- Richard Horsley stated that Nazareth was refounded in the pre-Hasmonean Hellinistic times and continued to be built during Hasmonean times. It was stated that Nazareth was a small rural center during Roman times. His references were provided in Archaeology, History, and Society in Galilee, 1996, USA
I read a theory that Kefr Cana was founded in 70 A.D., then there were later studies showing that Kefr Cana was a thriving community in early Roman times.
There is no reason to doubt that the area near Mary's Spring in Nazareth was occupied during the first century based on pottery studies and the context of the surrounding areas. It is not unusual to also find pottery from after 70 A.D. in these areas as they were not uttterly destroyed as Yopata/Jopata, Gamla, Masada, and Jerusalem were. Bagatti interpreted Nazareth settlement before and after 70 A.D. The Franciscans have published no retraction. Archaeology confirmed early Roman agricultural settlements in these mountains, along with first century hiding tunnels in Nazareth center. There were mikveh's found at Gamla. Two stepped pools found at Nazareth previously thought to be ritual cleansing pools (mikveh) have been reinterpreted by some and identified as winepressing vats. A number of silos and olive oil presses indicated that this area was part of an agricutural based community.
Rene published that bow spouted Herodian lamps were made as late as 150 A.D. this is the first person I have ever read to date them that late. Is this late dating of pottery an attempt to rewrite history?
David Q. Hall
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- Rene Salm wrote concerning, inter alia, post-Iron Age and pre-100 CE Nazareth
> All this cannot have come about overnight. The Christian tradition hasIt is false to say that only Christians claim Nazareth was inhabited in the
> apparently constructed an independent interpretation of evidence in
> the Holy Land over the last several generations. In my opinion it is a
> tendentious interpretation, one conforming at all costs to the New
> Testament texts and now supported by a substantial number of
> error-laden scholarly publications. That interpretation is neither
> warranted by the evidence in the ground nor espoused by non-Christian
> archaeologists. I am not the only one to hold such an opinion, though
> I may be the only one able to freely voice it on a list such as this.
> I hope readers will understand that I do so with respect both to my
> adversaries and advocates. I respect a person's right to believe what
> he or she thinks is right. What I don't respect is a person's refusal
> to look at the evidence.
Hellenistic and Early Roman periods. For evidence, I have quoted, e.g.,
Israel Antiquities Authority publications that report finding Hellenistic and
Early Roman pottery in Nazareth; that is evidence, Rene Salm, but you ignore it,
and even presume, though you are not an archaeologist, that these reports are
false. Avi-Yonah's Gazetteer (Qedem 5) lists Nazareth as the town where Jesus
grew up. Or see Encyclopaedia Judaica. Or see Tabula Imperii Romani:
Iudaea-Palaestina, Yoram Tsafrir et al., Israel Academy of Sciences and
Humanities, 1994. That Bagatti made some mistakes is not news--e.g. Joan E.
Taylor's 1993 book (and her dissertation earlier), which accepts a first
century CE Nazareth, already proposed some--but that does not mean that every
one who sees Hellenistic and Early Roman pottery there is part of some
conspiracy. James Strange has dug for years in Galilee, including of course at
nearby Sepphoris, the settlement that makes Early Roman absence of humans at
Nazareth exceedingly improbable, if not practically inevitable, as it's an
excellent place to help feed Sepphoris; he has not only read publications but
seen pottery in the Nazareth museum; dismissing his observations, among others,
seems imprudent. To suggest that Israeli archaeologists are too shy to speak up
with different dating proposals merely indicates not paying attention.
As for you, Rene Salm, imagining yourself the only one brave enough to try to
speak truth on Nazareth, well, I find other versions of this crank theory on
the internet, including in portions of the Wikipedia articles on Nazareth and
Nazirites. If we take your invitation to look at evidence in your peculiar way
of actually dismissing evidence--and forget about Nassura mentioned in the
Hazor tablet and all--is the point of your effort to persuade us that Jesus was
a Nazirite and that yet another conspiracy has been in effect to obscure this?
And that New Testament editings and rewritings have contributed to this, but
not well enough to escape your detection?
If that is the case, please recall that the town name and the name for
"Christians" (of various definitions) are both spelled with a tsade and that
Nazir is spelled with a zayin--the roots do not match. Of course it is a fair
question what "Nazareth" originally meant, and Matthew 2:23 plainly sees
Nazoraios as having both geographic and non-geographic associations (see Anchor
Bible Dictionary, "Nazarenes"). But to seek to dissociate Jesus from Nazareth
and to seek to call Jesus a Nazirite takes two streams of special pleading.