Wednesday, August 21, 2013

It seems that pig bones are all the rage in archaeology right now.  A few weeks ago, I posted a few thoughts on Israel Finkelstein's paper (with L. Sapir-Hen, G. Bar-Oz and Y. Gadot), 'Pig Husbandry in Iron Age Israel and Judah.'

On Monday, the ASOR blog posted, "Hogging the Attention: Cuisine and Culture in Ancient Israel." Their post (which surprisingly doesn't mention the paper by Finkelstein, et al.) deals with some of the same issues of using pig remains to identify the cultural setting archaeological sites. 

Some May be unfamiliar with the field of zooarchaeology. A brief description from ASOR blog:
As archaeology gradually matured as a scientific discipline, methods advanced toward new techniques to investigate the ancient past. One of these approaches, known as zooarchaeology, centered on the study of animal remains from archaeological sites. Zooarchaeologists examine bones and teeth and, if the remains are well preserved, can identify the species of animal to which they belong.  Zooarchaeologists are therefore uniquely qualified to discuss diet and general animal exploitation.

The post, by Edward F. Maher, does conclude the same thing as the paper by Finkelstein: the archaeological situation is too complex to use pig bones to determine whether a site is Judahite, Israelite or Palestinian.