Late Roman and Byzantine Galilee: A Provincial Case Study from the Perspective of the Imported and Common Pottery Public Deposited

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  • March 22, 2019
  • Schindler, Daniel
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Classics
  • This dissertation analyzes the ceramic corpus from seven Late Roman and Byzantine (ca. 4th century to the 7th century CE) eastern Galilean Jewish villages as a case-study to examine questions about cultural change and the complex interplay between historical and archaeologically based interpretations of the ancient world. To address these questions, the author studied 59 chronologically distinct ceramic assemblages and, based on the latter, created a new typology and chronology of Galilean common pottery. Using this typology, in conjunction with published site reports, and intensive quantitative analysis of over 6000 individual sherds (published and unpublished), a new settlement chronology for eastern Galilee is proposed, suggesting that the Jewish settlement in Galilee during the Late Roman and Byzantine period was defined by relative settlement stability and continuity. As a corollary to the new settlement chronology, it is argued that the appearance of monumental synagogue architecture is a phenomenon that began in the 4th century and continued into the 7th and 8th centuries, resulting in two significant implications: (1) the period following the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple in 70 until the 4th century leaves a gap of just over 200 years devoid of any synagogue remains that can be identified with certainty; (2) the rise of monumental synagogue architecture, decorative motifs, and religious symbols developed concurrently with Christian basilicas and art, rather than as antecedents. A review of the imported fineware and common ware assemblages reveals that Galilee has a strong local ceramic tradition beginning in the late 1st century BCE/1st century CE with the production of Kefar Ḥananya ware vessels. During the 5th century, Kefar Ḥananya ware vessel types were gradually subsumed when production shifted away from central Galilee towards the coast. The domestic assemblages used by the villagers indicate that they maintained the same culinary traditions and dining habits of earlier generations. Imported pottery was rather rare and did not become common until after the mid-5th century. In sum, this dissertation provides a review and analysis of the Late Roman and Byzantine common pottery corpus from Galilee and lays the groundwork for socio-economic research in the region on a local and international scale.
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  • In Copyright
  • Magness, Jodi
  • Parker, S. Thomas
  • Rives, James
  • Gates-Foster, Jennifer
  • Haggis, Donald
  • Doctor of Philosophy
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Graduate School
Graduation year
  • 2017

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