Galilee have been bringing to light the remains of a Late Roman synagogue decorated with stunning mosaic floors (http://huqoq.web.unc.edu/).