The University of Iowa

Robert R. Cargill

Professor Robert R. Cargill
Assistant Professor, Judaism and Christianity
Joint appointment with Department of Classics
PhD, UCLA, 2008
209 JB
Office Hours: 
MW 10-12 in 209JB (Spring 2014)
Curriculum Vitae: 
Research Interests: 
Second Temple Judaism, Archaeology

Professor Cargill joined the University of Iowa faculty in 2011.

Dr. Cargill's research program focuses on Second Temple Jewish literature and archaeology. He specializes in Hebrew Bible, the Dead Sea Scrolls and other Pseudepigrapha, Aramaic Targums, the Bar Kokhba Rebellion, Judean numismatics, and issues of faith and science.

Hired as part of the University's Public Humanities in a Digital World initiative, Dr. Cargill also has done much research in the Digital Humanities, having authored a 3D, virtual reality reconstruction of the archaeological remains of Qumran, near to where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered. 

Dr. Cargill also has done extensive work in television, appearing as an expert on numerous documentaries and specials, including serving as Consulting Producer and appearing on History's "Bible Secrets Revealed" and hosting the National Geographic Channel documentary, "Writing the Dead Sea Scrolls." He is a member of the Association for Jewish StudiesArchaeological Institute of America, American Schools of Oriental Research, American Mensa, and serves on the advisory committee for the Society of Biblical Literature's section on Blogging and Online Publication.

Selected Publications: 

(For complete list, please view Dr. Cargill's CV):

  • “The Rule of Creative Completion: Neofiti’s Use of שכלל,” Aramaic Studies 10/2 (2012): 173-191.
  • “The State of the Archaeological Debate at Qumran,” Currents in Biblical Research 10/1 (2011): 1-18.
  • “The Benefit of Blogging for Archaeology,” Bulletin for the Study of Religion 39/3 (2010): 12-16.
  • “The Qumran Digital Model: An Argument for Archaeological Reconstruction in Virtual Reality” and “A Response to Magness,” Near Eastern Archaeology 72/1 (2009): 28-47.
  • Qumran through (Real) Time: A Virtual Reconstruction of Qumran and the Dead Sea Scrolls. Gorgias Press, 2009.
  • “The Fortress at Qumran: A History of Interpretation,” Bible and Interpretation, May 2009.
Awards & Service: 
  • Fresno City College Distinguished Alumnus Award Recipient and 2011 Commencement Speaker, Selland Arena, Fresno, CA, May 20, 2011.
  • Named one of 100 distinguished alumni as part of Fresno City College’s “100 Stars for 100 Years,” celebrating the centennial anniversary of the college (2010).
  • Grant from the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences for the production of HD reconstructions of Qumran for use in their exhibition of the Dead Sea Scrolls ($16,000) (2008).
  • Research grant from the San Diego Natural History Museum and Steven Spielberg’s Righteous Persons Foundation for dissertation work on the Qumran Visualization Project ($75,000) (2006).
  • Seaver Dean’s Scholarship for work on the project: “The History of Israel through Coins” (1998).

Dr. Cargill has taught the following courses:

  • RELS:1001 Judaism, Christianity, and Islam
  • RELS:2289 Jerusalem from the Bronze to the Digital Age
  • RELS:3103 Biblical Archaeology
  • RELS:3245 Mythology of Otherworldly Journeys
  • RELS:4352 Qumran and the Dead Sea Scrolls
  • RELS:4960 Digital Archaeological Modeling
  • RELS:4960 Biblical Aramaic
  • RELS:7900 Targumic Aramaic Readings
  • RELS:7900 Syriac
  • CLSG:2002 Second-Year Greek II
  • CLSA:3447 Intro to Biblical Pseudepigrapha and Apocrypha
  • CLSA:4090 Readings in Dead Sea Scrolls
  • CLSA:4501 Archaeological Methodology and Field Research
  • CLSA:4502 Archaeology and History of Judea