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Michael Pytlik


Dr. Michael Pytlik teaches courses in Anthropology, specializing in the archaeology of Israel, and in Judaic Studies.  He has led the study abroad program to Israel since 2009.  This trip includes a field school in archaeology at sites in Israel.  The trip also includes a tour of the country. His doctoral studies focused on the historical King David through the disciplines of archaeology, history, biblical studies, and on subsequent narrative traditions about the king.  He also studies the formation of the early Judean monarchy and its formation in ancient Judah/Israel. Dr. Pytlik also teaches a course in the formation of religious sites important to Judaism, Christianity and Islam, focusing mostly on Jerusalem.  He teaches several courses in Judaic Studies, including introductory courses and upper-level courses in mysticism, sacred texts, Spiritual but not Religious and more. He is the Director of Judaic Studies and the Director of the Cis Maisel Center for Judaic Studies and Community Engagement.

Research Interests

Archaeology of Israel, the Archaeology of Sacred Sites, Judaic Studies, Mysticism, Myth and Religion


Ph.D., Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies, January 2015, Jewish Studies
M.A., Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies, December 2009, Jewish Education/Studies
B.A., Saginaw Valley State University, June 1992, History/Philosophy


Yosef Garfinkel, Jon W. Carroll, Michael Pytllik, and Madeleine Mumcuoglu. Forthcoming. “Constructing the Assyrian Siege Ramp at Lachish: Texts, Iconography, Archaeology, and Photogrammetry.” Oxford Journal of Archaeology.

Yosef Garfinkel, Michael G. Hasel, Martin G. Klingbeil, Igor Kreimerman, Michael Pytlik, Jon W. Carroll, Jonathan W.B. Waybright, Hoo-Goo Kang, Gwanghyun Choi, SangYeup Chang, Soonhwa Hong, Arlette David, Itamar Weissbein and Noam Silberberg. 2021. “The Canaanite and Judean Cities of Lachish, Israel: Preliminary Report of the Fourth Expedition, 2013–2017.” American Journal of Archaeology 125(3): 419-459.

Courses Taught

AN 3562: Archeology of Israel
AN 3563: Archaeology of Sacred Sites of the Near East/Jerusalem
AN 3900/4996: Field School in Israel/Archaeology
REL 1200: Introduction to Judaism
REL 1850: World Religious Traditions
REL 3720: God and Man in Judaism
REL 3730: Mystics and Mystical Insights
REL 3710: Written Tradition of Judaism
ST: Spiritual but not Religious
ST: Life and Legends of King David

Department of Sociology, Anthropology, Social Work & Criminal Justice

Varner Hall Room 518
371 Varner Drive
Rochester , MI 48309-4482
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(248) 370-2420
fax: (248) 370-4608

Social Work
Varner, Room 513
371 Varner Dr.
Rochester, MI 48309-4482
(248) 370-2371
[email protected]