Daily Life and Practice

Daily Life and Practice


Jul 16

The Enduring Symbolism of Doves

By: Dorothy Willette

Few symbols have a tradition as long and as rich as the dove. Read about what it represents and how its use has been shared, adapted and reinterpreted across cultures and millennia to suit changing belief systems.

Delphi Oracle

Jul 7

The Oracle of Delphi—Was She Really Stoned?

By: Jelle Zeilinga de Boer and John R. Hale

According to Strabo and other sources, the Pythia who gave prophecies on behalf of Apollo was inspired by mysterious vapors. Is there evidence that intoxicating gases actually drifted through the Temple of Apollo at Delphi?

Seder meal

Jul 6

Making Sense of Kosher Laws

By: Biblical Archaeology Society Staff

The origins of Jewish dietary or kosher laws (kashrut) have long been the subject of scholarly research and debate.


Jun 27

What Was Life Like for Roman Slaves?

By: Biblical Archaeology Society Staff

In the southwest of Asia Minor, at the site of Aphrodisias, Turkey, archaeology has provided insight into the lives of Roman slaves, including a man named Zoilos who earned his freedom.

Fifth-century B.C. Attic vase, from Basel’s Antikenmuseum. Photo: Antikenmuseum Basel und Sammlung Ludwig, INV.

May 28

Lay That Ghost: Necromancy in Ancient Greece and Rome

By: Daniel Ogden

When seeking “hidden” knowledge, ancient Greeks and Romans visited sacred oracles and consulted necromancers, who communed with the dead. The necromancer’s art often involved strange journeys, sleep-and-dreaming rituals and even blood sacrifices—since the ghostly shades were thought to need a tonic of fresh blood to become reanimated. Our modern fascination with exorcism and vampires suggests that necromancy is hardly dead.

May 20

BAR Test Kitchen: Greek Tuna Steaks

By: Jennifer Drummond

Summer is a good time for simple, easy meals. Who wants to spend a lot of time in the kitchen when there is so much […]

17th-century bilingual collection of Christian exhortative texts. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Public Domain

May 10

What Is Coptic?

By: Marek Dospěl

Discover the fascinating history of Coptic, the final stage of the indigenous language of Egypt. Learn about its connection to ancient Egyptian and its significance in the Coptic Church.

Alabaster vessel of King Pepi I (2276–2228 BCE). The Walters Art Museum, Public Domain.

May 3

What Is Ancient Egyptian?

By: Marek Dospěl

The Egyptian language is the sole representative of an autonomous branch of the Afro-Asiatic (formerly Semito-Hamitic) language family. As such, Egyptian is related to both […]


Apr 30

What Did Gladiators Eat?

By: Robin Ngo

A study published in PLOS ONE suggests that gladiators really did eat mostly plants and may have drunk an ash tonic as described by ancient authors.

Apr 13

Fruit in the Bible

By: David Moster

Seeds and fruit remains are exciting discoveries for archaeologists, and they provide radiocarbon data to help date buried strata. Fruit also plays an important role in the Biblical narrative.