The Historical Nazareth: Reed's dating methods
- Regarding Jonathan Reed's dating methods in his "Archaeology and the
Galilean Jesus": I scoured Reed's book looking for a discussion of
dating methods and this is what I could find. The dating of
the material culture at Nazareth from the first century B.C.E. to the
first century C.E. is based on four indicators of Jewish religious
(1) the chalk vessels (also called stone vessels),
(2) stepped plastered pools or ritual baths (also called
(3) secondary burial with ossuaries in loculi tombs (also
(4) bone profiles that lack pork.
Apparently all these indicators were common throughout Judea and
Galilee during the Hasmonean and Herodian periods but faded out of
use by the end of the first century C.E. or early second century C.E.
after the destruction of the Second Temple. These indicators are
tied to Jewish literary evidence in the Mishnah in its discussions of
ritual purity (e.g. Kelim 10:1). These indicators have been
consistently found throughout Judea, Golan and Galilee in
archaeological strata up to the first century C.E. Chapter
2 of Reed's book lists extensive citations discussing the significance
of the stone vessels, miqwaoth, kokhim tombs and the absence of pork
in the bone profiles, but as far as I can tell, the finding of these
associated indicators indicates the Late Hellenistic and Early Roman
eras in archaeology.
Hope this helps with the dating question.
Teresa Callahan, M.D.
Oregon State University (under Marcus Borg)