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CHAPTER 5 - Material Culture from Table to Grave

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  03 October 2019

Anthony Keddie
Affiliation:
University of British Columbia, Vancouver
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Summary

Material culture is the focus of the chapter 5. After a brief methodological discussion of the “archaeology of class,” where class is a subjective sociocultural category, this chapter examines material and literary evidence for class distinctions in tableware, oil lamps, dress, and burial customs. Each of these case studies shows that elites stimulated supraregional trade and local production by seeking out imported luxury items and new types of local products. At the same time that Judaean elites developed a distinctive class culture that incorporated Graeco-Roman influences, Judaean nonelites produced new forms of utilitarian items. The agency of nonelites in generating a distinctive class culture was generally inhibited, however, by their limited economic resources. These dramatic changes in the use of material culture, which began around 20 BCE and continued into the first century CE, were at least partially a function of Herod’s building projects and urban development.

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Chapter
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Class and Power in Roman Palestine
The Socioeconomic Setting of Judaism and Christian Origins
, pp. 197 - 248
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2019

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