Alexander H. Joffe

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Alexander H. Joffe (born 1959) Alex Joffe is an archaeologist and historian of the Near East.[1]

Joffe grew up in Newton, Massachusetts, graduated from Cornell University in 1981 with a B.A in History and received an M.A. and Ph.D. in Near Eastern Studies from the University of Arizona in 1991.[2]

From 1980 to 2003 he participated in and directed archaeological research in Israel, Jordan, Greece and the United States.[3]

He participated in fieldwork at Tel Miqne, Tel Dor, Tel Yaqush, Tel el-Hammeh, Beersheva, Tel Rekhesh, Megiddo, Ain Ghazal, and elsewhere. He has written extensively on Near Eastern archaeology. He has been an associate at the Harvard Semitic Museum in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and the Albright Institute of Archaeological Research in Jerusalem, as well as the Department of Archaeology at Boston University.[2]

Joffe has taught at Pennsylvania State University and SUNY Purchase.[4]

Joffee is the editor of ANEToday, the monthly newsletter of the American Schools of Oriental Research(ASOR).[5]

Joffe married Rachel S. Hallote, the daughter of writer Cynthia Ozick, in 1992.[2]

Ethnic state[edit]

Joffe is noted for using evidence form archaeology and epigraphy to propose an "ethnic state" model to explain the rise of petty kingdoms in the southern Levant in the 10th century BC. He describes Israel, Judah, Ammon, Moab and Edom as "ethnic states": "Politics integrated by means of identity, especially ethnicity, which are territorially based... they are novel and historically contingent political systems which appear in the Levant during the first millennium BCE thanks to the confluence of several factors, not least the collapse of imperial domination and the longstanding city-state system."[6]


  • Settlement and society in the early Bronze Age I and II, southern Levant : complentarity and contradiction in a small-scale complex society, Sheffield Academic Press, 1993.
  • Religion, Politics, and the Origins of Palestine Refugee Relief, Palgrave Macmillan, 2013.[7]


  1. ^ Vergano, Dan (26 November 2003). "James ossuary opens a Pandora's box of suspected fakes; Objects, authentication are called into question". USA Today. 
  2. ^ a b c "WEDDINGS; Rachel Hallote, Alexander Joffe". The New York Times. October 26, 1992. 
  3. ^ Jewish National Fund Speakers Bureau Archived December 31, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ "Judaic studies scholar Alexander Joffe Speaking at University". Knoxville News Sentinel. 13 March 2004. 
  5. ^ "Videos & Podcasts". American Schools of Oriental Research. Retrieved 8 November 2016. 
  6. ^ Grabbe, Lester L. (2007). Ancient Israel: What Do We Know and How Do We Know It?. A. & C. Black. p. 110. ISBN 056703254X. 
  7. ^ "Failed Religious Diplomacy at the Birth of Israel". The National Interest. 31 March 2014. Retrieved 22 May 2015.