Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Them Bones

LIVESCIENCE: Animal sacrifice at temple powered ancient Jerusalem's economy: Animal bones found in a dump dating to the end of the second Temple period suggest that animal sacrifice powered Jerusalem's economy.
Pilgrims came from hundreds of miles away to sacrifice animals at an ancient temple in Jerusalem, new research suggests.

An analysis of bones found in an ancient dump in the city dating back 2,000 years revealed that animals sacrificed at the temple came from far and wide.

"The study shows that there is a major interprovincial market that enables the transfer of vast numbers of animals that are used for sacrifice and feasting in Jerusalem during that time period," said study co-author Gideon Hartman, a researcher at the University of Connecticut.

The finding, published in the September issue of the Journal of Archaeological Science, confirms visions of the temple depicted in historical Jewish texts and suggests the economic heart of the city was its slaughtering operation.

You can find the original journal article here (#22) (noted by Joseph Lauer).

On the Temple as a "massive slaughterhouse," see also here.