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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

Feasting in the Archaeology and Texts of the Bible and the Ancient Near East
Altmann, Peter and Janling Fu, editors

Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2014 pp. xi + 303. $42.75


Description: This volume brings together the work of scholars using various methodologies to investigate the prevalence, importance, and meanings of feasting and foodways in the texts and cultural-material environments of the Hebrew Bible and the ancient Near East. Thus, it serves as both an introduction to and explication of this emerging field. The offerings range from the third-millennium Early Dynastic period in Mesopotamia to the rise of a new cuisine in the Islamic period and transverse geographical locations such as southern Iraq, Syria, the Aegean, and especially the southern Levant. The strength of this collection lies in the many disciplines and methodologies that come together. Texts, pottery, faunal studies, iconography, and anthropological theory are all accorded a place at the table in locating the importance of feasting as a symbolic, social, and political practice. Various essays showcase both new archaeological methodologies--zooarchaeological bone analysis and spatial analysis--and classical methods such as iconographic studies, ceramic chronology, cultural anthropology, and composition-critical textual analysis.

Subjects: Bible, Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Literature, Methods, Historical Approaches, History, Ancient Near Eastern History, Social-Scientific Approaches, Anthropology, Other Methods

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Review by Wolfgang Zwickel
Published 3/9/2016
Citation: Wolfgang Zwickel, review of Peter Altmann and Janling Fu, eds., Feasting in the Archaeology and Texts of the Bible and the Ancient Near East, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2016).


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