Over the past 30 years, Eleanor and Lawrence (class of ’64) Jackier have acquired an impressive collection of archaeological artifacts representing the ethnically diverse populations of ancient Israel/Palestine. Spanning a period of 2,500 years, from the Bronze Age to late antiquity, the Jackier Collection includes items large and small, made from ceramic, metal, and glass, which together exemplify almost every aspect of life in the ancient world—commerce, war, beauty, politics, agriculture, domestic life, death, and religion.

In 2014, the Jackiers loaned 30 objects for use in Professor Yaron Eliav’s undergraduate course, “The Land of Israel/Palestine through the Ages,” offered by the Department of Near Eastern Studies. With the aid of a Transforming Learning for the Third Century grant from the U-M Office of the Provost, a suite of teaching tools was developed to enable students to carry out first-hand research on these objects. Following a very successful essay competition at the end of the Winter 2014 semester, the Jackiers agreed to endow the Jackier Prize competition in perpetuity and to open it up to all interested undergraduates at the University of Michigan.

This year, 7 students entered the competition, each writing essays comparing one object either from the Jackier Collection or from the Kelsey Museum Collections with one object on display in the Museum’s galleries. The winners are Chen Liang and Joseph LaVigne; their essays were chosen for the current exhibition, which the students produced together with Scott Meier, Kelsey Museum Exhibition Designer.

The Jackiers have announced their wish to open their collection to the public by donating it to the Kelsey Museum.