K Coblentz Bautch, R Bautch, G Barkay, and SG Sheridan.  (In Press).    "'The Vessels of the Potter Shall Be Broken': Material Culture from a Burial Cave at St. Étienne's Monastery, Jerusalem."   Due to be published in Revue Biblique, March 2000.
 
 

Abstract  (Full text - coming soon)

The focus of this study is the material culture from a repository in one of the burial caves of the monastery of St. Stephen in Jerusalem.  This investigation was conducted in the context of a larger project aimed at reconstructing life at a well-documented Byzantine monastic community by synthesizing the biological, historical, and archaeological records.  An inventory of  202 items including pottery sherds, glass, fragments of clay oil lamps, jewelry, and a devotional object are presented herein.   Though the items indicate a broad temporal spectrum beginning in Iron Age II and continuing through the Ottoman period, a majority derive from the late Roman and Byzantine periods. Particularly noteworthy are the fragments from oil lamps and glass vessels dating from the late Roman and Byzantine periods, common finds from burial caves of those periods. As a whole the collection is peculiar as it lacks necessary and anticipated diagnostic sherds, intact vessels, or groups of sherds capable of restoration, possibly indicative of significant looting of the material culture from these tombs.  Thus, while of minimal utility for understanding social or symbolic aspects of ancient burial practices, the collection does enhance a temporal placement for the human remains with which they were commingled.  Viewed in concert with the chemical analyses, osteological evidence, and textual record, this rather sparse collection helps corroborate a Byzantine placement for the skeletal remains interred in repository 6 of cave complex 1 at St. Stephen's monastery.
 

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