The Schweich Lectures of the British Academy are perhaps the most distinguished lecture series in the world relating to archaeology and the Bible. Usually consisting of three lectures followed by their publication in book form, lecturers have included some of the greatest names in Bible scholarship as well as in the archaeology of the ancient Near East.
The series was inaugurated in 1908 with the Regius Professor of Hebrew at the University of Oxford, Canon S.R. Driver. His book of three lectures is titled Modern Research as Illustrating the Bible. Subsequent lecturers have included an array of scholarly stars such as R.A.S. Macalister on the Philistines, A.E. Cowley on the Hittites, Moses Gaster on the Samaritans, E.L. Sukenik on ancient synagogues, Claude F.A. Schaeffer on Ras Shamra-Ugarit, Paul Kahle on the Cairo Genizah, Roland de Vaux on archaeology and the Dead Sea Scrolls, and Kathleen Kenyon on Amorites and Canaanites. More recent lecturers have included Yigael Yadin on his excavations at Hazor, Abraham Malamat on Mari, Othmar Keel on scarabs and seals, P.R.S. Moorey on figurine idols and Lawrence Stager on his excavations at Ashkelon.
Originally the lectures were delivered annually, but economic pressures subsequently reduced that to every other year and finally to every three years.