Department of Biblical and Ancient Studies

Prof WS Boshoff

College of Human Sciences
School of Humanities
Department: Biblical and Ancient Studies
Tel: 012 429 4527


  • DD (UP, 1994)
  • BD (UP, 1982)
  • BA Honours (Semitic Languages) (UP, 1982)
  • BA Honours (Archaeology) (UP, 2000)

Fields of academic interests

Research Interests

  • Archaeology of the Iron Age II in the Levant
  • Southern African Historical Archaeology
  • Mission Archaeology
  • Old Testament prophets
  • Birds in ancient contexts – Bible and the Ancient Near East

Field of Specialisation

  • The history of Israelite religion
  • Archaeology of the biblical world
  • Historical archaeology
  • Old Testament prophetic literature
  • Ecological readings of Biblical texts
  • Birds in ancient contexts – Bible and the Ancient Near East


Book chapters:

  • “Spatial arrangements, rapprochement and animosity at Gerlachshoop and Thabantsho, South Africa, 1860-1864” in: Van der Heyden, U & Feldtkeller, A (Hrsg), 2012. Missionsgeschichte als Geschichte der Globalisierung von Wissen. Missionsgeschichtliches Archiv 19). Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag, 77-95.
  • “Who let grain, grapes and olives grow? Hosea’s polemics against the Yahwists of Israel” in: Van der Kooij, A (ed), 20013. Religious polemics in Context. Deo Publishing: Leiderdorp.
  • “Jeroboam ben Nebat in the Deuteronomistic history” in: De Moor, JC & Van Rooy, HF (eds), 2000. Past, Present, Future. The Deuteronomistic History and the Prophets. (Oudtestamentische Studiën 44). Brill: Leiden, 19-35.

Journal articles

  • Die repatriasie van die Ebo-4: Die lokalisering en opgrawing van die grafte van vier Suid-Afrikaanse soldate in die Ebo-distrik, Kwanza Sul, Angola, 1975-2012. Journal for Contemporary History 37(2), 2012, 191-223.
  • WC Nienaber, M Steyn, WS Boshoff, Alleged mass graves and burials outside a formal cemetery at the Orange River Concentration Camp, South Africa. South African Journal of Cultural History 29(2), 2015, 65-77.
  • U van der Heyden, WS Boshoff, Hermann Theodor Wangemann as illustrating traveller. Holy Land drawings from Egypt and Palestine, 1867. South African Journal of Art History 30(2), 2015, 155-170.
  • S Badenhorst , WS Boshoff, Animal remains from a late nineteenth early twentieth century rural farming community at Orange River Railway station in South Africa. Navorsinge van die nasionale Museum 31(3), 2015, 1-16
  • M Steyn, WC Nienaber, WS Boshoff, Exhumation and repatriation of the remains of the Ebo 4, Kwanza Sul Province, Angola. South African Archaeological Bulletin (Accepted for publication).

Paper presentations

  • Birdlife in Ancient Egypt. Presented at The Ancient Egyptian and Near Eastern Society on 12 May 2016.
  • Caton-Thompson, Kenyon and Gardner: Where Near Eastern and Southern African Archaeology intersected. Presented as a plenary session at the conference of the International Organisation for the Study of the Old Testament on 6 September 2016.
  • Sacred Ibis and bird mummies in Egypt. Do we need to know more? Presented at the Seminar Izak Spangenberg @ 65 on 27 October 2016.

Professional positions, fellowships & awards

  • Editor: Journal for Semitics
  • Book review editor of Old Testament Essays
  • Member of the OTSSA, SASNES, ASAPA
  • Unisa Chancellor’s Prize for Research, 2003
  • Chairperson of OTWSA from September 2016


  • Old Testament prophets in historical context
  • Birds in ancient Egypt
  • The Maleoskop archaeological project
  • Doornbult Concentration Camp archaeological project