Dr. Steven Ortiz is the Director of the newly established Lanier Center for Archaeology at Lipscomb University where he is also a professor of archaeology and biblical studies. He was the director of the former Tandy Institute for Archaeology at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is the principal investigator and co-director, along with Sam Wolff, of the Tel Gezer Excavation Project and is one of the directors of the Ilibalyk Project, Kazakhstan, and is the co-director at Tel Burna (Biblical Libnah). He has over 30 years of archaeological experience in Israel as he has been a senior staff member at a variety of major sites.
Ortiz’s research and publications focus on the archaeology of David and Solomon, Iron Age I and II transition, and the border relations between Judah and Philistia. He has served or currently holds leadership positions in several scholarly and academic associations. He currently serves on the board of the Albright Institute of Archaeological Research, Jerusalem. He has served ASOR since 2001 as a board member and on various committees.
• PhD. in Near Eastern Archaeology, University of Arizona, May 2000
• M.A. Near Eastern Archaeology and Biblical Studies, University of Arizona, 1994
• M.A. in Bible History, Jerusalem University College (formerly Institute of Holy Land Studies), 1989
• B.A. double major in Anthropology and Sociology, California State University, Los Angeles, 1985
Department of Archaeology
- Historical Geography: Land of the Bible Graduate
- Archaeology of Ancient Israel
- Archaeological Practicum: Material Studies
- Archaeological Field Excavation Methods
- History of Ancient Israel
- Archaeology of the New Testament World
- Social and Cultural Settings of Ancient Palestine
- Archaeology and History of the Bronze Age in the Southern Levant
- Israelite Settlement and Statehood: Archaeology of the Iron Age I-IIA
- Archaeology of the Divided Kingdom: Iron Age IIB-III
- Archaeology of Judah: Iron Age III-Persian Period
- My main research focus is the Iron Age in the southern Levant. I specialize in the use of archaeological methods and theory in the interpretation of the past. Specifically, how this enterprise can illuminate and reconstruct history relative to ancient Israel and the Hebrew Bible.
- Archaeology of Syro-Palestine
- Historical Geography of the southern Levant
- Iron Age Chronology and Ceramic Typology
- State Formation Processes in the 1st m. BCE
- History and Culture of Ancient Israel
1. Seymour Gitin, Steven M. Ortiz, and Trude Dothan, Tel Miqne-Ekron Excavations 1994–1996: Field IV Upper and Field V: The Elite Zone: Part 1: Iron Age IIC Temple Complex 650 (Ekron 10/1). Final Reports of the Tel Miqe-Ekron Excavation. Boston: Harvard Museum of the Ancient Near East Publications. 2022.
2. Steven M. Ortiz, Seymour Gitin, and Trude Dothan, Tel Miqne-Ekron Excavations 1994–1996: Field IV Upper and Field V: The Elite Zone: Part 2: Iron Age IIC Temple Complex 650 Sections, Plans, and Database (Ekron 10/2). Final Reports of the Tel Miqe-Ekron Excavation. Boston: Harvard Museum of the Ancient Near East Publications. 2022.
Major Works • Study Notes: Joshua, Judges, Ruth, ESV Archaeology Study Bible. Crossway Books, March 2018.
Chapters in Books, Festschriften, Conference Proceedings 1. Chapter 6. Field IV Upper Occupational History: The Stratigraphy and Architecture of Stratum IB/C with Seymour Gitin, and Trude Dothan. In Tel Miqne-Ekron Excavations 1994–1996: The Late Philistine City in Iron Age II Strata III-I of the 10th -6th Centuries BCE. By Seymour Gitin. (forthcoming 2023).
3. “Gezer Destructions: A Case Study of a Border City,” Tom Levy Festschrift. (submitted).
4. “The Sheshonq I Campaign at Gezer,” with Samuel Wolff (submitted). 5. “David’s Battle with the Philistines: Did he chase them from Geba or Gibeon? Historical Geographical Comments on II Sam
5: 17-25.” In Festschrift for Steven Notley, Jeffrey Garcia, Daniel Machiela, Chad Pierce and Benjamin Wold (eds.) (submitted).
6. “Two-handled Pillared Jars at Gezer,” with Charles Wilson and Samuel Wolff. In Pursuit of Visibility: Studies in Archaeology and Text in Honor of Beth Alpert Nakhai. Laura Mazow and Jennie Ebeling (eds.). Archaeopress Publishing, 2022 Pp. 54-61.
7. “Judges 10:11: A Memory of Merneptah’s Campaign in Transjordan, with S. Cameron Coyle, in Richard E. Averbeck and K. Lawson Younger, Jr. (Editors). “An Excellent Fortress for his Armies, a Refuge for the People”: Egyptological, Archaeological and Biblical Studies in Honor of James K. Hoffmeier. Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns; State College, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press. 2020. Pp. 298-308.
8. “A Reevaluation of Gezer in the Late Bronze Age in Light of Renewed Excavations and Recent Scholarship,” with Sam Wolff. In And the Canaanite was in then in the land (Gen. 12:6): Canaanites in Southern Canaan during the Late Bronze and Early Iron Ages. Proceedings of the Ackerman Family Workshop in Biblical Archaeology, Bar-Ilan University, April 15th-16th, 2015. A.M. Maeir, I. Shai, and Chris McKinny (eds.). DeGruyter, 2019. Pp. 62-85.
9. “The United Monarchy” in Behind the Scenes of the Old Testament. J. Greer, J. Hilber, and J. Walton (eds.), Baker Academic, 2018. Pp. 208-215.
10. “Role the Dice: Iron Age II Gameboards and Playing Pieces from Tel Gezer,” with Sam Wolff, In “Tell it in Gath: Studies in the History and Archaeology of Israel. Essays in Honor of A. M. Maeir on the Occasion of his Sixtieth Birthday,” Itzick Shai et. al. (eds.) Ägypten Und Altes Testament, Ugarit-verlag, 2018. Pp. 956-965.
11. “The Context and Biometry of Iron Age II and Hellenistic Period Dog “Burials” from Tel Gezer: Compared to Those from Other Sites in the Region,” with Liora Horwitz and Sam Wolff. In The Wide Lens in Archaeology: Honoring Brian Hesse’s Contributions to Anthropological Archaeology, L. Lev-Tov, P. Hesse, A. Gilbert (eds.). Lockwood Press, 2017. Pp. 297-333.
12. “Tel Gezer Excavations 2006-2015: The Transformation of a Border City,” with Samuel Wolff. In “…as plentiful as sycamore-fig tress in the Shephelah” (1 Kings 10:27) Recent Archaeological Research in the Shephelah of Judah: The Iron Age,” Oded Lipschits and Aren M. Maeir (eds.). Eisenbrauns, 2017. Pp. 61-102.
13. “Macalister at Gezer: Perspective from the Field,” with Samuel Wolff and Gary Arbino. In Villian or Visionary? R.A.S. Macalister and the Archaeology of Palestine. S. Wolff (ed.). Maney Publishing, 2015. Pp. 43-49.
14. “The “Ashdod Ware” at Ekron Stratum IV: Degenerated and Late Philistine Decorated Ware,” in Material Culture Matters: Essays on the Southern Levant in Honor of Seymour Gitin, John Spencer, Robert Mullins and Aaron Brody (eds.), 2014. Pp. 209-219.
15. “Chapter 9: United Monarchy—Archaeology and Literary Sources.” In History of Ancient Israel, Bill T. Arnold and Richard S. Hess (editors). BakerAcademic, 2014. Pp. 227-261.
16. “The Archaeology of David and Solomon: Navigating the New Methods and Madness,” In Do Historical Matters Matter to Faith? A Critical Appraisal of Modern and Postmodern Approaches to Scripture, J. Hoffmeier and D. Magary (eds.). Crossway Publishers, 2012, pp. 497-516.
17. Rewriting Philistine History: Recent Trends in Philistine Archaeology and Biblical Studies. In Critical Issues in Early Israelite History, R. Hess, G. Klingbeil, and P. Ray (eds.). Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns, 2008, pp. 191-204.
18. “The Use and Abuse of Archaeological Data: Archaeological Interpretation and the Lost tomb of Jesus,” In Buried Hopes or Risen Savior: Is the Talpiot Tomb the Burial Place of Jesus of Nazareth? Charles L. Quarles (ed.). Nashville: Broadman & Holman, 2008, pp 28-50.
19. “Does the Low Chronology Work?: A Case Study of Qasile X, Gezer X, and Lachish V,” in I Will Speak the Riddles of Ancient Times (Abiah Chidot Minei-Kedem-Ps 78:2b): Archaeological and Historical Studies in Honor of Amihai Mazar on the Occasion of his Sixtieth Birthday, ed. by Aren M. Maeir and Pierre de-Miroschedji. Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns, 2006, pp. 587-612.
20. “Deconstructing and Reconstructing the United Monarchy: House of David or Tent of David? (Current Trends in Iron Age Research)” in The Future of Biblical Archaeology: Reassessing Methodologies and Assumptions, eds. James Hoffmeier and Alan Millard. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2004, pp. 121-147.
Articles: see CV
Teaching Experience: • Professor of Archaeology and Biblical Studies, Director of the Lanier Center for Archaeology, Lipscomb University, August 2020
• Professor of Archaeology and Biblical Backgrounds, Director of the Charles D. Tandy Institute for Archaeology, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, 2013¬–2020
• Associate Professor of Archaeology and Biblical Backgrounds, Director of the Charles D. Tandy Archaeology Museum, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, 2006-2013
• Assistant Professor of Archaeology, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, 2000-05
• Research Associate, Ariel University 2020—. The Late Bronze Age Transition in the Shephelah.
• Visiting Scholar, University of Texas 2020-2021
Grants, Fellowships, Scholarships and Honors:
• Ernest S. Frerichs Annual Professor, Albright Institute for Archaeological Research, 2016-2017.
• Southern Baptist Grant, 2016.
• Collaborator, Eager Proposal, National Science Foundation. Microbial Populations as Biosignatures for Evaluating Long Term Effects of Urbanization. Principal Investigator: J. Siefert (Rice University). 2015.
• Lily Theological Scholars Grant, Association of Theological Schools, 2005-2006, Israelite Palaces at Tel Gezer Research and Publication Project.
• Junior Scholar Grant, Southwest Commission on Religious Studies, 2004-05, Rewriting Philistine History.
• Outstanding Research Professor, Marvin Jones Faculty Award New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, 2003-2004
1. Shifting Boundaries: The Westward Political Expansion of the United Monarchy, Society of Biblical Literature, November 2021.
2. The Political Expansion of the United Monarchy based on Recent Archaeological Research, Evangelical Theological Society, Evangelical Theological Society Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA, November 20, 2019.
3. From Canaanite Stronghold to Solomonic Administrative City: Results from the Recent Tandy Gezer Excavations. First International Conference on the Archaeology of Judah: State Formation Processes in the 10th Century BCE Levant, Jerusalem, Israel. April 2019. 4. Issues in Dating the Exodus, March 26, 2019. Egypt and Ancient Israel Conference, Fort Worth, TX, March 26, 2019.
5. The Westward Expansion of the United Monarchy in Light of Recent Excavations. Recent Evidence for Israel’s United Kingdom, Lanier Theological Library, Houston, TX, September 14, 2018.
6. Tandy Gezer Excavations: Research Design and Strategy (with Sam Wolff), Society of Biblical Literature, Denver, CO, November, 2018.
7. A Decade of Research at Tel Gezer: The Transformation of a Border City, Society of Biblical Literature, Denver, CO, November 2018.
8. Gezer Subdued: Egyptian Conquests of Merneptah and Shoshenq I, American Research Center in Egypt, Tucson, AZ, April 20, 2018.
9. Gezer Destructions: A Case Study of a Border City, International Congress Archaeology of the Ancient Near East, Munich, Germany, April 2018.
10. Polities and Politics in the Judean Foothills: A Summary of Recent Excavations and Historical Reconstructions in the Shephelah from the LB to IA II, Southwest American School of Oriental Research., Irving Texas, March 11, 2018.
11. Christianity on the Silk Road: The Tandy Excavations at Ushural Ilyn Balik, with Steve Gilbert, Southwest American School of Oriental Research., Irving Texas, March 10, 2018.
12. 2016-2017 Ilibalyk Excavations: Methods, Research Design, and Results, with Tom Davis and Dimittry Voyakin. Christianity on the Silk Road Conference, Tandy Institute for Archaeology, Fort Worth, TX, March 8, 2018.
13. Recent Trends in the Archaeology of the Shephelah, Foothills of Judah Conference, Tandy Institute for Archaeology, Fort Worth, TX, November 13, 2017.
14. A Decade of Discovery-Tel Gezer, Foothills of Judah Conference, Tandy Institute for Archaeology, Fort Worth, TX, November 13, 2017.
15. Renewed Excavations at Tel Gezer (2006-2016), with Sam Wolff, 43rd Israel Archaeological Congress, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, April 6, 2017.
16. The Tel Gezer Excavations-The Transformation of a Border City in the Late Bronze and Iron Ages, Albright Institute for Archaeology, Jerusalem, Israel, February 23, 2017
17. Gezer and the Hazael Destruction, “And Hazael set his face to go up to Jerusalem” Following Hazael’s Campaign to the South- Archaeological Perspective. Minerva Center for the Relations between Israel and Aram in Biblical Times (RIAB), Workshop, Bar Ilan University, Israel, January 19, 2017.
18. Transformation of a Border City in the LB and Iron Age, American Schools of Oriental Research Annual Meetings, San Antonio, November 2016.
19. Tel Gezer : The Transformation from the Canaanite city to Solomon’s Administrative Fortified City, Evangelical Theological Society Annual Meetings, San Antonio, November 2016.
20. Tel Gezer Excavations, American Schools of Oriental Research Annual Meetings, Atlanta, November 2015.
21. Tel Gezer Four Room House, w. S. Wolff, C. Wilson. American Schools of Oriental Research Annual Meetings, Atlanta, November 2015.
22. A Reevaluation of Gezer in the Late Bronze Age in Light of Renewed Excavations and Recent Scholarship LB Tel Gezer, Bar Ilan University. Conference, April 2015. (with S. Wolff).
23. The Late Bronze Age in the Aijalon Valley: Trends from Recent Excavations. Southwest Commission on Religious Studies [SW ASOR & SBL Regional Meetings], March, 2015.
24. The Tel Gezer Excavations—Iron Age Urbanization and City, Archaeological Institute of America Annual Meetings, New Orleans, January 2015.
25. “Panelists: Past and Present of the SWCRS,” Southwest Commission on Religious Studies, March 8, 2014.
26. Tel Gezer Excavations: Iron Age Urban Development, Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meetings, Baltimore, November 2013.
27. Excavations at Tel Gezer: The 2011 and 2013 Seasons, American Schools of Oriental Research Annual Meetings, Baltimore, November 2013.
28. Gezer: Gateway to Jerusalem, The Sixteenth World Congress of Jewish Studies, Jerusalem, July 28-August 1, 2013.
29. Archaeology and the Gospels: Recent Trends and Research, Southwest Regional ASOR Meetings, Irving, TX March 9, 2013.
30. The Search for Solomon: Recent Excavations at Tel Gezer, Evangelical Theological Society Annual Meeting, Milwaukee, November 2012.
31. Acquisition, Conservation, Publication, and Exhibition of Eight Dead Sea Scroll Fragments by Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Southwest Evangelical Theological Society, Fort Worth, March, 2012.
32. Tel Gezer: Iron Age Public Buildings and City Planning, American Schools of Oriental Research Annual Meetings, San Francisco, November 2011.
33. Acquisition, Conservation, Publication, and Exhibition of Eight Dead Sea Scroll Fragments by Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meeting, San Francisco, November 2011.
34. Dever at Gezer: Myth and Reality, American Schools of Oriental Research Annual Meeting, San Francisco November 2011. (see CV for earlier academic presentations)
Academic Lectures, Symposia, and Seminars (invited): see CV