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John Betlyon

John Betlyon

Senior Lecturer in Jewish Studies, Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies, and History

414 Weaver Building University Park , PA 16802
Office Phone: (814) 863-8940


  1. PhD, Harvard University, 1978
  2. MTS, Harvard Divinity School, 1973
  3. AB, Bucknell University, 1971


Dr. Betlyon has a background in the archaeology of the ancient Near East, and in the study of the history and religions of the region.  His first archaeological experience was in 1973 at Tell el-Hesi [Istael].  He has also dug in Jordan, Tunisia, and Cyprus, focusing on the treatment and identification of excavation coins. He is currently working on the publication of coins excavated at the site of Qatsrin in the Golan Heights and on the coins of Roman Aila (Aqaba, Jordan).

Recent Publications:

With Ricardo S. Sanchez, A Commander’s Prayers (Rapid City, SD: Crosslink Publishing.  Pp. 158.

The Coins.  Pp. 413-443 in The Roman Frontier in Central Jordan:  Final Report on The Limes Arabicus Project 1980-1989, vol. 2, ed. S. Thomas Parker.  Washington, DC:  The Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection.

The Coins from the 1975-1978 Seasons in the Punic Port and Tophet of Carthage, Tunisia.  Revue numismatique 2008: 321-353.

A People Transformed:  Palestine in the Persian Period.  Near Eastern Archaeology 68: 4-58.

Student Testimonial

“The Department of Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies is an incredibly helpful community of individuals who love to learn. The faculty members of this department are very thoughtful and provide invaluable assistance to otherwise confused undergraduates. (...)
The smaller department size allows students to establish relationships with faculty and to establish a community in a school that might otherwise seem dauntingly large. The Classics and the study of the ancient Mediterranean world are strong at Penn State. For a school that prides itself on cutting-edge research and applied sciences, Penn State is a superb promoter of the Humanities. This support allows the CAMS department to recruit world-class faculty, provide generous funding and aid to undergraduates, and establish resources for research. The structure of the department was a perfect fit for me and allowed me to explore a wide-range of subjects related to my interests. In my four years in the program, I strengthened my Latin and Greek and was also able to study Egyptian Hieroglyphs and Sumerian. I now look forward to continuing my training in philology as I pursue graduate study.”

Timothy W. Dooley
2011 CAMS graduate

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