Purity without Borders: Material Culture and Jewish Diaspora in the Late Second Temple Period
Chalkstone vessels, interpreted as objects for certain Jewish purity concerns, found on Tall Zira’a, near Gadara (Northern Jordan), bring up the question how purity obligations were practiced in the early Jewish Diaspora during the Roman Period. In Israel they are mostly known in the region of Galilee and Iudaea, in Jewish religiously observant environments.
Growing numbers of those finds in Jordan – also in small scale settlements - in general show a larger distribution of these objects than originally thought. I would like to discuss if we see here a religious concern, a certain ‘aesthetical’ trend or a matter of identity.
How have they been relevant to the community that lived outside the borders of ‘Biblical Israel’ and had no frequent access to the Temple or Jerusalem as a holy centre? Could the indication of the objects change in a more Gentile environment like Jordan?
These material finds could be an opportunity to approach a wider understanding of the daily life of the early Diaspora.
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