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How Archaeologists Study the People of the Gospels

January 16 @ 12:30 pm - 1:45 pm
Royce 306,

In Person (Royce 306) or on Zoom
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How do archaeologists unearth the daily life of people from Jesus’s time?

Contrary to popular belief, archaeology of first-century Roman Galilee is not about illustrating or proving the gospels, drawing timelines, or hunting treasure. Rather, it is about understanding the lives of people, just like us, who lived in the time of Jesus. How do we conceive of Jesus and his mission as part of a larger world? How did different groups in Roman Galilee understand their identities and values? How do we interpret material culture in conjunction with textual evidence from the gospels? On a more basic level, how do we know where and how to dig?

Co-sponsored by the Kershaw Chair of Ancient Eastern Mediterranean Studies 

James Riley Strange teaches how to address these problems in his book Excavating the Land of Jesus. Drawing on professional experience as a scientific archaeologist in Israel, Strange explains current methodology for ground surveying, excavating evidence, and interpreting data. James Strange received the Charles Jackson Granade and Elizabeth Donald Granade Chair in New Testament in the fall of 2017. He is a 2015 recipient of the Dean’s Award for Research, Howard College of Arts and Sciences, and a member of Phi Kappa Phi honor society. Strange is Director of the Shikhin Excavation Project in Israel and researches archaeology of Palestine in the Hellenistic through Byzantine periods, early Christianity and post-biblical Judaisms. He teaches courses in New Testament, ancient Greco-Roman Religions, and the archaeology of Palestine.


January 16
12:30 pm - 1:45 pm
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Center for the Study of Religion
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Royce 306