Burial practices, funerary texts, and the treatment of death in Iron Age Israel and Aram
Nabulsi, Rachel Virginia
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This research encompasses two branches of evidence regarding the treatment of death and burial among the Iron Age cultures of Israel and Aram – the archaeological and the textual. The importance of this investigation lies in placing these groups in dialogue with one another, and in the comprehensive use of both archaeological and textual information. The archaeological aspect of this research begins by collecting archeological data from a large number of burial sites throughout both of the target territories. The range of this data extends from the time of the Late Bronze Age into the Persian period, but the primary focus is upon the Iron Age. The first section of the dissertation relates to each of these areas and what can be learned from a survey of sites over this period, with particular attention paid to commonalities and contrasts among the two cultural groups. The second half of this research encompasses the textual and inscriptional data. Textual data include inscriptions from coffins, tombs, and funerary monuments from the Iron Age through the Persian period in Israel and Aram. Another crucial aspect of this textual data is the text of the Hebrew Bible. The biblical text, particularly the narrative sections of the text, provides a great amount of material for understanding death in Iron Age Israel and Judah.