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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

Small Change in Hellenistic-Roman Galilee: The Evidence from Numismatic Site Finds as a Tool for Historical Reconstruction
Syon, Danny

Jerusalem: Israel Numismatic Society, 2015 pp. 288. $75.00

Series Information
Numismatic Studies and Researches, 11

Description: Galilee has received attention far disproportionate to its size, because both the ministry of Jesus began in Galilee, and post-135 CE Judaism was centered there. This study maps the distribution of bronze coins found at some 250 sites in Galilee in the Hellenistic and Roman periods (c. 300 BCE-260 CE) and uses the pattern as an independent tool in evaluating historical processes in that region. Learning which coins were used as "small change" by the Galilean population provides insight into the dynamics of its ethnic composition during this time span. Employing spatial analysis of coin finds, related numismatic understandings, and archaeological and historical evidence when available, the boundaries of Jewish Galilee are traced from the Hasmonean period onward. Drawing on the new "archaeology of ethnicity" and the "archaeology of difference" approaches, this study offers new insights and common sense answers to some of the controversial issues about first-century Galilee. Historians, archaeologists and numismatists, as well as all students of Historic Galilee will find this book an important addition to their bookshelf.

Subjects: Methods, Historical Approaches, History, Archaeology

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Review by Mark A. Chancey
Published 7/28/2016
Citation: Mark A. Chancey, review of Danny Syon, Small Change in Hellenistic-Roman Galilee: The Evidence from Numismatic Site Finds as a Tool for Historical Reconstruction, Review of Biblical Literature [] (2016).

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