Conceptions of Death and Afterlife
Burial Practices in Ancient Israel and the Neighboring Cultures (c. 1500-330 BCE) - Archaeology, Texts and their Correlation - Jürg Hutzli
Jürg Hutzli [+]
University of Lausanne
Stefan Münger [+]
University of Bern
Burial practices in ancient societies illuminate an important aspect of the past realities and beliefs. This volume correlates and synthesizes the multifaceted evidence for burial practices in the Ancient Southern Levant in a concerted manner based on data from different disciplines (anthropology, archaeology, epigraphy, literary analysis [exegesis]). The co-authorship of two specialists in the two main fields involved (archaeology and epigraphy / exegesis) provides a methodologically solid and balanced approach to the topic. Geographically, the focus not only lies on former territories of Israel and Judah but also on their neighbouring cultures. The chronological scope covers the time from the Late Bronze Age to the Persian/Hellenistic periods. In addition to literary (i.e. biblical) texts the study also includes the available inscriptional material. This volume thus has a comprehensive approach, based on up-to-date archaeological and literary evidence, including most recent discoveries and contemporary theoretical approaches. The gathered body of data on burials in text and material culture will serve as point of departure for addressing related questions such as concepts of afterlife, netherworld and necromancy. The problem of the (seeming) discrepancy between archaeological and textual evidence will be discussed and possible solutions offered.