Monday, May 29, 2017

Landfill archaeology in Jerusalem

MATERIAL CULTURE: JERUSALEM DIG SHEDS LIGHT ON 2,000-YEAR-OLD EATING HABITS OF LOCAL JEWS. Sheep and goats were the order of the day, pork and shellfish nowhere to be found, and pigeons were bred for sacrifices on Temple Mount (Daniel K. Eisenbud, Jerusalem Post). Not surprisingly, the inhabitants of Jerusalem in the first century C.E. followed the kosher dietary laws.

The archaeology of garbage often gives us social information beyond what we find in ancient architecture, artifacts, and texts. Garbage also be a rich source of small artifacts such as coins and jewelry. And once in a great while, it even produces a trove manuscripts (e.g., Oxyrhynchus).

Some additional PaleoJudaica posts on the archaeology of ancient garbage are here, here, here, and here.