BIBLE HISTORY DAILY

What Archaeology in the Galilee Tells Us About Daily Life in Ancient Israel

A new survey of archaeology in the Galilee helps fill in the picture

Read the full original review by Michael Eisenberg as it appeared in Biblical Archaeology Review , Jan/Feb 2012

 

What Archaeology in the Galilee Tells Us About Daily Life in Ancient Israel

Uzi Leibner’s new book reports the results of an archaeological survey of the eastern Galilee. The survey provides important details about Israel in the Roman period, as well as the Hellenistic and Byzantine eras. Photo: Todd Bolen/www.bibleplaces.com

Settlement and History in Hellenistic, Roman, and Byzantine Galilee: An Archaeological Survey of Eastern Galilee

By Uzi Leibner

Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2009
471 pp. (hardcover)

A new book by Uzi Leibner titled Settlement and History in Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine Galilee: An Archaeological Survey of Eastern Galilee illuminates history and daily life in ancient Israel as seen through the lens of archaeology, specifically archaeology in the Galilee region of northern Israel. Focusing on the archaeology of the region from the Hellenistic to the Byzantine period, Leibner’s book offers an archaeological portrait of Israel in the Roman period–the historical backdrop of the early days of Christianity.

As reviewer Michael Eisenberg of the University of Haifa points out, the best way to get a sense of the Galilee’s ancient settlements, geography, industries and different ethnicities is through archaeological survey. Leibner’s book provides a comprehensive overview of one such survey of archaeology in the Galilee region, and thereby offers readers a portrait of the eastern Galilee during the Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine periods, when Judaism and Christianity exerted significant influence over historical events and daily life in ancient Israel.
 


 
The Galilee is one of the most evocative locales in the New Testament—the area where Jesus was raised and where many of the Apostles came from. Our free eBook The Galilee Jesus Knew focuses on several aspects of Galilee: how Jewish the area was in Jesus’ time, the ports and the fishing industry that were so central to the region, and several sites where Jesus likely stayed and preached.
 


 
Israel in the Roman period saw numerous historical events, such as the reign of Herod the Great, and the sacking of Jerusalem in 70 C.E., that helped shape the future course of both Christianity and Rabbinic Judaism. But Leibner’s book on archaeology in the Galilee reaches beyond this dynamic period to explore both the preceding and succeeding eras, giving readers a much clearer archaeological picture of Israel in the Roman period. From daily life in ancient Israel to the archaeology in the Galilee during the Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine periods, Eisenberg notes that Leibner’s book is an essential resource for historians and archaeologists who want a more complete picture of the Galilee region in antiquity.
 


 
How did Christianity become a religion distinct from its Jewish origins? Read The Origin of Christianity in Bible History Daily.

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