The study of food in the Hebrew Bible and Syro-Palestinian archaeology has tended to focus on kosher dietary laws, the sacrificial system, and feasting in elite contexts. More everyday ritual and practice - the preparation of food in the home - has been overlooked. Food in Ancient Judah explores both the archaeological remains and ancient Near Eastern sources to see what they reveal about the domestic gastronomical daily life of ancient Judahites within the narratives of the Hebrew Bible. Beyond the findings, the methodology of the study is in itself innovative. Biblical passages that deal with domestic food preparation are translated and analysed. Archaeological findings and relevant secondary resources are then applied to inform these passages. Food in Ancient Judah reflects both the shift towards the study of everyday life in biblical studies and archaeology and the huge expansion of interest in food history - it will be of interest to scholars in all these fields.
Table of Contents
Introduction 1. The ancient household and its food 2. Settlement classification in Iron age Judah 3. A spatial analysis of Iron II Judahite settlements 4. Broader persepctives: art, literature, and ethnography 5. Home cooking in the Hebrew Bible 6. Conclusion: mixing the ingredients together Notes Bibliography Index of ancient references Index of authors Index of subjects
Cynthia Shafer-Elliott is Assistant Professor of Hebrew Bible at William Jessup University in Rocklin, California.
'Schafer-Elliott provides a helpful model of careful attention to the archaeology of homes and how the spaces are used in those homes.' - Stephen Reed, Jamestown College, Review of Biblical Literature
'This innovative study offers new insights into the meanings behind cooking in the Hebrew Bible while also making an important contribution to the development of household archaeology in the southern Levant.' - Jennie Ebeling, University of Evansville, USA