Robert R. Cargill
Professor Cargill joined the University of Iowa faculty in 2011.
Dr. Cargill's research program focuses on Second Temple Jewish literature and archaeology from the Persian period to the rise of early Christianity. He specializes in Hebrew Bible, the Dead Sea Scrolls and other Pseudepigrapha, Aramaic Targums, Melchizedek traditions, issues of faith and science, and teaches Biblical Hebrew, Aramaic, Syriac, and Hellenistic Greek.
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 is the author of Melchizedek, King of Sodom: How Scribes Invented the Biblical Priest-King (Oxford University Press, 2019). He published The Cities that Built the Bible (HarperOne, 2016), which was released in paperback in 2017, as well as in Chinese traditional, Chinese simplified, and Japanese translations. He has also done extensive work in television, appearing as an expert on ABC's "Good Morning America", "Inside Edition", CNN's "Newsday", and served as a consultant and contributor for History's "Jesus: His Life," as the Jerusalem host for CNN's "Finding Jesus," Consulting Producer on History's "Bible Secrets Revealed" and hosting the NatGeo documentary "Writing the Dead Sea Scrolls." He is a member of the Society of Biblical Literature, American Schools of Oriental Research, Biblical Archaeology Society, Archaeological Institute of America, American Humanist Association, American Mensa, and the American Civil Liberties Union.
Dr. Cargill is also the Editor of Biblical Archaeology Review.
(For complete list, please view Dr. Cargill's CV):
- Melchizedek, King of Sodom: How Scribes Invented the Biblical Priest-King. Oxford University Press, 2019.
- “Biblical Archaeology: Its Rise, Fall, and Rebirth as a Legitimate Science,” Chap. 6 in Christianity in the Light of Science: Critically Examining the World’s Largest Religion, ed. by John W. Loftus. Prometheus Books, 2016.
- The Cities that Built the Bible. HarperOne, 2016.
- “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. http://www.bibleinterp.com/articles/qumfort.shtm
Dr. Cargill has taught the following courses:
- RELS:1001 Judaism, Christianity, and Islam
- RELS:1015 Religions in a Global Context (YouTube Video)
- RELS:2289 Jerusalem: The Holy City
- RELS:3103 Biblical Archaeology
- RELS:3245 Mythology of Otherworldly Journeys
- RELS 4001 Biblical Hebrew I
- RELS 4002 Biblical Hebrew II
- RELS:4352 Dead Sea Scrolls
- RELS:4960 Digital Archaeological Modeling
- RELS:4960/7900 Targumic Aramaic Readings
- RELS:4960/7900 Syriac
- RELS:5001 Biblical Aramaic
- RELS:5002 Targumic Aramaic
- CLSG:2002 Second-Year Greek II
- CLSA:3447 Banned from the Bible: Intro to Biblical Pseudepigrapha and Apocrypha
- CLSA:3742 Word Power: Building English Vocabulary
- CLSA:4090 Readings in Dead Sea Scrolls
- CLSA:4501 Archaeological Methodology and Field Research
- CLSA:4502 Archaeology and History of Judea
- CLSA/SLIS: 6585 Design, Visualization, and Mapping 3D Environments
- CLSG:5002 Graduate Seminar: Josephus
- CLSG:5002 Graduate Seminar: Septuagint
- 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).