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The Historical Nazareth: Reed's dating methods

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  • Teresa Callahan, M.D. Ben Douglas, M.D.
    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
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 1, 2001
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      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
      identity:

      (1) the chalk vessels (also called stone vessels),
      (2) stepped plastered pools or ritual baths (also called
      miqwaoth),
      (3) secondary burial with ossuaries in loculi tombs (also
      called kokhim),and
      (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.

      Peace,
      Teresa

      Teresa Callahan, M.D.
      Eugene, OR
      Oregon State University (under Marcus Borg)
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