Sunday, September 06, 2015

Strange on Shikhin

ASOR BLOG: Shikhin Between Jews and Romans (James Strange).
We can now say with great confidence that Shikhin is the site of the northern lamp workshop, or one such workshop. This fact opens up whole new set of questions, not only about Jewish identity and commerce, but also about the migration of Judeans northward as refugees after these two devastating wars with Rome. The idea of refugees, in turn, raises questions about the stability of the Galilee and economic stresses born from the upheavals of war. Preserving, strengthening, and expressing identity through material culture, food, language, and styles of dress (among other things) would have enhanced stability. Material culture is virtually the only one of these left for us to find, but it still speaks powerfully about the ability of Galilean Jews to hold on to their identity in the wake of catastrophe.