The Maccabees Project is a multi-disciplinary research effort across the fields of biblical studies, ancient history, archaeology, and the history of religion focused on the time and place of the story of the Maccabees and their successors, meaning Israel in the second century BCE. Between 2015 and 2017, the project sponsored a series of field reports, dialogues, and colloquia – all of whose proceedings were recorded and can be found on this site.

The story of the Maccabees is one of the most electric from antiquity, a heroic pendant to the biblical accounts of the conquests of Joshua and the rise of King David. The recounting of the defiant stand of Mattathias, the valor of Judah Maccabee, and the rise of the Hasmonean dynasty inspired a new sense of national identity that resonated far beyond the small region of Judea. The ancient authors of 1 and 2 Maccabees present their versions as history, narrations of actual events. But a growing body of research has begun to cast significant doubt on various aspects of these accounts. The goal of this project has been to put scholars from different disciplines in dialogue with one another in an effort to get at the realities behind the stories.

The Maccabees Project is currently on hiatus in Boston. Two events are planned for 2018, a workshop at the Albright Institute of Archaeological Research on February 22, 2018, and a conference in conjunction with The Enoch Seminar on June 10-15, 2018.

More information can be found here:

For further information, please contact Andrea Berlin (