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Archaeology, Ethnicity, And First-Century C.E. Galilee: The Limits Of Evidence

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Chapter Summary

The ethnic identity of first-century C.E. Galileans has long been a matter of scholarly dispute. Two recent developments in scholarship clearly support Sean Freynes position that Galilee was predominantly Jewish: first, the publication of archaeological survey data that shed considerable light on Galilees historical development and, second, the corroborating findings of different systematic reviews of the regions first-century material culture. This chapter summarizes the findings of these studies, noting also the questions they leave unanswered and the new questions they pose. Surveys demonstrate that there was little continuity in Galilee between the pre-Assyrian conquest population and that of the post-conquest period. The survey of Upper Galilee sheds new light on the significance of Kefar Hananyah ware. Burial practices can also indicate a Jewish presence, though the type of grave itself does not necessarily tell us about ethnicity.

Keywords: archaeological survey; ethnic identity; first-century C.E. Galileans; Sean Freyne



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