Sunday, August 04, 2019

Are the skeletal remains from Masada non-Jewish?

Masada, the Human Remains: An Anthropological Critique

Masada, known throughout the western world for the suicide narrative described by Josephus and later excavations by Professor Yigal Yadin, is not without controversy. Outside the academic world, few are aware of the controversy surrounding Masada; however, scholars have long questioned the veracity of the narrative and its interpretation by Yadin. Unfortunately, few scholars have subjected the narrative to rigorous anthropological research, the basis upon which the final Masada drama rests. Professor Amnon Ben-Tor, who excavated Masada, has attempted to summarize the archaeological along with the anthropological findings for a wider public audience. However honest his attempt, the anthropological findings strongly suggest that nearly all, if not all of the human remains found to date, are ethnically non-Jewish.

By Joe Zias
Science and Antiquity
Jerusalem, Israel
July 2019
For past PaleoJudaica posts on the history and archaeology of, and revisionist views on, Masada, see here and links. And another recent post on Masada is here.

Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.