Prof. Anthony J Frendo

Prof. Anthony J Frendo

Prof. Anthony J Frendo


Senior Fellow

Professor Anthony J. Frendo FSA is Professor in Near Eastern Archaeology and the Hebrew Bible at the University of Malta in the Department of Oriental Studies; he is also a member of the Department of Classics and Archaeology. He was formerly Head of both these Departments: Classics and Archaeology (1996-1999); Oriental Studies (1999-30th September 2011) when he helped develop the former department and virtually build the latter. He was also the Maltese Director of the Confucius Institute at the University of Malta from 2009 till 2018. His main area of interest and expertise is the Levant with a special focus on Biblical Archaeology and Northwest Semitic languages, especially Classical Hebrew and Phoenician-Punic Inscriptions.

Between 1987-88, he lectured on the archaeology and geography of Palestine at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome. He participated in archaeological excavations in Israel and Syria. In the latter country he was also associate director for the 1995 season of excavation at Tell in-Nebi Mendu in a joint project with University College, London. He was - from 1996 up to 1999 co-director of the excavations at Tas-Silġ (Malta) run by the Department of Classics and Archaeology, of the University of Malta. In 1994 he was invited as a visiting scholar by the Jacob Blaustein International Center for Desert Studies of the University of Beersheba, Israel, where he made research on nomadic archaeology. In 2001 he delivered a public lecture on ˜The Megalithic Temples and the Phoenician Period in Malta' at the Smithsonian in Washington D.C. In the following year, he delivered one lecture on the Emergence of Ancient Israel (later published as a chapter in a book on Pre-Exilic Israel) in the Oxford Old Testament Seminar series, whilst in 2003 he gave a lecture (on Phoenician-Punic Malta) in the Oriental Institute's (University of Oxford) Seminar series, Topics in Ancient Near Eastern Studies and Egyptology. He was twice elected (in 2003 and 2004) Visting Scholar of Wolfson College (Oxford) with Membership of the Common Room for most of Trinity Term in 2004 and 2005 respectively.
  • Near Eastern Archaeology (mainly Ancient Israel)
  • Hebrew Bible
  • Methodological Study of the Relationship between Text and Artefact with special reference to Pre-exilic Israel
  • Northwest-Semitic Languages with a focus on Classical Hebrew and Phoenician-Punic
  • Phoenician-Punic Inscriptions from the Maltese Islands

FRENDO, A.J., 2018. Josephine Crawley Quinn (author)(2018): In Search of the Phoenicians. Princeton and Oxford:
Princeton University Press [Book Review]. Ancient History Bulletin, 8(74), pp. 78.

FRENDO, A.J., 2016. Burning Issues: mlk revisited. Journal of Semitic Studies, 61(2), pp. 347-364.

FRENDO, A.J., 2016. Israel in the Context of the Ancient Near East. The Hebrew Bible: A Critical Companion. Oxford & Princeton: Princeton University Press, pp. 86-105.

FRENDO, A.J., 2015. Theology from the Earth. In: E. AGIUS and H. SCERRI, eds, The Quest for Authenticity and Human Dignity : a Festschrift in Honour of Professor George Grima on his 70th Birthday. Malta: Faculty of Theology, University of Malta & Foundation for Theological Studies, pp. 217-228.

FRENDO, A.J. and MIZZI, D., 2015. The Punic Inscriptions. In: A. BONANNO and N.C. VELLA, eds, Tas-Silg, Marsaxlokk (Malta) : Archaeological Excavations Conducted by the University of Malta, 1996-2005 / 2. Leuven: Peeters, pp. 515-666.

FRENDO, A.J., 2014. Josiah's Reform and the Dynamics of Defilement: Israelite Rites of Violence and the Making of a Biblical Text by Lauren AS Monroe. Hebrew Studies, 55(1), pp. 453-455.

FRENDO, A.J., 2012. Revisiting some Phoenician-Punic Inscriptions from the Maltese Archipelago: a Rationale. Hebrew Bible and Ancient Israel, 1(4), pp. 525-534.

FRENDO, A.J., 2011. Pre-exilic Israel, the Hebrew Bible, and Archaeology: integrating Text and Artefact. London/New York: T & T Clark International.

FRENDO, A.J., 2010, June 24. The Crucifix and Religious Freedom. The Times of Malta, 64.

FRENDO, A.J., 2009. Fi Kristu Gesu`: l-attitudnijiet fundamentali tan-nisrani skont San Pawl. Pastor, 38 (341), pp. 22-31.

FRENDO, A.J., 2009. The Invention of the Alphabet and economic Growth in the Levant in the first Millennium B.C. In: WISSA M, ed, The Knowledge, Economy, and Technological Capabilities: Egypt, the Near East and the Mediterranean: 2nd millennium B.C. - 1st millennium A.D. Proceedings of a conference held at the Maison de la Cimie, Paris, France 9 - 10 December 2005. Barcelona: Editorial AUSA, pp. 69-76.

FRENDO, A.J., 2009. Literacy and the electronic Revolution: back to the Past, or back to Basics? University of Malta Graduation Ceremony (Postgraduate), 23rd November.

FRENDO, A.J., 2008. Il-Bibbja fil-Hajja tan-Nisrani Illum. Pastor, 37 (338), pp. 6-8.

FRENDO, A.J., 2008. A Possible Explanation for the Stratigraphic and Ceramic Changes at Tell Deir 'Alla during the Transition from the Late Bronze Age to the Early Iron Age. In: STEINER ML and VAN DER STEEN EJ, eds, Sacred and Sweet: Studies on the material Culture of Tell Deir 'Alla and Tell Abu Sarbut. Leuven/Paris/Dudley,MA: Peeters, pp. 93-108.

FRENDO, A.J., 2008. Review of 'Oxford Bible Atlas', 4th edn, by Adrian Curtis, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007, in, John Day,ed. Society for Old Testament Study: Book List 2008, , pp. 33-34.

FRENDO, A.J., 2008. Review of 'The Theology of the Book of Jeremiah', by Walter Brueggeman, Cambridge: Campbridge University Press, 2007, in John Day, ed., Society for Old Testament Study: Book List 2008, , pp. 153-154.

VASSALLO, P. and FRENDO, A., 2008. The gospels: a commentary series 2: programs 1-8.

FRENDO, A.J., 2007. Back to the Bare Essentials,'Procopius' Phoenician Inscriptions: Never Lost, Not Found' - a Response. Palestine exploration quarterly, 139(2), pp. 105-107.

FRENDO, A.J. and GELLEL, A., 2007. 'Come and See': an existential approach to received wisdom. International Journal of Children`s Spirituality, 12(1), pp. 9-16.

FRENDO, A.J., 2006. Review of 'The Phoenician Solar Theology: an Investigation into the Phoenician Opinion of the Sun found in Julian`s Hymn to King Helios', by Joseph Azize, Piscataway, NJ: Gorgias Press, 2005. Ancient Near Eastern Studies, 43, pp. 291-295.

FRENDO, A.J., 2005, March 13. Peter`s Primacy and the Development of Doctrine [a letter to the editor]. The Sunday Times, 17.

FRENDO, A.J., DE TRAFFORD, A. and VELLA, N.C., 2005. Water journeys of the dead: A glimpse into Phoenician and Punic eschatology. Atti del V Congresso internazionale di studi fenici e punici. Marsala-Palermo, 2–8 ottobre 2000. Palermo: Univerista` degli Studi di Palermo-Facolta` di Lettere e Filosofia, pp. 427-443.

FRENDO, A.J., 2004. Back to Basics: A Holistic Approach to the Problem of the Emergence of Ancient Israel. In: DAY J., ed, In Search of Pre-Exilic Israel: Proceedings of the Oxford Old Testament Seminar. Edinburgh: T & T Clark International, pp. 41-64.

FRENDO, A.J., 2004, January 11. Charity: the basic Hallmarks. The Sunday Times, 17.

FRENDO, A.J., 2004. A loving Justice: the Companion to Faith in God. Orbis, (2/4), pp. 17.

FRENDO, A.J., 2003. Bronze Age urban households of the Levant: how do we really know the past? [Review Article]. ANTIQUITY, 77, pp. 604-608.

FRENDO, A.J., 2003. Decoding the momentous Events of History: a spiritual Experience? Orbis, (2/2), pp. 13.

FRENDO, A.J., 2003, July 20. Department of Arabic and Near Eastern Studies. The Sunday Times, 77.

FRENDO, A.J., 2003, June 8. The Diocesan Synod Today. The Sunday Times, 39.

FRENDO, A.J., 2003. The fresh Start: a biblical Stance. Orbis, (2/1), pp. 14.

FRENDO, A.J., 2003. Is biblical Mammon a Source of Evil? Orbis, (2/3), pp. 16.

FRENDO, A.J., 2002. "Mhux xorta?" "Le, mhux xorta": L-Attitudnijiet u l-Valuri tal-Gradwati. ["Isn`t it all the same?" No, it`s not": The Attitudes and Values of our Graduates.]. University of Malta Graduation Ceremony, November 18.

FRENDO, A.J., 2002. Biblical Perspectives on the Clash of Civilizations. Orbis, (October, 3), pp. 11.

FRENDO, A.J., 2002, February 3. Biblical Studies and Jesus Christ. The Sunday Times, 47.

FRENDO, A.J., 2002. Kollaborazjoni bejn il-Lajci u l-Gizwiti (Collaboration between lay people and the Jesuits). Lil Hbiebna, (April), pp. 74-75.

FRENDO, A.J., 2002. The People`s Choice: some Reflections on a biblical Viewpoint. Orbis, (August, 2), pp. 19.

FRENDO, A.J., 2002. Two long-lost Phoenician inscriptions and the emergence of ancient Israel. Palestine exploration quarterly, 134, pp. 37-43.

FRENDO, A.J., 2002. The Words of the Wise ... and the Lips of the Fool. Orbis, (May 1), pp. 19.

FRENDO, A.J., 2001. Responses: CLC and other Partners: Malta. Review of Ignatian Spirituality, 32 (1), pp. 69-71.

FRENDO, A.J., 2001. Review of 'Les Relations entre les cites de la cote phenicienne et les royaumes d`Israel et de Juda', by F. Briquel-Chatonnet, Leuven: Department Orientalistiek and Uitgeverij Peeters, 1992. Palestine exploration quarterly, 133, pp. 199-200.

FRENDO, A.J., 2001. The Role of the Humanities at the Threshold of the twenty-first Century. In: U.O.M. COMMUNICATIONS OFFICE, ed, University of Malta Annual Report, 1999-2000. Malta: University of Malta, .

FRENDO, A.J. and VELLA, N.C., 2001. Les îles phéniciennes du milieu de la mer. Les Dossiers d'archéologie, (267), pp. 46-55.

FRENDO, A.J., 2000, July 16. Ex Oriente Lux: Near Eastern Studies at the University of Malta. The Sunday Times, 49.

FRENDO, A.J., 2000. Excavations at Tas-Silg, Malta: a preliminary Report on the 1996-1998 Campaigns conducted by the Department of Classics and Archaeology of the University of Malta (edited by Anthony Bonanno and Anthony J Frendo with the assistance of Nicholas C Vella): The Punic Inscriptions. Journal of Mediterranean Archaeology, 13, pp. 97-99.

FRENDO, A.J., 2000. Phoenician Wine could be Divine. In: M.E. AUBET and M. BARTHELEMY, eds, Actas del IV Congreso Internacional de Estudios Fenicios y Punicos, Cadiz, 2 al 6 Octubre de 1995. Cadiz: Universidad de Cadiz, pp. 607-611.

FRENDO, A.J., 2000. Review of 'Die fruhe Konigszeit in Israel, 10. Jahrhundert v. Chr.', by Walter Dietrich, Stuttgart: W. Kohlhammer, 1997. Journal of the American Oriental Society, 120.4, pp. 649-650.

FRENDO, A.J., 2000. 'Review of Ricerche sull`architettura palaziale della Palestina nell`eta del Bronzo e del Ferro: contesto archeologico e sviluppo storico', by L. Nigro, Rome: Universita degli Studi 'La Sapienza', 1994 [1995]. Palestine exploration quarterly, 132, pp. 185-186.

FRENDO, A.J., BONANNO, A., WITH THE ASSISTANCE OF VELLA,NICHOLAS C. and (EDITORS), 2000. Excavations at Tas-Silg, Malta: a preliminary Report on the 1996-1998 Campaigns conducted by the Department of Classics and Archaeology of the University of Malta. Journal of Mediterranean Archaeology, 13, pp. 67-114 + four Plates.

FRENDO, A.J., 1999. Archaeology, Epistemology, and the earliest Phase of Maltese Prehistory. In: MIFSUD A and SAVONA-VENTURA C, eds, Malta: The Prehistoric Society of Malta, pp. 25-32.

FRENDO, A.J., 1999. Genesis 1:1, An Archaeological Approach. In: Y. AVISHUR and R. DEUTSCH, eds, Michael: Historical, Epigraphical and Biblical Studies in Honor of Prof. Michael Heltzer. Tel Aviv-Jaffa: Archaeological Center Publications, pp. 161-169.

FRENDO, A.J., 1999. A new Punic inscription from Żejtun (Malta) and the goddess Anat-Astarte. Palestine exploration quarterly, 131, pp. 24-35.

FRENDO, A.J., 1998. Ancient Israel: An Invention? [Review Article]. Palestine exploration quarterly, 130, pp. 162-165.

FRENDO, A.J., 1998. Review of 'En Boqeq: Ausgrabungen in einer Oase am Toten Meer. vol. 1, Geographie und Geschichte der Oase. Das spatromisch-byzantinische Kastell', by M. Gichon, Mainz: Von Zabern,1993. Palestine exploration quarterly, 130, pp. 77-78.

FRENDO, A.J., 1998. Review of 'The Archaeology of Israelite Samaria, vol. I: Early Iron Age through the ninth century BCE', by Ron E. Tappy, Atlanta (Georgia): Scholars Press, 1992. Orientalia, 67, pp. 294-299.

FRENDO, A.J., 1997. Review of 'Phoenicia and the Bible: Proceedings of the Conference held at Leuven, 15th-16th March 1990', edited by E. Lipinski, Leuven: Peeters Press, 1991. Palestine Exploration Quarterly, 129, pp. 82-84.

FRENDO, A.J. and BONANNO, A., 1997. Din l-Art Helwa sponsors Malta`s first Summer School of Archaeology and Excavations at Tas-Silg. Vigilo, (October 1996-January 1997), pp. 16-17.

FRENDO, A.J. and BONNANO, A., 1997. Excavations at Tas-Silg 1996. Malta Archaeological Review, (2), pp. 8-10.

FRENDO, A.J., 1996. The Capabilities and Limitations of ancient Near Eastern nomadic Archaeology. Orientalia, 65, pp. 1-23.

FRENDO, A.J., 1996. The particles beth and waw and the periodic structure of the Nora Stone inscription. Palestine exploration quarterly, 128, pp. 8-11.

FRENDO, A.J., 1996. Review of `Dor, Ruler of the Seas: Twelve Years of Excavations at the Israelite-Phoenician Harbor Town on the Carmel Coast', by Ephraim Stern, Jerusalem: Israel Exploration Society, 1994. Biblica, 77, pp. 448-451.

FRENDO, A.J., 1996. What do the letters TT at tas-Silg, Malta, mean? In: E. ACQUARO, ed, Alle Soglie della Classicita`: Il Mediterraneo tra Tradizione e Innovazione: Studi in Onore di Sabatino Moscati; Lingue e Civilita`. Pisa-Roma: Istituti Editoriale e Poligraifici Internazionali, pp. 1127-1133.

FRENDO, A.J., 1995. Il-Patrimonju Arkeologiku tax-Xlokk [The Archaeological Heritage of the South-East]. In: M. GALEA, ed, Problemi ta` l-izvilupp fix-xlokk ta` Malta: Konferenza Regionali organizzata mill-Fondazzjoni Guze Ellul Mercer bil-kollaborazzjoni tal-Freidrich Ebert Stiftung fl-1 u 2 ta` April 1995 fil-Jerma Palace Hotel Wied il-Ghajn. Malta: Guze Ellul Mercer, pp. 27-30.

FRENDO, A.J., 1995, January 29. On learning, lecturing and publishing. The Sunday Times, 29.

FRENDO, A.J., 1995. Religion in the'prehistoric phases' of Phoenician Malta'. In: W.H. WALDREN, J.A. ENSENYAT and R.C. KENNARD, eds, Ritual rites and religion in prehistory: IIIrd Deya International Conference of prehistory. Oxford: Tempus Reparatum, pp. 114-121.

FRENDO, A.J., 1995. Review of 'Shechem II: Portrait of a Hill Country Vale', by Edward F. Campbell, Atlanta: Scholars Press 1991. Orientalia, 64, pp. 479-481.

FRENDO, A.J., 1993. Review of 'Centuries of Darkness: a Challenge to the conventional Chronology of Old World Archaeology', by Peter James in collaboration with I.J. Thorpe, Nikos Kokkinos, Robert Morkot, and John Frankish; foreword by Colin Renfrew, London: Jonathan Cape, 1991. Orientalia, 62, pp. 306-309.

FRENDO, A.J., 1993. Review of 'Sarepta III: The imported Bronze and Iron Age Wares from Area II, X', by Robert B. Koehl Beyrouth: Publications de l`Universite Libanaise, 1985. Orientalia, 62, pp. 110-113.

FRENDO, A.J., 1993. Review of 'Sarepta IV: The Objects from Area II, X', by James B. Pritchard, Beyrouth: Publications de l`Universite Libanaise, 1988. Orientalia, 62, pp. 113-116.

FRENDO, A.J., 1993. Some observations on the investigation of the Phoenicians/Canaanites in the ancient Mediterranean world. Journal of Mediterranean Studies, 3(2), pp. 169-174.

FRENDO, A.J., EDITOR, 1993. Part I, entitled Malta and the Phoenician World, of a special double issue of the journal. Journal of Mediterranean Studies, 3(2), pp. 169-290.

FRENDO, A.J., 1992. The Canaanites in Malta: 8th-3rd Centruy BC. The Sunny Coast Resort Club Magazine, (1, May), pp. 10-11.

FRENDO, A.J., 1992. Five recent Books on the Emergence of Ancient Israel [Review Article]. Palestine Exploration Quarterly, (124), pp. 144-151.

FRENDO, A.J., 1992. Review of 'Hellenistic Phoenicia', by John D. Grainger, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1991. Journal of Mediterranean Studies, 2(1), pp. 109-110.

FRENDO, A.J., 1992. Review of 'Sarepta I: The Late Bronze and Iron Age Strata of Area II, Y', by William P. Anderson, Beyrouth: Publications de l`Universite Libanaise, 1988. Orientalia, 61, pp. 152-157.

FRENDO, A.J., 1992. Review of 'Sarepta II: The Late Bronze and Iron Age Periods of Area II, X', by Issam A. Khalifeh, Beyrouth: Publications de l`Universite Libanaise, 1988. Orientalia, 61, pp. 329-334.

FRENDO, A.J., 1992, January 5. The role of archaelogical parks in education and research. The Sunday Times, 28.

FRENDO, A.J., 1991. Review of 'Agyptisches Kulturgut auf den Inseln Malta und Gozo in phonikischer und punischer Zeit: die Objekte im Archaologischen Museum von Valletta', by Gunther Holbl (Appendix: `Untersuchung des Materials der unfertigen agyptischen Statue in Valletta`, by Karl Becherer), Wien: Verlag der Wissenschaft, 1989. Orientalia, 60, pp. 387-389.

FRENDO, A.J., 1991. Review of 'Palastina in vorhellenistischer Zeit', by Helga Weippert (with a contribution by Leo Mildenberg), Munchen: Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1988. Orientalia, 60, pp. 133-135.

FRENDO, A.J., 1991, August 11. Review of T.F.C. Blagg, A. Bonanno, and A.T. Luttrell, Excavations at Hal Millieri, Malta. The Sunday Times, 26.

FRENDO, A.J., 1990. Review of 'Archaeology of the Land of the Bible: 10,000-586 B.C.E.', by Amihai Mazar, New York: Doubleday, 1990. Melita Theologica, 41, pp. 179-182.

FRENDO, A.J., 1989. Review of 'Gezer IV: The 1969-71 Seasons in Field VI, the "Acropolis". Part 1: Text, Part 2: Plates and Plans', by W. Dever (editor and principal author), Jerusalem: Annual of the Nelson Glueck School of Biblical Archaeology, 1986. Orientalia, 58, pp. 435-437.

FRENDO, A.J., 1989. Review of 'I Siti a Plaza di Har Karkom', by E. Anati, Capo di Ponte (BS): Centro Camuno di Studi Preistorici, 1988. Antiquity, 63, pp. 862-863.

FRENDO, A.J., 1988. HJ Franken's Method of Ceramic Typology: An Appreciation'. Palestine Exploration Quarterly, , pp. 108-129.

FRENDO, A.J., 1988. Review of 'The Archaeology of the Israelite Settlement', by I. Finkelstein, Jerusalem: Israel Exploration Society. Orientalia, 57, pp. 410-412.

FRENDO, A.J., 1987. Review of 'Das Stadttor in Israel und in Nachbarlandern', by Z. Herzog (translated by M. Fischer), Mainz: Philipp von Zabern, 1986. The Antiquaries Journal, 67, pp. 155-156.

FRENDO, A.J., 1987. Review of 'Ergebnisse der Ausgrabungen auf der Hirbet el-Msas (Tel Masos): 1972-1975. Teil: I Textband, Teil II: Tafelband, Teil III: Plane', by V. Fritz, and A. Kempinski, Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 1983. Palestine Exploration Quarterly, 119, pp. 156-157.

FRENDO, A.J., 1985. Review of 'Palestine in Transition: The Emergence of Ancient Israel', by D.N. Freedman, and D.F. Graf (eds.), Sheffield: The American Schools of Oriental Research in association with the Almond Press, 1983. Palestine Exploration Quarterly, 117, pp. 76-78.

FRENDO, A.J., 1985. Review of 'The Provenience, Typology and Chronology of Eastern Terra Sigillata', by J. Gunneweg, I. Perlman, and J. Yellin, Jerusalem: The Institute of Archaeology, The Hebrew University, 1983. Biblica, 66, pp. 298-300.

FRENDO, A.J., 1984. Review of 'The Archaeology of the Land of Israel', by Y. Aharoni, Philadelphia: The Westminister Press, 1982. The Heythrop Journal, 25, pp. 489-491.

FRENDO, A.J., 1984. Review of 'The Quest for the Historical Israel: Reconstructing Israel`s Early History', by G. W. Ramsey, London: SCM Press, 1982. The Heythrop Journal, 25, pp. 383-384.

FRENDO, A.J., 1983-4. The International Congress on Biblical Archaeology, Jerusalem. Bulletin of the Anglo-Israel Archaeological Society, , pp. 15-16.

FRENDO, A.J., 1983. Review of 'The Old Testament and the Archaeologist', by H. Darrell Lance, SPCK. The Month, (16), pp. 179-180.

FRENDO, A.J., 1981. The Broken Construct Chain in Qoh 10, 10b. Biblica, 62, pp. 544-545.