1798 Scenic Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94709

To preserve, research, interpret, and present to the public ancient artifacts and texts so as to promote the understanding and teaching of religious history, especially biblical history and the history of the biblical text

Day of the Ancient Dead

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Anubis_Day of the Ancient DeadIn conjunction with All Saints Day and the Day of the Dead,  the Badè Museum at PSR is having a “Day of the Ancient Dead,” celebration with crafts, activities, and snacks for kids ages 4-10.

Sunday, November 1

There will be ancient Egyptian-themed crafts, snacks, and activities that will be fun for the whole family!

Death, Gender, and Identity: Funerary Representations from Roman Egypt

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Death, Gender, and IdentityThe Badè Museum invites you to a lecture by Dr. Lissette Jiménez, Lecturer in Near Eastern Studies at the University of California, Berkeley.

Death, Gender, and Identity: Funerary Representations from Roman Egypt
Sunday, November 1st, 4pm
Badè Museum Gallery
1798 Scenic Avenue, Berkeley, CA
(Reception to follow)

Co-sponsored by The Center for the Arts, Religion, and Education (CARE)

The collections of the Badè Museum of Biblical Archaeology are rich in history, both ancient and modern. Spanning a period of some 3,000 years, the museum holds a phenomenal array of everyday artifacts such as cooking pots, grinding stones, lamps, and agricultural implements from ancient Palestine along with colorful Greek and Cypriot ceramics, scarabs from Egypt, and cuneiform tablets from ancient Mesopotamia.

The core of the Museum collection consists of materials from the site of Tell en-Nasbeh (most likely the biblical town of Mizpah), excavated under the direction of William F. Badè. Dr. Badè’s work at Tell en-Nasbeh represents one of the earliest scientific excavations in Palestine. With a permit from the British Mandate Government’s Department of Antiquities, he was able to spend five seasons there from 1926 to 1935 and excavate two thirds of the eight-acre tell, or mound, exposing a small town that had been occupied at the time of the Hebrew monarchy.

Mizpah, in the region of Benjamin, flourished from 1000–586 B.C., and a massive fortification wall, impressive gateway, three and four-room houses, family tombs, pottery, and metal artifacts in great quantity date from this period, known as the Iron Age in Palestinian archaeology. Of the hundreds of lamps, pitchers, bowls, jars, jewelry and cosmetic items found in the ruins of the town, about half were deposited at the Rockefeller Museum in Jerusalem, while others were shipped to Berkeley. Those on display in the Bade Museum provide graphic evidence of everyday activities in a provincial town of three thousand years ago, and offer instructive comparison with life in this century.

While the tell itself contained Iron Age, Babylonian and Persian Period artifacts, nearby tombs dated from the Early Bronze Age (3200–2000 B.C.) and the Hellenistic and Roman Periods (330 B.C.–324 A.D.). Some of these artifacts are on display, as well as representative pieces from other areas of the ancient Near East.

At the close of each season of excavation, after artifacts were removed, the soil was replaced on the mound. Only one section of the huge town wall, deliberately left exposed, is visible at the site today. Dr. Badè’s original intention that the excavation and its results become an educational resource is fulfilled through the Badè Museum and its on-going research of material from Tell en-Nasbeh, where important aspects of ancient households, gender, and daily activities can be understood in new and exciting ways.


Dr. Aaron Brody
Robert and Kathryn Riddell Associate Professor of Bible and Archaeology
Badè Museum of Biblical Archaeology
Phone: 510/849-8286


Stephanie Brown
Associate Curator

Lissette Jimenez
Assistant Curator

Amy Vulcan
Collections Manager

Past Staff, Badè Project Members, Interns & Volunteers

    • Kiersten Neumann
    • Rebecca Hisiger
    • Melissa Cradic
    • Christina Vander Vos
    • Laura Fies
    • Kay Schellhase
    • Mary Kimber
    • Celia Berghoffen
    • Jeffrey Zorn
    • Kevin Kaiser
    • Kah-Jin (Jeffrey) Kuan
    • Susan McGinnis
    • Greg Tarin
    • Cindy Ausec
    • Joel Brown
    • Beringia Zen
    • Matthew Fox
    • Victor R. Gold
    • Kevin C. Koczela
    • Todd Lesh
    • Ruth Ohm
    • Pamela Thomas
    • Mary A. Tolbert
    • Tim Fries
    • Akemi Horii
    • Brian Carmany
    • Morgan Hunter
    • Catherine Zanzi
    • Tom Nootbaar
    • Andrea Creel
    • Catherine P. Foster

William Frederic Badè (1871–1936)

Professor of Old Testament literature and Semitic languages at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, California from 1902 until his death and excavator of the site of Tell en-Nasbeh located northwest of Jerusalem (1926, 1927, 1929, 1932, and 1935) 

Born in Carver, Minnesota, Badè spent his earliest years on a farm in the Midwest. In his youth he demonstrated academic interest and gifts, and studied diligently, mastering Latin and Greek. His academic abilities earned him an opportunity to attend the Moravian College in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, from which he graduated in 1892. He then enrolled in the Moravian Theological Seminary and was ordained in 1894.

Dr. William Badè examining the Seal of JazaaniahThereafter he learned Hebrew and soon went on to Yale to study the Near Eastern background of the Hebrew Bible. During two years there, he improved his knowledge of Hebrew and learned Arabic, Akkadian, Ethiopic and Aramaic. Eventually he came to read fourteen languages and speak, in addition to the English and German he had learned as a boy in his home, fluent French, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, and Arabic. In 1898 he received his Ph.D. degree from the Moravian Theological Seminary and was subsequently appointed professor of Hebrew and Old Testament literature there until 1902 when he was invited to PSR.

With the end of World War I and the establishment of the British Mandate in Palestine, Badè realized that there would be increasing opportunities to excavate within the borders of ancient Israel. He saw archaeology as a valuable tool for correcting, revisiting, or confirming tradition and felt that seminaries should teach archaeology along with Hebrew, Greek, and literary criticism.

Although not trained as an archaeologist, Badè carried out his excavation at Tell en-Nasbeh based on the highest standards of his day. He cleared about two thirds of the site, intending to test its identification with biblical Mizpah of Benjamin, which is now generally accepted. The method he employed was the so-called Reisner-Fisher method, dividing the tell into 10-meter squares and excavating in strips. Following the excavation, the strips were filled in. Badè kept meticulous records, including plans, photographs, and descriptions of about twenty-three-thousand artifacts, all of them drawn to scale. Badè’s fieldwork ranks above the contemporary excavations at Beth-Shemesh and Beth-Shean.

Dr. William Badè examines a wine-making installationBadè died after the final season at Tell en-Nasbeh so that the excavation’s final report was prepared by his colleague, Chester C. McCown, and chief recorder, Joseph C. Wampler. Badè’s publication of the site is generally limited to preliminary reports of the early campaigns and short articles on specific finds. Although many excavators before him had written brief summaries of their methodologies as prefaces or appendices to their reports, Badè’s A Manual of Excavation in the Near East was the first volume written as an independent account of the work of an excavation and the development of its methodology.

Badè’s work made significant contributions to the field of archaeology in his generation. His concern for systematic excavations and careful recording of data, as well as for training the next generation of archaeologists, provided a sound model for his colleagues. Although his methodology has been superseded as the field has advanced, his own dedication and work contributed to its advance in his own lifetime.

In addition to being a longtime teacher and scholar,and an archaeologist and excavator, William Frederic Badè was also a naturalist and outdoorsman, and a companion and biographer of John Muir. Berkeley aroused in him a love of nature, which led to a long-lasting friendship with John Muir, the well-known naturalist and founder of the Sierra Club. Consequently, Badè himself became deeply involved with the Sierra Club, holding the positions of editor for ten years and club president from 1918 to 1922. He strongly believed in upholding the Club’s principles of conservation and protecting the natural landscape. Papers and correspondence documenting Badè’s involvement with environmentalist committees can be found in the John Muir Archives at the University of the Pacific. Badè also had connections to what is now the the University and Jepson Herbaria at the University of California, Berkeley.