Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Did the ancient Judeans keep kosher?

CULINARY ARCHAEOLOGY: Ancient Judeans ate non-kosher catfish, sharks. The biblical prohibition against finless and scaleless sea creatures emerged in spite of this consolidated habit (Rossella Tercatin, Jerusalem Post).
[Archaeologist Dr. Yonatan] Adler and the co-author of the study, Haifa University Prof. Omri Lernau, analyzed the data from some 56 fish bones assemblages found in 30 sites throughout the region and dating between the Late Bronze Age through to the end of the Byzantine period (ca. 1550 BCE to 640 CE).

The researchers demonstrated that the consumption of non-kosher fish was very common up until and including the Persian period (586 BCE-332 BCE).

The period of time covers centuries when a great part of the biblical narrative is believed to have taken place, the time of prophets and kings.

That implies that some (not all) of the kosher laws in Leviticus were innovations.

PaleoJudaica has been following Dr. Adler's work on archaeology and ritual purity for some time. See here, here, here, here, here, and here.

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